Leaky Bucket Syndrome


New member
Oct 4, 2007
I'm curious -

Is a forum an information only based site, like Wikipedia or Dictionary.com?
Is it structured so that people can pop in to get their question answered and pop out, never to be seen again?
Or is it a site that can hold it's own, up against member sharing sites like MySpace and YouTube?

I beg to differ. A forum is a place where people of a general or specific interest can enter, not only text book answers to questions, but also their own daily experiences. We enjoy hearing about a member's roasting challenges or a member's experiences with their customers. Remember what I said about giving a man a fish? Don't give it, teach it. It's a fact that information is better retained through interacting with others. Imagine the chaos of a world where cut and paste info is the only means of communication.

It's a pity to see so many potentially contributing members only post once or twice then not return. Let's not allow this forum to suffer from what is known in business as the leaky bucket syndrome.

I look forward to reading more about your coffee shops, roasting techniques, travels to coffee farms, your favorite coffee mug, espresso blends, customers, bosses, etc. :wink:
It would be interesting to see a breakdown of how many members of the forum (in 1000's) have posted less than 3 messages. On a postive though, I think that it is testament to the Forum on whole, that it is 1 of the premium sites those entering the industry come to to post a question. I guess the challenge is to try and get those 1, 2 or 3 message guys to hang around for longer and participate long term.

John P

New member
Jan 5, 2007
Salt Lake City
You really can't apply the "leaky bucket syndrome" to a free service. That's actually why it's "leaky". Forums don't apply to that particular syndrome.

As to why some people only post a few times:

They have a business to run.

They would rather read.

They got their answer.

They didn't get their answer.

Information is of little value, and they have nothing to offer.

They won't offer good info for free.

There may be a few other reasons, but unless you have a paid forum, it would be impossible to do any respectable analysis in regards to "leaky bucket"


New member
Oct 4, 2007
Thanks Alun and John for your input.
John, I almost attributed my use of the term "leaky bucket syndrome" to you, but I didn't want to link you to my position in any way. The term just popped into my head when I was thinking, how could a forum capture and retain valuable members.

I knew that someone would point out that they're too busy with their jobs to participate in a forum.

My answer to that is: It is my job to know what's happening in a particular industry and what better way than to communicate with people in that industry.

As far as it being a free site - So are MySpace, Blogger and YouTube. Don't we see people spending hours upon hours on these sites as means of sharing experience and information? I've seen things on YouTube that I'd otherwise never have know existed. A thousand latte art and etching videos! Cupping techniques and instructional how-to videos!

When I first became interested in baking, I bought and borrowed every book on baking and pastry that I could find. That was before the internet came along. Now, information is boundless and FREE!

My message wasn't to annoy, although it may have. I don't want to be a nuisance to the forum either. I simply hope that some members see it and realize that it's okay to share their experiences in the industry.


Super Moderator
Staff member
Feb 28, 2008
Near Philadelphia, PA
Over the years, the term "leaky bucket" has evolved, and now-a-days it's often used to describe more than the original syndrome that's studied in many business courses.

For example, "leaky bucket" is also used in the non-profit arena to describe how an organization attracts enthusiastic volunteers and then loses them when their enthusiasm dwindles or when they find other interests to occupy their time.

"Leaky Bucket" has also been used to describe a business that can't seem to hold on to qualified employees because the owner/management creates a negative work environment, and good employees quickly catch on and "slip away."

I'm sure many "Business Students" or "Students of Business" would have no problem with someone using the term "leaky bucket" to describe how a forum can attract new members and then slowly lose them as their interest dwindles away.

The intent here is to find ways to encourage people to continue participating in the forum so they won't "dwindle away."



New member
Oct 18, 2006
Old England (UK)
I think it's the basic nature of many people....they start something and there is that initial period of passion, intensity and questioning to acquire knowledge. This includes joining a number of forums and asking a few questions.

After that initial phase, continued participation in a forum (I'm talking generically here) usually depends on something quite different from the reasons they may have initially joined. Some reasons I have seen for continued participation (but not limited to those) are:

  • Commercial interests that benefit from forum membership
    Ongoing technical/informational needs
    occasional participation at a minimal level to keep the "chair warm" (just in case)
    Wanting to help others and promote coffee, for no personal benefit or gain
    Needing to belong...being part of a group


New member
Jan 2, 2008

i am new here, been looking for infos on a mobile espresso business. till now, nobody has answered my questions. they may are in the wrong topic, or i formulated them the wrong way. either way, no answers.

i would like to stay, this looks like a great forum at the first glance, but....

just to get in was some kind of disaster since i had a mistake made, it took literally month to get somebody to fix the problem.

are there active moderators?



Jan 18, 2008
Hi Berlin,

You can use the "Search" option to enter keywords that will take you to some threads related to the mobile coffee business.

Also, in your postings, you might need to describe your situation more clearly to get the kind of responses that you're looking for.

Good luck and a belated "Welcome to the forum" to you! :D
Hello Berlin! There are active moderators but all of us are part-timers. Generally 1 or more of us will check in on any given day (Topher, CCafe and Cafemaker are in this catergory). We have the ability to delete posts, to edit posts and to block users. However anything more complicated than this has to go through the web owner- who is also regularly on.

Anyway, welcome aboard hope to see many more postings from you.


Active member
Aug 11, 2004
Des Moines, Iowa
Sorry you had such a tough time.

There are lots of threads out there and you need to search keywords like "mobile" - 119 posts or "kiosk" - 101 posts. Don't get discouraged the forum is full of information and like a library you will have to do some reading. That is what the forum is for. If you still haven't found what you are looking for then post your question in one of the forum topics that best suits it. So if you have a coffee brewer question post it under Coffee Machines.

The other thing to remember when your reply to a post is to check the time stamp and also see how many replies the author has. If the post is more then a month old and the author has only 1 or 2 replies then you may never get an answer.

Many people drop by to only to ask a single question or try to sell an item. If they have received a reply that they feel has answered their question or have already sold their item they may not ever come back to the forum. If this is the case any posts you make on their thread are simply futile if you are expecting a reply from the author.
Jan 18, 2008
berlin said:
thanks guys/ gals,

i guess i start over then...lol


Guy here, thank you very much. Biscotta would be the feminine of biscotto.
I'm biscotto, caffe biscotto, as in the masculine of biscotta.

First everyone kept calling me David. Now they think I'm a girl.
I tell ya, I get no respect in here.....