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Forums » Smalltalk » Activity dip?


I've only been here a few months, so I dunno if it's a normal thing since it's summer and Seasonal Affective Disorder is a thing. But the amount of replies that I've been receiving are few and far between. I'm a pretty patient person so it's not that I'm impatient, I'm just curious if it's normal around this time of year and if I should expect it more often?
I'm not sure how much of a distinct pattern there is to it, but it's normal for the site to have pretty significant activity fluctuations.

For summer, you're likely to get a boost of people going on trips and generally doing more stuff outdoors (especially since this is the most "relaxed" that pandemic restrictions have been since it started and more social events have been coming back than last year, so there's going to be people who are extra eager to get out of the house). In the past couple summers, I've been doing a lot of yard work, myself, now that I'm in a house with a yard again (one that was kinda abandoned for years, too, so lot of just cleanup still).

More specific to this year, aside from there being more available to do out of the house again, a lot of people still haven't gotten to actually rest from all the stuff that's been stressing people out for years. It seems like we're still always juggling multiple crises at a time, so there's likely still a lot of mental/emotional exhaustion. Weather has been getting weirder and weirder, too; in the US, the Pacific Northwest is only now finally starting to see summer weather (maybe) that would usually have stabilized by now, while I've seen reports that the central US is looking at some of their highest temperatures ever - things that can interrupt our own extended internal rhythms as well as potentially lead to problems with utilities (for example, last summer was bizarrely hot for my part of Oregon, which resulted in streets buckling, several power outages due to damage to the power grid that was still recovering from a much icier winter than usual, and plenty of heat-induced malaise).

And in a somewhat-recent similar thread to this, I think that Kim mentioned it's also typical for activity within the site to shift back and forth between being heavier in the public spaces and being heavier in groups.
Going by the number of online users on the community page, there isn't really any significant change that I can determine (though I don't check it regularly enough to be entirely sure of any seasonal dips or time peaks). Usually the peak-time numbers whenever I check it range from 90-120 users at any given time (I've seen higher, but not for a while - but as I said, I don't check it regularly). At the time of writing, it's around 90 and I've definitely seen higher at this time of night (or day, depending on where you are), but it's not drastically lower than any amount I've seen in the past, especially over the past few months.

Is there a dip of activity in general right now on the public forums? I would say yes for sure. Forum games are moving slower, there are less RP ads being made and many of my ongoing RPs have slowed down. But I personally can't tie it down to anything in particular due to lack of research. All I can say is that I wouldn't think it's cause for concern with regard to the site's user base in general. The numbers aren't so bad as to suggest any issue there. At least from my limited observations.
Hmm... speaking for myself, I've been busier here of late mainly due to my Modern City group taking off the last few weeks. That of course means I'm on the main forums here less because there are only so many minutes in a day I have for online entertainment. I think there is a normal ebb-and-flow of public activity. I'm assuming you ChaoticHazard are referring to your PM RPs? I myself had a couple consistent PM RPs going, and both have slowed, one due to my writing partner's time and muse, and the other due to mine.
Yep, I've noticed a huge drop in activity on the site recently.
I haven't noticed a decrease in activity, but I've noticed an increase in people asking about a decrease in activity.
I think it also happens because of the regional differences. Personally, I am from a hemisphere that is opposite to all my RP partners, and that shows when they go on vacation and have more time, I am with exams or busy with college, and vice versa when I go on vacation, they enter a class period or return to work. So it's really hard to find a time where you're constantly active with each other.
And the good thing about this site is that there are so many people from so many countries, there really is not only a big time difference between several of us, but also the time of year when we are on vacation or busier. In fact, I used to role-play with a person who responded to me when I slept and I responded to them when they slept because of the time difference, and that example is somewhat absurd, but I think that is what also influences the type of activity of the site.
One reason could also be the recent spike in environmental temperature, meaning it is so hot outside (and, sometimes, inside) that you will feel more tired than usual... thus not being motivated to respond like before.
TheLorekeeper wrote:
I haven't noticed a decrease in activity, but I've noticed an increase in people asking about a decrease in activity.
At the end of a very crappy day, I needed this bit of humor. XD
Thank you Lorekeeper!
Sanne Moderator

This happens every year. :) I've been on RPR since 2010 and this is just how it goes. There are dips and spikes in activity depending on the seasons, how often people go on vacation, school exams and graduations, and so forth.

And as Zelphyr said, activity also shifts from public to private in groups and DMs quite often!

If you're unsure about why your partners' activity is fluctuating, you can send them a gentle PM asking how they are, reassuring them of your patience, and hoping they're doing well. Often times people are just busy with life and we're not entirely sure what's going on cause they struggle to communicate (something I'm still working on myself!), so it helps to have a friendly prompt. :)

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