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Is MiceChat dying?

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  • Is MiceChat dying?

    Not trying to spark/start up any negativity or drama.

    Is MiceChat dying? For whatever reason, I feel like the number of posts has gone down and the number of people on the forums has gone down.

  • #2
    The number of posts on the forum has gone down over the years. This is true for the vast majority of internet forums covering every imaginable topic. The reason is simple - Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Whatsapp, and other social media apps are were people have migrated to.

    There are a few other reasons as well. MiceChat is a Disneyland-centric forum. In the early days of MiceChat, many local members used to meet weekly at Disneyland. Now, Disneyland has priced out many members, even with the monthly payment plan. Since Disneyland has priced out many members, they aren't as active as they used to be on the forums.

    The number of posts is proportional to what Disneyland is doing. Right now, there is certainly a tremendous amount of construction, but it will be awhile before new attractions open. I promise you that there will be a flurry of activity as we get closer to the opening of SWGE.

    It is also true that the forums are not as friendly as they used to be, but it's not as bad as people would want you to believe. I can go back to posts from 2005 and see snark and bickering back then as well. I can also go to other Disney-related forums and find much worse examples of hostility than you will find here. MiceChat 2.0 will allow for community moderation, so we will see how that will be used to address the problem.

    The MiceChat forums are 12 years old, and we have about 100,000 members. Some accounts are not legitimate because they were just used to spam the forums. Some members have passed on and are no longer with us. The MiceChat Facebook page is just a few years old and it has over 65,000 members. That does not include about a 10 to 15 percent rejection rate to combat spam. It's clear that people are migrating to social media, and the problem is evident everywhere. Forums will always have a purpose and an audience, but their use will continue to decline.

    Another thing to consider is that many members still come here every day to read, but they never post anymore.

    We have some exciting things planned for MiceChat 2.0. The Gumball Rally and anniversary weekend is taking all of our time right now, but we will start the transition in earnest at the beginning of March. We have already made some changes to this forum. We have re-indexed it to allow for more accurate searching, and have made it easier to search.

    If you have suggestions as to how to increase traffic, please feel free to share your ideas.

    Thank you.

    Comment


    • #3
      I have to disagree (to a point) about social media. I think forums and things like Facebook are complete opposite. In forums, you go into to interact with like-minded people. Social media is where you go for news on a topic or to see what your friends did that day, or God forbid what they had for lunch. Blaming social media for forums dying is like saying ESPN is losing viewers due to cord cutters. While that may indeed be true for a few, another reason with ESPN is their bringing politics into their programing. Outside of Sunday Night Baseball I haven't turned on ESPN in about three years because of their politics. One only needs to head over to bluray .com or the Steve Hoffman music forums to see that forums are still alive and well.

      Another thing about the decline of Micechat is that there are dozens of people banned who used to post in the thousands. When I come on and see someone like Flynnbus (?) get banned who was around since the beginning or how about Capt. Hook? I don't know why he was banned but c'mon, the dude was harmless and I enjoyed his pictures with the characters. In my opinion and I know I'm not alone, that there are two or three here that are absolutely poisoning the well and I'm somewhat dumbfounded on how they have not been banned. This alone is what makes this place unattractive for many.
      "Fantasy, if it's really convincing, can't become dated, for the simple reason that it represents a flight into a dimension that lies beyond the reach of time" Walt Disney

      Comment


      • #4
        I'm not finding the forums as engaging or informative as the past, either. At the same time, how many times can we keep saying: too expensive, too crowded, too many strollers, too many walls, too many APs, etc without it getting dull? There doesn't seem to be any real new insights to bring to the table.
        Does anyone even bother with signatures anymore?

