Again, small sample size, but I find it interesting on a trading card site that nobody so far is here for the trading/transactions. I have never used these sites as a primary means of advancing my collection, but trades and deals just seemed to happen along the way. Previously to calling this site my home base, I was pretty active on Topps and The Bench, both of which lead to many deals. What lead to my losing interest and eventually retracting from those sites were the lack of interesting topics and discussions. I pop into some other sites periodically and even comment here and there if good reason pops up to do so, but nothing like it used to be.
I do a majority of my buying on ebay and a sliver through COMC these days, but primarily want to see and be involved in discussions about collectibles on the card message boards. It is not that I would not be willing to wheel and deal if something appeared that was in my collecting interest. I enjoy the show off and player/auto specialty threads but I want to know more about the items sometimes and why they are important to the owner. If I can be exposed to a set or card I have never heard of or seen before, that is why I come to these sites. Yes, if you collect Terry Pendleton it is going to be obvious that you are excited to pick up a new relatively common card you needed, but what about those oddball pick-ups that don't fit your collection or maybe it's a Pendleton card that was so hard to find you have never seen one in 33 years of searching. Help us understand your passion and joy in finding this gem.
I guess my point for this poll was to satisfy my curiosity partially, but also hoping to prompt more relevant conversations and participation. A "good" thread might get a few pages of responses and maybe the same 15-20 people commenting and then it dies. I want to know what will capture and keep more people engaged for longer times.
My hope is that a wider variety of people will share and comment more, with some thought and effort into the replies (not everything needs to be a Tanner event, but something more than a 1 word or sentence answer is appreciated too). I think one of the biggest problems with these sites is recruiting new people willing to share and contribute and to keep existing members engaged and interersted, especially when similar subjects pop back up that have been discussed before. I know a lot of sites have staggering membership numbers, but how many of these were one time posters or lurkers and you find that the same 1% contribute most of the content. Keep that in mind the next time a new subject is posted. Maybe instead of reading it and moving on silently, toss out a comment, share a similar experience or post something to keep the conversation going.