Phenomenal Women Forums [Big Boards] - Featured Forum

Discussion in 'Featured Communities' started by Kathy, Nov 2, 2008.

  1. Kathy

    Kathy Tazmanian Veteran

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    The Admin Zone has a unique group of members who run large communities known as "big boards. Read on to learn about the community known as Phenomenal Women Forums.




    FORUM BASICS:
    What is the name of your website and a brief description of the theme/topic of the forums. What is the url?

    Phenomenal Women Forums:www.phenomsonline.com

    Phenomenal Women is a private, interactive support site for women. Our main goal is to provide a place for women to unwind and 'let it all hang out', reveal and resolve issues and allow other women to provide support and advice, all aimed at becoming better women. ​

    List some of the most popular forums and describe its discussions.
    Our most popular forum is our off topic chat, where we have our chit chat and "Daily Thread". Every day, the irst member to the board starts a Daily Thread where we have our chats that don't really need it's oown thread, random thoughts, 'good morning, good afternoon, and goodnight' type of talk.

    Our other popular forum is the 'Mommies & Mommies To Be'. A large number of our members have or have had trouble conceiving, and the support and advice given to the members has been phenomenal. Everything from conception to childbirth to breastfeeding, cloth diapering, making baby food, teething, discipline, raising toddlers, children and teenagers is covered. These ladies have built quite the support structure and have proven an unofficial motto that I've had for a long time: "We have been where you are, and we are where you are going. " ​

    What prompted you to start your forum? What was your launch date?
    Phenomenal Women launched in August of 2005. It was a spin off of a challenge on a diet board, one that encouraged self improvement and becoming a Phenomenal Woman, whatever that definition of a phenomenal woman is. I found we just needed more room to breathe and stretch out, and just one thread on an unrelated diet board was not going to cut it. We moved to a temp Phpbb board and with the help of a friend, got space on a shared server, got a new design and a forum license and opened for business. It's been gangbusters every since! ​

    Do you have any special forum features or activities?

    We do have some regular programs we run. Every Spring we do a Spring Fling, which is our usual Spring Cleaning routine and most everyone on the board participates for as long as they need to, to get a handle on their house after winter.

    The fall is an exciting time for us. October brings Halloween and 'Post Your Pumpkin' where we encourage everyone to carve or decorate a pumpkin and post it for the board. November brings our Holiday Challenge as designed by Organized Home, designed to get you through preparing for the holidays without losing your mind!

    We also do a Christmas card exchange and Secret Santa, as well as an annual charity drive. ​

    SOFTWARE:
    Which software do you use for your forums?
    We use vBulletin​
    Do you use any add-ons scripts to enhance your site? Which ones?
    Probably the best and most versatile is GARS. We use that for our Recipe box, our articles, and our Link Directory. We also use vbjournal but I am interested in migrating that to some kind of blog software. ​
    HARDWARE:
    What is your current server set-up? Do you have multiple servers for your big board forum? Who manages your servers?
    We're still on shared hosting. I come out of pocket on PW and I really can't afford much more. I hope to someday be on a dedicated server. We have a LOT of issues related to shared server hosting.​
    MEMBERS:
    Membership stats? How many members?
    I have 192 members, 88 active on average. ​
    What are the demographics of your site? (Percentage of men, women, age groups, locality related)
    We are 100% women, a large number of them in the SouthEast (Florida, Ga), some in Central, a few on the West Coast, and even some overseas. One of our newest members is in Abu Dahbi, and I have 2 members in Scotland and one in Australia. ​
    STAFF:
    Tell us a about your staff including how many admins (and their functions), moderators, mentors, web-developers, etc. Explain how your staff is organized.
    I am SuperAdministrator, with access to all of the admin panel and cpanel access.

