New Forum - Seed Members

Discussion in 'Chit Chat' started by Michael Chunn, Apr 25, 2017.

  1. Michael Chunn

    Michael Chunn Neophyte

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    I'm new to this forum and also new to starting my forum. Sorry if this has been answered somewhere else but what is the best methods you have found to get the initial set of members to get the new forum started?
     
  2. zappaDPJ

    zappaDPJ Administrator

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    You need to create content that people want to read. If you can get friends, relatives and like-minded people to help you out with that, so much the better.
     
  3. Maddox

    Maddox Habitué

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    This the magic bullet that every admin is searching for - it's a simple question but the answer can be very deep and complex. The biggest obstacle is, and always will be, competing against Social Media sites such as Facebook and Twitter (et-al) and also against established forums that encroach on your niche.

    zappaDPJzappaDPJ is correct in that you need content that people want to read, but not just read, they also need to be inspired to respond and ultimately contribute; that's a big ask in this day and age. People want in and out quickly and forums, sadly, don't generally cater for that type of activity.

    Perhaps if you could give a few more details on what your forum will be about, it would help to narrow whatever advice may be available.

    ;)
     
  4. sb1962

    sb1962 Adherent

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    My last forum I did was opened to a group of hardcore experts in the field who added a mass of content over a period of about 2 months pre-launch. In return they are labelled as founder members & have subscribers rights for life. I let them invite other people for pre-launch membership in the last few weeks. We had masses of content on launch day.
     
  5. bigpapapascarab1

    bigpapapascarab1 Aspirant

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    what people mean when they say "post lotsa content" they mean write articles centering around your niche everyday. That's what i have been doing. its helps seo results (search engine optimization) so for example if your site is about motorcycles write articles about motorcycles or review motorcycles etc that way google will start indexing the site due to the knowlede about the subsject.

    I apologzie for sounding mean but if your site is about gaming you probably won't get any members due to the niche being oversaturated so its best to erase everything and make a forum about something you know that is unique that can't be found elseware. i hope that helps pm me if you need help.

    again im sorry to sound mean but i can't lie to you.

    good luck with your site.
     
  6. Shin Ryoku

    Shin Ryoku Fan

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    I think a lot of forums start with a small group of members who were together somewhere else (another forum, a Facebook group, etc) and found that other place suboptimal in some way. Trying to start completely fresh is very difficult and requires either a unique niche, a lot of article writing, or both.
     
  7. Zero Numbers

    Zero Numbers Adherent

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    The idea that social media is an obstacle and forums are competing with them is a false perception. Social Media and Forums have their differences. Forum websites do have competition among each other.

    I'm sure many people here know about SEO. There is something you can do to enhance that cause. Most of the forum world has trouble because they don't know the tactic and strategy to making quality threads. Ways to orchestrate user content. Content is made by posters. This is a reason why discussion threads often go bad. Far too often people will do things in a way that doesn't foster a discussion.

    Owners and Admins are as good as their community makes them. People will want to feel like they have a reason for being on a forum. If they feel like their effort is going to be wasted they won't bother.
     
  8. Maddox

    Maddox Habitué

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    It's not just about content that people want to read, but also want to discuss - there are many people who are happy to consume (read) but do not want to interact (contribute) - this disussion can become increasingly circular with different people having an opinion as to whether social media is to blame; but the reality is that social media is flourishing whilst forums are not. And please don't point me at boards that have been around for a millenia with 1000's of members and millions of posts; they are the execption and not the rule - you only have to look at the monumental graveyard of forums out there that are dead in the water. People who are genuinely inspired to start a forum are starting out with a huge disadvantage and it's unlikely that their efforts will reap the rewards that they aspire to.

    It's crap, and I dislike the whole situation, but the reality is there in front of us and no matter how much effort, how much money, how much time is ploughed into making a new forum with interesting content, if people do not want to interact and are happy to go about their banal little lives on FB and Twitter then there is little anyone can do to address the issue.

    That doesn't mean we have to give up, or cease trying, just that we have to wake up and smell the coffee and realise that what we do is not going to set the world on fire. That time has long passed; sadly.

    :)
     
  9. CyberJoe

    CyberJoe Participant

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    Such a difficult question, and thing to handle.

    I can talk from two experiences.

    An automotive forum that existed, the forum owner had no interest in it, it was overrun by spam and fighting. One morning we all woke up, log in and it was down with DB errors, 3 days later it was still the case, the next day I launched in opposition, that was Sep 2006, now still growing with 15-30 members daily and going strong. It was, however, a bit of an "unfair" start as I had the experience as a user, knew what the users did not want, knew what caused the fight and put rules in place from day one for that.

    Then the second one, very large and very active business forum. The owner for some obscure reason decided to close it down, we decided to launch, but we waited too long, cannot remember the time period but more than a month. This was 2010, this site is still online, but essentially dead. I am still trying to figure out how to blow life back into it.

    I have been toying with another forum idea, mainly because I own licenses for VB4 for sites that are no longer operational, but the question raised above, how to get it started is exactly what has been keeping me from doing it.

    Social media (Facebook) to a certain extent is killing the forum business, although lately, I see a new trend of users moving away from Facebook, back to the forums. A big factor that we must never lose sight of is that Facebook posts are instant, viewed by many, and gone as quickly as it appeared. There is no history, no search structure, you cannot use it to research a topic with posts going back 10 years etc. I just hope at some point those users using Facebook groups and pages for serious topics will realise that the content they are so happily contributing is just disappearing into a black hole!
     
  10. Num7

    Num7 Adherent

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    Bringing life to a starting (or returning) community is super tricky. I brought a community back to life a few years back, but I couldn't even explain clearly how I did it. I took a hell of a lot of work and time to reach a decent level of activity. It eventually worked... (Thank God!)

    I don't know what your site is about, but I guess the classic first step works most times: Keep posting unique content that's worth discussing. You wanna be the authority in your niche.

    When you're starting to have a decent amount of content, then you start to bring in the visitors. Interact with people on social networks, make them discover your people's work. Post in Google+ groups, post with your signature in similar forums, etc. Hey, put your forum in your signature on here, man! Who knows how many folks will check it out and perhaps join or return some day. Invite your friends. Be active in your niche, etc.

    People will discover your site. Some will join and take part in the discussion.

    That's how I'd start. It's hard and time-consuming, but it usually works. And it feels great when it does!
     
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