Forum member observations after two years

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Forum member observations after two years

Post by strapline »

I first became aware of the forum and joined it in May 2019. I had been looking at CW watches since 2016 when I came perilously close to buying a a C60 Mk 2 Trident. I was looking for my first ever auto - it had to be a diver - and this seemed like a great watch at a price point I could afford. Long story short, I had a very disappointing experience with customer service, and I really wasn't convinced by the brand logo. They were just changing over to the logo at the nine position, and I was trying to get hold of the older CHR.WARD iteration, there were a couple knocking about I was led to believe. However, in the end I decided against the watch, my dealings and the logo issue had somewhat phased me.

Still, I was on the cusp of becoming a watch enthusiast; every time I saw a watch in a glossy magazine that I liked, I looked it and the brand up on the internet. Turning it over in my mind almost as if I was closely examining it in my hands. I had owned a number of nice watches in my youth, only ever quartz, and now I wanted to break in to the world of mechanical watches. I wanted to experience what the difference was; I wanted to understand the mystique of this marvel of miniature engineering that ran without a battery and was powered by the efforts of its wearer, either through motion or winding.

So, I hadn't bought a CW but I was a regular visitor to their website. Always looking to see if there was a model that was right for me. More than that I became a fairly regular user and contributor to the forum. Quickly I learnt that it wasn't solely about CW watches, but was a great reference tool to the world of watches and watchmaking. I felt I stood to learn a lot by being on the forum which, in the intervening couple of years, has certainly been the case. And, since March 2020, it has served as the most welcome of distractions from the terrible global Covid 19 pandemic. I have had more time on my side than I might have liked and, for good or bad, some of that has been channeled in to time on the forum. Sometimes responding to threads, sometimes coming up with threads of my own.

In this time I have spotted trends and, for me, the most disappointing one is just how few of the 14,100 members actually contribute to the forum. There are a stalwart of posters on it and, no matter the day I check in, invariably the forum is being driven by a very small cohort of regulars, perhaps no more than 30-40 or so people. Many of these people have extremely rigid posting habits that they stick to. Some only post photos, some only comment on other people's threads and only a very small amount indeed create threads or any kind of regular content. Whenever I sign in and take a look at who's on the site at any one time there never seems to be more than 100 people; 100 people from a membership of over 14,000 - I think that's about 0.7%. Personally, I can't help thinking that the forum is so underused as a resource. There are so many more potential voices out there. Like me, it must have been CW watches that led them here. It would be so nice to see a great many more of these people engaged in some of the great stuff that is going on here. They stand to learn a lot about the brand and its offerings, they stand to learn a lot from knowledgeable people about watches and watchmaking as a whole. They may also find themselves saving considerable amounts of money on future watch purchases due to the discount codes that are regularly touted about herein.

So, it's a funny thing! I'd like to thank the forum and those that participate for driving my watch knowledge; for making me laugh (The Watchaholic's Dictionary deserves an honourable mention here); and for serving as a very welcome diversion for some of my time. I'd like to think that this thread in particular might just get read by one of the non regulars, by someone that has been sitting on the fence for way too long. Yes...I'm talking to you; you went to all the effort of conjuring up a username and, in an inspired moment, you may even have come up with a daft or philosophical signature to put at the bottom of your posts. Isn't it time to join the discussion? I've certainly found it a more worthy distraction than Facebook and many of the other rabbit holes a person can disappear in to with just a smartphone to hand.

For my part, I will continue to check in and throw in my t'pence worth from time to time. As I've learnt from being on this forum, CW has worked hard at improving its customer service; they've even kindly decided to move that contentious logo from the 9 to the 12 position, most notably appearing in the Super Compressor and C63 ranges. They seem to be a progressive company determined to be recognised as a mainstream player. God only knows...if they carry on like this I may even buy a watch...does anyone have a current discount code?

PS: The most users ever online was 1043 on Thu Mar 19, 2020 9:37 pm. There must have been a seismic event going on, what on earth was it? Was that when they put out the discount code Loupefreewatch?