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Walt Fan View Post
          I have to disagree (to a point) about social media. I think forums and things like Facebook are complete opposite. In forums, you go into to interact with like-minded people. Social media is where you go for news on a topic or to see what your friends did that day, or God forbid what they had for lunch. Blaming social media for forums dying is like saying ESPN is losing viewers due to cord cutters. While that may indeed be true for a few, another reason with ESPN is their bringing politics into their programing. Outside of Sunday Night Baseball I haven't turned on ESPN in about three years because of their politics. One only needs to head over to bluray .com or the Steve Hoffman music forums to see that forums are still alive and well.

          Another thing about the decline of Micechat is that there are dozens of people banned who used to post in the thousands. When I come on and see someone like Flynnbus (?) get banned who was around since the beginning or how about Capt. Hook? I don't know why he was banned but c'mon, the dude was harmless and I enjoyed his pictures with the characters. In my opinion and I know I'm not alone, that there are two or three here that are absolutely poisoning the well and I'm somewhat dumbfounded on how they have not been banned. This alone is what makes this place unattractive for many.
          Pot, meet kettle. There are any number of references on the internet that detail the decline of forums due to the rise in popularity of Facebook, Twitter, and the like. But it's easier to not do any research, and just blame the mods and the "two or three here that are poisoning the well."

          Incorrect, but easier.

          (You're also wrong about our good friend Flynnibus. He chose YAGE and DBM. It's all there for anyone who cares to search for it.)
          "Disneyland is often called a magic kingdom because
          it combines fantasy and history, adventure and learning,
          together with every variety of recreation and fun,
          designed to appeal to everyone."

          - Walt Disney

          "Disneyland is all about turning movies into rides."
          - Michael Eisner

          Comment


          • #6
            Hey I was just talking about you Wiggins!
            "Fantasy, if it's really convincing, can't become dated, for the simple reason that it represents a flight into a dimension that lies beyond the reach of time" Walt Disney

            Comment


            • #7
              I used to read here (oddly enough popped in today for the first time in forever time to try and find info on animatronic heads falling off) and frankly other sites have more information and friendlier chat than here these days.

              That being said, I also believe the concept that other forms of communication are 'stealing the thunder' from 'older' style forums. I know many fandom forums on websites that have shut down in recent years because the traffic as gone. Personally I think it's unfortunate as it is difficult to find niche areas to chat about certain topics any more.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Walt Fan View Post
                I have to disagree (to a point) about social media. I think forums and things like Facebook are complete opposite. In forums, you go into to interact with like-minded people. Social media is where you go for news on a topic or to see what your friends did that day, or God forbid what they had for lunch. Blaming social media for forums dying is like saying ESPN is losing viewers due to cord cutters. While that may indeed be true for a few, another reason with ESPN is their bringing politics into their programing. Outside of Sunday Night Baseball I haven't turned on ESPN in about three years because of their politics. One only needs to head over to bluray .com or the Steve Hoffman music forums to see that forums are still alive and well.

                Another thing about the decline of Micechat is that there are dozens of people banned who used to post in the thousands. When I come on and see someone like Flynnbus (?) get banned who was around since the beginning or how about Capt. Hook? I don't know why he was banned but c'mon, the dude was harmless and I enjoyed his pictures with the characters. In my opinion and I know I'm not alone, that there are two or three here that are absolutely poisoning the well and I'm somewhat dumbfounded on how they have not been banned. This alone is what makes this place unattractive for many.
                MiceChat has a dedicated page on Facebook. Actually, we have a page where the MiceChat staff posts only, and then a fan page where people can join and post whatever they want (Disney related). The fan page on Facebook is a place for like-minded Disney fans to gather, and they do (by the thousands). In fact, that's where MiceChat's moderation staff is. They are not all gone. They just hang out there now. This is not something I knew until recently.

                MiceChat has a policy of not deleting members if they choose to leave. In fact, I don't think it can be done. I also did not know this until recently, but Flynnibus was not banned in the traditional sense. He asked to leave MiceChat, and whoever received the request changed his account status to banned. He did not actually get banned for violating MiceChat's rules. I realize that I should not discuss other members, but I feel the need to clarify the situation outweighs any other concerns.