    I have 3 Administrators, mostly for coverage but each have tasks that contribute to the board. 2 of my admins mainly handle front of house issues-- moving threads, opening, closing, etc. One of my admins handles new member inquiries and 'discipline'. I'm actually hoping to expand my staff to include moderators once our membership and activity has increased. ​

    REVENUE:
    How do you generate revenue to cover your expenses? (Ecommerce, subscriptions, advertising, affiliate links, etc)
    I have affiliate links but those don't make me much money, as my members aren't big shoppers at the places where I have affiliate partnerships set up, except for amazon during the holidays. I'm considering canceling all of these since the ads are just mucking up my forum skin.

    I also take donations. I'm in the process of trying to determine ways to raise funds for a forum redesign and overhaul. ​
    Do you offer upgraded members groups for a fee? What benefits do they get for subscribing/upgrading?
    I do not. My current members have made it clear they have no interest in anything they have to pay for. After our upgrade, my current most active members may be grandfathered into a premium membership level but new members would have to subscribe once they reach full membership level. That's something I'm working out, we have to upgrade and gain the traffic first. ​

    ADMIN:
    What is your name?
    My name is Dom. ​
    Please share a few things about yourself. (Bio, family, education, background, hobbies, your favorite pizza topping, your favorite vacation spot, your choice of transportation, etc)
    I live in Georgia, I am from the Northwest USA. I'm 34, I am single and live alone. I love to read, hang out with friends and talk, I love documentaries and forensics type shows. My passion is my forum, and providing a positive place of support for women and keeping the board a soft place to land.


    How do you spend a typical day as admin on your site? What do you enjoy about your job as admin of your site/forums? Do you office in your home or in a separate office space away from your house?

    It's the first place I check everyday, just to see what's up and say good morning, check if there's anything to handle. I am in and out throughout the day and handle issues as they come.

    What I enjoy is when a member has a breakthrough or i see obvious change in someone as a result of advice they got or even some tough love. As I said before, I just like being the person that provides the place for them to be themselves.

    I office at home. ​

    What has been the biggest obstacle you have faced in starting or running your forums? How did you/do you handle it?
    My biggest obstacle that I have yet to overcome is lack of technical know how. I really have no clue. Im going to need to bring someone on who understands what works and makes sure we're not wasting space or paying for too much. The other is artistic vision. I'm great with setting things up and maintaining order. Artistically, I'm a moron. I have photoshop and can't figure out how to use it. I'm just not inclined in that way so making a simple banner isn't even something I could do. ​
    What 3 things have helped your forums to be a success?

    1. A GREAT core membership.
    2. Being cognizant of membership needs, when we need to band together, when we need to leave something alone.
    3. ??? I don't really consider us a success yet, more a success-in- progress.


    Thank you Dom and congratulations on the success of your community! Keep up the great work!
     
  2. RetroHousewife

    RetroHousewife Neophyte

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    Howdy I run a Woman's Forum too!

    Just wanted to say hi! My forum is small but growing - I was in forum admin heaven until about a week or 3 ago when the nasty spammer underworld figured out how to get through the phpbb robo-blocker (I had a good 6 month period after I upgraded to V3 where 99.99% of my new members were actually new members...) sigh. Now I'm back to: delete, ban by IP etc.

    How do you keep these turkeys at bay?

    RH

    PS My forum is http://forum.retro-housewife.com/ - can we put urls in these posts? sorry if not.:banana:
     
  3. PoetJC

    PoetJC ⚧ Jacquii: Black Kween of TSSN ⚧

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    Great write-up for PhenomsOnline! Congrats MOKE :) --- Site is looking fine as usual.

    Jacquii.
     
  4. Mommyof2girlys

    Mommyof2girlys Neophyte

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    Hi there! I have been trying to join this forum but the website says my invitation was not accepted.
    vBulletin Message
    Your invitation is either not valid or has already been used.
    That's the message I get! I really wanted to join and I don't understand why it's saying this can someone help please?
     
  5. PoetJC

    PoetJC ⚧ Jacquii: Black Kween of TSSN ⚧

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    I was going to suggest that you use their contact us form, but it's offline. I too tried registering, only to see the message you got.

    It seems either they've disabled registration or their vBulletin install is broken.

    J.
     
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