Simon, I really know very little about the size of the Inward Quest website, nor what it costs to rent a server for it; I imagine that doing a major expansion of the site would be difficult and expensive. But I have noticed that the site has much less traffic than it used to have. You also know that I have noticed that many of the women who used to write here are now barely showing their heads.
Wade and I have a lot of ideas for the website. But I do not believe that you really want the site to change much, if at all. Is this because of the cost, or some limit as to size, that we know nothing about? For example, the graphics on the site could be more inviting- but again, is the site limited as to what you can do with the graphics? The header, or front page, could have art at the top. There is a lot of beautiful scientific/metaphysical/space art out there. I am sure that there are folks here who would enjoy hunting up art for the site. Can the server support this- or would it be too costly for the site to look more modern?
In short, do you want to grow this site? What are the parameters for the IQ site?
There are so many ways that IQ could grow. But I know nothing about the limitations you have. Could you share these with us? Do you want any help with this?
asked May 19 '15 at 07:18
You are correct in this assumption. This is a highly-focused questions and answers site that serves its purpose well for the need it fills. Apart from technical fixes and improvements to making the Q&A more accessible (such as @kakaboo's most-voted answers suggestion), this site is deliberately not going to be broadened into anything further that detracts from that Q&A purpose.
Cost is not an issue. What is an issue is my experience of what makes a forum of this kind valuable. What I have not previously disclosed on Inward Quest is that this is actually the third large spiritual group I've operated. The previous two, no longer online for reasons beyond my control, operated as long as this one has up to now and had more members than this one. I'm not going to provide any more information about those groups than that.
Over the years of operation of the previous groups, I've learned many lessons about what makes groups like this useful to people, lessons that cannot be learned other than through day-to-day personal experience of group operations. The decisions that mould Inward Quest are not based in guesswork but are based on that past experience. And the number one destroyer of groups like these are irrelevant and off-topic meta-discussions that obscure and sink any valuable knowledge exchange. So the reason that this group is not going to change much is because, with this kind of Q&A format, the meta-discussions ("noise", "chat", "discussions") are deliberately minimized and so the information quality is kept high and easily-accessible.
Participation levels are fairly irrelevant for this kind of group because it is building up an online repository of knowledge. As more and more information is added, site visitors tend towards becoming consumers of existing information instead of askers of new questions. So less participation with similar traffic levels (allowing for Google search algorithm changes) is a sign that people are getting what they want from the existing information, not that there is anything wrong with the group. One only needs to compare the quality of information that was posted five years ago when the group started to now, to discover whether or not these policies are successful or not. From my observations, the information quality that this site attracts is as good as it ever has been.
As for your comment about less women participating, I find that to be irrelevant. People will always come and go from a group like this, sometimes they will be female, sometimes not, and many will not disclose their gender online anyway.
Dumping art and graphics onto this site for no purpose other than to put it somewhere or to encourage "chat", I would classify as being "noise" as far as the Q&A here is concerned. There are many other websites that are more appropriate for this kind of thing.
answered May 24 '15 at 09:41
Simon Templeton ♦♦