                In the case of Capt Hook, he was banned by the forum owner. I think the sequence of events that led to this decision was unfortunate, and it would not happen now. The problem was that Capt Hook was being harassed by other members, but I did not have mod or admin rights at the time. I contacted the forum owner to try to remedy the situation, and he banned everyone involved, including Capt Hook. I admit that I did not agree with the decision, but there was nothing I could do to correct it. I also think the decision was made without a complete understanding of the facts, and that is due to the forum owner's hectic schedule and the circumstances at the time this happened.

                With MiceChat 2.0, everyone will need to re-register. IP bans will transfer, but user bans will not. This means everyone will get a second chance if they want to come back. If Capt Hook wanted to come back right now, I would remove the ban. At this point, I don't think he wants to, and I can understand his feelings.

                Post counts will transfer from this forum to MiceChat 2.0, but that will all be done manually.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by MoonRakerSCM View Post
                  frankly other sites have more information and friendlier chat than here these days.
                  If you wish, please link to the sites you are referring to where the chat is friendlier. Also, if you would be willing, can you be more specific as to what you consider to be friendly? In other words, what crosses the line from friendly to not? I am not asking to be confrontational. I am asking because I sincerely want to improve as much as possible. Thank you.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I'll PM ya :-)

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by PhotoMatt View Post


                      With MiceChat 2.0, everyone will need to re-register. IP bans will transfer, but user bans will not. This means everyone will get a second chance if they want to come back. If Capt Hook wanted to come back right now, I would remove the ban. At this point, I don't think he wants to, and I can understand his feelings.

                      Post counts will transfer from this forum to MiceChat 2.0, but that will all be done manually.
                      Trying to understand ? MATT

                      * What is user bans?
                      *what the process /Post counts will transfer from this forum to MiceChat 2.0, but that will all be done manually?

                      My concern is.....that I will get disconnected ,and not able get back on........
                      Last edited by Eagleman; 01-28-2018, 04:31 PM.
                      Soaring like an EAGLE !

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by PhotoMatt View Post
                        It is also true that the forums are not as friendly as they used to be, but it's not as bad as people would want you to believe......

                        If you have suggestions as to how to increase traffic, please feel free to share your ideas.
                        I've been around quite awhile, and I'm not sure that the site is more or less friendly than it ever has been. There have always been those with an axe to grind and a penchant to argue minutia. I think what may be different is there seems to be just less "yay Disney" posts than in the past. Maybe that has to do to rising costs of admission? As cost goes up, people become more critical as they reassess value in a visit to Disney. This could also be tied to increases in crowd levels. *shrug*

                        I don't doubt that Facebook is related to lowered traffic on here. I see lots more active conversations and comments on the Facebook page than here. This leads me to a suggestion. I'm not sure if it is possible in your "2.0" version of the forum, but if there was a way to link Feature articles to the forum directly, I think you would have more conversations. I don't know about anyone else on here, but I know what brings me here is discussion of rumors and up and coming changes to the parks. Since that's what many of the features discuss, you'd get more traffic on the forums by connecting them better. Maybe.


                        DL Trips: '78, '84, '89, '90, '91, '96, '03, '06, '07(x2), '08, '10(x2), '12, '14, '15, '16
                        DW Trips: '08
                        International parks: Some day...

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Eagleman View Post

                          Trying to understand ? MATT

                          * What is user bans?
                          *what the process /Post counts will transfer from this forum to MiceChat 2.0, but that will all be done manually?

                          My concern is.....that I will get disconnected ,and not able get back on........
                          A user ban is when a moderator or administrator prevents a user from posting anymore. This is only done when a member violates a rule on more than one occasion, or the violation is serious.

