6 Forum Management Essentials

If you are tasked with managing a forum, congratulations to you. If you find yourself weighed down by mundane management tasks, you are not alone. Let's examine some essentials to help you run an effective and vibrant message board community without the hassles of micromanagement.

1. Find a forum you like and stick with it. Yes, not everyone will be using vBulletin or one of the other wonderful PHP or ASP message board sites. If you like EZBoard or if you like making your own site up with PHP open source, then do it and stick with it. By now you know the pitfalls of the particular sites; can you really afford to regularly change to the latest and greatest technologies? Probably not, unless your site is already generating plenty of income through Google AdSense or similar types of PPC advertising. I am not saying to never update your site, rather weigh the costs of whether your site has to have a certain site or feel to be successful. Even ugly sites can prosper, witness Craig's List!

2. Find moderators who want to moderate. Not everyone who volunteers to moderate a particular forum on your message board is fit for the task. Some will sign up and then not moderate; better to go without a moderator then to have a "name in place." Keep your standards high and only the best will volunteer.

3. Envision long term. Unless you plan on rapidly growing your forum and then "flipping" it in a quick sale, you are better off looking at keeping your site for many years. Yes, in the land of the internet, everything changes so rapidly; still there are forums that can and do thrive the longer they are online, with proper management of course!

4. Reward your core constituency. Chances are your site is dominated by a small group of people who post regularly and are generally most helpful overall. Consider having a private forum viewable only to them on your site. Out of this group will likely come your moderators; run contests for this group only. Find advertisers to fund the prizes.

5. Ignore the squeeky, vocal minority. Yes, there will be the small amount of people -- usually less than 10% of your members -- whose demands on your time far exceed what is normal. They are the ones who want extensive hand holding and technical assistance...if they would only read previous threads or pay attention to announcements, your problems with them would be resolved. As much as it cuts against the grain for some administrators [heck, you are all about helping people, right?], you must cut them loose. You need not do it directly, but by not promptly answering their questions they will either figure things out themselves or move on.

6. Be well funded. Have a treasure chest or Paypal donation box on your site to welcome contributions. Run banner ads and join a successful PPC program. Find an advertising plan that works well for you. Seek grant money if your site is geared toward helping raise awareness about a particular health or social issue. You want to reap some monies from your site and you should pay yourself for your hard work.

Not all forums are meant to succeed on the internet, nor should they. The successful sites are well managed and positively impact members and guests far beyond the internet. If you have one of these sites, congratulations and good management to you!

Matt runs two successful forums which can be viewed at http://aviationemploymentboard.net/forum and http://corporateflyer.net/forum

In The News:


Build Lakewood, Lakewood Hospital Association plan separate forums on hospital ...
LAKEWOOD, Ohio – Build Lakewood and the Lakewood Hospital Association are holding separate forums tonight dealing with the future of Lakewood Hospital. Build Lakewood, a group of business owners and residents who support plans announced in ...

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Chapel Hill forums helping town leaders connect with Muslim community
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Modesto candidates sound off at forums
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More than 70 people turned out Monday night for two forums featuring Modesto candidates for mayor and three City Council seats, in which the office-seekers talked about such issues as how they would create jobs, make the city safer, help the homeless ...

Delmarva Daily Times

Two forums coming to hear mayor, city council hopefuls
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Salisbury residents will be able to hear from candidates for mayor and City Council at two upcoming candidate forums. The first forum, sponsored by the Wicomico County branch NAACP, will be held this Thursday, Oct. 15, at 7 p.m. at the Chipman Cultural ...

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Oklahoma Watch Receives Grant for Community Forums
Oklahoma Watch
Oklahoma Watch has received a grant from the Kirkpatrick Foundation in support of offering “Oklahoma Watch-Out” community forums on significant quality-of-life issues facing the state. The $20,000 grant will help Oklahoma Watch, a nonprofit journalism ...


Columbus Day Political Forums: Aldermanic Districts 1 And 2
GPB Savannah, the Savannah Morning News and SavannahNow.com hosted a series of political forums on Monday, October 12, 2015. At each of the six forums, moderated by Bill Kelso of Armstrong State University, candidates for the Savannah City Council ...

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Rocketcat Games Announce Upcoming 'Five Card Quest' on Our Forums
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Everything they release seems to be great, so, for that reason alone it seems worth being very excited for the new title they just announced on our forums. It's called Five Card Quest, and it's a turn-based card-based dungeon crawler-y tactical RPG ...

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Brownsville Herald

UTRGV prepares for campus carry forums
Brownsville Herald
The first three forums will take place on Wednesdays staring with one in Harlingen on October 14, from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. at the Main Auditorium, followed by one in Edinburg on October 21, from 9 to 10 a.m. at the Student Union Theater, and in ...

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Dubois County Free Press

Mayoral election forums next week
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Vincennes University is joining with community organizations to conduct mayoral election forums in two Dubois County cities this fall. The Jasper mayoral candidates will be presented on Tuesday, October 20, 7:00 p.m. EST in the Center for Technology, ...
Mayoral forums set for next weekThe Herald

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Forums set this week
Pueblo Chieftain
The Pueblo Chieftain will host a forum with the candidates for the D60 school board at 6 p.m. Wednesday. The forum will feature incumbent Michael Colucci and challengers Barbara Clementi, Robert Gonzales, Kelly Hibler, Frank Latino, Ginger McKim ...

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