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Re: Forum member observations after two years

Post by gannet »

Some good observations...

How have you resisted CW temptation for 2 years+ :o

I'm guilty of hardly ever starting threads, maybe because I overthink whether I've got anything useful to add!

All forums I've been active on / a part of suffer from the same though, a small core of active users - some very active along with a majority 'lurking' in the background... don't know if there is any solution to that though :D

Current discount code: 100LOUPE21 ;)
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Re: Forum member observations after two years

Post by gennadynesterov »

Bravo Des, I joined the forum a few months ago, accidentally finding it on the CW website, I really liked it I try to leave a photo and a message every day, today I even allowed myself to open a new topic - my favorite box , I like you are very interested in the opinion of others and their collection, even maybe not very big!!! I at the forum discovered a completely amazing Marloe brand for myself.

Отправлено с моего SM-F916B через Tapatalk

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Re: Forum member observations after two years

Post by ajax87 »

Thanks for your thoughts, Des. I always enjoy my forum interactions with you!

I’ve wondered that same thing, what was happening on March 19 2020? I wasn’t around the forum at that time. Maybe we’ll never know.

My profile might show I’ve been a member since 2009, but I really wasn’t active until last year. I found the forum again when I got back into watches during extra free time due to the pandemic. It’s a welcome distraction and helps feed my habit :D
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Re: Forum member observations after two years

Post by StrappedUp »

ajax87 wrote: Wed May 26, 2021 12:56 pm Thanks for your thoughts, Des. I always enjoy my forum interactions with you!

I’ve wondered that same thing, what was happening on March 19 2020? I wasn’t around the forum at that time. Maybe we’ll never know.

My profile might show I’ve been a member since 2009, but I really wasn’t active until last year. I found the forum again when I got back into watches during extra free time due to the pandemic. It’s a welcome distraction and helps feed my habit :D
My guess is that it was Covid related. Just so happened to coincide with our Prime Minister's statement on the pandemic and the announcement of the first lockdown.
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Re: Forum member observations after two years

Post by strapline »

ajax87 wrote: Wed May 26, 2021 12:56 pm Thanks for your thoughts, Des. I always enjoy my forum interactions with you!

I’ve wondered that same thing, what was happening on March 19 2020? I wasn’t around the forum at that time. Maybe we’ll never know.

My profile might show I’ve been a member since 2009, but I really wasn’t active until last year. I found the forum again when I got back into watches during extra free time due to the pandemic. It’s a welcome distraction and helps feed my habit :D
That's kind Alex, thank you. I've always tried to keep the conversation about watches moving. It has been nice to check in daily and hopefully see some interesting topics. This forum has pointed me in many great directions, from new brands, strap manufacturers and watch boxes, to name a few. It is a great resource as I've said. Unfortunately I haven't found myself in a position to buy watches of late but, I must be odd in the fact that I almost enjoy the thrill of the chase as much as the acquisition. :lol: :lol:
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Re: Forum member observations after two years

Post by Amor Vincit Omnia »

strapline wrote: Wed May 26, 2021 10:16 am
In this time I have spotted trends and, for me, the most disappointing one is just how few of the 14,100 members actually contribute to the forum. There are a stalwart of posters on it and, no matter the day I check in, invariably the forum is being driven by a very small cohort of regulars, perhaps no more than 30-40 or so people. Many of these people have extremely rigid posting habits that they stick to. Some only post photos, some only comment on other people's threads and only a very small amount indeed create threads or any kind of regular content. Whenever I sign in and take a look at who's on the site at any one time there never seems to be more than 100 people; 100 people from a membership of over 14,000 - I think that's about 0.7%. Personally, I can't help thinking that the forum is so underused as a resource. There are so many more potential voices out there. Like me, it must have been CW watches that led them here. It would be so nice to see a great many more of these people engaged in some of the great stuff that is going on here. They stand to learn a lot about the brand and its offerings, they stand to learn a lot from knowledgeable people about watches and watchmaking as a whole. They may also find themselves saving considerable amounts of money on future watch purchases due to the discount codes that are regularly touted about herein.
Interesting reflections there, Des. I’m coming up for 10 years membership in a couple of weeks, and haven’t yet given any thought about what to write!

