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:


Hindustan Times

Man fails to comply with consumer forums order, imprisoned for a year
Hindustan Times
The forum had directed Jassi alias Satpal Singh, who repairs automobiles, to pay a combined compensation of `1,25 Lakh to the complainant Pawan Kumar for indulging in unfair trade practices and for not carrying out necessary repairs on Kumar's car.

and more »

IRS Announces Tax Forums, CPE Credits For Tax Pros
Forbes
The forums will also feature a two-day expo where you can meet with representatives from tax, financial, and business communities offering their products, services and expertise. You and I both know what that means: tax swag. But don't get too giddy.


Dallas Morning News (blog)

Rawlings announces forums to 'gather valuable feedback' about 'new' Trinity ...
Dallas Morning News (blog)
As you'll note they're scattered all over the city: The first forum is scheduled at El Centro College's West Campus on N. Hampton Road, and then they bounce around all over town — from Fair Park to Northwest Dallas to East Dallas back to the Arts ...

and more »

Patch.com

Framingham Schools Holding Parent Forums on After School Programming
Patch.com
Framingham Schools Holding Parent Forums on After School Programming. The district will hold parent forums at Wilson and King Elementary next week, and release its "Out Of School Time" survey results. By Susan Petroni (Patch Staff) May 22, 2015. Share.


Portland church to host wage, equality forums
The Forecaster
The LBGT Forward forum will be led by a panel including former U.S. Senate candidate and American Civil Liberties Union of Maine Executive Director Shenna Bellows, Equality Maine Executive Director Elise Johansen, and Freedom to Marry National ...


The Gazette: Eastern Iowa Breaking News and Headlines

Solon to hold superintendent search forums
Iowa City Press Citizen
The Solon Community School District will hold two public forums Thursday to gather input on two finalists seeking the superintendent position. The forums will take place at the Solon High School media center at 3:30 and 4:30 p.m. School board vice ...
Solon to hold public forums with superintendent candidatesThe Gazette: Eastern Iowa Breaking News and Headlines

all 2 news articles »

Framingham to host forums on after-school programs
MetroWest Daily News
Framingham Public Schools will host a series of forums to discuss Out of School Time programming in the district. Parents are invited to discuss their ideas for building a successful Out of School Time program for students. The director of Community ...

and more »

Cincinnati.com

Heroin Forums encourage help from community
Cincinnati.com
Hamilton County Sheriff Jim Neil is continuing the war on drugs with two heroin forums to give citizens information on what is being done to curb the heroin epidemic and how community members can help. Billboards placed throughout the county have ...


Contra Costa pipeline safety forums open to public
Contra Costa Times
The forums will include speakers from the national nonprofit Pipeline Safety Trust, the Office of the State Fire Marshal and Kinder Morgan, the private company operating many of the petroleum pipelines throughout the region, including one beneath the ...

and more »

WCPO

Hamilton County sheriff holding community forums on heroin
WCPO
CINCINNATI -- In an effort to have the public partner with police combating heroin use, the Hamilton County Sheriff's Office is holding a pair of forums. Heroin has become “the drug of choice” for many because it's cheap and accessible, according to ...

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