In my observations so far, there are five kinds of STW2 fan forum patrons. Many people have a little bit of each of the categories. So if we want to increase ORG's participation, maybe we can do something that directed to a specific group.
(1) Online/Multiplayer battle players. I guess this is the "shift" of TW games that people talk about since RTW? A lot of gamers buy games solely for their MP components. Does the ORG have "clan ORG" or we wish to host a number of clans? Both will work to keep people interested in posting. Have we hosted MP battle tornement for clans/individual members? (If we do not have an ORG team, it might be a great way to pool the skilled players into one.) It would certainly attract lots of participants. STW2 made an innovative co-op campaign mode but currently it is limited to two people. Maybe one day it will evolve into truly MP and there will be a lot of potentials for fan forums to tap.
(2) SP campaign + MOD players. Many games' replayability nowadays is largely increased by their mod-ability. I had a little experience in modding, and I know I want to go to a forum where my technical questions can get promptly answered. If TWC already covers modding very well, I don't think there is a need to compete. But we can still reward our own modding community with site-wide promotions and request their modds to be added to the TWC list, if not already.
(3) SP campaign + Strategy players. These people also mostly play single-player campaigns but they are not here for mods - they are interested in strategy as in "STW2 is a strategy game". Having no-mod makes it easier to share strategies that work for everyone. This is the category that I mostly belong to. I love to read strategic discussions about how to beat the hardest difficulty with deep plans, sound reasons, and exploits that derives from keen observation and testing, and eventually share my own strategies. As long as good-quality guides and knowledgable players are around to help with my question, my kind of people stick around. Good stories/AARs are also of high priority.
(4) SP campaign + god mode players. These people look for external programs or combination of keys that enable them to instantly dominate the world. It... it is a healthy mid-way stop of growing up. Most of these programs can be found online and the ORG does not have to host them. We can attract these fans when they turn into the first three categories. But if after 10 jugs of beer, we decide to cultivate patrons from step 1, this is definitely a good way to usher them in. There are so many of them out there.
(5) Players who do not play. These people are here to chat because they often find intelligent, funny, or annoying responses to their interested topics. It is good to keep them around during the cool-down periods between the release of new games and expansions. To keep them around, we have to pick staffs with very wide personal interests so they can chat with everybody. Or very good actors so at least they can appear interested. Posting controversial news and ask for people's opinions never fails.
And there is the sixth category - people who look for links to download the latest version of the game/patch for free. Playing pirated games is a huge phenomenom in many parts of the world. But as a healthy international fan site we simply cannot allow discussions and promotions of these.
I'm pretty sure that a large number of the more active users in the Tavern belong to the 5th category.
It seems that we currently do not have many users who are actually playing the game. So if we thrive on one of the five (six) categories of potential TW forum fans, then we will run into troubles. It will be better if we catch the attention of more kinds of fans.
We also have a lot of people who don't play as much SP anymore but are into the hotseats, rpgs, and other forum games involving the TW games (pretty much just MTW2 for the hotseats). I guess they could be considered part of #1, but there's not much crossover I've seen between them and mp battle types.