Key mistakes new forum owners make
#1
I thought it might be good to compile a basic list of mistakes forum owners should avoid when starting new sites. Feel free to add to it.
  • Choosing a saturated niche This is a key one. Your chosen niche can be a make or break for your forum. If you choose a niche which is over saturated with similar forums, there's no incentive to use yours.
  • Expecting users to create all your content This is another biggie. To get your site off the ground, you need to have content to draw users. New admins often think that content will come with users and while this is true, you need content to draw those new members.
  • Being afraid to spend Others may disagree, but I strongly believe that you get out of your site what you put in. Spend the $20 or so on a premium theme, create a nice logo, get some proper advertising. All of these things can help your site in the long run as well as to get it started.
envira and Aniruddh like this post
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#2
One of the biggest mistakes in my opinion is, that many owners have a lot of sections on their forum, more than the activity can support. With only a few or no posts in each section, the forum looks much more inactive than it is.
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#3
Yes absolutely true,agree with you Euan.
Every one or the other , are inspired fro either Hf and make a hacking/monetizing forum or else make a Gaming forum.
These 2 niches are always found among the first pages of MyBB Showcase always.
A few websites based on MyBB say 5% are surviving longer and rest are dissolving after a period of 6 months to 1 year.
A good Domain , a theme may be free or paid which can be customized would hep the websites to progress.
Adding to the above problems, the social networks these days are badly killing the forums to some extent .
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#4
(03-04-2013, 01:39 PM)Aniruddh Wrote: One of the biggest mistakes in my opinion is, that many owners have a lot of sections on their forum, more than the activity can support. With only a few or no posts in each section, the forum looks much more inactive than it is.

Ah yes, that's definitely a mistake many admins make. It's so easily avoided too.

(03-04-2013, 01:56 PM)envira Wrote: Yes absolutely true,agree with you Euan.
Every one or the other , are inspired fro either Hf and make a hacking/monetizing forum or else make a Gaming forum.
These 2 niches are always found among the first pages of MyBB Showcase always.
A few websites based on MyBB say 5% are surviving longer and rest are dissolving after a period of 6 months to 1 year.
A good Domain , a theme may be free or paid which can be customized would hep the websites to progress.
Adding to the above problems, the social networks these days are badly killing the forums to some extent .

Social networks are killing forums to an extent, but I think a lot of blame is levied on this issue when it can be fairly easily overcome if admins and developers are willing to make changes which may sometimes be seen as radical and different.
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#5
Agree on the developers aspect i surely agree to make the software compete in aspects of networking features.
The changing world and people demand the user user interaction more, which is much limited in terms of a forum and a +1 for that in networks.
I really am happy that you and few fellow developers are making things easy and enhancing the software with your awesome codes Happy
Thank you buddy.
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#6
Social networks are killing generalized forums. If you want to talk about what's killing niche forums, I would suspect it's more likely comments sections on news sites like The Verge. People aren't necessarily close friends with people who have the same interests as them ... I don't talk about clothing or MyBB that much on Facebook, for example.

I think one of the key mistakes people make is actually creating a forum in the first place. Let's be honest – the world hardly needs more of them, so if you're not bringing anything new to the table, why bother?
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#7
+1 brad, gaming is niche that as become quite popular and you can see a new gaming forum coming up every day and one going down every day.
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#8
Another thing I see often is that the communities have rules, guidelines, terms, etc. where they are longer than most of their topics. I doubt anyone reads or cares about the rules. "don't use foul language, don't post in wrong forum, don't spam or don't copy content from other sites" - people know what is right or what is wrong. People will still be people and do that, no matter if it is written rules or not.
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#9
Rules are written to have something to fall back on. It's pretty clueless to tell a member off for something they have done "wrong" without having any written guide somewhere that explains it.

Anyway the obvious ones have still been said. I think there is still a place for forums though, and unlike brad I don't think you have to bring something new to the table as such, but perhaps something improved. When I launched WWE Forums, we had a number of competitors in the million+ post-count range, and I was still confident that we could be a success. Why? Those forums were ran all on the same software, they all looked boring, they all lacked a community-feel, and were all a place to get flamed/shat on for no reason. I like to think that's the improvement I've made on my forum that got it to where it is.
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#10
  • Making a forum because you have the software to make a forum.
    - totally backward thinking, but sadly very common. Too many forums are made as a first step in coding and should never be allowed off localhost
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