4 Reasons people choose to leave online communities

OABPO Blog Team Published on October 21, 2014

In order to fulfill your role as an online content moderator or community manager effectively, you must get to know the members of your online community. Primarily, you must understand why they chose to be part of your circle in the first place. Knowing the factors that motivated them to sign up as community members can help you think of ways on how to sustain their interest in joining online discussions and activities on your website, social media account, or message boards.

When acquainting yourself with the different personality types in your online community, you must also keep in mind that there will always be members who won t stay for good. Members can be very loyal and supportive to your community for a long while, but because of certain reasons, they may decide to become inactive.

Recognizing the fact that your online community consists of transient members can open your eyes to the reasons why they chose to eventually disconnect from your network. Here are some of them.

1. Lack of things to look forward to


In order for members to keep coming back to your community s online platform, they must see the perks of adopting the habit. Some forums reward members with points or credits when they perform online activities such as posting on forums or sharing content. Websites that deal with interesting topics motivate their following through fresh and in-demand content. If these elements are not present in your community, your forum members won t have solid reasons to talk to each other or subscribe to your blog for updates.


2. Unpleasant experience with other users


If your online community is home to offensive users, such as bullies, spammers, or Internet trolls, everyone else who went there for good reasons will be driven away. In fact, the moment first-time visitors notice that your blog s comment section or your forums are filled with spammy links or vulgar words, they won t even bother to browse further or interact with other online users. User-generated content (UGC) must be filtered, so that inappropriate and damaging elements can be rejected.


3. Purpose was already met


Many Internet users join online social networks to become part of the online discussions and exchanges shared by the members. They want to share and impart knowledge as much as they are willing to receive and learn new information from other people. For example, experts or professionals may for quite some time share things on career-specific threads and answer questions from fellow members. But if they feel like they have done their job, gained enough learning, or feel like there s nothing more to share, they may choose to eventually leave the community.


4. Lack of time


Most community members decide to join online networks casually or without any prior intention to do so. Sometimes people sign up as members out of boredom or curiosity. These people may have become part of your community with good intentions, but may later realize that they don t have the luxury of time to become active. Their presence may begin to become less felt over time until they reach a point where they are no longer interested to keep in touch with your community.

Online communities that are managed effectively through smart content moderation and social networking strategies are usually the ones that gain enthusiastic and loyal members. When negativity prevails in your online platform, members will see the poor management as an indicator of unpleasant online experience. By understanding the reasons members choose to leave their online communities, you can now direct your management efforts in making their stay worth their while.

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