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How to create a growing forum

Discussion in 'General Chat' started by DarrenC, Nov 2, 2004.

  1. Will.Spencer

    Will.Spencer NetBuilder

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    #21
    I am having a bear of a time with my web forum.

    69.15% of the posts are from me.
    SEMrush
    The site receives over 2,500 unique visitors a day, and the forums do get read. It's just that almost no one posts.

    It's eerie...
     
    Will.Spencer, Nov 7, 2004 IP
    SEMrush
  2. DarrenC

    DarrenC Peon

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    #22
    Wow thanks for everyone's comments!

    Sarahk - nice to see you on the forum, I will add a links thread in the forum.

    I have a subscribership which should really boost the forum membership but they are either not interested in forums, don't have the time OR just read the threads and not participate.

    I am trying to spend at least 1hr a day on the forum to keep it active! I am adding new news articles every day, which I think would be of interest and have found more people sign up when you include a link to the forum at the bottom of all the emails you send out.

    I've got the forum mentioned in an e-book, on a few holiday home websites so we'll see how things go! If we can keep this thread going with ideas and suggestions it will help all of us who administrate a forum!

    Thanks everyone!

    Darren :)
     
    DarrenC, Nov 7, 2004 IP
  3. anthonycea

    anthonycea Banned

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    #23

    John Edwards is watching you Will ;)
     
    anthonycea, Nov 7, 2004 IP
  4. mudnik

    mudnik Peon

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    #24
    There was another thread that mentioned something like having a network of forum masters signing up for each other forums and posting stuff at each other sites...This is to get the initial activity going so that more users will be attracted...
     
    mudnik, Nov 7, 2004 IP
  5. caroline

    caroline Peon

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    #25
    Believe me, that's a great start. It used to be like this in my Forums, now I don't post as often and a couple of members have already more posts than I do. It just takes time. Once you've started, there's the acceleration factor to take into account.
     
    caroline, Nov 7, 2004 IP
  6. Will.Spencer

    Will.Spencer NetBuilder

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    #26
    And he's a stinkin' lawyer, so he'll probably sue me.
     
    Will.Spencer, Nov 7, 2004 IP
  7. Dominic

    Dominic Well-Known Member

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    #27
    A new members section where ppl intro themselves with a quick reply from mods to welcome them is important IMO.

    If it is totally brand new, register 5 to 10 different identities before you make it public and chat amongst yourself, so when it goes live there is some interesting conversation instead of just empty space.

    Start with a small number of forums and expand from there, don't over categorise the convo too soon as it will be spread too thinly. Put the hot topics towards the top.

    Find any related forums that let you have a sig file (if it allows linked images ideally) and chat in that forum with a semi subtle advert in your sig. Related by topic or demographic.

    Set the defaults to subscribe ppl to threads they start or post in so they get daily notification of action in threads they participated in.

    Empower the members with a member's only section where they can collectively determine the policies of the community and discuss any problems privately, away from view of people who are not registered.

    Assign mods so there is someone online most of the time if possible and put the time into explaining the vision of the forum to the mods so your ships all sail in the same direction.

    Have an off topic section so ppl can talk about whatever they want, spending more time in the forum and building the sense of community.

    Contact ppl whose posts need moderation and ask them to re-consider the post of adjust it themselves so you don't piss ppl off - enable them to share the vision.

    Communities typically have traditions, totems / symbols, practices, celebrations and protocols. e.g. at Digi Point every time PR updates.. it's a rush to see who can announce it first and then we all mull over the results together. Symbols and totems can be logo, also avatars so have a good selection.

    Give the forum personality visually if possible rather than a bland boring empty look.

    This forum has been live for a couple of months and is comming along fairly well if you wanna peek: www.schoolies.org.au/forums/ still got a long way to go though! LOL

    And after using vBulletin, all I can say (our copy was donated) is it is totally worth paying for a copy - it's incredible what it allows you to do behind the scenes.

    um..
     
    Dominic, Nov 7, 2004 IP
  8. joeychgo

    joeychgo Notable Member

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    #28
    I couldnt have said it better. Everything Dominic said is right on.

    One thing I can advise that he didnt do so specifically - is be very friendly with your members, especially in the beginning. Take the personal approach. Make them your friends. PM them or post to them specifically. Be gracious. Announce milestones, (first 100 members, first 500, etc) and when your members congratulate you - turn it around and thank THEM for the achievement. Reinforce that its THEIR board - you just are along for the ride.

    They will come to love you - and your forum - andbring more people to the party.

    One thing I also do - is periodically, I send an email to members who havent posted for awhile - and I tell them I noticed they havent been around and hope everything is ok with them. This personal touch WORKS. I have 1000 members and I started my Forum on April 1 2004. --- 7 months. Oh, and im still the top poster - but I only have 10% of the posts.
     
    joeychgo, Nov 7, 2004 IP
  9. sapphiro15

    sapphiro15 Peon

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    #29
    Yes I think the personal touch is very effective. Very true.
     
    sapphiro15, Nov 9, 2004 IP
  10. truelysam

    truelysam Peon

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    #30
    try "post contest"
    the person who has the largest number of posts will receive $10
    :D
     
    truelysam, Nov 9, 2004 IP
  11. DarrenC

    DarrenC Peon

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    #31
    The first member to reach 50 posts gets a Worldwide Holiday Homes mouse mat lol

    That's one thing I'm going to introduce.. got a few ideas, but its hard running a forum and a business at the sametime.. but needs must :D

    Darren
     
    DarrenC, Nov 10, 2004 IP
  12. sarahk

    sarahk iTamer Staff

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    #32
    Dazza - I'd rather have a Worldwide Holiday Home!
     
    sarahk, Nov 10, 2004 IP
  13. Dominic

    Dominic Well-Known Member

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    #33
    It sounds like you are begging people to engage.... giving away money and stuff, don't like it.

    An industry news digest can be effective. have a look at http://forums.spider-food.net they post a grab and a link to news items of interest to the industry (pretty much daily).
     
    Dominic, Nov 12, 2004 IP
  14. DarrenC

    DarrenC Peon

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    #34
    Sarah - I'd rather have a holiday home too!

    Dominic - true, but some people need "pushing" in the right direction - I've just set up a credit type feature on the forum.. you post, answer posts, and you get credits, get a specific number of credits and you get free advertising. It has to be tighly moderated though.

    I'm updating the news section of the forum daily, and luckily have a few members who are posting a few threads a day.. so it's not completely dead lol

    Darren
     
    DarrenC, Nov 12, 2004 IP
  15. gbancrig

    gbancrig Peon

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    #35
    Social media is your friend for building up a forum. You need to get fans and friends on Facebook that are interested in it.
     
    gbancrig, Apr 30, 2010 IP
  16. sara.spillman

    sara.spillman Peon

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    #36
    Interesting tips here....
     
    sara.spillman, Apr 30, 2010 IP
  17. tjsocr22

    tjsocr22 Active Member

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    #37
    I would just try and promote it as much as possible and make sure that new content is on your site every day to show that other people are interested in your website.
     
    tjsocr22, May 2, 2010 IP