Forums not used as much anymore

I noticed in 2008/2009 the website community was high then once 2010/2011/2012 came the website forums are lower than ever, no one is posting during the summer and very few during the season. What can we do to change this?

And I know this is in the general forums and I am posting it here because it is a general problem, even some other forums are going down, is there no one interested in anything else besided “Robot Showcase”?

I would agree with this, except the record for most online users was set 4-17-2013.
Chief Delphi, as with everything else, is cyclical.

Perhaps if people could tweet into a certain thread we would get CD to be more popular in the down seasons. tells a different story…



The actual numbers don’t quite back this up.

There was faster growth up to 2009, slower growth 2009-2012, and 2012 and 2013 are relatively close to each other so far.

Wouldn’t you say that there is less to post about right now than there is in March? It’ll pick back up for IRI and other offseasons and when teams start forming up again in the fall.

This was the release of divisions.

Before that the record was Kickoff 2011. Agreeing with the other posts, the data doesn’t back it up.

In 2009, there were approximately 70 threads active in the website forum between January and May. This year, there are approximately 30.

Couldn’t that have something to do with the fact that there’s no website award anymore, and many teams don’t have a “team website”, but use social media in its place.

Since you didn’t state your units (high… low… ?).
I’m going to insert a unit into your question.

Why is the the signal-to-noise ratio pre-2009 higher than in the post-2009 years ?

For example, many high quality posts and questions were presented that are still referenced to this day from pre-2009. Very few high quality threads are created post-2009.

I’ve discussed at length this problem with other mentors in the community about the lack of sharing of ideas and questions.

**My Estimations for low signal-To-noise:

  1. The Top mentors & teams just talk to each other
  2. The good teams are afraid of others copying their ideas.
  3. Less time to post on chief delphi during build season.

Feel free to insert your own guess for low signals-to-noise on CD …
but regardless of the cause, the quality has definitely taken a step down over the years.

People are scared to death of posting on CD because they’ll get torn apart for making unpopular opinions. I’ve heard this quite alot in the past few years.

As a regular on these forums, I somewhat agree. Some of the well known members of years past have departed. I don’t have any data to show fewer high-quality posts, but I certainly read fewer threads than I used to. Also, technical threads have really been on the decline it feels like.

It was much less in 2012 also, approximately 35 threads.

Quoted for truth… Just look at the 2013 lessons learned negative. It was painful just to read. One group goes against CD opinion and BAM all the regular members start backing each other up creating this wall of exclusion.

I have also found that CD has turned into this college student hang out spot. If you look at the members who actively post who are students, its like 5%. Doesn’t make a very inclusive atmosphere. Tis a shame.

If you really want to make CD a thriving community, then you have to actively work to make it feel inclusive to new and younger members.

I actually think there’s a higher professional mentor:student ratio than a college mentor:student ratio. Also, I’m willing to say there are a large number of students who come here to ask a single question or two, and then don’t bother signing on, because for many CD is a tool for students to ask questions to professional engineers and seasoned FIRST veterans.

There certainly could be a “greatest hits” collection of someone making an unpopular opinion and 20-30 different people make the same criticism with occasional sprinklings of other users telling the well-established “CD Hivemind” to cool it until the user is 5 rep-dots in the hole, half of the posts are deleted, and they are never to be seen again. If you want a refresher of what I’m talking about, searching ’ “Greater Toronto” and “2013” or “2012” ’ by titles only and going through the top 4 threads will yield instances where a poster may have posted something troll-ish or false, and the community tended to not leave it alone, but let everyone take their pound of flesh.

I should know, I did that more a while ago in an effort to be accepted by people on here…

In my personal opinion (not attached to any team or anything here) Chief Delphi’s functions and attitudes since Chief Delphi the team merged has been stuck in a rut not unlike the “Eternal September”. Essentially, events where a few key members from older days began making fewer posts here and an influx of new members happened at the same time. Some of the new members, it seems, formed into some weird collective of group-thought. While often shares widely-held beliefs of the community at large, can execute methods some would deem uncouth at its best and detrimental to community progress at its worst.

I am unsure if this thread is the proper place or if now is the proper time to have this discussion, but it’s one that is probably warranted.

Try not to bust out the negative rep unless you honestly believe someone is not beginning or continuing in the vein of constructive discussion in the thread, or if they are obviously “trolling”. Deal with attacks through reports for mods to take care of and handle disagreements through neutral rep or full-fledged PMs.


I know that many of the students on our team use chiefdelphi as a resource to look at, but are hesitant to post in the forums. I often hear many of them talking about things they saw on CD or asking questions about stuff other teams were doing that they see on CD. Most of them either do not have an account or just very rarely post.

In some cases, searching CD to figure out whatever it is that you want is sufficient. It’s simply possible that a certain level of technical information is already available through this forums that further technical discussion would be extraneous. I know there are plenty of times when I’ve had a question and thought about posting it only to find that someone else was wondering the same thing a few years back and already had the question answered.

CD opinion is the collective wisdom of nearly fifteen years of uninterrupted discussion on many topics. Think about that for a bit – fifteen years. There’s something to be said for the conclusions that have been drawn by this community and the topics that come up over and over again have been hashed out pretty thoroughly. It’s rare for someone to offer a new wrinkle in these debates and our reluctance to entertain them again and again shows this.

How would the scientific community react to someone that wanted to argue against the existence of gravity, but provided no new, compelling evidence to support their theory?

I have a few thoughts about why there’s less technical discussion happening today than in the past, but they’re not fully baked. I think, generally, that there are fewer authoritative voices in the discussion today and that people posing questions do not adequately communicate respect for the authorities they’re soliciting help from. That is to say that it seems like people are asking for answers before having done any research on their own; or that they ask a question and receive an answer, but never reply to acknowledge the help they’ve received. That makes people answering questions work harder and they receive less in return. That’s lose-lose for everyone.

I don’t know how you fix problems like these. They seem institutional; like there’s been a great shift in the attitude of students in the last ten years or so.

There are less website posts now, but let’s not forget what 1114 and 254 did earlier this year with their facebook and twitter campaigns to release a robot reveal picture and video respectively. I think if you included that in the data it might change things a little bit…

I’d agree to this, I frequent CD extremely, I probably check it as much as I do my other social media. However after initially joining, I tend not to post as much for that very reason, or for being afraid to share my ideas due to them not being completely fleshed out in my head. I know several others that feel the same.

Couldn’t agree more. I know and understand Chief Delphi is supposed to be for all members of the FIRST Community, but it does feel like it’s a Alumni/Mentor based forum, and it does make it slightly more scary to post as a student.

I must agree. I think seeing more student’s views on topics we discuss here would be a great thing for the community.