This concept was introduced to me by my Business and Law teacher, under the name of vitamin B, for "Beziehung". Translated, it's Contacts, or Connections. And in the world of an admin, contacts can make a huge difference. Especially in an own niche.
The most obvious example is a break-off forum. For most admins, a Rebel is a nightmare. Because they use this incredibly important factor, the Vitamin C. For a Rebel Leader to be successful, they need to have roots in the community. And (please forgive the many, many comparisons) the more roots, the more dirt (members) they'll pull up when they uproot and transplant. You can see how important Vitamin C is in certain examples where Rebel Leaders completely annihilated a forum by stealing their entire memberbase. I take MTGSalvation as an example, who, over the course of two days, stole almost all of the 3000+ active members of the long-time existing site MTGNews. They were able to do this strictly because the MTGSalvation admin had connections. Lemme explain.
The MTGS admin was a good friend of a massively influential Global Moderator on MTGN. That GM got banned, joined MTGS, and then went back to MTGN to tell everyone what happened. The end result was that a bunch of people got banned, and MTGN bit the dust. It's still active, but it never really recovered.
I suppose the inspiration for this article came from a recent burst in registrations and active memberships triggered by a very popular member from the aforementioned MTGS. When he says something, he has a very large clique who pays attention. Thanks to his activity on my forum and his advertising on his forum, a major boost has come to me.
So, now that you have an example, you may be wondering, how can I use this?
Well, I'll be honest, some of this may seem rather "low-blow"-ish. But one of the top ways to use Vitamin C to your advantage is combating sickness. I mean, leeching members. If you are an active member on another forum that has the same niche as yours (or even if it isn't, if you're a general discussion forum), make sure people know you, and like you. And advertise at the same time! Sig links, or even the odd link in a very content-filled PM. Make sure that other major players at that board know and like you. See my example. You don't even need to make a ruckus. Just make big-name members from their forums join your forum, and others will follow; somewhat like lemmings in a way.
Another perfect way to use Vitamin C is splinter forums. You can imagine how annoying it is for an admin for a member to take some members from his forum and start a new forum. But for the member in question, vitamin C is THE make or break item. If he can get a member from your community who is really popular, active, and/or influential, and get him well-integrated into the site, then that gives them leverage. Because that influential person is going to have people he can move to joining your forum. And so on.
I'd like to conclude my longwinded, preachy article by saying this: even if you try to branch out and make connections, there are a few things to watch out for. Putting too much content on sites of the same niche as you is bad if you neglect your own site for that. NEVER do that. Also, being too obvious about the rebel thing will make your plans worthless, because nobody likes a spammer. And in the worst case scenario, members will spam you back. And they won't be subtle. A forum I used to moderate got people saying hello.jpg because he advertised too much! So watch it!
But in any case. Vitamin C is as important in forums as it is in any other business, perhaps even more so. Word of mouth and respect is everything. Keep this stuff in mind, and you can boost your forum with many new members.
Takes no responsibility for anything, ever,