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Thread: Advice For Running A Forum

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
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    Advice For Running A Forum

    Hi All,
    I've been meaning to start a Health and Fitness forum for a while and I've finally got around to it.

    I know there is loads of Mod/Admin experience in this forum, so what advice do you have for running a forum?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
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    Sacramento, CA
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    6,213
    You're asking us? And who are these peple with "experience"? I suspect *someone* has been hiding out...

    What I've learned in my very brief modish existance is to let the forum run where it will. Provide a space for OT discussions to encourage community. Be clear on the rules (and have as few as posible). Give the posters what they wasnt - a safe place to learn and teach. Don't engage your ego. Keep conversations going and be prepared to introduce new ones when things get slow. And don't ever, ever mess with skitzzos_pop.

    Ever.

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    Clue in soon!

  3. #3
    Join Date
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    I've heard it's important
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    I would suggest getting a firm handle on how you want your community to feel and run. I've helped run some communities that thrive when things are a little loose, and others that do better when there's a firmer grasp on the reins. Know how you want yours to be and stick to that - no matter what. In time you'll have like-minded people who won't need reminders to do this or not do that. Things will start growing on their own.

    I started ours with two goals in mind: 1) Get people there. 2) Keep people there.

    Oh - and unless you're bringing with you a large following that will populate the site quickly (like what's happening here), start with only a few forums. A few busy ones look better than 20 nearly empty ones.

  4. #4
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    Here are 3 excelent guides straight from the SEOmoz Beginner's Guide
    Community Building
    Last edited by skitzzo; 12-16-2005 at 12:29 PM. Reason: made links live

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    St. Louis, MO (almost)
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    From recent experience, I'd suggest getting the forum set up with the look and feel and the functionality you want BEFORE inviting people in. It's very difficult and time consuming to figure this stuff out on the fly. I'm working on putting a post together outlining some of our process and the software we've used. Hopefully things will slow down enough for me to get it out next week.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
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    online
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    yeah, this is a bit of a unique case... I'd say most importantly, when setting up a new forum, PATIENCE! I think if you ask Pleb, he'd say the same thing. Forum membership is a bit like a viral marketing campaign, the more people that are members, the more they recruit. But, it takes a while to get that dedicated core that will recruit new members. (we were lucky and had that core right away).

  7. #7
    I've heard that in general, you need a dedicated core of about 12 users posting religiously for a few months and doing their own recruiting before you start to see any snowball effect.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
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    I think we were also "lucky" to bring some of the lurkers over. A couple of them have proven to be real assets. Jason_Sot comes to mind. For whatever reason, he didn't like posting at SC, but here you can't shut the guy up!

    And that comes down to the community vibe. I mentioned keeping your ego out. Skitz has done a great job of being humble and asking for help when needed. That has trickled down to us mods. And that has shown up in the posts. This isn't *my* forum. It's *ours*. But I take ownership of it's success - again something that comes from Skitz & Pop working so hard to get things running right as soon as posible.

    What I'm getting at is leadership is critical. It will define how the membership is with each other. And the result is I can barely keep up with all the posts here, while those "other guys" only have a handful of posts per hour.

    Respect.
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    Clue in soon!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
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    Highlands
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    Quote Originally Posted by nutkeis
    I've heard that in general, you need a dedicated core of about 12 users posting religiously for a few months and doing their own recruiting before you start to see any snowball effect.
    No, just me and my big mouth... People love to spank me in the threads ..it keeps the blood flowing....

    D

  10. #10
    BD = 12 ordinary men. Got it.

    Sadly, the naked pic was removed before I got a chance to see it, so I can't personally vouch for this statement.

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