Have you ever had a good member just vanish without a trace?

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cheat_master30

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Like, post a ton for years on end as an active part of the community, and then just vanish never to seen again afterwards?

Because I've had a few cases like that before. For example, on a previous gaming forum, I had someone who posted dozens of times a day, contributed every kind of content to the site and welcomed every new member just up and disappear at random a few years later. It's like their presence online just went completely dead at random, and no one's ever seen them since.

And the same goes with people on a few other forums too. I've seen people who've been on a site for decades just stop visiting without saying anything, staff members stopping logging in for no reason whatsoever and all kinds of other examples of people just disappearing at random.

So has that ever happened on your site? And if so, what do you think could cause an incredibly active forum user to disappear without a trace, or even seemingly stop using the internet at all?
 

Alpha1

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They might have lost access, moved on with their interests, checked into the state hotel, encountered medical or mental issues, or passed away. Or they realized they can start their own subreddit or Facebook group without much effort, while a traditional forum platform is not keeping with the times.
 

LeadCrow

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A handful. Sometimes there's a more or less public goodbye, most of the time they just become increasingly less active until months passed and others just notice.

It's usually the same story: they just aged out and realize its time to give reallife considerations higher priority (studies, jobs and family).
 

Paul M

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Members come and go all the time, you only have to look on this site.
For example, I havent seen Scott (Molinari) post for a while, turns out he hasnt logged in for almost 9 months.
 

MarkFL

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I've seen quite a few active users on many sites just abruptly stop posting, and I do sometimes wonder what happened in their life to cause it. There is one user that was posting all the time, answering a lot of difficult math questions, and he just stopped...but then he came back a year or so later, and said he had had a major heart attack and nearly died.
 

zappaDPJ

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It's something I see happen on a regular basis and in general I've found it best not to take active steps to find out why.
 

we_are_borg

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People come and go, you can put them into rooms people lose interest into posting, changes of the forum etc. You never know why you can only hope that they come back.
 

zappaDPJ

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I guess there's a story behind that...?
Quite a number really. It's often the case that the member has died and close family members don't always take kindly to random websites they don't know enquiring by email if everything is OK.

Getting in touch only to find the member is having mental health issues is another reason not to do it. More than once I've had members latch on to me when they ought to have been seeking professional help.

Getting told to 'just f*** off' from a long standing member which was totally out of character left me wondering for years what I'd done if anything to upset them.

I decided a long time ago that there's a line to be drawn when it comes to interacting with people over the Internet and trying to make contact with anyone missing in action so to speak was crossing the line.
 

Joeychgo

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Happens all the time. Usually, its because the member got sick or passed away
 

doubt

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Getting told to 'just f*** off' from a long standing member which was totally out of character left me wondering for years what I'd done if anything to upset them.
Rage: "Violent uncontrollable anger"
 

Nabix

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I did that awhile back actually. On the website nextgenupdate, I had thousands of posts with years of service. Over the years I didn't like the direction the forum was going and simply just quit logging in. Which later a few people from that forum messaged me via email to ask if I was okay lol
 

Nev_Dull

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Yes, I've had a couple of long-time, active members disappear suddenly. More recently, it was a mod who just stopped showing up. I can't say I've given it a lot of thought, though. I just figure stuff happens, and a forum on the internet isn't (and shouldn't be) all that important in anyone's life.
 

Papa Tango

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It happens everywhere. When I was GM of a big-board (>450K) there were regular comings and goings. It does cause curiosity when a member with 10K plus posts suddenly disappears. As zappaDPJ notes, it's sometimes better to not get into whatever drama is or has unfolding...

I get that way with certain fora. Like LordOfSpoon , sometimes the forum dynamics just begin to suck. Sometimes it's burnout of the same conversations with the same people. Sometimes there is just too much other to do besides fart around in a forum... :rolleyes:
 

Butch97

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Funny, just the opposite experience for us than what zappaDPJ recounts.
Over the years, we've had many a frequent contributor drop completely out of sight,
and subsequent inquiries from us have never gotten a negative or hostile reaction
(or in almost all of those cases, any reaction whatsoever).
A major and steady contributor to our forum disappeared from the forum rather
suddenly early this winter, though, and his wife responded to let us know that
he was dealing with a deadly serious medical issue. It's turned into a pleasant
e-mail correspondence in which we're always thanked for our concern and
helping lift his spirits as he recuperates from treatment.
 

andrew3d

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So has that ever happened on your site? And if so, what do you think could cause an incredibly active forum user to disappear without a trace, or even seemingly stop using the internet at all?
I had a user that would quit, and stay gone for months....once even over a year. He always came back eventually.
The reason I was told when I asked him why? Some other user had posted an opinion that angered him.
Seems petty, but who am I to judge another person? Maybe it was the only way he could cope?
As admins, we should be aware there are people that have very little tolerance for certain views.
 

Paul M

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At what point is a member considered to be former/gone, 1 month, 3 months, 6 months, a year ?

I do not make any attempt to contact such members, as far as I'm concerned, its entirely their own business.
We are a forum for people to use as and when they please, and they are welcome to come and go as it suits them.
 

Gnomenclature

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I've been that member several times. Life happens and I don't always get to or even want to say goodbye.

If I leave because of forum drama, I prefer not to burn bridges. Sometimes things die down and it's worth returning in a few months.

It's funny I always make sure to keep my email up to date. Anyone who really wants to know where I went can email me. But I think in a decade that's happened exactly once.
 

Joel R

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I did that awhile back actually. On the website nextgenupdate, I had thousands of posts with years of service. Over the years I didn't like the direction the forum was going and simply just quit logging in. Which later a few people from that forum messaged me via email to ask if I was okay lol
Wow, they use vBulletin? The website is rather snappy, I'm impressed.
 
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