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Author Topic: How to build a successful forum  (Read 415052 times)

Offline Log On

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Re: How to build a successful forum
« Reply #20 on: September 27, 2007, 11:16:37 AM »
Fatal error: Cannot redeclare getavatars() (previously declared in /home/dannytmu/public_html/Sources/Register.php:596) in /home/dannytmu/public_html/Sources/Register.php on line 754
Well then, let me take your advice and ask friends to join my forum! My site is [link removed], and since we are all in this SMF craziness together, for everyone who signs up on my forum I'll also sign up on yours. no money involved and you don't have to post if you don't want I guess, but atleast we can help each other out.

Make sure to PM me if you sign up though, so I know to sign up at yours.
« Last Edit: September 29, 2007, 07:14:15 PM by metallica48423 »

Offline metallica48423

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Re: How to build a successful forum
« Reply #21 on: September 29, 2007, 07:14:56 PM »
please do not spam links in this thread, the acceptable place to link to your sites is in the Showcase board.

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Offline Mother Goose

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Re: How to build a successful forum
« Reply #22 on: September 29, 2007, 08:24:37 PM »
I have been surfing random forums.. not just smf, and found some things in common... the most active ones are either conflictual and controversial... (I pass LOL) or... they have several systems in place to reward their members for things like.. post quality, photos, recruitment, having a good reputation, and/or for participation in other ways.

These rewards or awards are not easy to achieve! In other words they do not cheapen the value of an award by making it to easy to get one.

With that in mind I just installed this awards mod at my form. http://custom.simplemachines.org/mods/index.php?mod=475  It had some bugs and Alan S fixed it up for me... but I love the end result!! 

Here are some of our awards...

= Post of The Month

= Photo of The Month

= Distinguished Service Award

= Referrals Award, for making 5 new member referrals.

= Reputation-Bronze, for receiving 500 Karma points.

= Reputation-Silver, for receiving 1,000 Karma points.

= Reputation-Gold, for receiving 2,000 Karma points.
 
« Last Edit: September 29, 2007, 08:26:08 PM by Mother Goose »
   

Offline christicehurst

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Re: How to build a successful forum
« Reply #23 on: September 30, 2007, 01:04:58 AM »
Those images are great. My only issue with the mod was how hard it was to find good images for it.
www.brisbanelionsunited.com - A forum for everyone!

Offline Mother Goose

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Re: How to build a successful forum
« Reply #24 on: September 30, 2007, 01:39:03 AM »
Those images are great. My only issue with the mod was how hard it was to find good images for it.

Oh thanks.. I could put together a pack of good quality images for folks.. but don't know what to do with it after that.. as in how to go about sharing it. Anybody? 

Edit to add: I also have mimi icons to go with the larger image and am hoping to be able to add the to folks posting profile, under their Avatars.
       
« Last Edit: September 30, 2007, 01:44:42 AM by Mother Goose »
   

Offline christicehurst

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Re: How to build a successful forum
« Reply #25 on: September 30, 2007, 02:27:40 AM »

Oh thanks.. I could put together a pack of good quality images for folks.. but don't know what to do with it after that.. as in how to go about sharing it. Anybody? 
[/img]

I would like that, a package of good images to add.
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Offline SaintsSoftball

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Re: How to build a successful forum
« Reply #26 on: October 11, 2007, 06:57:02 PM »
is there anyone who can walk Me through building my own forum for My softball team....its a very small community...just want a place for our team to chat with one another....
My email is atlbravos1@aol.com..
just put forum in the subject...I will keep cheing here though

Thank you very Much

Offline Mother Goose

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Re: How to build a successful forum
« Reply #27 on: October 11, 2007, 07:00:46 PM »
I'll help you set up!!!  Just PM me a link.
   

Offline net24

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Re: How to build a successful forum
« Reply #28 on: October 14, 2007, 01:48:47 AM »
Thank u for all. I have build a new forum free by php. Now I want to make an another forum using SMF. Is there any way? I have made a Readers Forum. The address is hxxp:www.areader.org [nonactive]
If you like this please feel free to inform me.
thank you
« Last Edit: November 16, 2007, 01:17:05 PM by net24 »

Offline SlyBaldGuy

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Re: How to build a successful forum
« Reply #29 on: October 26, 2007, 04:10:07 PM »
Like all good websites, content is king.  So make sure your topics and posts are truly genuine. 

I also like the idea of rewarding the most active users, but instead of avatars, I open up new boards for them.  I don't publicize the fact, but word spreads to other members that if they get more posts they eventually get to post up in a "secret" board.

I also like to provide product discounts to members to entice guests to register and post up.  As they get access to "secret" boards they get better discounts.

To help promote the forum, I created avatars and provided code for people to put in their signatures on other forums or on sites like Myspace and Facebook.  This alone has brought a ton of traffic.

Offline Mother Goose

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Re: How to build a successful forum
« Reply #30 on: October 28, 2007, 01:20:24 AM »
That's awesome SBG!  How do you make the avatars and sig codes available to your members? On a Board?
   

Offline SlyBaldGuy

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Re: How to build a successful forum
« Reply #31 on: October 28, 2007, 04:27:02 AM »
That's awesome SBG!  How do you make the avatars and sig codes available to your members? On a Board?

