And Tamas Henning, the guy who developed the new forum also expressed his feelings in “Flip the switch”.
Let me now comment on this and let us look at the graph of new topics on the forum (see the blue curve).
The first thing you can see is that right after the launch of the new forum on April 17 (see the green line on the graph) the new topics went down to less then 30 per day. Tamas explains this like this: “Of course there has been a slight drop at the beginning but come on when you release something new this is to be expected.”. Very plausible of course, and indeed the number of new topics went up again very fast in the next days.
There has however been a downward trend, from about 80 new topics per day in March to about 50 in May. This is clearly NOT due to the new layout of the forum. The red trend line shows a downward tendency in front of the green line, and the downward tendency continues after the launch of the new forum!
Does it mean the Skype Forum is not attractive anymore? I don’t think so. Everybody knows that most people visit a forum because they have an issue to resolve! The forum is the best way to get help anyway!
Why is there a monthly decline of new topics per day? My guesses are:
- Skype’s software is becoming stable. The main bugs were resolved (this does not mean there are no bugs anymore … Windows is still full of bugs);
- Skype releases lesser new releases of the software than before. In the past it was almost weekly, now it is every one or two months. I guess they learned their lesson: better release stable versions, than release very often new improved versions that were not tested thoroughly!
- Skype’s population is now quite huge, and many questions that were posted out of “ignorance” can now be asked to friends who are “elder” users.
- And of course Ike’s guess: “We do see fewer posts then before, less new topics, but the amount of topic views increased tremendously, sometimes even doubled. We love to believe that people found their answer before posting.” I know her since she became a Super User on the forum, therefore a long time before she became Skype Staff, and it isn’t her style to brag.