Firstly, let me say that I do like these forums a great deal and that I believe that they are very creative.
It's just, when I look at the amount of members vs. the amount of threads and posts, I wonder why so many new members lurk.
Personally, I believe that the reason for this is two-fold:
- The creativity found in such abundance, make it a little harder to navigate the forums. It's very overwhelming for new members.
- Secondly, believe it or not, there isn't much space to post!
All of the really interesting places like SPEW and the SBBC require a rather large number of posts (75 and 50), or recommendations from existing members (3 and 2) and one only has one thread in the Beta section.
It's not easy for a newbie to get to know members of specific clubs that are willing to vouch for them.
A lot of forums don't count towards your post count, so that pretty much leaves the Hospital Wing and Hogwarts (only recently re-opened) to increase your post count.
So what is my solution?
Well, it is once again two-fold.
Firstly, I think that it might help to decrease the required amount of posts to say 30 or so. Getting to 30 posts already requires quite a bit of dedication (I know this from experience).
Secondly, I think that it would help if the mods and older site members helped to establish various discussion topics, rather than to rely on people asking for help in the Hospital Wing. For instance, in the Character section, there could be threads for Hermione, Prof. Bins, etc, etc. You could also add threads for character pairings. Posters can then give character sketches, essays, analysis, the pros and cons for the particular pairing, etc.
Instead of just classes, once-off tutorials could be added on various aspects of writing and the HP Universe.
Instead of just having a space where readers can meet the authors in the Duelling Club, a space could be added for public challenges and / or plotbunny adoption. At the moment, there isn't a Gauntlet running (which is understandable), I don't think the Halloween Drabble Challenge counts towards your post count, challenges in SPEW are limited to members only and the angst challenges are only for students in the DADA class.
I really hope to hear what you think about these ideas.