                          You will not get disconnected. When MiceChat 2.0 comes online, there will be a period where both forums are online at the same time. If anyone has issues, they will be able to post here or email a member of the moderation staff.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by DrAlice View Post
                            This leads me to a suggestion. I'm not sure if it is possible in your "2.0" version of the forum, but if there was a way to link Feature articles to the forum directly, I think you would have more conversations. I don't know about anyone else on here, but I know what brings me here is discussion of rumors and up and coming changes to the parks. Since that's what many of the features discuss, you'd get more traffic on the forums by connecting them better. Maybe.
                            There are already apps that allow for Discourse and Wordpress integration. This means any new post on the main MiceChat page will automatically generate a thread on the MiceChat 2.0 forums. We will also have an app on the Wordpress page that shows recent forum threads. We already have the latter working right now. All we need to do is change the app to integrate with Discourse instead of vBulletin.

                            Right now, the comments on the MiceChat Wordpress page use Disqus. Once MiceChat 2.0 is online, we will change over to using Discourse for the comments. This should also increase forum traffic.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by PhotoMatt View Post

                              A user ban is when a moderator or administrator prevents a user from posting anymore. This is only done when a member violates a rule on more than one occasion, or the violation is serious.

                              You will not get disconnected. When MiceChat 2.0 comes online, there will be a period where both forums are online at the same time. If anyone has issues, they will be able to post here or email a member of the moderation staff.
                              one question ......would I able to keep.....my Eagle picture !
                              Thank You for getting back.......with the Answers
                              PS: I would like keep my post count.......
                              Soaring like an EAGLE !

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by Eagleman View Post

                                one question ......would I able to keep.....my Eagle picture !
                                Thank You for getting back.......with the Answers
                                PS: I would like keep my post count.......
                                You will have to re-upload your avatar. The post counts will remain the same, but I will have to manually enter them.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  I don't so much think that MC is dying more than there's a re-hashing of topics. Like PhotoMatt said, there's a lot of construction going on and not much else. I've also looked around a bit here and there simply because I love DL and have yet to find a forum as active as this. Yes it can get a little punchy in here and it seems that there are a few that like to stir the pot but that makes it much more interesting.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    As a longtime lurker, very infrequent poster, I'd say my challenges with this site are more in-line with how it looks and functions - not the content. A new template would certainly help, but within the vBulletin framework you are limited to some extent on how it functions.

                                    Not that you asked, and if you're already working on 2.0 then congrats, but here are a couple areas I would consider:
                                    • Change the template/design/color scheme. Yellow isn't a great color to have as a background. Most people are used to yellow as a highlighting color, and when the entire page is yellow, it all looks highlighted! Change the font. ABA (anything but arial!). Arial, despite the character similarity, is not a great font.
                                    • Consider a different approach to Sticky threads. Currently going to the Disneyland Resort forum gives me 11 stickies... a full page I have to scroll past just to get to the meat. Maybe create one Sticky thread that gets updated with links to other sticky threads. Now your new content is front and center, with the other threads still accessibly albeit one-click further away.
                                    • Rethink the navigation based on your analytics. Everything is tucked away in its own little hole. It would be more useful to combine areas of like content and use tags. Consider how a site like Gizmodo.com deals with their content - 1 big long stream. This is to make it easy to see all the new stories inline, and keep people coming back. If you combined the news and features section into a continuous stream of content that was tagged appropriately, you would attract more casual lookie loos. I don't want to spend my time clicking through menus (and even trying to figure out submenus are available) - I just want to see content that I can browse quickly and click into a specific piece I find interesting. Make it easy to find the latest stuff, regardless of category.
                                    • There are lots of different forums, and that means the community gets split up. Fewer forums, even if the topics stray, would help build community. Do subforms help or hurt? In my experience, they hurt. If I can just search "Yesterland" as a tag to find all that content that is in a "Disneyland Resort" forum, that's all you need.
                                    • Really think about who your big contributors are, and how to keep them engaged. If people are getting banned, particularly long time posters or community favorites, perhaps a relook at the guidelines would be appropriate, especially if they are the same guidelines implemented when the site was first formed. Times be a changin!

