Why do you start a forum?

Discussion in 'Managing an Online Community' started by Jason5, Jun 30, 2019.

  1. Jason5

    Jason5 Adherent

    I started blogging in blogpost and after joining few forums i got the kick to start a forum myself. I wanted to experience how running a forum would be and maintaining it. But have miserably failed till now (except one incident).

    Why do you start a forum instead of a blog or a small project? Is it due to everyone starting a forum and making money or something different?
  2. Lisa

    Lisa Chaotically Proportional

    For me it's always been about having an interest in something and whatever was available at the time just not doing it for me, so I built my own.
  3. zappaDPJ

    zappaDPJ Administrator

    I found out I was a member of a forum using a nulled vBulletin v2 script. I bought the owner a licence and eventually took ownership of the forum. During that time it became obvious to me that forums had uses that went way beyond general chat so I started some of my own.
  4. LeadCrow

    LeadCrow Apocalypse Admin

    Nurturing a small homely community, built for positivity and stimulating discussion and friendship between people sharing similar interests and able to freely express themselves under pseudonyms.

    Part of the appeal is keeping it small and free from excessive distractions and addiction-generating, privacy-hostile dark patterns. Freedom from the constant 24/7 trickle of notifications and alerts from FB and messaging apps can calso come as a relief.
  5. sbjsbj

    sbjsbj Fan

    I've been a supermod on one of the biggest forums on the internet a long time ago and practically grew up with forums.
    And then years later I developed a hobby and was sad that there is not a single one dedicated community to this hobby on the internet (it is mostly because the hobby targets people who are 45+ years old and many of them don't even know how to use the internet, specially the 60+ generation).

    So I planned for years and collected data/information/stuff to create a community around it. Even though I was aware of that forums were dying at that time and now they are dead, I still play the long-run game. I want to have a website of my own for the following 30 years at least till I die.
    The alternative would have been to go with a static site or Wordpress to serve information, but you can't build around them a community. Facebook and the other stuff is great for building a community, but there you cannot build information. Forums on the other hand can host information and host a community.
    I don't do this for money or for anything in return. Purely non-commercial and a hobby. It is like you want to build a playlist for yourself. Since you build the playlist anyway, you can also make it public and offer it to people. So, since I was planning to enhance my knowledge and skill in this hobby, I thought why don't I do it publicly by building it on a forum software. That way anyone can make a use of it and I might learn new things from them.

    So, unless you already have a very old forum, I only would suggest running a forum if it is part of your identity and you treat it as a hobby. BUT of course it shouldn't be as generic as a "gaming", "football", "movies" etc. forum. It needs to be a niche.
  6. Nev_Dull

    Nev_Dull Anachronism

    This is likely the reason you failed. Starting a forum because you want to run a forum won't work. Neither will starting a forum to make money.

    You start a blog or a website because you have ideas or opinions you want to express to others. You start a forum because you want to share and discuss a particular interest with other, like-minded people. It's really as simple as that: identify what your goal is, then choose the correct vehicle to achieve that goal.
  7. Joel R

    Joel R Fan

    Interesting link to Dark Patterns.

    They're nothing more than behavioral nudges, which in and of themselves can be incredibly useful for user design. Every community manager should reach Nudge by Richard Thaler.

    Simple, small design choices can help nudge users in the right direction.
  8. Nev_Dull

    Nev_Dull Anachronism

    That depends on what you call the "right direction".

    You can make design choices that improve usability by helping users find what they need, correct errors, and complete tasks. You can also make design choices that manipulate users in directions that serve the site's interests.

    I find the former more palatable.
  9. Questlot

    Questlot Aspirant

    I start my forum because I find it interesting participating in forums and beside I also wanted to become a forum admin. The going has been very smooth.
  10. gogoblender

    gogoblender shiny happy pantless

    We needed a place to post and organize our clan for a german tactical game called Ogame



  11. southernlady

    southernlady Coder/Designer

    My latest one was due to extraordinarily heavy handed owner/admins/moderators who banned a whole group of us, some for just being willing to listen. (My husband was banned just cause he was married to me). The owner/admin had it on proboards. I offered a free to her hosting solution that would allow the use of a real domain name. Notice I didn’t say free, but free to her. I also offered to get her going and then step back. She accused me of trying to steal her forum. So she banned me and about 10 others. Once banned, I had an XF forum up and running in less than 24 hours for our particular health group. That was very late Dec 2013. Opened officially 1 Jan 2014

    Btw, her board has virtually disappeared. Averages about 1 new post a month. While mine is not gangbusters, it is slowly growing. We have a core group that keeps it going. The founder group has very limited moderator powers, they are allowed to sticky a post. I have one active moderator, and me. But the core group is very active on keeping me informed of possible problematic posts/people.

    I had run various other forums, mostly small ones over the previous decade 2001-2009. By 2009, all were closed and I was focusing on other things. So stepping back into forum administration was interesting.

    Mine was never about making money but about helping share accurate information about a health subject. Personal opinions are welcome BUT anything grounded in medical fact is required to have studies backing it up.


  12. Joel R

    Joel R Fan

    Just curious. As a health related forum, have you seen your site been able to hold up well over the years in Google search rankings?

    We have multiple forums on IPS that are health related. Some have continued to do well, but a lot have dropped in rankings.
  13. southernlady

    southernlady Coder/Designer

    I don’t worry about google search ratings. Mine’s out there for people to find. I have noticed that for most people, there is some sort of time limit imposed by their brain. While in the pre-op and 2-4 years post op, lots of activity. But as they age up on their surgery, they tend to forget that forums exist.
  14. dojo

    dojo Passionate admin

    Started forums for all kinds of reasons: loved the niche, wanted to earn money, wanted to support the portfolio etc. Right now I started one because I'm still crazy about webmastering and love the medical niche as well. Not to mention I cannot exist without running a forum, it's addictive :D
  15. Jason5

    Jason5 Adherent

    Ha ha ha dojo, same here. Even though i fail or don't succeed much in running a forum i keep starting forums because i love it :)
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