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I made a forum a month ago for foreigners living in Taiwan: www.taiwantalk.org. The Categories range from doing business in Taiwan to having relationships in Taiwan.

Screenshot:

enter image description here

This month I've been getting 20 to 60 views everyday (because I've been promoting the site on Facebook). But so far only one user has registered and only one has posted replies (he registered around a month ago).

Now, I'm not sure if there's something wrong with the user interface that is making the user to not to feel like logging in and posting topics or replies.

I'm really puzzled of what could be the reason. The user can even log in with his/her Facebook, Google, Twitter or Yahoo account. So two or three clicks is all it takes in order to post a topic or a reply.

Any recommendations to improve this situation?

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Can I start a comment without being logged in? Can I at least try or are such controls hidden until I login? It's best to give a taste of such features and then offer a login (offering as painless a login as possible, Disqus is a great model to emulate). If users aren't seeing the value of logging in they won't. Plus where's the register link? Is the user in screen shot already logged in? –  Ben Brocka Nov 17 '11 at 14:06
    
@Ben Brocka well the user can login by clicking one of the social connect buttons at the top (it requires just one click). The registration form is in the login link at the top. Just as StackExchange sites: the registration form is in the login section. Well, if they aren't logged in, instead of a form a link appears saying something like: login in order to post a topic/reply. –  janoChen Nov 17 '11 at 14:25
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I was wondering if those were login buttons actually; I think most people might assume those are links to your page on those social networks. Maybe some microcopy saying "or sign in using:" before the social network icons would make it clearer that you can log in with just those –  Ben Brocka Nov 17 '11 at 14:29
    
@Ben Brocka I didn't think about that. Thanks for the tip. –  janoChen Nov 17 '11 at 14:39
    

2 Answers 2

The signin mecanism already accepts openID and fb connect, and the "or sign in with" albel makes it clear that you can sign in with your existing account. So there is defintely no restraint for people to sign in/up and contribute on the site.

So the real question is: what kind of topics do you expect them to post?

If you expect people to ask questions about all these topics (entertainment, business, jobs, careers, relationships, etc.) in Taiwan, then I believe the taiwanese "market" is too restricted.

One can also wonder whether a geographic approach is better than a topic-based approach (job.stackexchange.com, relationships.stackexhcange.com, etc.). Consider for instance that http://travel.stackexchange.com/ has 880 Q&A today. 32 are tagged France and France is the most touristic country in the World...

On the other hand, if you expect people to start dating, post events, post job positions, etc., then there is a major UX issue, because a Q&A is not the most appriopate medium to deal with this (you would expect a calendar for events, a better user profile for dating, etc.)

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thanks for the feedback. I'm curious, what do you mean with "the topic is too restricted"? The topics in the forum are about entertainment, business, jobs, careers, relationships, etc. in Taiwan. In what way they are restricted? –  janoChen Nov 23 '11 at 2:54
    
First comment: you already fixed the "or sign in with" label when I visited the site. –  rds Nov 23 '11 at 10:55
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Viewing but not posting is by far the most common user activity on any board. –  PhillipW Nov 23 '11 at 13:22

You could let non-registered users post new questions and comments. You could ask/confirm credentials later. If that is not possible, you could create a big "Create new account" button so they go to login page intead of having so many options. Let user decide latter.

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