AN membership is said have to reached 25000 this year. Relatively speaking, not many of them appear to be active in AN activities. How can we make more of them join our activities? There must be thousands of atheists on the earth who have not joined any forum like AN. I myself joined AN 40 years after becoming an atheist.  What and how much are they missing? How can we attract more of them to join us? Why do you enjoy AN membership?

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it would be good to know how many 'active' memebers we have on AN.  i would guess it's only in the low thousands.  which makes sense.  people come here to join, out themselves, but then find they have little to add to the conversation, largely because they do not like to write.  i think that interest and ability to write is what keeps the active segment of AN relatively low. 

I'm not a big poster on this site, but I will add my two cents occasionally when passionately moved to do so.  Most of the time I'm reading the back-and-forth discussions and replies from other members.  There are very intelligent people on this site and I find it interesting to "listen" to debates and, especially, to topics that may be beyond my educational level, as this is how we learn.  I wouldn't dismiss the folks like me as being inactive.  We are actively listening, much like an audience at a debate or a conference.    

i wasn't trying to dismiss inactive or less active members, so i apologize if it came off that way.  i know many people still use the site without posting, the 'lurker' population if you will.  that's perfectly fine.  i was trying to figure out the discrepency between the 25k AN members vs. the relatively low number of active (posting or commenting) members. 

Matthew, no need to apologize.  I took no offense to your original post.  

Perhaps what's needed at AN is what I've personally experienced from some other sites of which I'm a member.  After some predetermined amount of time, I'll get an e-mail stating something like this:  "We see you haven't logged into our website in the last 60 days and we miss you.  Please log in and enjoy the benefits of our community.  If we don't hear from you in the next 30 days your profile will be considered inactive and deleted." 

I think that would be a good way to get rid of some of the dead weight, giving us a more accurate count of actual active members.

The Flying Atheist

The idea is not to get rid of dead weight but make members more active, if possible by making participation more attractive and easy. Of the 25000 members, many may not be from english speaking countries. There is no point in depriving them of a good actvity and equally, thare is no point in depriving us of their talents.

MADHUKAR, I am in 100% agreement with you.  Unfortunately I'm at a total loss on how to overcome the language barrier.  I would love to hear what others from around the world are saying, especially from non-Western, more secular countries such as China and Japan.  Although you yourself speak English, I was hoping you, perhaps, might have a better insight, being from India, on how to bridge the English language gap between countries.

On a positive note, I think we will see a surge in membership this Spring since AN is a sponsor of the Reason Rally in Washington DC in March.  Many people who don't know we exist will discover us.  That definitely will increase participation.

i'll be there, and i'm looking forward to meeting some AN members and spreading the word about this site. 

I can't speak for those in other coutries than Japan, but speaking as a teacher of English as a foreign language here, Japanese people are shy to use English for fear of failing in front of a native speaker. That said, their writing ability with English is typically far better than their speaking ability. They would probably enjoy the dialogue if it occured to them to come to this site. I think the lack of native Japanese posting on this site comes from a two-fold reason: Japanese atheists live in a Japanese-speaking, atheist country. There's not much motivation for them to dig up a site in a foreign language about something that is more or less a non-issue.

I'm friends with an older couple here. The husband is a retired mathematics and physics professor. His wife is a retired English teacher. Both are agnostic, he on the atheist side, she on the deist side. Neither are religious. They live near a buddhist temple and it is part of their responsibility as community members, to help keep the temple sidewalks clear of leaves and debris from the road. They would never admit to their community that they resent the temple and the service imposed on them to provide, but they opened up to me about it. It was a rare opportunity for me, as a foreigner, to see what it is like for an atheist in a less religious, yet still culturally-impacted by religion country. I think this sort of thing would be the type of conversation that could come up on the Nexus from Japanese posters... It may also be that faced with seeing what atheists deal with in more religious countries would bring a level of embarrassment to a Japanese poster. It wouldn't matter that there would be little reason to feel embarrassed.... there's a very traditional cultural sense of keeping face, here, and it might not matter how anonymous the Internet can be.

Sorry for being wordy! I'm also an on and off lurker. I'm here, y'all!

Nerdlass

Atheism is well spread in Japan and therefore they may not feel the need for the company of like minded people, while I am yet to meet an atheist in India.

I am sure there are, though they may be closeted. How many people around the world go through the motions of religion just to maintain status quo and not test the waters of tradition? My own brother is at the most a deist, but will call himself christian to any that ask, because he just doesn't want to deal with the outcome.

especially from non-Western, more secular countries such as China and Japan.

You may know that India is a very secular country.

India a secular country????????   

Where starving cows block the traffic, while the religious people also rather starve than eat them? 

Where astrology is taught at universities?

Where there is a Ganesha in every office to bring luck to business?

Where people get sick bathing in the filthy and unsanitary sewer like water of the Ganges, which is considered as holy and cleansing, even though they even throw the leftovers from the burials into it?

No offence meant, India is a beautiful and fascinating country.   But certainly not secular.

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