I've discussed it with the mods, and it's time to discuss it with the gang again.
Although there are bulletin boards that are geared towards urbanists, or those who are interested in cities in general, the Cyburbia Forums is the only Web-based bulletin board where planners are the primary audience. There are some smaller APA chapter-related bulletin boards out there, but that's it.
It might seem like Cyburbia has a lot of traffic, but consider these numbers.
The American Planning Association has about 30,000 members.
The Canadian Institute of Planners has about 6,000 members.
The Royal Town Planning Institute has about 18,000 members.
The Planning Institute of Australia has ... well, a lot of members. (I couldn't find any information on their Web site.)
The New Zealand Planning Institute has 1,400 members.
The Cyburbia Forums has 640 members. Only 120 have more than 50 posts. (There are 25 in the Clube, in case you're wondering.)
There is a lot of potential for growth here. Despite the fact that the site has been running for nine years, very few planners I meet know about Cyburbia. Every couple of years, APA National reveals plans for a bulletin board of their own. Efforts to establish a partnership with the folks on the South Side of Chicago have, unfortunately, always been met with silence.
A few questions to discuss:
How can we increase awareness of Cyburbia, without the support of APA National?
How can we get more users from outside North America?
A multi-parter: How busy should the forums be? Should they continue to grow slowly through word-of-mouth and the few who stay after finding the site through a Google hit, or should we do more? If so, what?
The majority of articles in Planning magazine are written by practicing planners, not those working at APA National. Would a very well-written article about the Cyburbia Forums make it onto the pages of the magazine? Do you have to be an APA insider to get on the pages of Planning? Every year or two, there's a tech-related edition of Planning. Usually, it's just more articles about visualization, GPS, traffic modeling and their Web site. Think they'll look at an article about the Forums?