I’d like to look at your question about the number of members, because there are a few quite significant points that need to be borne in mind here.
  • yes, we have over 14,000 members, but only a small number of those post on a regular basis. You will see them around, because they check-in regularly, in some cases every day.
  • of those 14,000 members, more than half have never actually posted. If you look at the members list we have 283 pages, and you have to get to page 156 before you find someone who has actually posted! After that there are many pages of members who have made just a single post.
  • I have no idea why so many people join and don’t post; it’s their choice. The single or null posters often decide it’s not for them, and they may find themselves balked if they have joined simply to try to sell a watch. Some join in the mistaken belief that we are somehow the CW Customer Services Department! :roll:
  • we have members who have taken up to 10 years to make their first post; again, don’t ask me why. We have members who go dormant for years and then start to contribute again.
  • a lot of people who have been members no longer contribute. In most cases that is their choice, and they are always welcome to return, though we have also been forced to exclude a very small number who are no longer welcome. And sadly, a very small handful of members have passed away, and their accounts and posts remain as part of the forum.
That may go some way towards explaining why you seem relatively few people posting out of what appears to be a huge membership.
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Re: Forum member observations after two years

Post by Viognier »

Enjoyed the post Des and your accurate observations.I skim daily and only read posts that are of interest to me or are from forum members I respect and have interest in what they have to say.

Often read and take things in as an introspective.

Likewise I am very confused why folks join, post once and evaporate. Feels like they would have been wiser to lurk. We used to have a rash of joiners who whinged they could not access the sales corner as they think it's a treasure trove of deep discounted bargains!! LOL

Nice to have you here the past two years!
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Re: Forum member observations after two years

Post by exHowfener »

Interesting post and observations. I'm "guilty" of never having started a thread, nor have I ever posted a photograph. I'd assume that there are so many inactive members because once joined you don't leave unless thrown out for misbehaving (which is fair enough).

Personally, I lurked on the forum as a non-member until a topic came up that I felt strongly enough about that I wanted to post. I glance over the portal page most days and only sign in if I want to post a reply. Of course, some topics are of no interest - I no longer cycle and don't play golf for example.

I did feel that the forum was a little 'cliquey' before I joined which put me off rather. I agree that there does seem to be a view from (some) new members that access to 'Sales corner' is like finding a map to El Dorado. And in some ways, that's true - those maps never reveal the treasure that's believed to be there. Probably those people depart a little older and sadder. Similarly, some seem to think the forum is a fast track to accessing CW when an e-mail would be much more effective. That''s no longer surprising; I often see people asking questions on YouTube threads and I think -"You have access to the internet, why ask that here, when you could just Google it?"

Otherwise? I suppose many people find an interest, enjoy it for a while then move on. Of course the irony is that the people who are no longer active on the forum won't read the post and so give us the answer(s). Though if 14000 members replied that would be quite overwhelming.

One final thought - I'm lost in admiration for the time and effort the moderators put in to make this a success. Thank you.
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Re: Forum member observations after two years

Post by suicidal_orange »

I was quite active for a while as my post count suggests, then disappeared. Why? I know little from direct experience so don't feel I can help newbies with questions, I don't have an impressive collection because a) I'm not rich and b) I'm not a true watch enthusiast - some days I don't wear one :silent: Looking at the pics of member's collections or reading about new releases is often depressing knowing that it doesn't matter how nice something is I'll never have it. For perspective in just the couple of weeks I've been around this time there have been at least three purchases I think are worth more than my entire 'collection'.

