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Thinking of giving up.

Started by shinglis, July 30, 2022, 02:43:09 PM

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shinglis

OK, I run a small football club forum. A reasonable amount of members but I guess the standard problem of only a small number of posters. I'm thinking of giving the forum up as not sure I can dedicate the time anymore but probably just feeling a little deflated regards the current limited use of the forum.

I'm thinking of one last attempt to promote more posters by emailing all the current members. Good idea or not?

Also, I'm assuming I can draft the email offline and then use the admin tools to message all the members ? or an alternative package I should consider - I don't issue any updates or newsletters at present so this would be a first.

Doug Heffernan

Quote from: shinglis on July 30, 2022, 02:43:09 PMI'm thinking of one last attempt to promote more posters by emailing all the current members. Good idea or not?

I think that is a good idea. Another thing would be to add new content that your members will find interesting and make them be more active.

It is tough nowadays with the forums. I wish you good luck.

Steve

I hate to be a downer but I'm not going to lie to you. I've run my forum for 20 years so I do have experience in what I'm talking about.

If you don't feel committed to your forum anymore (especially if you're thinking you don't have the time to devote to it), then it's going to go under no matter what you do. Forums take time and work to keep them interesting, especially these days as Doug said.

My experience has been that once all members are emailed, some show up, post for a short while, then are gone again.

I wish you better luck.
DO NOT pm me for support!

shinglis

Thanks for the messages. Totally understand in today's social media world and especially Facebook groups it's very difficult to maintain a forum.

It's the start of a new season so going to give it a try, I enjoy the technical challenge and really want the forum to continue and provide that alternative for users from the Facebook world. Interesting to note that my associated Twitter account has a higher number (approx 3x) than members so I do believe the membership and interest are there just have to somehow get them from visiting to more interaction.

I started using the "post as" package to make it look like information coming from different sources when starting posts which may or may not help.



AlanDewey

If you have not used the forum to email all your members for a few years (or never) you should validate the email addresses before you do.

"Validate email" is where they are searched for known closed/discontinued/invalid email addresses.

Why ?  Because if a few percent of the emails are to invalid addresses, you can get marked as a possible spammer, which yo do not want.

I took over a 20 year old forum which had never used the newsletter function.   I exported all the email addresses and submitted them to www.mailgun.com    It returns a report telling you which address are known to be good, known to be bad, and 'unknown.'   Then I used that report to manually search members by email address.  The ones known to be bad, I changed their profile (if necessary) to check the box so they would not get newsletters.

Then sent out newsletters.

As Steve said, above, I got many hundreds of visits over the next week, but a month later it was back to the same level of interest as before.
Causing lots of electrons to push each other around since 1985.

shinglis

QuoteIf you have not used the forum to email all your members for a few years (or never) you should validate the email addresses before you do.

"Validate email" is where they are searched for known closed/discontinued/invalid email addresses.

Is this a forum admin function or external tool?

Also how best to export the list of emails, direct from admin or via the DB.

As you can probably tell a little rusty with some of the admin functions over and above normal mainteance. :-)

Arantor

The thing about forums in the current world is that they're hard to be competitive with - if the site is *just* a forum, particularly if it's not got so much historical archival stuff all nicely organised - it's hard to justify pushing for it when Facebook Groups might actually be a better tool (especially if it's physically local)

The real way to revitalise a forum is to have things alongside the forum. Other content for people to look at and keep them coming in the door. What this might be, I don't know - but I know that it is effort to produce and maintain. But that's the price of running a community, it does require constant maintenance, constant watering and feeding.

Emailing the current members will produce two effects. You'll have the people who came, left and forgot about it who will return to see what's new - and if there's nothing new for them, they'll just go again. You'll also have the people who came, left and didn't want to come back who may be upset that they have been reminded.

Both of these groups are normal - that's just people being people - and either way I think you'll generate some traffic, but unless there's something there for them beyond more discussions, I don't know that it'll help.

A community these days is a little more than 'a common place to talk about a thing', people tend to be task-oriented first, and go somewhere for a reason, and then stay because there's more for them. That's the question to ask and answer: what is the purpose of the site? What need does it fulfil?

Sir Osis of Liver

I've worked on several sports forum, this one has been pretty successful, may give you some ideas.
Ashes and diamonds, foe and friend,
 we were all equal in the end.

