Tickld Blog Last Updated:15 July 2015

On Tickld Community Growth

First of all, we wanted offer our sincere thanks to the Tickld Community for the insane improvement of late in your acceptance of new Ticklrs and general demeanour. I wanted to share with you that we’ve had notes from new Ticklrs expressing their gratitude for the welcoming disposition of long-time Ticklrs. We’ve also seen a noticeable improvement in the retention of new users, which we attribute to an honest effort by long-time Ticklrs to be more helpful and encouraging, so thank you!

Even with all this improvement, there still exists a fundamental conundrum: How do we help build the Tickld Community while keeping existing Ticklrs happy?

This is not an easy problem to solve!

We believe a part of the problem is the dreaded repost.

There’s a lot of impassioned discussion concerning reposts claiming (a) we don’t have enough moderation, (b) that we are implicitly allowing reposts or (c) that our position is confused. There is good reason for this apparent confusion being the ongoing issue of how to simultaneously cater to both new and existing Tickld Community members.

The core of the problem is that there are simply not yet enough Ticklrs to create a very active website on “pure” OC alone. Secondly, the type OC that a number of you favour, for instance “Chotch”, can be confusing and intimidating to new Ticklrs.

If you consider the entirety of Tickld’s audience, the OPs are a tiny minority.

In order of audience size it’s “first timers” > “lurkers” > “commenters” > “posters”.

The gap between each segment of the audience is massive.

Convincing a casual lurker to become an OP is rare; therefore, on any given day the number of completely new posters is very low. Now, combine that with the fact that a new poster WILL make mistakes. The probability of that new Ticklr posting something that the established Ticklrs don’t like is very high. Their post will no doubt be down-voted heavily, but worse, the comments will sometimes be downright vicious. From what we see, those new posters are highly unlikely to attempt to post again and often never return to Tickld. Thus, the cycle continues and we maintain a very low level of OPs on Tickld.

With low posts we get a low rotation of content. For a first time browser to turn into a lurker (and then hopefully down the chain to commenter and poster) requires an accessible hot page; one with the type of content that one can very quickly get the hang of. So yes, sometimes that means recycled content. We get that some of you hate that content, which is why we try hard to push for OC as well as develop and continually improve our filtering tools, which allow you to manage your own experience. There has to be a flow of content of all types for casual first time visitors to want to hang around, become a lurker and eventually (hopefully) become an active member of Tickld.

Voting shows us what the lurkers like. The highest votes are typically on accessible content. Dig into some of the comments on accessible content and you immediately see the opposition from some of the established Ticklrs. That’s why our efforts have been focused on things like the filters and ME.

For a community like Tickld to thrive there has to be a continual flow of new users. We get churn like any other community which means not every Ticklr sticks around forever. If we don’t have enough new Ticklrs coming in through the front door while other Ticklrs are leaving through the back door, you can imagine where that ultimately leaves us. We know that to keep you long-time Ticklrs around, we need to grow and change with you. We also know that we rely heavily on your feedback and your satisfaction with the Site as a whole. By the same measure, if you enjoy Tickld, we require your cooperation when sharing with you our concerns and candid requests for assistance converting, retaining, or at the very least not chasing away, new members of the Site.

Lukers may some day become posters; however, we are aware they have to go through a fairly long process of casual browsing at first.

We don’t have all the answers. For that we need help from the community.

We’ve laid out our problems, and we’ll leave it to you for discussion.

Here is the tl;dr of the Tickld conundrum:

Tickld has ‘churn’ so we need new Ticklrs. New Ticklrs (from our research) register most when the hot page has plenty of accessible, funny content. They eventually “get” Tickld and start liking/creating OC, but some existing Ticklrs expect that process to be immediate and their actions (whether intentional or not) tend to discourage new “converts” from further participation.

We don’t yet have enough ideas on how to handle this!

We have learned over the years that we can only provide the tools for conversation and that ultimately it’s the community that makes Tickld Tickld, so, over to you for your thoughts!