"The delusion is basically that one can setup a forum and have people simply interact spontaneously without any nurturing or oversight. This doesn’t work unless your last name is Spolsky. "
Actually, that doesn't work unless you make it as easy as possible for people to use your tools. It might sound trivial to you and others, but I certainly would have been more of a regular has your forums not been borked up a few times. Also, the "remember me" function has yet to work to where I don't have to log in every time I want to reply or post. Also, when I did finally log in..I was never taken to the article I clicked on in the first place...so I would have to locate what I was wanting to read ....again.
I think if you put more effort into the functionality of your forums, you would have greater participation. I have personally turned around unproducing forums before...and while it is not easy...it can be done.
In follow up...for instance...when I click on the above link for forums, I don't even get the forums..or a log in screen. Just a screen to register if I want to. The only way I can even get into your forums is by cliicking on a link in the rss feed for a forum posting..then logging in.
Dan: Good points. I agree that part of the reason the forums aren't used as much is that the software is frustrating. I've been meaning to go in there and fix it, but just havn't made myself do it yet.
Thanks for the tip. I needed a gentle nudge again.
You wud be perhaps glad to know, first time when I came across your blog(few months back), I actually organised one of my complete weekend to go through all the previous blog entries :).. Thanks for all pointers & knowledge sharing.
HUGE congrats Dharmesh on this occasion of Onstartups first year anniversay!
Your anniversay post is wonderfully human, interesting and informative... Great Job!
And, I've Dugg the post on Digg!
Very best wishes to you and Onstartups (and HubSpot) in the year ahead!
I am (still now) a quitly secret fan of your blog. Each week or two I came back to read the new posts. I am also read to Paul Graham, Spolsky, Eric Sinkand eventually to Guy Kawasaki and others. I think you´re one of the best sources of critical and well minded information about ISVs and startups.
Your importance is greater to the startup people as me, that lives out of Silicon Valley or Boston, and even out of USA , and thereby is out of the main startup scene. You act also as our chronist in there!
I want to point out that I appreciate a lot your humbleness, or more exactly the humble style which you use to support clear opinions. It stand out in an some excessive ego and opinionated blogging world.
Thanks and greater success in the second year!
I just wanted to offer my word of congratulations. These are really interesting insights regarding the growth of your site. You've come a long way in a year. I was a regular reader prior to your coverage of the sale of Huckabuck.com, and following our dialogue about that eBay exit strategy, I've really enjoyed your take on the directions of startups in this space.
We recently relaunched our corporate site atwww.voodooventures.com
as a blog and are working hard to cover entrepreneurship and Web 2.0 in a similar way. All of you comments above about getting traction for the blog are so true. In fact, we find ourselves falling into the trap of checking webstats about every 15 min. I wonder if you have any insights beyond the delusions you had/have but into what has made you as successful as you are presently. Keep up the good work.
The weakness of the forums is that I can't log on anonymously when I need to ask n00bish questions. Sure, everyone knows my name, and everyone is glad I came, but that's part of the problem!
Sometimes, I want to be anonymous.
Yes I know of the over-anaylsis paralysis of checking logs and stats too often. Whilst it is good to have some market intelligence as to where visitors are coming from this can be a time sink..
I'm currently guilty of delusion #1. If I spent as much time writing as I did watching traffic and conversion trends, I'd have 2x as many articles! Brian.
Congratulations on the "birthday"!
I must echo your sentiments in #4
: "I’m not sure what all the Technorati fuss is about."
I have found almost no traffic coming to my blogs from T'rati, and, on the rare occasions that I do
actually search for blogs/blog posts, Technorati's search returns nowhere near
the quality that Google's blog search does. I don't see Technorait outlasting its own buzz.
I enjoy your blog Dharmesh. Ditto on the technorati. I use it sometimes to find out who's linking to an article, but I never really see any traffic from them.