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Thread: How do you run a successful message board?

  1. #1
    Member scar's Avatar
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    Default How do you run a successful message board?

    I've been here for maybe 5 years now, I don't often post, I'm more of a troll, but I've visited this site pretty much everyday for Pacers news.

    And so I want to make sure this isn't misunderstood as a spamming message, I'm not going to name my site.

    I've been involved with three different sites, back in the beginning, we had some cheap recruiting methods of basically spamming. We switched boards recently, and most came with us, some went elsewhere. Now we are having trouble recruiting new members.

    I have no idea how to actually get my sites name out there, and I'm really wondering how PD does it. I can't seem to get it right. Any feedback is welcomed.

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    Default Re: How do you run a successful message board?

    I had the unique benefit of a well-populated site (Star Forum) with several people up for trying something new at the time, and I was further fortunate that one of the most respected people there at the time (Boston Connection), was kind enough to help me recruit in the beginning to give PD a shot.

    Make no mistake: Luck is always a factor.

    That said, the key is your "core" posters. Who do you look to see if he/she's posted first each day? Focus on these people first and foremost to encourage a culture centered around what you feel is the "right way" of contributing to your board, and that should catch the eye of like-minded people.

    Another thing is to have standards, and stick to them as well as you can. "Anything goes" boards are doomed to be mediocre at best, or utter failures at worst. If there are exceptions, fine, but that's all they are: Exceptions.

    Along with that: Get at least one or two people to help you moderate that you trust and see eye to eye with. You can't be there 24/7, and you need help to keep things running smoothly and under control.

    To get others to check you out, you can always just spam, but that's not ideal and it's likely to gain you enemies as well. Around these parts, spamming gets you and other sites carry a similar attitude.

    I think you were wise to come about it the way you have here. You're someone I know, and I'm sure others remember as well, and you're not coming out just screaming, "COME SEE MY SITE WWW.SCARROCKS.COM". That all makes me feel inclined to help you out, which (I think?) can't hurt.

    You have my blessing to put your site's URL in your signature. The only way I see that changing is if upon checking it out I (for some currently unknown reason) despise what I see. Also, as long as your signature is small, I don't care. Just please no banners or huge fonts or that kind of stuff.

    Moving on, do you frequent other forums on the internet? If so, gently work this in there the way you have here, and see if people want to check you out and maybe the people running those sites will want to help you out, too.

    Oh, and don't forget to hit the major search engine websites (Google, Yahoo, etc.) and submit your website however they want you to do it, so you're in their system on at least some level. So when people search under the subjects that best describe the content of your forum, sooner or later it will be on the list.

    It's not easy. I've flirted with starting other forums (non Pacers/NBA/Sports related), and I've always walked away thus far because I firmly believe one of the biggest keys to success is to be/have something no one else has, or at least not in the way you have it.

    I have other topics I've been interested in discussing at one time or another, but I've yet to feel I could offer a discussion in a way that wasn't already being made available and handled well some place else.

    If you think you have something like that, make that your sales pitch.

  3. #3
    Member scar's Avatar
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    Default Re: How do you run a successful message board?

    Quote Originally Posted by Hicks View Post
    This quote is hidden because you are ignoring this member. Show Quote
    I had the unique benefit of a well-populated site (Star Forum) with several people up for trying something new at the time, and I was further fortunate that one of the most respected people there at the time (Boston Connection), was kind enough to help me recruit in the beginning to give PD a shot.

    Make no mistake: Luck is always a factor.

    That said, the key is your "core" posters. Who do you look to see if he/she's posted first each day? Focus on these people first and foremost to encourage a culture centered around what you feel is the "right way" of contributing to your board, and that should catch the eye of like-minded people.

    Another thing is to have standards, and stick to them as well as you can. "Anything goes" boards are doomed to be mediocre at best, or utter failures at worst. If there are exceptions, fine, but that's all they are: Exceptions.
    Our board has always been that type of board, where we allow anything. In fact, use to, we had an 18 and older forum. But we never kept good posters. We changed sites thinking that it would be be better to give ourselves a fresh look. Now that you bring that up, I think that might be the dooming part of our culture.

    Along with that: Get at least one or two people to help you moderate that you trust and see eye to eye with. You can't be there 24/7, and you need help to keep things running smoothly and under control.

    To get others to check you out, you can always just spam, but that's not ideal and it's likely to gain you enemies as well. Around these parts, spamming gets you and other sites carry a similar attitude.
    I've had the same moderators for a while, and they do a good job. I also have three fellow admins since I'm not the core owner of the site, although I have free reign to change the site anyway I want, since I'm the only one who actually posts anymore.

    We spammed the wrong site at one point, and got hacked. Ever since then, I've sworn off spamming completely. It's not good for the site, because people will lose respect for the site immediately, and the only posters you get in return are ones that bring trouble with them.

    I think you were wise to come about it the way you have here. You're someone I know, and I'm sure others remember as well, and you're not coming out just screaming, "COME SEE MY SITE WWW.SCARROCKS.COM". That all makes me feel inclined to help you out, which (I think?) can't hurt.

    You have my blessing to put your site's URL in your signature. The only way I see that changing is if upon checking it out I (for some currently unknown reason) despise what I see. Also, as long as your signature is small, I don't care. Just please no banners or huge fonts or that kind of stuff.
    No problem. I have huge respect for this site, and I don't want to be banned, that's for sure, I come here just about as much as I do my site. I just generally reserve posting for my site to try and boost activity as much as I can.

    Moving on, do you frequent other forums on the internet? If so, gently work this in there the way you have here, and see if people want to check you out and maybe the people running those sites will want to help you out, too.

    Oh, and don't forget to hit the major search engine websites (Google, Yahoo, etc.) and submit your website however they want you to do it, so you're in their system on at least some level. So when people search under the subjects that best describe the content of your forum, sooner or later it will be on the list.
    I don't have sufficient funds to actually do this. I'd like to, and I hope that after awhile I will be able to do it. That's a good start, really, really solid advice.

    It's not easy. I've flirted with starting other forums (non Pacers/NBA/Sports related), and I've always walked away thus far because I firmly believe one of the biggest keys to success is to be/have something no one else has, or at least not in the way you have it.

    I have other topics I've been interested in discussing at one time or another, but I've yet to feel I could offer a discussion in a way that wasn't already being made available and handled well some place else.

    If you think you have something like that, make that your sales pitch.
    I hear ya. I'm a huge MMA fan, as well as Bleach (anime) fan. Those two are rarities to find almost anywhere. Most MMA fans believe they know more than you, and it gets pretty ugly pretty fast, and hardly anyone I know watches Bleach, much less reads the manga like I do.

    I don't know about a sales pitch, it was only until recently that I decided I really wanted to fix the site up. Up until now it was okay with us that we stayed small, but after seeing the same posters for 4 years now, I'm wishing we had new blood. I also don't think we have any means to bring new people in, and at the same time, we're always noticing that a Jimmy or Steve has stopped posting and is nowhere to be seen, then find out they went to another board. So that's something I've been thinking about.

    We're trying a culture change, very slow, but sure. We're straying away from threads that do not have anything to do with Sports, as well as trying to tone down on the naughty language, but at the same time, when I tell people that have had the ability to say whatever they want after so long that now they have to watch what they say, they're more inclined to leave. But thank you for your help, I really appreciate it.

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