Do the chickens have large talons? -Napoleon Dynamite
Question #93515 posted on 03/16/2021 11:06 a.m.

Dear 100 Hour Board,

What happened to all the site traffic? There used to be tons of questions per day (well, maybe like 3 or 4), and now there’s more like 2 per week?

Anyways, I hope the Board doesn’t die by the time I go to BYU.

- Reader


Dear loyal fan,

I think the Board, much like traditional internet forums from the days of yore, has suffered from the changing contours of Internet traffic in the last few decades, most of which has funneled activity and content towards more accessible social media sites and curators like Facebook and Reddit. Ten years ago, if I wanted news on a specific interest, I had specific websites in mind that kept me up-to-date. Twenty years ago, aggregate websites like Reddit were unheard of. These days, I'm almost certain to find the the same news more quickly in a dedicated subreddit or in my Facebook feed, with active discussion and additional content to boot. 

I'd also guess that the Board simply doesn't have a lot of exposure, particularly now that it's no longer sponsored by BYU. If Cerulean hadn't introduced the Board to me in high school, I still don't think I'd have heard of it, and I'm a senior at BYU now. While it's not as easy to do something about sponsorship, we can (and should) work on getting news about the Board out to the BYU population at large. I don't envision the Board ever being a household name among all 30,000+ students here--but I would love to see the community find and retain an active, visible group like many on-campus clubs and organizations do.

Also, since it needs to be said: lately we've been pretty bad at answering questions in a timely manner, and the volume of answers isn't really keeping up with the volume of questions. There are a lot more questions behind the scenes than the recent drip-feeding of posts might lead you to believe--many of which we're working on expediting.

Like you, I sometimes feel a little pessimistic when I think about how the Board has changed compared to when I first started reading. But is the Board doomed to die off in the near future? I don't think so. There's clearly enough interest to keep it going, even if it has declined since ten or twenty years ago. We're doing a lot better than some of the old internet forums I used to frequent in 2005 or 2012, at least. We could always use more readers--and for that matter more writers. If you know anyone who's interested in an anonymous Q&A service by and for BYU students (like, come on, how does that not sound like a great pitch?), tell them to start reading! And if you've got even a little bit of interest in opining on people's questions from the safety of a pseudonym, you should absolutely apply to be a writer. Even if the halcyon days of 180 votes on a single answer are behind us, the Board will keep on as long as there are students in need of answers.