Let me start by saying that using this blog is helpful for me because it will be used to create the slides needed for the first conference call. In this post I will describe the problem which I call the ‘OJar Paradox’.
Stated in the most simple of terms, “those that need help the most cannot effectively contribute to OJar and those that have benefited from OJar usually leave the site.”
So what does this mean?
Well, when someone finds that they do not need they site I usually get a polite and friendly email that says, “thanks for your help, I don’t need the site anymore, Bye”.
In general this is terrific news but on the other hand these are exactly the people that can help the most.
Do I understand their position? Absolutely!
Anyone that has gone through a traumatic relationship change wants very little to remind them of what has taken place. Of course, this is a generalization and there are those that build extremely intimate relationships that continue to visit the site and move ‘down the boards’. But for a large majority, 6 – 12 months after posting heavily on the site they are gone, forever.
I have known about this ‘paradox’ for several years now and I suspect this has a lot to do with the inability of other sites to clone this site. It takes a steady stream of ‘newbies’ to keep this site active as there is a natural attrition and most clone sites don’t have the volume of traffic to gain momentum.
For many site visitors OJar is a natural method of journaling their emotional growth and/or changes. Also, as new people visit the site they benefit from the enormous number of existing posts to which they can relate. In other words, the stories posted at the top of the board often have a familiar ring and only the characters change.
So, let’s bring all these thoughts together and summarize.
1. OJar needs to find a way to broaden its audience and keep those that have moved beyond their emotional upheaval – this is essential for future growth.
2. OJar must also offer something that resolves the current ‘OJar Paradox’.
3. Those that choose to take an active role in OJar’s future must have an interest beyond the sites original mission of dealing with a relationships demise.