Acne Mantra community has been thriving ever since it was launched. It enables people to connect with others facing similar problems, learn about products that work, and stay away from those that don’t. Friendships develop, bonds form. All good.
Since last year’s April when community gates were opened, 14,229 answers have been posted to 2362 questions.
With a growing community, there is also a growing trend. Basic questions that have been answered right down to hair-splitting detail are asked over and over, instead of looking in the existing ones.
There is a growing number of visitors who do not want to bother with existing posts, who want to be spoon fed every single answer, freshly prepared just for them, fast, given a guarantee, and be led by the hand at every step until every last pimple is clear.
It doesn’t end here. Every single answer leads to 5 new questions. Questions that can be easily resolved by taking the time to look around the website. They refuse to take a single step without an all-clear from me.
This population makes up for less than 1% of daily visitors.
Time, or lack of
While it is all very flattering to have the last word in someone’s routine, it is taking away a good few hours of my time every day.
I find myself busy directing people to stuff that has been there forever. If only they would look.
Now the choice before me is whether to spend hours and hours a day spoon feeding 10 people who won’t move a muscle to read solutions that are already there, or invest my time into the rest 200,000 who are using the website in its intended way – as a self-help resource.
The idea of this website is to help people feel confident. It is not to make them dependent on me.
While we had a good run of the community, questions have become increasingly repetitive. One only needs to look at the latest 10 to see that.
With this, we’ve reached a tough decision to close the gates of the community. That means no new questions, no new answers. Community archives, which are a rich resource will still be there for reference.
The hope is that it will encourage newcomers to look into existing content which has taken years of painstaking research to create and which houses 90% of the answers they seek.
14,229 existing answers, 5002 comments and 166 solid posts will answer most of your questions, if not all. Understandably, one website cannot solve everyone’s problems, so there will always be questions that will go unanswered by the existing content. It can’t be helped.
The downside is that we will all miss out on some of the stimulating conversations we used to have.
The good part
This will free up my time to do more research for you guys and to develop more tools and techniques you can use to make your life easier. You will be seeing more targeted posts, interviews and features.
In fact, next week we’ll be bringing you a brand new feature that will make finding blockers in your regimen easy as pie.
Some of the widgets and features that were slowing down the whole website have had to be removed as well. They include the activity stream, recently active visitors and list of latest questions.
All these are dynamically generated every time a page loads and that slows down the website. These days, search engines place a lot of weight on website response time and one simply cannot afford to have so many bells and whistles.
It will also cut down on the time I need to spend maintaining the website, so I can focus on stuff that actually helps people.
Going forward, you will see many more tools and features. Also, an improved search box so you can get to the information you want fast.