                                     - R. Waters

AlanDewey

"Validate email"   is not part of SMF.    I used www.mailgun.com    A lot of systems use mailgun to mail huge numbers of addresses.   It keeps track of closed mailboxes etc and will let you know if your email addresses are on that list.
Causing lots of electrons to push each other around since 1985.

shinglis

Thanks, @Arantor and @Sir Osis of Liver.

Yes totally agree, has to offer something more. I also work on the football archive site which is taking up time to enter a backlog of information but I should be able to integrate the 2 sites using a portal and provide more content for discussion.

Side issue - just been informed that my security question for registration was not working.(FFS!) my issue for not testing, but a standard problem if no one reports it then potential users just disappear without being able to register and post. (Oh well - at least fixed now)

shinglis

Quote from: AlanDewey on August 01, 2022, 08:05:25 AM"Validate email"   is not part of SMF.    I used www.mailgun.com    A lot of systems use mailgun to mail huge numbers of addresses.   It keeps track of closed mailboxes etc and will let you know if your email addresses are on that list.

Thanks will export the list from DB and check out mailgun.

Steve

Quote from: shinglis on July 31, 2022, 07:47:09 AMit's very difficult to maintain a forum.

It's the start of a new season so going to give it a try, I enjoy the technical challenge and really want the forum to continue and provide that alternative for users from the Facebook world
I'm really glad to read that. :)
DO NOT pm me for support!

Senkusha

Quote from: Sir Osis of Liver on July 31, 2022, 05:59:38 PMI've worked on several sports forum, this one has been pretty successful, may give you some ideas.
Wow!  That's a lot of ads.  Took me three seconds to leave the page.
--Senkusha
The Anime Brigade
Anime-style Role Playing Games and Discussion.
(SMF v. 2.1.4, PHP v. 8.0)

landyvlad

As mentioned earlier "historical archival stuff" is key.  I run a motorcycle forum and it's the amount of technical information we have that makes it an attractive proposition as opposed to a facebook group when knowledge disappears down the feed pretty quickly.

So if you have info that members would want to regularly consult (and engage with other jembers about) that's a big benefit.
"Put as much effort into your question as you'd expect someone to give in an answer"

Please do not PM, IM or Email me with questions on astrophysics or theology.  You will get better and faster responses by asking homeless people in the street. Thank you.

Be the person your dog thinks you are.

Tanfies2

I also run a football forum, have done since 2012, it's called Friends of Fulham

If I'm perfectly honest with you, the introduction of Twitter and other social media platforms has killed football forums, as people now turn to places like Twitter for quick, effortless information.

However, they can still work, but you have to be more inventive, and like people have said above, you need to lure people into your forum from other social media outlets like Facebook etc.

For example, after every game, I run a Man of the Match poll, open to members and non-members, I then pump the link out on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and invite people in to vote. When doing so, they might read, or even sign up.

When we are playing say Wolves at the weekend, again, I'll do things like 'Your preferred 11' again, placing a post on the forum, but putting this out on social media with a link in, encouraging fans to engage.

You've got to think of your forum as a proportional part of what you do now, I also run a blog, vlog, podcast, we've even build a website to compliment the forum etc Home Page Here   

Also, don't do it all yourself, get fans signed up as Mods to moderate your forum, they'll love it, and start to post, and will recommend to other fans etc. Give them responsibilities like starting Matchday Threads, Polls, your Blog, even a Podcast if you can do one, build a community rather than a just a forum.

And, if you feel it's taking up to much of your time, start to monetize is, place ads, ask for donations, you can do this on your pod / blog as well.

Hope this helps, but have a sniff around mine, and see if you can pick up any ideas.   

mickjav

I known where you're coming from, Except I'm 100% committed to mine, I decided to put mine in maintenance mode, so I could get some of the major changes working and additional content systems added without having to worry about members.

If you are feeling it's all not worth it then give up otherwise keep pushing it only takes a few good members to get things going, finding them's the hard part lol

Shram Vandreen

I cannot see anything until signing in. Maybe try changing that if you want more people to register. I think people want to see the forum before registering.
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Visit Algemene Fora (General Forums/Forums about anything) now and become moderator.

Steve

Quote from: Shram Vandreen on April 05, 2024, 03:33:01 PMI cannot see anything until signing in. Maybe try changing that if you want more people to register.
Quote from: mickjav on March 03, 2024, 10:17:42 AMI decided to put mine in maintenance mode, so I could get some of the major changes working and additional content systems added without having to worry about members.
DO NOT pm me for support!

Diego Andrés

That's two different forums @Steve
Mick didn't start this discussion, but coincidentally both forums are on maintenance.

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