My response to one of the posts made me think of a new topic. Last time I looked there were 494 people signed on to this site. There is a lot of good information out there. So here's the question: How do we get more people to post or participate?
Pete, this has also been a concern of mine. The other day I noticed that almost 300 of our members have never posted to the board. Along the same line almost 100 members have only posted once.
I imagine most folks don't consider themselves as "experts" so they are reserved when it comes to posting. I’ve never considered myself as a professional and I’ve never been in or to a competition and have made a lot of mistakes on the grill (lost most of the hair on my left arm last July 4th). But I do enjoy grilling & barbecuing so I take the risk of being the ‘butt’ of a joke or ‘upsetting the BBQ deities’ if I say something out of the norm. But that’s O.K.!!!
I think if folks realized that we post to the board for fun as well as information they might be a little less intimidated. I was reluctant at first. Then after a few weeks of posting and getting to know the personalities on the board, letting go became much easier.
Any new folks out there…most of us are regular food lovin’ people. If you enjoy good BBQ let us know!
Please don't think of it as a waste of time! A lot of us registered grillers learn a lot from seasoned pro's like yourself. Many times when I read a new topic or post and have a thought or opinion, it has usually been already offered up from someone else. But that don't mean that I will quite reading or posting when applicable. I, for one thank all of you regulars for all your insight to grilling, as I'm sure many others do.
I guess one of the reasons I like this site is that it is not that crowded. Most posts are fun and informative, with people asking serious questions - with some not so serious. This site doesn’t have some of the “How do I boil water?” questions that places like the Food TV boards seem to get.
I joined this board once I got Steven's books. I like to contribute what I can and I certainly like to laugh at all the zingers going on. I am by no means an expert or even close to some of you, being relatively new to actual BBQ and smoking. I have taken the tips, rib tips, and any other tips I find on the board and am incorporating into my repetoire. I think what makes this board great is what Steven said in the beginning of HTG, paraphrasing, that it was the guys coming to ask all the questions, and not being shot down by Steven. I guess that we take our cue from the Guru, and if he says you can always learn, why can't we?
What if we were to start a new thread being a Guest/Members sign in. This way all that anyone would need to do is to tell us a tad bit about themselves, or what they like, dislike/ would like to learn more about- then their first post will be out of the way and may break the ice and lead to a flood of new posts. I'm off on a mission...
Your statement says it all. I think there are a lot of people who want to join in, but are hesitant. Maybe if they see that this is also for fun they will see it differently. Like you I was very reluctant to participate at first. Now, I'm glad I did.
I like Chagan's idea for the new members to post info about themselves - experience. equipment, etc so that we can get to know them. For those of us who post regularly you can get to know us pretty well after reading some of our posts. I also think that some people come to read and not necessaryly participate in the discussions (you know the kind of people that sit in the back of the class). If we have some sort of post giving us info about newbies I think it is then up to the regulars to interact with the newbies (personal messages, etc) to get them more involved.
Obviously I love this site. I read several other sites on different topics but never post. Mainly beacuse although they too are a source of great knowledge, the guys there are jerks and often times downright mean. Here that is not the case, everything is helpful and good natured. Partly because we all realize that there is no wrong answer in grilling, if you wantt o buy a $150 prime rib and throw it on the grill and cook the life out of it that is you perogative, godd luck and enjoy to you. I'll even help you do it. But I'll also tell you that thats not how I'd do it. But to consider me an expert? Let's get real! Uh Uh NO. I just have a passion for fire cooked (but hopefully not too much) food.
I'm not shy I never hesitated to post, others are, so be it. When they have a question or something to chime in on they will. There are posts that I could ring in on but if someone else has already beat me too it I don't bother. Maybe many are the same way. Readers vs. posters. Hopefull they don't feel intimidated, I'm about as intimidating as a kitten. I do think that some new posters are put off by the fact that they expect to get a response from Steve himself or at least see more of his presence. But oh well I don't think that theres any way around that or any questions that we collectively haven't been able to answer. Maybe a site sanctioned moderator or two would be benefical?
Regardless this is still a great site with great people and even greater ideas!
So Let's just keep having fun.
I am just a beginner, and am in awe of the knowledge that you guys and of course gals have up in your head. I am to busy absorbing the info that I never even really think about posting. I will start posting more.