The Admin Zone has a large community of Big Board Administrators that openly share their successes with each other and with the Admin Zone community. The following is an interview with PPNSteve: FORUM BASICS: What is the name of your website and a brief description of the theme/topic of the forums. What is the url? The PokeCommunity (PC) is a fan-based community for ALL fans of the Pokemon Games, TV show, and Trading Cards. Related topics are also included. We have a unique multi-site structure where we operate as the the forum for a group of fan sites. PC's URL is [url="http://www.pokecommunity.com/?referrerid=2]www.pokecommunity.com[/url] List some of the most popular forums and describe its discussions. One of most popular forums is the Diamond and Pearl forum. (one of the latest games out) What prompted you to start your forum? What was your launch date? We wanted to fill a need in the community we serve. It's original launch was in mid 2001 with a relaunch in Aug 2003. Do you have any special forum features or activities? Currently moving towards a more complete social environment. On occasions our staff have special events, contests, etc. SOFTWARE: Which software do you use for your forums? We run the latest build of vBulletin php based community software. Do you use any add-ons scripts to enhance your site? Which ones? We use a varity of add-ons and scripts both generic and custom written to enhance both the users experience and to help out staff do their jobs. Some include special mod tools to manage reported posts, post you tube vids and/or last.fm lists in user profiles, etc. HARDWARE: What is your current server set-up? Do you have multiple servers for your big board forum? Who manages your servers? Our current setup is a quad xeon 2.4 with 4GB ram, running Apache 2.2.8, php 5.2.6, mysql 5.x on RHES3. We do need to move to a multi-server set up however cost is the big issue. We (ummm, me) manages our servers. MEMBERS: Membership stats? How many members? The PokéCommunity Forums Statistics: Threads: 129,764, Posts: 3,867,382, Members: 63,407, Active Members: 15,211 (nothing like hard numbers ) What are the demographics of your site? (Percentage of men, women, age groups, locality related) PC has a primarily male (57%), age 12-17 (47%) with 41% earning $30-60K USD and visits from: United States 50.28%, United Kingdom 10.19%, Canada 5.63%, Australia 5.80%, Netherlands 2.57% with everything else rounding it out. 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. We have 4 main Admins who keep the site up, help with membership drives and design.. Admin's are "member site owners" and are invited to join our community. We then break our staff into various levels. The highest is Staff admin (3) who run the day to day operations, assist admins (4) help run the day2day as well as work with the lower staff for training and solving problems. Next up of the smods (5) or global moderators.. they are responsible for post content and so on.. next are the forum mods (25).. the lifeblood of the community. They run their section, promote events, motivate members and keep our community clean and friendly. REVENUE: How do you generate revenue to cover your expenses? (Ecommerce, subscriptions, advertising, affiliate links, etc) PC currently is using ad based revenue generation (i.e Google, affiliate ads) along with member donations to support our costs. Do you offer upgraded members groups for a fee? What benefits do they get for subscribing/upgrading? We don't REQUIRE any fees, however those that choose to donate, get enhanced permissions, features and other perks. Perks include bigger avatar, more PM space, domain based email, profile album allowing custom images on their profile page and more. ADMIN: What is your name? Steve (aka PPNSteve) 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) Umm, yeah. OK I'm a longtime webmaster and game player. I enjoy mountain biking and nice quiet online chats with friends. 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? Usually plopped down in front of the comp wathing TOP in an attempt to keep the server up and running, lol. The best part is hearing what the users say about the site.. how much they enjoy it. good stuff. We run everything out of the comp room here at the house. Yay for SOHO home offices. What has been the biggest obstacle you have faced in starting or running your forums? How did you/do you handle it? For a while, as we grew a LOT faster than we anticipated, it was funding.. we were going thru shared hosting accounts like candy. We didn't run ads then, so we started including Google adsense to gen some sort of cash to help defray server costs.. What 3 things have helped your forums to be a success? One, is our target genre - very popular. next, I'd say is how unique we are.. with the multi-site concept, we were doing stuff no one else was. And last, but not least, I have to give a lot of credit to our staff, they have done a great job and without them PC would be just another forum lost in obscurity. Thank you Steve! Congrats on the success of your forum!