Discussion in 'Managing an Online Community' started by CarpCharacin, Nov 2, 2016.
I was guilty of that too, but I am working on building my site now.
The goal of my question was such that I wanted Carp to explain his position instead of simply putting it as fact that doesn't need more substance as he usually does. I was interested in the reasons for his opinion and how he would present them. I am sure the discussion would benefit from it
This is sound in my opinion. A good way to grow a small network is to have 1-2 sites you can focus a lot of energy into. As each site grows enough to where the traffic maintains itself and grows with less effect, then start another site. I made the mistake myself of putting too many irons in the fire and it's incredibly difficult to make it work and still maintain a life outside the forums. LOL, even I didn't follow my own advice, and I've learned my lesson. I have narrowed my focus the past year or so, getting back to basics on a smaller number of sites and it's working. That means a couple of sites I launched died completely but those I kept have been doing much better as a result.
I originally had 2 vb sites that I was mainly just tinkering with the software in and I shut those down to focus on one.
I am lucky to have 2 busy sites.
And I emphasis lucky.
Having a network is nice. So is having a life. So if you have one busy website, be happy that your ahead of 95% of other websites.
The guy who I talked has a network
Whatever. Nameless people are ghosts and their opinion doesn't matter.
I'm sure he is reading this
Good, he can say it here if he has something to contribute.
But I'm old enough to have heard the exact same things over and over and over.
Now I call it out when I see it.
So far your friend circle seems to manipulate you constantly, while the members here try to beat sense into you.
If pierce is anything, it's straight forward, that's for sure!
Try to run too many and you can't ever get things done. Cut my list down tremendously and finally made progress on things.
at one point probably had 20 or so branched off into niches, running on auto pilot (randomizing content) and lacked a certain quality that comes with a personal touch. you could also tell they weren't updated enough and I didn't hire content producers for them.
no point in running sites that you can't put ample time into, can't hire out with quality updates/content, or can't automate with quality updates/content.
should really focus on doing your site, having fun with it, and ask less questions in which the answer doesn't really matter nor help you.
forums need a spark or a revolution, and there's an entire thread on this already, but if that's what you want to do and enjoy, then do it. if you can get it to work, then that's even better.
success is measured by three things - the amount of money you earn with something, and the amount of joy that you get from doing it, and the effect you have on the users by giving them an enjoyable product or experience. If you can nail at least two of those three and at least break even - then you'll be fine.
if you hate your site, then quit.
if you're losing money, then quit.
if people hate the product, then quit.
and start over.
you have to define what you mean by successful and what you mean by dying
Forums should be created to serve a purpose or fulfill a need / help provide a solution for it's members. If it does that, then it should be considered successful regardless of how many posts or members the forum has With exception of 0 additional members and no posts of course
Don't you mean "hoped for" members?
That's like my Linux site.. to me it's successful because I use it. If others do also, then it's icing on the cake.
I have a client who sold a 12,000,000+ post board for over a million dollars only a few months ago. Since then - he has proceeded to invest in 2 big boards with millions of posts with 1000s of members producing 1000s of posts per month. He has just purchased another board that has 1,220,000 posts. At any time this forum seems to have 1000+ visitors with 100s of registered users logging in daily, 100s of new users registering on a weekly basis. I'm working on transferring it to his own server and will likely be converting it to Xenforo in the coming days.
I think if you'd ask him if forums are dying, he'd definitely say no. I think if you ask anyone who makes a substantial living running forums if forums were dying, they'd likely tell you no as well.
I think what happens a lot is that new forum owners go into "the forum game" with the thought that theirs will become internet gold. When this doesn't happen -- whether because of lack of motivation in getting members active, or lack of regularly gaining new members, or something as mundane & common as simple lost interest in the project or for whatever assortment of reasons -- they close their forums down, calling it a loss, thinking that forums are actually dying when that may not be the case at all.
Fact is ... The internet is booming and will continue to thrive as far as I can tell. Therefore - forums with motivated ownership will continue to thrive as well.
Look at this chart. https://www.google.com/trends/explore?date=all&q=forums
Notice the slide starting in 2009/2010?
doesn't mean much add term facebook and if you interpreted it your way facebook would be in decline
It kind of still flat lines forums. But do people really need to Google Facebook?
i think success is relative to the niche, i run the most active forum in my niche for a private group, more active by a huge margin, in that regard it's a "success", however the posts are only 300-1000 a day, (all on topic as we have no off topic), we've been going for 5 years this December with a 90% member retention rate, however looking at forums as a single commodity it's far from a success compared to larger forums.
It provides a service for the niche that site slike facebook, reddit etc never could, going head on with the big sites is like tossing yourself in front of a moving bus, sure it sounds cool, but you will come off worse than the bus, the way to avoid "forum death" is to provide content that people want to interact with.
On my roleplay site for example we have a Game of thrones "inspired" roleplay, with over 1000usd of custom xenforo addons made for it by a member who is a developer, over 100 unique graphics/images, house contributed by a professional graphic designer who is part of the game too.
Facebook in this example doesn't have those immersion features, however if i tried to compete as a general chat or video game news site FB would bury me