Fake it till you make it is the key to success – at least for my generation.Why would you need a plugin for that... just go into the CP and create users.. Kinda ..... uhmmmm... won't say it... but it's not something I would do. Mine has been up for several months and I have a few users. Don't feel the need to inflate the user base. It will either take off or it won't - either way the domain is paid for 4 more years and the hosting is paid up for 11.5 more months.
There are good evolutionary reasons for avoiding things that aren't already popular.
Nobody wants to be the first one to try a vaccine, or join a forum you've never heard of.
Therefore, getting your first members can be a catch-22:
- A forum with no users doesn't look safe
- People don't want to join a forum that doesn't look safe
It can seem pathetic and immoral, but that's what my generation has to do to look safe ie. popular.
Creating fake activity is a billion dollar industry:
Sockpuppeting, astroturfing, fake views and reviews are methods used by militaries and advertising agencies all over the world.
You might have heard of Cambridge Analytica – a company that was in the business of making unpopular political views appear more popular before they grew popular.
Older people grew up when the internet was somewhat just
It was enough to create good content and wait for some archaic search engine to find and index it.
Why wouldn't relying on good content work anymore?
We are competing against giants like Reddit and Quora, and websites with over twenty years of content;
it's much more difficult to be seen today than it was ten years ago.
There are millions of highly skilled content creators who are never discovered because the holy algorithm can't recommend them all.
The web dinosaurs are still alive
It used to be possible for forums with the worst UI and toxic moderators to get lots of traffic and users.
I don't think a forum like @Oldengine's Smokstak would stand a chance if it were launched today:
Three pages and growing! https://www.smokstak.com/forum/threads/goodbye.197062/
Meanwhile we have a huge graveyard of awesome looking NEW FORUMS that never got past 10 active users – probably because of their high morals and dignity:
Get feedback on your XenForo forum. XenForo forum showcasing and critiques only. You must be a customer to start a thread in this forum. Threads about forums with non-business-appropriate topics will be removed.
The economic inequality, the social inequality, and the internet inequality get worse every year.
The Matthew effect, pareto principle (80/20), and the winner-take-all market become more powerful as the world and the internet globalizes.
The blessed early adapters
The early adapters of the internet didn't have to compete against billions of other people for clicks and attention.
For example in 2008 you could literally post any video on YouTube and get thousands of views – good luck trying to get a thousand organic views today with a fresh account.
*I name names cuz I don't want to talk crap behind anyone's back
*I replied in a new thread cuz I didn't want to bump up a thread from 2013