What are the main reasons people leave online communities?

Including usenet groups, mailing lists, fora, social networks, gaming communities etc.
Rosemary O'Neill, President of Social Strata, crazy abo... (more)
It's often the same reasons people leave any real-world relationship:

  • Their needs aren't being fulfilled
  • They are getting their needs fulfilled somewhere else
  • "The grass is greener" syndrome
  • Someone they admire is doing it
  • Pure boredom
  • The excitement of something new
  • Driven out by poor behavior
  • Not enough time to invest; schedule changes
  • They were being ignored
  • No real reason; if you stick around they might come back
Comment    Embed  Thank  31 Aug, 2011
Rosemary O'Neill
Christopher Rubin, was BLOCKED by asshats
some thoughts:

  • change in the type of peeps entering the community be it the user base or the moderators - especially if this is a change for the worse [yelp]
  • congested UI (user interface) which leads to technical fouls in the form of sluggish responsiveness, browser freeze-up/crashes, bulk, eternal scrolling, etc [myspace]
  • TMI (too much information) or a low signal to noise whereby it becomes a task just to sort through updates, postings + all things new [facebook]
  • you get booted due to multifarious factors [fluther]
  • the social graph is too vast + grows larger + more impersonal leading to TMI[twitter]
  • constant disruptions in UI or unannounced changes that move stuff all about
  • depreciation +/ dwindling in quality of content
  • rampant uncontrolled trolling
Comment    Embed  Thank  6 Feb
Christopher Rubin
Adisa Nicholson, Social poltergeist.
The real reason why flocks of people leave online communities, is because of a type of people called "attention whores". If you're down with the kids, or internet culture, you might of heard of it.

Basically what happens, is that a website has eager and enthusiastic people, who are skilled at the website's applicable craft, and they are eager about helping others, and enthusiastic about sharing their substantial and worthwhile expression to the world.

What typically happens to make these people leave eventually, is when attention whores join the website, is that they neglect and censor superior content, and blast their mediocre and misconstrued content and ideals to the site, trying to drown out the prominent signal from the signal vs noise, and unfairly drown it out with wretched noise using herd mentality.

This has happened with Deviantart. Writers Cafe, and now it's starting to happen with Quora.

Deviantart used to be a place full of amazing art, where members were happy to make new friends and review each others work, back in 2006. Now it is full of attention whores drawing crap work, a proliferation of fox animal artwork, people not giving critques, who blast their work to 100 groups. Many talented members have left the community.

Writers Cafe and other writing communities, used to be a place to read work from talented authors and get critique. Now it is full of attention whores who post the same poem 100 times, don't review stories, spend time dating, and posting fanfics and a splurge of photos.

Quora is going down the same path.
Quora used to be a place where really intelligent people who were eager to share their views and ideas with enthusiasm, not feel marginalised or penalised for their views. Now they have their answers collapsed with no recourse or notification as the Flag feature is gone, are attacked personally for their views brandished as bad people, and other such things.

It is hard to know which direction or outcome Quora will come to, as the attention whore problem is new. But what I do know is that I've spoken to clever people who feel this way, who want to leave Quora, stop posting answers, and find a new website to express their views on. People believing that downvoting purely because you disagree with their views, not constituting as censorship, also increases the problem. Also people believe that Quora is against "information diversity", and is purely a website for self gratification, designed to reinforce ones existing views, and marginalise "weak ties", with the absence of the Flag feature.

Basically attention whores are what make all the valuable people leave social networks. They like to bring others down, to bring themselves up.

But why should any of those websites care? They have the page views, and that's all that matters!
1 Comment    Embed  Thank  4 Feb
Adisa Nicholson
There are a few universal reasons why people will leave an online community but you need to separate out the type of community before really getting true insight into why people leave.

If the community is organized around a product, there can be some unique reasons why people would leave, often dealing with product issues, or advances in the competition.

If the community deals with a hobby, people leave hobbies all the time and start new ones.


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