TSO Site Health - The Impact of GroupMe

Discussion in 'Locker Room' started by Shaun Mason, Oct 2, 2014.

  1. Shaun Mason

    Shaun Mason Somebody you used to know.

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2009
    Messages:
    24,887
    Featured Threads:
    5
    Hello TSO,

    I'm trying to start a dialog here, so don't think I'm angry.:)

    I thought I would take a minute to show everyone something. I've long complained about leagues on the site using external communication tools. It creates a number of issues, mainly that conduct outside the site is hard to police by staff. That aside, it actually creates some issues for TSO as a site.

    How you ask? The main benefit of this site to it's members is that it creates a safe haven to find good games and leagues. Being able to recruit from an established pool of players is a huge benefit in our "niche" leagues. So, in order to keep that pool full of "sim" players, TSO needs to be able to recruit players that fit our play style. Some people (Kasper and Keller in particular) have resorted to going out to Reddit, etc. to find new players. We never used to have to do that. People came HERE for leagues.

    Why isn't that happening now?

    Well, the obvious answer is that overall site traffic, and membership is down. The death of the EA SPORTS NCAA series obviously damaged site health. We have filled some of that activity with other sports, such as FIFA, and OOTP, but we are still hurting. Without forum activity we don't have anything that makes us appealing to new members. They look at the site and see what appears to be inactive leagues, leagues no different than anywhere else. Sure, we have tons of activity now OFF the site, but new members can't see that. Google can't see that activity either, so it isn't driving us traffic in search.

    I could show you a ton of charts and graphs detailing our traffic and reach decline, but I won't. I'll give you two:




    What you see above is the difference in 2012 (at TSO's peak) and 2014 for Hard Knocks in September. You'll see that forum traffic is down a huge amount, and the amount of money TSO made (which allows us to keep enhancing the site) is down drastically as well.

    What happened?
    #GroupMe

    The members of Hard Knocks simply don't use the site anymore. There is a thread detailing the outcome of games and only 9/32 members have even viewed the thread, even though they are in Week 13. Between Twitch (which we've tried to integrate), DaddyLeagues and #GroupMe there really isn't much of a need to check in here.

    I'm not picking on Hard Knocks...this is most leagues. I'm just using them as an example.

    So, maybe TSO is going the way of the dodo...I don't know. But the change in culture in TSO has impacted our ability as a site, and a community to keep players coming here. I'm not sure what has to change.

    If you have suggestions or comments, please leave them below.

    Shaun

    Tag - Approved Users
     
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2014
    • Like Like x 3
  2. NeuroticTruth

    NeuroticTruth dont know , dont care

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2011
    Messages:
    10,037
    Featured Threads:
    1
    Those google docs are private, cant see them.
     
  3. Shaun Mason

    Shaun Mason Somebody you used to know.

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2009
    Messages:
    24,887
    Featured Threads:
    5
    Thanks, let me see if I can make them public.
     
  4. NeuroticTruth

    NeuroticTruth dont know , dont care

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2011
    Messages:
    10,037
    Featured Threads:
    1
    Honestly, people just need to stop using GroupMe, especially for leagues where scheduling is a large part of the league. There is no reason why TSO shouldnt be your first choice to schedule a game. I understand the desire for wanting a spot for chatting about the league etc, hell we have one for The Dugout, but forum activity has to be a priority for leagues.

    Honestly, its not just GroupMe though. The standards for required content have slipped drastically. Its not just that people dont view game recap threads, its that in general there is no content outside of that in leagues anymore. People used to spend vast amounts of time on various content pieces and that seems to have slipped away, and for some reason we've just become ok with it.

    Take the Dugout for example. I posted a "Media Day Thread" that if it wasnt "required" to complete half the league probably wouldnt do. There are some that did it and half assed the questions that were about other parts of the league. The idea behind this content is to get you more involved in the league outside of your team.

    Thats kinda where we're at now mentality wise. Does what you're saying involve my team? No? Then I dont care. It needs to stop.
     
    • Like Like x 5
  5. G_T_G

    G_T_G BEAR DOWN

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2010
    Messages:
    2,963
    I'd certainly like to see more content on the forums. That's always fun.
     
  6. BobJr

    BobJr To each their own

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2010
    Messages:
    7,123
    Featured Threads:
    2
    It is not groupme.

    It is the lack of content. In 2012 we had AIM Blast chats that we used.

    The content is not fresh either, nobody wants to spend time reading content. When it's not read tgen there is no drive to do it.

    I absolutely agree that the forum should be the place to schedule.

    Shaun Mason is the app that we tested able to tie to the forums?
     
    • Like Like x 2
  7. NeuroticTruth

    NeuroticTruth dont know , dont care

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2011
    Messages:
    10,037
    Featured Threads:
    1
    GroupMe does play a part. It has made scheduling more difficult for sure.
     
  8. Shaun Mason

    Shaun Mason Somebody you used to know.

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2009
    Messages:
    24,887
    Featured Threads:
    5
    It's definitely a factor.

    As extensively as we use GroupMe?

    Is the horse and wagon problem...no one reads it so no one writes it, so no one has anything to read.

    Agreed

    Shaun Mason is the app that we tested able to tie to the forums?[/QUOTE]

    No. Would having a league specific chat box be enough to discontinue GroupMe?
     
