Death By Moderation, Facebook, and Lack of Traffic
Author: Boomer Jack
Date: 09-04-2018 - 12:16
I don't think so Bob. The site died due to a lack of news, coverage, reporters, traffic, interest. There was plenty of interesting stuff happening in NWP-land recently. But hardly any of it was covered on the Network. For example, there was nothing about the recent NWP work train that ran to San Rafael. Nothing about the bill to convert Eel river trackage to a trail. There are still lots of people interested in today's NWP, SMART, and NWP history. But they are on Facebook now. The Network is an afterthought. It doesn't help that the novelty of SMART and NWP operations have worn off at this point.
A precursor problem was lack of moderation on the Network. You had troublemaking trolls enjoying a free hand as well as a few Network members making personal attacks against other members with more or less zero moderation so it could really get out of control. This drove several members away from the Network. Unfortunately, many of these members that left were the ones who contributed pictures, news, and commentary that kept the wheels turning, clicks coming, traffic returning. Once they left, you had a few odd ducks--including some of the "geezers" you mention--that can't generate enough new content on a reliable basis to make the Network a reliable news site worth visiting often.
The lesson is moderation is important. If you don't tend to you garden, don't cry when it is overrun by weeds. This lesson has been heeded elsewhere in NWP land where the sharing of history and current events thrives, thanks to the site owner paying attention.