It's been going on for a very long time. The forum is at a point where the climate is dull and makes a depressing atmosphere. Soompi was once colorful and contributing factors lead to the place not being as popular as it used to be. My assessment for the decline in activity is how the forum is structured, users' threads and posts seem to become wasted effort.
When I say wasted effort, I'm talking about how the effort for threads that might be more worth reading get drowned out by lousy threads. Posters making a thread might feel like what they're doing goes in vain because of other threads that don't make people want to participate. This forum attracts too much junk threads. For every good thread there is, there are 10 more bad threads. The point I'm making is the good seeds grow along with the bad seeds. Weed out the bad seeds and maybe the forum will actually look professional. A forum isn't just about getting people to come, it's also about having people make contributions that help further the development of the site.
Looks to me like this forum is trying to be like other forums or social media where the activity is rapid, which is not what Soompi needs to be. When I see what this place is trotting out on the forum I see how the forum interest diminishes. A few sections of the forum encourage posters to make throwaway posts, and people just post fluff to fill up the page. The Kpop section being one and a couple of others. This isn't making people interested or learn what they can about Korean pop culture. There seems to be too much mindless stuff. The forum is designed to encourage what I said. It's too much like social media. When the place is actually engaging and the users seem to have a real goal the forum would be better. Another thing, the K entertainment section is too convoluted. It needs to be broken up. The atmosphere for finding out what's going on in the world of Korean pop culture has been abysmal for a long time now.
A lot of threads are made by users that seem to have no point to them. Many threads look pointless and spammy. The fact that this is allowed to go on so much makes the forum polluted. Half of the time I see threads that don't have a clear purpose to them or they're sloppy in presentation that they don't amount to much. Then there's threads that are designed for simple posts, posts that don't carry much substance other than to fill up the page quickly. These threads are notorius. As I was saying about the good seeds growing with the bad seeds, the bad threads will drown out the good threads. The bad threads being the ones that aren't meaningful. When the lousy threads overshadow the threads that are worth more reading, those lousy threads will bury the threads that are worth reading, and the threads that have vital information get bogged down and become harder to see. Making it diffuclt to get viewers or gain interest. There needs to be a rule for these lousy threads where they are not allowed. There needs to be rules where threads that don't have a point or are designed to produce the type of content I mentioned to not be permitted. For the reason I stated. This should happen with a forum remodel. In the past Soompi had more strict rules, and these strict rules made the forum more structered. There was a time when the forum had sophisticated rules to minimize spammy threads. That Soompi was perfect.
Promoting a discussion is more likely to materialize when the conditions are set up for it. Most of the time users don't initiate their post in a way that would foster a discussion. You want to make it so that people carry their post in a way that fosters discussion. Rules and enforcement can be made for this. We won't get into that in this thread, we'll cross that bridge when we get there. Rules need to be made for when people create threads. When people aren't clear on what their point, goal, or purpose is it makes the thread disjointed. When people start a thread and give a topic without offering their own point of view that most likely encourages others to do the same, and it can be seen as the OP not contributing to their own thread. What I'm saying is there should be rules for making people lead by example when a person starts a thread, depending on what its about. For threads that ask 'what song are you listenting to' or 'what tv show/movie are you watching', there would be a point to them if people were telling you why they are listening to a song or why they're watching what they're watching. Not just dump a link in their post and that's it, or simply making a list and that's it. I think these threads would be worth participating in if you had to tell others why you're listening to a song or watching a television program. Otherwise there's no point.
Soompi has been around for a long time. 3 years ago someone said how this place would go down the gutter. I see that come to pass. This forum lost the things that once made it unique. Competing with other websites that also focus on Korean entertainment did just that. At one point in time you could have said this forum was number one at what it does. But now it seems like a place that has become a shell of itself. This place will have to be different from all the other websites to reclaim the prestige it used to have. What can you say Soompi is doing better than other websites? What things can we do to make people say that only Soompi does what it does? These questions are to know what separates it from other places.