DegreeInfo no longer what it used to be

Discussion in 'General Distance Learning Discussions' started by Pilot, Aug 5, 2009.

  1. John Bear

    John Bear Senior Member

    Bazonkers: "I've ... seen hundreds of threads asking about all sorts of programs. I wonder how many of those people actually end up starting one."

    John: That's a topic that has long intrigued me. My only clue is the time, many years ago, when I surveyed buyers of Bear's Guide six months after they had purchased it, to ask what, if anything, they had done. As I recall, roughly 10% had enrolled in a degree program, 15% had decided not to pursue a degree, and about 75% were still thinking it over.
  2. telefax

    telefax Member

    This is a good point. In the beginning, there was less data to pull from, and then for a quite a while the search feature didn't work properly. Now that the search feature is humming right along, I imagine it does reduce duplicate inquiries.
  3. telefax

    telefax Member

    Glad you did. What remains of my journey is residential, but I do like to see doors opened to people via DL opportunities, so I stick around too.
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 6, 2009
  4. DBA_Curious

    DBA_Curious New Member

    For what it's worth, I belong to a number of sports-related message boards and they've all seen activity drop as of late as well. I think message boards are part of 'Web 1.0' and we're moving into 'Web 2.0'. I wouldn't be surprised to see that this trend does not reverse.

    As this board grows, its database literally becomes a library of information. Over time, that library decreases the need for new threads by an almost exponential rate. When boxing message boards 1st went online, you had all these debates over great fighters. Now...not so much as those conversations have been had (and had again).
  5. bmills072200

    bmills072200 New Member

    I agree with your general premise... I think this is part of the natural evolution of a message board that is topic-specific.

    Eventually almost every subject gets convered in one way or another and thus the topics are limited to new happenings or repeat questions about things that have already been discussed. In a way, the lack of new posts could be viewed as an achievement because it shows that the information stored in the archives is providing a lot of useful information to users.

    That is assuming the premise that there is still as much overall "activity" on the board as there was "back in the old days."
  6. Chip

    Chip Administrator

    I think a lot of good points have been made. Here are a few others:

    Degreeinfo was for a while very aggressively focused on increasing our search engine rankings, which brought a ton of new traffic to the board. We haven't been focused on this as much in recent times, in part due to the fact that much of my energy has been elsewhere. But that is slowly changing.

    We also had our school search engine live, which generated interest and postings, but that's gotten out of date so we've pulled it offline with the intention of updating it so it's relevant again. It's a big task too, because the software that ran it was state of the art in 2002, but is pretty dated looking now.

    We also added a tool that automatically brings up relevant threads when you start to post a new one, so that function may decrease new postings, since many questions have already been answered.

    The other major change is there are now so incredibly many sites basically spamming information on schools (almost never objective) so people find their way to those sites instead of degreeinfo; we are the oldest and largest distance learning discussion community on the web, but there are so many sites out there now that we're in a more crowded field.

    Lastly, we had our archive of articles which also brought new traffic and interest to the board. That's still there ( but is also rather dated looking, which is why it's not part of the main discussion board.

    Telling people about the board, mentioning it on a blog if you have one, and other such outreach is a great way to help spread the word and get more traffic. I'm slowly introducing changes and updates as I have time, but I'm spread pretty thin these days and two of the partners who used to do a lot of work behind the scenes are no longer involved. But... you can expect to see some changes and improvements forthcoming. I just am not sure how long it will take :)
  7. Pilot

    Pilot Member

    Here is one Idea:
    As many of us have gotten a degree thanks in part to the knowledge, advice and support received at degree info.
    It is probably a good idea to create a forum dedicated to advanced studies, Graduate Certificates, Masters, and DBA/PHD's.
    I think it will generate renewed interest and attract newcomers.
    What do you think?
  8. -kevin-

    -kevin- Resident Redneck

    I agree it would be nice to have a separate forum for undergraduate and graduate programs/discussions with subforums for certificates. One of the problems would be assimilating the existing information into the new forums.
  9. Woho

    Woho New Member

    I would say that degreeinfo already became largely focused on Graduate Degrees. Probably that's one of the major differences to other forums around. Just take a look at the amazing Doctoral Sticky. Probably one reason is that it has been around that long, but the background of people still posting here or at least peaking at regular basis is really amazing. Opening new boards would let it look even more inactive. I would argue more for merging with the IT subforum since there is not that much going on either. What probably would really bring new spirit to it, would be to collectively do things like Ted Heiks' great MBA sticky. We could do this also for the UK and AUS, for Certificates and so on. I would be all up for it and ready to invest a few hours or emails to research new programs, but it should be somehow coordinated.
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 6, 2009
  10. airtorn

    airtorn Moderator

    It is Chip's fault. He eliminated free e-beer and pizza Fridays a few years back and some of the regulars left.
  11. TCord1964

    TCord1964 New Member

    I think there is some validity to this. Message boards are seen as being "so 1990's". People use Twitter and Facebook now. Perhaps a DegreeInfo Facebook group would help bring a new audience into the discussions.
  12. Gail

    Gail New Member

    I tell a lot of folks to check out this board when they ask about distance education but get sort of a broken record feeling when reading posts sometimes.

