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Prepared Ham: Tell us what we need to do to make PH a better place for your amat

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You got the newsletter, so let us know what we need to do to make PH a better, more active place to hang out.

AD here,

First off I want to say thank you all who have joined PH website and help us kick this thing into gear.  On that note, we started off very strong with gaining new members and posts per day.  

There was a ton of interaction, some great discussions about every thing HAM related and even some off topic stuff that was really funny.

Over the last few months we noticed a very large drop off in traffic and posts.  1911 and I are trying to figure out why everyone has lost interest in PH.

Is there anything we are doing that you dont like?

Is there anything we can do to make the site better: ie added topics, training what ever it might be that would get you to come back.

How about a weekly newsletter with topics of interest.  If there is anyone interested in contributing content to that newsletter, email or PM me, as I am open to anything that will help our cause.

I started this site because I was asked by many of you from other forums to make a amateur radio site that was friendly and without flaming that put most of you off from the other well established ham radio sites.

There are almost 100 people out of the 205 that have signed up to date that have not made a post!  For those of you in this category, please tell us why that is.  We are curious on why you would take the time to sign up and then not post anything.

For those who have been an active part of PH, I sincerely thank you for the time spent here.  There is a core group who welcome new members and post on a regular basis.  I wont try to name you all because I will surely forget someone.  

So what do I, we need to do to make this site a success?  I have started a new sticky topic under Website Changes and Suggestions for you to give us feedback, it has the same subject line as this email newsletter.

I fronted the money to get this going and idial1911  did all of the website setup for free.  He has by far put in the most time to make PH  happen and for that I and the rest of us here are grateful.  

The Prepared Ham Team.

I think this is great. I don't see any problems with the site or the content, I haven't experienced any negativity at all from any of the users, but like you, I also see there is a great lack of activity. One of the things I see as a potential issue is the promotion of the site. I learned about this site from SB and I am sure many others learned about this site from other forums as well. Something I noticed tonight is that your search engine ranking isn't so hot. When searching for PH specifically, its top of the list on Google, but when searching for survival and prepping communications and other search terms that should get me here I get hits that are either blog or forum posts or not relevant to survival communications farther up the list than PH. I would offer the suggestion to focus some effort on search engine registration. Find someone who is a member here who does that sort of thing for a living and see if they can help work on the site promotion. The goal is to attract new users who can share information, and a lot of what is posted here already a lot of us have probably already seen on another board where we came from previously. So my thoughts and suggestions are as such:

1- Site Promotion through search engine ranks, social media and the like. Maybe relocate the social media buttons from the bottom of the page to a more prominent location so its right out front. The periodical newsletter is a great idea. Maybe instead of it being sent out via email to each user, publish it as part of a blog using Wordpress installed on this site. I suggest Wordpress because it has SEO tools and features built in that work very well. Writing a regular blog post as the newsletter will attract the search crawlers, and posting links in the newsletter to things on the forum will usually improve the search ranks.

2- Create an easily searchable section for common topics, like a 20 mile radio thread or the best antenna thread and such. Make these something that the average user who comes here can easily find with little effort.

3- Encourage users to link to this site from their blog, website or whatever else. Get the users to promote the site to their friends, family and everyone. I have a link on my blog back to this site and I am working on a blog post promoting this site. My website,, gets indexed by nearly 200 search engines daily, and many other blogs and facebook pages and such are also indexed by hundreds of search engines daily. Simply putting a link and a description to PH should be enough to get the crawlers to follow it .

4- Keep doing what you are doing. Its Spring. I would rather be at the lake reeling in a big @ss catfish than posting on some internet board anyway :)

Something else that I would add, the internet is a strange place the fact that there is as much activity as there is for around 200 registered users is a good testament to the usefulness of this site.

From past experiences with online message boards/forums I have some observations....
1. it is common for50% or more of registered users to never make a single post (not sure why but that is the case)
2. it is also common for a large number of registered users to never make more than 4 or 5 posts
3. in general you find that 95% of the posts come from 5% of the user population

As an example the board where you and I met (fishing board) currently has 1891 members, and has been around over 6 years.  There are over 900 members there that have never posted a single post.  and another 350 or so that have 5 or less total posts.  So out of 1891 66% have never made more than 5 posts in the 6 years the site has been up.  Going the other way there are only 210 users that have had more than 100 posts (close to 11% of the user population) and this is a site that has been up over 6 years and is geographically specific ( there is alot of chatter on that board between guys that live near each other and know each other well)

So the point that I am trying to make is that looking at the numbers, this site is actually doing amazingly well given it's age.

That being said I agree that better search placement would be a boon.

It might make sense to add a section with some general (ie non radio) prepper topics.  This would give an opportunity for people that have joined the site to learn about ham but don't feel that they have anything to contribute on the radio side to possibly have an outlet to contribute to the site.

Another thing that could be helpful is posting open ended questions to spur discussion.  If you look at least recently some of the bigger threads seem to be ones where someone is saying "I want to do x and have y idea, what does everyone think"  or "I am trying to prepare for x situation, what should I collect for that".  Posting some more broad questions like that could be a good way to increase activity.

Something else you might want to check out is the "pay it forward" thread on the other site I referenced.  It is an interesting idea, but not sure if we have enough people here to support something like that yet.

Other than activity level, the site seems fine to me.  I disagree with the guys above - not because they're wrong - but because search engine rankings and social media buttons just attract too many dummies.  The people that are smart enough to find it without those are the ones you want.  Facebook and Google are to prepping what demons are to Christians - stay the heck away from them, completely!

There don't seem to be many here that share my particular interests so I guess that's why I'm not posting more.   I can't participate in the Southeast on air chat because it is HF.  There isn't anyone close enough AFAIK to do the same via 2m.  So for now I just check in every once in a while and wait.

Hi Folks.  I think activity depends on two things.  The first is the area of interest, ie: reason for joining.  Some people join to learn the basics.  Others to hone their skills and to get some nagging technical questions answered.  Still others are here just to observe and remain silent...  You could even say they're here to lurk.  The second reason would be available time.  I have much more time in the winter to spend on the computer.  Once Spring has sprung and the grass has ris, well, guess who has to cut it?  And my beloved would be less than appreciative if she was the only one putting in the garden... (You know how they get!!!  A few black flies and you'd think the world was coming to an end....)  But seriously, you have to realize you're competing with seasonal activities.  And I think that in any organization you always have the ones that are very active and those that stand back more.  Just my two cents!  73!


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