                                    Also fix the "Theme Parks" link as it gives a 404 from the main menu

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      I notice that when I post TR they barely get any recognition and fall off the front page fast. This is why I stopped posting such things. It appears that more people rather comment on the types of discussions that are hotter topics than a random MCer day at the park. It used to not be this way but for what ever reason it turned. I follow the FB page but seldom ever comment and I defiantly never post a TR there as that forum isn't really the place for it. I post stuff like that to my own wall now. In the past i would post my TR to MC and link it to my wall. That would bring visitors from my FB to MC. So maybe that happened a bit more to others as well.
                                      These are some of my favorite TRs I have posted

                                      DL 55th BDAY trip report
                                      My company had a special night at the park
                                      WdW trip report with WWoHP
                                      NYE 2011 trip report
                                      Mice Chat 7th anniversary
                                      Leap year 24 hour report
                                      New DCA trip report
                                      NYE 2012
                                      HKDL trip report

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by Durata View Post
                                        [*]Really think about who your big contributors are, and how to keep them engaged. If people are getting banned, particularly long time posters or community favorites, perhaps a relook at the guidelines would be appropriate, especially if they are the same guidelines implemented when the site was first formed. Times be a changin!
                                        BINGO!

                                        I'm an old guy. I was actively involved in the alt.disney.disneyland days that led to Al Lutz's DIG site, then Mouseplanet, then Miceage (with time on LaughingPlace and Mouseinfo along the way). I have been a big Al Lutz fan since the late 1990's, and have and continue to be very active on many message boards over the years. But I hardly ever post on Micechat anymore because of the heavy handed moderators that have a clear political bent. For the record, I am a registered independent and watch both MSNBC and Fox just for the fun compare/contrast even though my own political beliefs fall in the middle.

                                        I'm mature, educated, kind, polite, and passionate about Disneyland. And I've been censored and "warned" on Micechat once for stepping out of line and not adhering to strict socio-political rules here. On topics related to a theme park! Too funny.

                                        The most recent and glaring example of this Micechat mindset was the historically HUGE news that hard working Disneyland CM"s making low wages would all be receiving a $1,000 bonus and that Disney was investing $50 Million in a new vocational school and college fund for CM's to tap into. For the past 20 years we have all been talking online about how hard the CM's work, and many of Al Lutz's columns for years detailed the crummy working conditions and cheap management decisions they dealt with. And now they are getting $1,000 bonuses!

                                        But.... we weren't allowed to talk about it on Micechat, and literally within minutes of the news breaking and the topic being created by someone in the Disneyland forum the thread was moved to a backwater Lounge conversation and the issue was silenced. Because it might just paint President Trump in light that was ever so slightly favorable. Even though Bob Iger's press release plainly said it was all due to "recent federal tax reform".

                                        That's just dumb. We are adults. CM's getting a windfall bonus is big news, and unprecedented in the 20 years I've been online talking about Disneyland business. But the topic could be seen casting a positive light on political policies coming from President Trump, so it was banished. Dumb move on the part of the scared moderators.

                                        And so we are left to do what? Have the third thread of the day related to OMG!!! The Rose Gold Mouse Ears are in stock again and they R so CUTIEEEEEE! Um, yeah, okay. Let's just talk about that again instead of discussing the $1,000 bonus the CM's just got and what the new tax laws may portend for the future of Disney theme park investment. Rose Gold Mouse Ears it is.

                                        I'm an active member on another board that has good moderators, but moderators who know we are adults and can be trusted to talk about Disney theme park business topics related to current tax policy coming out of Washington DC. As an adult, I spend the majority of my online time where I am treated as an adult and can be trusted. I don't need the Ministry of Information censoring every word I say. But good luck with the 2.0 software thing.
                                        Last edited by TP2000; 01-29-2018, 01:15 PM.

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