Rebuilding a dead forum from scratch

Discussion in 'Managing an Online Community' started by ripptech, Oct 2, 2018.

  1. ripptech

    ripptech Professional Lurker

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    so here's the backstory:

    A couple of years ago a relatively popular forum that I was aware of, but not involved with at all, shut down for lots of reasons. The domain expired, fell into the hands of spamming dirtbags, and now I got it back just today.

    Several people who were involved with it, are members on my site, and have lamented its demise ever since it happened. There are no backups to be had (I've asked around, a lot) but I think if we got the word out, and the former members are interested, we could rebuild it from scratch and make it um, err, great again or something.

    Anyone ever done something like this and how did you go about it? Just a matter of getting the word out via word-of-mouth? There are pages from the old site available in archive.org and I will try to mine those for any contact info that I might invite people back with... Am I foolish to think that it could be done?
     
  2. bernard

    bernard Enthusiast

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    It's possible depending upon circumstances. If the former community was really tight, they might have networked with one another via email or Facebook. It's possible that word could spread enough to rebuild a critical mass of core members.
     
  3. LeadCrow

    LeadCrow Apocalypse Admin

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    How large and old was that forum you mentioned?

    It can absolutely be done. Rebooting a forum should be seen as an opportunity to reconnect with its backbone, and give everyone an equal chance to shine there, free from the legacy of a forum lorded over by users with the biggest postcount or egos.

    First, consider how much of the content was 'timeless' in the first place (as in, not epehemereal discussion of the day - unique articles, research, content that's still interesting to read 5 years later. That's worth republishing one way or another), and how many users really led the bulk of activity. If you could get just 30 users back, it wouldn't take long to bring that forum back into bigboard territory.
     
  4. ripptech

    ripptech Professional Lurker

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    archive.org dates it from 2002-late 2015, with >500k posts at that time. I So wish we could find a backup, but it is what it is. There were several sections that (today) I would turn into resource categories in XF, so the possibility of repopulating the "cornerstone" stuff exists. So far most feedback I've gotten from the old users is positive, Some not, but whatever.

    Just the domain alone carries a ton of relevant backlinks and domain links... so if nothing else I can use that in some manner.

    Lesson learned: keep tabs on other sites out there. You might miss big opportunities! If I had been paying attention and noticed it was closing down, things could have been different!!
     
  5. mysiteguy

    mysiteguy Devotee

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    A copy of a site from archive.org can be obtained through crawling. I've done it, and it wasn't fun, but it did get done.
     
  6. ripptech

    ripptech Professional Lurker

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    well, I started it up, and already have 25 members and hit 721 page views yesterday. time will tell, but so far so good for almost 3 days up.
     
  7. hellasteph

    hellasteph Tech Scum

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    Wow, this thread is super helpful. Thanks so much for sharing!
     
  8. Oldsmoboi

    Oldsmoboi Fan

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    Which forum is this?
     
  9. ripptech

    ripptech Professional Lurker

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    starts with olds and ends with power.... ;)
     
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