You know, the pattern of reading versus contributing carries over into most things we touch. Gamification studies show that we mostly want to social, but that the on-boarding process usually fails to deliver this.
So lets conside (this) forum. Whats the most popular forum entry? New User introductions. (90 replies). What's likely right about that. Well, it has a clear call to action, examples (previous posts) of how and what to say, immediate feedback on success and social (part of the in crowd).
So where are we failing. There really is no clear level 2 for people to hit next. (Using level 2, 3, etc as game levels, nothing specific.What's the next activity that they should broach? Where can we put something that get's them into the habit of communicating?
Surveys are often a great level 2. However, we can then either expand the playing field of level 2 (kind of like the surveys on ICanHazCheezburger. But it may not in itself promote a level 3, active involvement or conversational approach.
Again, using gamification and Bartle's, we have 4 categories, Socializers (70%+) Explorers, Achievers and Killers. So we obviously are missing something int he social aspect.
This image (not mine) gives an idea of social actions.
If we write off the killers, assume the achievers aren't interested, then can we expand our actions for the Socializers and Explorers?
Finally, I think the universe of members needs to expand. Maybe even an each one invite one or something. I don't know how many people are members but 5.8K views of 90 new member replies seems telling.
anyway, apologies for rambling