Forum idea: change the "Welcome" thread to a forum where each new member starts their own thread to introduce themselves.
Having one big thread as it is currently is interesting and fun to read, but it discourages replies and responses. The only posts that seem appropriate in there are introductions, so replying to someone is out of place. Conversations would get mixed, etc.
I've mentioned this before, but the latest reply in that thread reminded me again.
The latest person to post ended their comment with this:
I've been reading MMM since the first articles and have shared nearly every article with friends and family. Looking for help/advice :)
It's posts like this that make me wish the welcome structure was set up a little different here. I want to offer a comment on his post, but it doesn't really fit in that thread.
A better idea, IMO, is a welcome forum where a thread like that is a sticky, but individuals are encouraged to start their own thread to introduce themselves.
The early-retirement.org forum does it this way:http://www.early-retirement.org/forums/f26/
Here's their sticky about introducing yourself, to give you an idea:http://www.early-retirement.org/forums/f26/read-this-before-you-introduce-yourself-27621.html
Then people could actually say "Welcome" back to the individual and comment on their situation. They'd have their own individual thread for their personal situation. Like a beginner stepping stone to the journal part of the forum, where one can track their progress.
That seems much better to me, personally, than one big thread that is now up to 99 replies, but no actual meaningful dialogue and no way to actually welcome people. As the forum grows, and that thread does, it'll just become a beast. Better to start to create individual threads now.
Further, it'd be a good way to grow the community, as people would get more engaged, getting their welcome post commented on, instead of (seemingly) ignored. I just went through the Welcome sticky and 9 people (almost 10% of the people who had posted in that thread) only had a single post, that one single post was all they ever made. 11 more only had two posts, and another 7 had 3 total. So of the 99 replies, 27% of them have posted 3 or less times. The welcome is one of te most crucial times to make people actually feel welcome
, yet I feel awkward doing so with the current setup.