    For example: someone will post asking about an NA school and instead of getting opinions from former/current students of that institution, they get post after post of "don't do NA" or links to other schools that they "should" look into instead. Those people responding may think they are doing the OP a favor by pointing out that they are "making a mistake" in going NA, but why can't people just look past that and respond to the question posed?

    I know a few people with NA degrees that have served them very well that could contribute greatly to this community but hesitate to do so because nearly every post that discusses an NA school turns into an NA/RA debate.

    There also doesn't appear to be much in the way of actual dialogue about course structure and how schools runs their program. I think that type of information would be great. Instead it's just "Looking for a degree in XYZ, what should I do?" type posts that result in many people posting links to programs, (some) debating the merits of the school in question and perhaps (some will) trash it if it's NA.

    There's no real meat on the bones here. This board could be a great repository of information for individual schools if there were enough people willing to go into detail about how the programs are run.

    For example: A separate forum with a topic of TESC, another for Cal Coast, UoP, etc. In each of those topics, students and former students could post their experiences with the school, the structure of the courses and their overall feelings about the education they received there. That would be a great resource for folks.
  13. mattbrent

    mattbrent Well-Known Member

    I actually made a Facebook group for us a while ago. We have ten members :)

    If anyone else would like to join, the URL is

  14. David H

    David H Member

    I have noticed a couple of things.

    -- Every answer when it comes to a bachelors always seems to be TESC or COSC. Other programs are "fast enough" or as "easy" to get through. But mostly TESC.
    -- The conversations have become less and less focused and many times petty. Many times the conversations dive into personal attacks, belittling statements, or short rebuttals.
    -- In all, I get concerned about the seriousness of some who respond.
    -- It is not as inclusive as it once was.

    I appreciate this board and it was at one time a bastion of information, it seems to have become focused on a very few schools.

    Improvement possibilities:

    -- I would love to see some specialization like previously mentioned
    ---- A bachelor forum
    ---- A master degree forum
    ---- A potential PH.D. forum
    ---- School specific (TESC, COSC, Nova Southeastern, etc.)
    -- Let's encourage individuals to post successes; let's get people to tell us when they get started, make progress, and graduate (let's become a community).
    -- When someone says they have finished, EVERYONE should say congratulations, when someone says they started, DOG-PILE with congrats! Let's do it

    Just some impressions.

  15. Alissa

    Alissa New Member

    I agree. A person coming here seeking friendly, supportive advice could be intimidated by accidentally stepping into a long-standing debate. I have hesitated to participate in many threads where I could see it was going to just turn into another long battle.

    And I would love to see more detailed discussion of how schools actually run their programs, that is an excellent suggestion. I would like to see them grouped by degree level and/or subject rather than by school, sort of like "the best MBA thread" or the "M.Ed Degrees" thread but more elaborative would be fantastic to help people compare programs.


    Another reason I participate less here than on other forums is because so many of my questions are answered with a simple search. The members have done such an excellent job answering questions in the past that it often isn't necessary to post a new question.
  16. Kaz

    Kaz New Member


    Just my two cents. I've read here a lot but never post. I try to exhaust "stickies" and the search feature before posting because I just think that is good etiquette. As of right now there are almost 300,000 posts on this site. I've ALWAYS been able to find answers to my questions without posting. So maybe this forum is a victim of its own success?
  17. Kizmet

    Kizmet Moderator

    Our search function is not the best in the universe but you can use the advanced search feature of Google to search only the domain and get some pretty good results.
  18. tcnixon

    tcnixon Active Member

    It's funny, but it's also more than a little true. I post here (and at other DL boards) less precisely because, after years posting here (and being a former admin), I needed to spend more time doing other things. I don't regret the time I spent here, but I also don't regret the realization that I needed to mostly move on to other things.

    Tom Nixon
  19. John Bear

    John Bear Senior Member

    People on the three folk dance forums where I participate have also been lamenting declining activity. On the other hand, the electric car forums have been increasingly lively (e.g.,
  20. me again

    me again Well-Known Member

    The economy has also taken a dive over the last three years -- particularly in the last year -- and many people have lost their jobs. This too could have an impact on posting on the internet.

Share This Page