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Branding and directing your forum's future.

Started by christicehurst, November 26, 2007, 11:15:33 AM

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November 26, 2007, 11:15:33 AM Last Edit: November 26, 2007, 11:18:54 AM by christicehurst
Nearly evey topic in this board has been about startng up your forum, getting n members and building up content. So what about for the Admin guys like myself who is past that stage of "stating out". What happens next when you do build your membership and post collection to a point where you are happy. The next stage is branding and directing your forum to the future. Making sure that can review each year and make decisions on the success's and failures. Below is the 2007 Review of my forum Writersmuster. It's the second year and the forum has experineced good growth and good success through measures that I have taken during the year.

QuoteIt's been a long and productive year. I'm glad to release this review of Writersmuster after a year that has seen the forum mature. As people know I'm a stats rat and looking at how well 2007 did, I was pleased to see numbers on the way up. Posts increased by over 2000 for the year. New topics doubled and membership rate grew as well. People are also viewing the forum more often, a massive jump from 310 000 to 715 000, it should break past the million mark for next year. The figures show we are on the right direction and that we have done very well. We broke in October our posting record f over 3300 a massive achievement to have. This month for November we have hit our biggest membership rate in over a year, yet we are just still growing.

Our biggest success has been on WM of new members and how they have shaped the forum. We have met many new writers this year and with that we have increased and taken a more professional showcase of the boards. WM promotions have been good this year as I have searched across SMF, other writing sites and building contact at Deviant Art. Even MySpace brought he likes of Amy and Fireditto. We have opened up a bookstore for our own books to be sold and the profits will be used to help keep WM running and other promotional costs. The new YouTube page has had lukewarm success and will be built on next year. I have learnt a lot as a Admin too this year, I have been far more relaxed this year about getting people to post and I think that has paid off in time. Of course I still spit the dummy on some issues but I'm very passionate about writing and try to bring the best out of writers and create activity in the forum which in turn people enjoy.

With success there comes a degree of failure. One of them was the RPG section, which twice was tried and both have failed. A lack of knowledge of how the system worked, confusing storylines and the lack of members was the key reasons why it never took off. Also we had the issues with Hunter and how it fell apart in the end. Each issue and problem we have at WM we have learnt to deal with better. All parties learn lessons and move on. The start of the year with the lack of posts and some poor membership made WM hard to promote. It was a terrible drought and I hope it doesn't happen again. One major flaw in WM is the lack or in some cases no replies from stories and poems from writers. A lot of writers who I won't name tend to milk the system. They post all of their stories and poems, get the replies they want and then disappear from the forum. Many writers either do not understand or care about giving back to the forum by helping out your fellow writer. This is quite disheartened when Writersmuster is about giving and sharing with others.

2007 has a strong year with a number of members joining the ranks and we hope to see how they fare for next year. So what is happening next year you may ask? Quite a lot I will say. The WM08 project will continue as the only feature left is the new theme design and the return of Tiny Portal next year. Our motto for 2008 is "Retain and Grow". To retain the current members and writers we have and to grow into new fields and bring in more members for 2008. To retain the current features of the Anthology program and grow the YouTube program. To grow our writers membership pool and increase editing and brainstorming. To grow with the new theme and the new features that will add over the coming next year. My direction with promotion is to reach older writers. There are too many student writers who don't have the time to be active all year long. This doesn't help the forum. We are also doing this to add experience to the style and flair that our young writers have to offer.

We are going to build a MySpace page to promote Writersmuster and help bring in more members. As said before we found two great writers in only two days of promoting there. Imagine if we gave a month of promotion. I want to brand Writersmuster with the Anthology series who I must mention the hard work and undying achievements of Meryum who has been a cornerstone in success for this year. She is a complete member who partakes in every area of the member all year round. A model of what every member should reach up to. I also plan to release news of the forum in a universal matter unlike other forum boards on the internet. Meaning it will be released on our MySpace, Deviant Art, SMF Forums and other outlets. A Deviant Art page will be made too under the Writersmuster banner to reach out and explore illustrators. All of this will be done in due course. There is a possible chance for a member to control and help on each of our outlets. We want members to post their favorite YouTube videos so we can add them and you can release your own video blogs and discussions on life and writing classes online to help others.

Writersmuster has always been about enjoying your writing and helping you achieve the goals you have set out in life with the pen. We are entering our sixth and busiest year to date. Our successes will be built on. Our failures will be learnt from. These are the core values of an Admin who seeks to improve not only the forum and the writers but myself as well. As we look to 2008 I ask you the members who areas do you believe can be improved on? What ideas do you believe we can grow from? How can we retain our culture and yet grow into new areas of writing and promotion? As the true heart and soul of the forum, the members are always needed to input their voice and reason, to help retain and grow their experience from Writersmuster. The year is nearly over but the days of growth and writing are just the beginning.

I use mottos to outline what the forum will be doing or the next year. Witersmuster is set to retain membership and grow the forum through more members, stories, poems and features to enhance what each member can do. Admin needs to choose realistic goal settings that are challenging but not impossble or unreasonable to reach during the year.

Outline and discuss the highs and lows of the forum during the year. Be honest about your own performance as a Admin, say what you did right and say when you make mistakes or in my case "spat the dummy". Dscuss about issues that affect members and goals that will interest them.

Apart from branding the forum, you need to set it apart fom the other forums. Writersmuster has publishing books in waiting and not many forums can do that because we have a vast amount of talented writers. Think about the subject title that your forum address's and researchways to "break the mold" for your forum.
Remember by branding and directing your forum's future. You can really move forward and build on the past success. Your successes will be built on and your failures will be learnt from. Learn from your forum and grow with it too.
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