    • Like Like x 1
  9. NeuroticTruth

    NeuroticTruth dont know , dont care

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2011
    Messages:
    10,037
    Featured Threads:
    1
    For me it would. And perhaps make that a "Premier" perk. If your league is premier then you get a league specific Chat Box.
     
    • Like Like x 2
  10. Shaun Mason

    Shaun Mason Somebody you used to know.

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2009
    Messages:
    24,887
    Featured Threads:
    5
    I don't know how I feel about "Premier" anymore. I doesn't mean the same thing it used to. Now it means you have chatbox.
     
    • Like Like x 5
  11. NeuroticTruth

    NeuroticTruth dont know , dont care

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2011
    Messages:
    10,037
    Featured Threads:
    1
    Are you ok with just making money off adds and the rare occasion of people donating then? I've had multiple people tell me lately that they're unsure they wanna renew their premier and if it wasnt required for the Dugout they wouldnt have done it (not boasting just relaying the facts).
     
  12. Shaun Mason

    Shaun Mason Somebody you used to know.

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2009
    Messages:
    24,887
    Featured Threads:
    5
    *shrug* I don't care about money on this site unless we don't have money to pay the bills.

    I don't get money from TSO.
     
  13. Kasper

    Kasper The Ghost Himself

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2010
    Messages:
    12,536
    So you want the leagues that struggle due to trying to adjust new members to Tso to have less tools? Cmon bruh.
     
  14. Kasper

    Kasper The Ghost Himself

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2010
    Messages:
    12,536
    Which, between chatbox and "donating" to the site is plenty reason for me to renew yearly.

    If you use this site year round or for league play and you claim you can't throw it $12 a year you are full of shit.
     
    • Like Like x 2
  15. NeuroticTruth

    NeuroticTruth dont know , dont care

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2011
    Messages:
    10,037
    Featured Threads:
    1
    No, I want people that use the site to support it.

    Let me buy premier, let me use the site add free, and let leagues perhaps become premier for a chat box.
     
  16. Shaun Mason

    Shaun Mason Somebody you used to know.

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2009
    Messages:
    24,887
    Featured Threads:
    5
    This is the crux to me. "Premier" has limited our ability to give people (new people) a good experience.
     
    • Like Like x 2
  17. Danthraxxx

    Danthraxxx Walk On

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2011
    Messages:
    8,531
    I feel that concern , but I have had folks ask me when I can play in group me and literally not reply right after or at all in that app , so while it helps I think it falls more on user effort. Topic for another convo I guess. I would be ok with our league abandoning it even though it would hurt us, some of the new members need to just learn the old TSO way or GTFO.

    Just my 0.02$ on our league. I think it could be handy for scheduling clubs though on the fly FWIW
     
    • Like Like x 2
  18. Kasper

    Kasper The Ghost Himself

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2010
    Messages:
    12,536
    GroupMe has been more problematic than beneficial- not to mention it is clearly impacting scheduling.

    We are going to try and move away from it.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  19. Danthraxxx

    Danthraxxx Walk On

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2011
    Messages:
    8,531
    When I joined back in the day , when we had a ton of NCAA leagues being Premier meant something. It meant you were reliable and whatnot. I agree 100% that it does not have the meaning it once had. I have no clue how we would get back to that feeling , not sure if that is a symptom or a cause at this point ......



    What if we tried to promote more non sports titles ? Maybe try to get some of the FPS community to come over , not always the most desirable of the gamer personalities but maybe that would help pick up the slack from NCAA traffic that has been lost.

    Do we have anyone that has a decent number of Twitch or YouTube subs / followers ? Maybe we can find a way to incorporate that to drive some traffic our way.
     
  20. BobJr

    BobJr To each their own

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2010
    Messages:
    7,123
    Featured Threads:
    2
  21. Drifterbub

    Drifterbub Help me hide a body?

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2009
    Messages:
    17,173
    Featured Threads:
    1
    You know more than almost anyone here that I'm open to feedback. We just have to actually have that conversation.
     
  22. DC

    DC Shake n Bake

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2009
    Messages:
    5,546
    If you make chats in forums. I'll quit groupme
     
  23. Shaun Mason

    Shaun Mason Somebody you used to know.

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2009
    Messages:
    24,887
    Featured Threads:
    5
    In 2012:
    TMFL - 103,749 page views
    Hard Knocks - 54,092 page views.

    The split in money earned to help fund the site is the same.

    TMFL didn't use external tools.

    Anyway, I don't even know what the end result of this is. Maybe TSO is dying? Maybe it's just the natural evolution of things?
     
  24. Mogriffjr

    Mogriffjr Walk On

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2009
    Messages:
    5,164
    Featured Threads:
    2
    I've never felt this way...only because groupme is easily accessible...no one's gonna sit there and refresh the page of a TSO league their in and wait for someone to check in for a thread, especially how this generation works, we want everything right there and now, and most of us are on the run/go a lot.

    I know for sure a game I had last night wouldn't have happened if we wasn't on groupme, dude hit me up, we got the game played, instead of him posting on the site and me not likely checking it until later that night, etc.

    There's pros and cons Kasper and I know you have more cons, especially with the banter that has led to a few users getting kicked out.

    It still will come down to the users making an effort to schedule make content...if you use groupme or any random chat as a tool, that effort still has to be shown.
     
    • Like Like x 4
  25. Kasper

    Kasper The Ghost Himself

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2010
    Messages:
    12,536
    Get tapatalk on your phone and you get notified right away. It works great for me.
     
    • Like Like x 4

Share This Page