I could post pics of my recent purchase, a quartz Citizen, (if it's going to get ruined at work decided I'd may as well support local business) but who wants to see that sandwiched between a Seamaster and a GS? I could endlessly repost the C65 classic LE which dominates my non-work wrist time, but it's nothing long term members haven't seen before and it's not going to attract newbies to the brand because they can't have one so what's the point. It also bears the scars of being worn at work, a reminder of my stupidity...

This leaves my only chance to contribute being days when I'm happy enough to compliment someone without getting jealous, commenting on crazy things like the new Reverso, or casual comments on non-watch threads. I should do this more and everyone here is friendly but I'm not really a social person so I don't.

Compared to another forum I moderate 40/1,400 is pretty good - there are probably about the same number of regulars there out of nearly 140,000 registered (which includes many spambots that are banned daily)
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Re: Forum member observations after two years

Post by Richard D »

Interesting reflections, had me thinking about my relationship with the forum. On the whole not a happy one, mostly driven by the mistakes I have made. I’ve posted things that in hindsight I should have kept to myself. I’m now very wary of posting, even these comments are made with a degree of nervousness. At least, I have made friends with a few members.
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Re: Forum member observations after two years

Post by jkbarnes »

I’ve been following this thread all day, waiting until I got home from work to comment. My thoughts have changed with each additional comment that’s been added!

I found the forum soon after getting my first (and for the longest time only) CW. I started off as a lurker, reading threads as a guest while I got the lay of the land. After a few months, I took the plunge and signed on as a member, expecting rainbows and unicorns with my first few posts. That did not materialize.

My initial experience was such that I considered abandoning the forum. Other than my member intro, my comments didn’t generate much interaction with other members. As I thought about it though, it was really no different than being the new kid in school or the new guy at work - it takes awhile for people to warm up to you, you know?

There’s been talk before of the forum being cliquey, but I’ve never thought that was a fair assessment. What the new guy might see as a clique is really nothing more than people with established relationships interacting with each other with the familiarity that comes with those relationships. Honestly, the interaction on here isn’t too far off from interaction in real life.

My activity ebbs and flows, some weeks really active and others barely a blip. I’ve looked for patterns in that but really can’t discern one. It seems the topics that grab me just come in waves. I comment a lot more than I start threads. Early on I found myself starting new threads for the sake of starting a thread. Unsurprisingly, those threads rarely generated much traffic. Now I wait until I have something that I legitimately think might be of interest to the general community or if its the third or fourth time I’ve thought about starting a particular thread. If I keep returning to a topic then it might have interest to others.

I’ve been active on other forums over the years, but this one is by far the friendliest, most approachable forum I’ve been a part of. I’ve never felt belittled because of a lack of knowledge or the modest nature of my small collection (unlike on a guitar forum I belonged to dominated by a “you’re not worthy” type of crowd!). I’ve never felt afraid to ask any sort of question out of fear of looking silly. And I’ve always felt that my contribution was valued no matter what that contribution might be.

As for the number of members versus the number of active members, I guess it’s a whole lot easier to sign up than it is to actually engage. I got my best friend to sign up after he purchased two CWs. He has yet to post though. Nor do I think he even lurks!
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Re: Forum member observations after two years

Post by jkbarnes »

By the way, my goal is to get myself listed on the first membership page when sorted by post count. As soon as I hit that magic number, I’m outta here! :lol:
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Re: Forum member observations after two years

Post by strapline »

Viognier wrote: Wed May 26, 2021 3:14 pm Enjoyed the post Des and your accurate observations.I skim daily and only read posts that are of interest to me or are from forum members I respect and have interest in what they have to say.

Nice to have you here the past two years!
I'm not sure which one of the two I fall in to, Lance, but I really appreciate the kind words. Thanks very much. :D

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Re: Forum member observations after two years

Post by Amor Vincit Omnia »

jkbarnes wrote: Wed May 26, 2021 8:09 pm By the way, my goal is to get myself listed on the first membership page when sorted by post count. As soon as I hit that magic number, I’m outta here! :lol:
It can be arranged sooner... :twisted: :lol:
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