Sunday, June 27, 2010

Observations at PbNation is the world’s largest paintball community, no doubt. I have an account there and hang out in the Field/Store Owners section and in all honesty rarely check out much else. I took a few moments to glance at the main page today and a couple of thnngs caught my attention.

In the General Paintball section, the busiest section, by quite a large margin is the “Paintball Talk” forum, with over 4.2 million posts (not sure when the counting started by the way). That makes sense. It’s a paintball forum after all and people are going to drop by and talk paintball.

But it’s not the busiest section on No. That honour goes to the “Small Talk” forum in the Off-Topic section with over 7.2 million posts. That’s quite a few more and those posts have nothing to do with paintball. At first I thought that was pretty odd. Why are all these people coming to a paintball forum and then opting to talk about a whole lot of stuff that has nothing to do with paintball? Then it occurred to me that is like a community. People meet there because they share a general interest, much like a club meeting. But anyone that has ever been together with a group of people, knows that conversations wander. It doesn’t take long before subjects having to do with the shared interest are left behind and other things are debated.

The other thing that caught my attention was in the Paintball Marker Manufacturers sections. That is where each Marker Manufacturer has it’s own little section for people to drop in and talk about that brand of marker. I would hazard a guess that the popularity of each section would be a testament to the popularity of the brands of the markers. So why is it, that the most populated section in the Paintball Marker Manufacturers (again by a fairly large margin) is one that couldn’t hold it together and is no longer in business? The Smart Parts forum has over 1.6 million posts with second place, Planet Eclipse forum lagging a ways behind with just over 1 million posts. After that, rankings drop pretty quick. Tippmann for instance, has a dismal .2 million posts. Tippmann! I thought almost half the people in the paintball world started marker ownership with a Tippmann. I guess they don’t have a lot to talk about. Maybe Smart Parts and Planet Eclipse forums are full of threads with people trying to solve problems with the markers. I don’t know, I didn’t actually go into those forum sections.

Anyway, just a couple on things that caught my attention and I thought a little odd. But then, there are more than just a couple of things odd at

1 comment:

  1. SP forum is basicly million posts made by Ion owners how to tune and modify their gun. Thats why it was/is so popular marker in hands of early teens. You can with really small weekly dollar amount buy bits and pieces, bolt them into your marker and then talk about the various tunings and upgrades on it.

    Eclipse forum is more about being a club where people mainly post into massive OT threads talking about everything. And popularity of the gun, even tho its one of the most solid platforms ever produced, sparks alot of discussion how to make it even better.

    All in all, people like to talk about things they have in common too, that can be, brand loyalty and fondness to a marker.