How can you just... vanish from a forum you run?

Discussion in 'Managing an Online Community' started by cheat_master30, Aug 29, 2016.

  1. cheat_master30

    cheat_master30 Moderator

    Because I've seen this pattern quite a lot. Person sets up a forum, they're active there for a few weeks... and then they just disappear and never get seen again. They're never logged in, they never post, they never do anything on the site. It keeps 'running' in a technical sense (as if on autopilot), but the admin and staff are MIA.

    There's usually not even any activity on social media or sites related to the forum!

    So how does this work?

    How can a forum or site owner somehow keep the site running fine but never decide to visit their own domain ever again? They're not shutting it down or selling it, so they're obviously invested enough to keep the domain and hosting going.

    Yet they just decide that their own site is pointless to visit and don't return to check if it's okay? What's the logic behind this anyway?
  2. Maddox

    Maddox Habitué

    When it comes to people logic flies out of the window lol. I've seen the same situation that you've witnessed and I've often wondered why keep the engine running if you're not going to get in and drive.

    I can only imagine a couple of scenarios:

    1. The owners/staff/mods have abandoned ship and they have more money than sense in as much as they keep paying the monthly fees for hosting, etc.

    2. Depending on the age of the site, it could be that they're contracted for a specified period for hosting, etc and have just left the site to die naturally.

    Personally, I would have put a 'closed' sign up so that anyone visiting would know that the site was dead - but then, logic flies out the window.

  3. GTB

    GTB Tazmanian

    I don't understand why some people keep a site running and are MIA from it all the time. Admin Talk forum has been that way for ages now and recently somebody I know offered to buy the forum and was rejected outright. I could understand them being rejected to buy it - if the forum was showing ads making money, but it isn't doing. And yet the owners are nowhere to be seen on the forum the past 12 months or so... much longer than that really and the site is dead.

    So you'd think they would jump at the chance of an interested buyer coming along
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2016
  4. LeadCrow

    LeadCrow Apocalypse Admin

    Quite easily.

    A. make so much money off a selfpiloting site you neednt bother with the daily routine anymore

    B. be so dissapointed with its performance you wouldnt mister the willpower to visit even by accident. Pretty common for new/small sites, as webmaster's often ponder wether to double down or spend effort on other initiatives/sites.

    C. forego your responsabilities and pretend otherwise. Common on sites that get secretly sold out, to keep up appearances and minimize disruption. A transition can be considered succesful once the original webmaster's absence is demontrated to not have been disruptive.

    Theres a couple other reason behind creating sites not visibly taken care of: creating an online history usable offline as self-made references. Think of it as resume padding.
    A site that eventually grows succesful during or after your ownership has obvious reputation-boosting opportunities, albeit it involves some level of dishonesty. The most common form is acquiring formerly popular sites, rarely the opposite.
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2016
    • Like Like x 1
    • Agree Agree x 1
    • List
  5. LordOfSpoon


    Or it's comes down to the fact of laziness. Some board owners start a forum and within a few months disappear. Some forum owners build up a fairly large site and as the forum reaches a "peak" if you will, they slowly begin to become less active while veteran members of the site keep the site barely alive by talking to each other. You see it all the time. Mostly on forums with subjects who try and copy taz or wht as examples.

    Starting a maintaining a forum is a lot of hard work which can take years to accomplish. Patience is the number one goal. Aside from creating quality content that is :)
  6. Jim McClain

    Jim McClain Senior Citizen

    I fully expect to just vanish from my forum some day. I have lung disease and am already 7 or 8 years past my expiration date. I know that as the disease progresses, I will feel less and less like spending time on my forum. I don't know if I will ever sell it, although I hope I'll at least find someone to leave it to when I die. I don't suppose I will be the first forum admin to die on the job. Maybe you guys hadn't thought of that.
    • Appreciation Appreciation x 5
    • List
  7. LordOfSpoon


    If you don't mind me asking Jim, to which forum do you belong?
  8. LordOfSpoon


    Ah...vB3 loved that software. Nice forum!
    • Appreciation Appreciation x 1
    • List
  9. GTB

    GTB Tazmanian

    True that....

    But I think for some people also. Once they get a forum active and then realise a lot more time is needed spent running it - far more than they maybe first thought having to moderate things, helping keep the forum active as well, e.t.c. Some people soon lose interest realising they just don't have the time needed put into running even a small semi-active forum between working and spending time doing other things.
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2016
  10. Digital Doctor

    Digital Doctor Tazmanian

    People get busy too.
    • Agree Agree x 2
    • Like Like x 1
    • List
  11. Tommy Huynh

    Tommy Huynh Aspirant

    Hey Jim,

    I'm sorry to hear about your health.
    • Appreciation Appreciation x 1
    • List
  12. pierce

    pierce Habitué

    Because after 10 years you just need a break to figure out a new direction.
  13. BrandonSheley

    BrandonSheley loving life

    It's easy.. it's called being busy and putting priorities above running a website.
  14. cpvr

    cpvr Tazmanian Master

    Well, health problems, family issues, jobs offline can also cause an owner to disappear. However, it's his/her forum and if they want to disappear & continue to keep the forum actively running, then I don't see any problem here.
  15. andrew3d

    andrew3d Aspirant


    Sorry to hear about your health.
    • Agree Agree x 1
    • Appreciation Appreciation x 1
    • List
  16. andrew3d

    andrew3d Aspirant

    For many of us it is a hobby. We lose interest, and move on to something else. While we spent far less time on our forum, we know or recognize that other people are still using our forum to communicate. Some of those online friends may not yet have another way to contact one another. That is probably why some forum owners don't just take it down all at once. But I do think it is rude to not have an orderly take down plan. Maybe a notice warning that if anyone wants to keep in touch, they should make arrangements, etc.
  17. BioWarfare

    BioWarfare The uphill battle

    I have my hosting paid annually so in the past I've been allowed to focus on real life issues while my forums were closed or just sat there. Bad mistake of course but when I was working upwards of 60 hours I couldn't find time or creative energy to maintain my forums everyday. Just recently I've gotten back into forums after realizing that I cannot keep focusing on real work for the rest of my life and I need something that I enjoy, like forums. Maybe people are just tired?
  18. Johnny101

    Johnny101 Participant

    Some people don't have what it takes to run a forum either. The former owner of my forum was scared to say anything to the senior admin who was pulling the strings.
  19. Golddisk

    Golddisk Aspirant

    As most people have said various things can cause it. I have had my website running for a few years, but during the summer months my activity on it always drops off due to other commitments I have. While I have tried to set up contingencies to keep it active via other content creators during that period, it never really seems to work out.

    Other sites go inactive because the site doesn't meet the owners expectations so they give up, often early on, while several months of hosting and the domain are still active.
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.