So you are an admin of a MUD and you have noticed a drastic drop in players. Other than the things listed below what can you do? Everyone seems into lists these days. It goes with less time and short attention spans so here is a list.
1. First and foremost LOG in and play your MUD. Yes admins have to show a presence, but they should also play on the mortal side. ALOT. First it shows activity. No one likes to log into an empty MUD, second it keeps you in touch withwhat it is like to start out low and work up. If possible keep the character's identity secret from other Admins. It let's you see how they work from the user side.
2. Talk about your mud on Mud sites, gaming sites, blogs. I don't mean talk incessently but mention it or better yet, just add the info in your signature file if the site does not object.
3. Get the players involved. Start a MUD newspaper featuring their writing. Hold meetings with all clan leaders regarding clan wars, turf whatever. If you have an RP mud work with them on the plot.
4. Hold weekly or bi-weekly OLQs or an xtra reward day like double xp or rare item drop. THat is what the MMOs do, take a page from their books.
5. Offer an incentive program for people to bring friends to play. Nothing big and make sure the friend stays to play at least 3 months (6 would be better) But a special item or extra xp would be nice. Maybe a skill boost even.
Add any you may think of or have tried in the past that has helped.