With the recent news of The Simpsons Ride, The Simpsons Movie and The Simpsons Game, there's quite a lot happening.
The same is true online as well, with the increasing number of SMF Simpsons Related forums. You would think that people would join those forums and start posting right?
Well guess again.
The owners of those forums are actually flamed, for creating said forum. Here's why:
First, they dont have a good theme. Which I think for most forums will require a nice custom theme, this could mean that you can go to the theme site (http://custom.simplemachines.org/themes) and download a theme, which in Simpsons Community, most people do. But when it comes to something like this, where the expectations of what a good site or forum is, is so high, anything that looks even anything like a default anything, you'll get flamed for lack of effort. You actually have learn how make a theme or code a design.
Second, there isnt any goddamm point! Especially with the Simpsons. There are now only two Simpsons related forums that are actually surviving. The No Homers Club and Multi Talk 2. (though the latter is rather broad in subject), those two pretty much cover everything in the Simpsons. NHC has over 1 million posts, and the second is reaching 100,000. If one doesn't have something, the other will.
Third, the new forums all use SMF For Free, and in the Simpsons anything with forced ads is bad news for the forum owner for being too cheap to purchase hosting. (This isnt a knock on SMF For Free, but it is a common host we see)
So really what's the point of this blog? The thing is really that you should study your audience, is there a forum or two already in your subject that is doing well? If so, is there any point in creating a new one?
Also, you have to spend money to make your site look good, don't rely on a free hosted version will do the trick. Using a domain name makes your forum look all that bit more professional.
DON'T use the default theme! What's the point of showing SMF what it's made of you don't make use of how it can be customised? Make a theme of your own and make it unique, there are plenty of people here who can help you make a theme of your own from graphics to template changes to even implementing mods into themes. Myself included.
Doing your studies before anything goes too far into development will go an extremely long way and provided you make all the right punches, your forum can turn out to be great. Because if you don't it could easily back-fire on you and give yourself a bad image.
I hope that this advice will help newer users who are looking to create a forum of their own.
You should've posted this 5 months ago :P, when I started my forum.It not only helps in Simpsons forum but also in running a general community.Anyways I realized those things a bit latter lol.
Copying the 'theme' in creating a simpsons board is one thing.
But my previous forum which had over 1million posts itself was always being copied (right down to the forum names, membergroup levels, and copies of my images). Usually by a new member to my forum who saw how many posts/topics/members and thought within the space of a month they could have a buzzing community to rival it.
Fortunately for me I didnt worry. Firstly, they linked to loads of my topics (good from a seo/pagerank point of view/bringing in guests) and I wasnt too bothered, as they usually lasted a month or so.
So ALM, it might not be too bad for you after all.