You can do it on a board using the code BBC tag or on a static HTML page outside of the forum like I do.  You can view the avatars at http://www.slybaldguys.com/promote.htm

Here's an example of the code I use on a forum board:

Code: [Select]
<a href="http://www.slybaldguys.com"><img border="0" src="http://www.slybaldguys.com/images/SlyBaldShadowSmall.JPG"></a>
Here's the code if you do it on a static page:

Code: [Select]
<textarea rows="4" cols="48"><a href="http://www.slybaldguys.com"><img border="0" src="http://www.slybaldguys.com/images/SlyBaldShadowSmall.JPG"></a></textarea>
I really recommend that people use static HTML pages or a blog that is separate from their forum.  The search engines seem to like these pages much better.  I use my blog to highlight specific posts or things that I think a relevant to the content of the forum.  Using a blog also allows you to tap into the blogging community to promote your site and thus end up with more members.  Though, it does add more work to keep up a blog and a forum, but it can pay off huge in the end.

Offline Mother Goose

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Re: How to build a successful forum
« Reply #32 on: October 28, 2007, 02:59:37 PM »
Thank you very much SBG!  You are the third person this week to suggest that I do a blog as a way for bring in more members.

Asking forum members for blog submissions and giving them awards for doing so was another good idea towards that end. Looks like I better get busy. LOL
   

Offline SlyBaldGuy

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Re: How to build a successful forum
« Reply #33 on: October 28, 2007, 03:16:30 PM »
Thank you very much SBG!  You are the third person this week to suggest that I do a blog as a way for bring in more members.

Asking forum members for blog submissions and giving them awards for doing so was another good idea towards that end. Looks like I better get busy. LOL

You're welcome Mother Goose!  If you need a blog software, I recommend Serendipity (S9Y.org) or Wordpress.

Offline christicehurst

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Re: How to build a successful forum
« Reply #34 on: October 29, 2007, 01:56:59 AM »
Word Press is the way to go
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Offline Mother Goose

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Re: How to build a successful forum
« Reply #35 on: October 29, 2007, 08:01:20 PM »
You guys are great!! Thank you!

I am still trying to get those awards set up to be available christicehurts! I haven't forgotten. I just have to learn a new computer trick and it's doesn't help that I'm on an iMac or that I'm lysdexic. LOL I'll get there.

SBG.. please feel free to post the link to my graphics page for your forum members to use as well. In fact, any one else is free to do the same..  Mother Goose Story Time

There are Avatars, sig images and smiley sets. More arriving all the time.
   

Offline Mother Goose

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Re: How to build a successful forum
« Reply #36 on: October 30, 2007, 01:22:11 AM »
SBG.. I *had* to make this for you. You are aware of course, that Bush has a bald guy fetish? LOL
(I can resize it of you want.. but it's mostly just for fun. )

   

Offline christicehurst

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Re: How to build a successful forum
« Reply #37 on: October 30, 2007, 04:48:33 AM »
That's ok Mother Goose, my forum is on Beta so it'll be a while before things are stable.
www.brisbanelionsunited.com - A forum for everyone!

Offline SlyBaldGuy

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Re: How to build a successful forum
« Reply #38 on: October 30, 2007, 05:22:34 AM »
SBG.. I *had* to make this for you. You are aware of course, that Bush has a bald guy fetish? LOL
(I can resize it of you want.. but it's mostly just for fun. )




That's Mother Goose!  That's great!  I'll check out your forum for some new smilies for SBG.

Offline Gwion

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Re: How to build a successful forum
« Reply #39 on: November 22, 2007, 07:31:41 AM »
Plenty of good information to find here.
Mother Goose, that's a nice idea.
SlyBaldGuy is right too - content is king.

The lesson I learned is that a forum takes time. Time to get going (if ever :)  ) and a lot of your time. It is at least as time consuming as running a website at least in the beginning. I have seen many people starting one just because a website must have a forum and don't give it more thoughts or time. The results are dead boards often spammed to death ..

My advice would be - only offer and run a forum if you have the time to maintain it and most important to build up the community.
Then check out other boards with the same subject (e.g. a tv show or football etc.) and compare - if they are successful (and the number of members alone is not that important - look at the number of posts per day) what do they offer. Which content are must-haves, what would work for your own board, what can be found on every board so it is completely boring to have it too and what would be new and interesting for users.

Something else I would think about - the use of board speech. It is quite difficult to find a balance here because some board-lingo creates a feeling of community but newbies or potential users will not spend a long time looking at a forum and decide whether they like it or not - if they get the feeling they can't navigate there, don't understand the category names etc. they will probably leave.
E.g. if the category titles in a Star Trek board are allusions to episode titles it can still be confusing for a new member or a potential member to e.g. find out where to find news. On the other hand, just naming the categories "news", "episode discussion" etc. is a bit boring and will not distinguish your board from other Star Trek ones or the zillions others.

Another difficult thing which however should be decided in the beginning is how strict you want to rule your board - every forum has rules and lawbreakers will face consequences but it is up to you to decide how much a rule can be bent.
Example: if you have the rule that chat or sms style is not welcome in posts you will not only have quite some work in watching over posts, you will also have to decide what is sms or chat style and what not.

I have also seen people begging strangers to become mods in their forums - this is so pathetic. I strongly recommend to pick moderators (if you really need them) from your own community - usually becoming a moderator is a kind of big reward but these people should also understand that they have new obligations too with that "promotion".