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

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The Lafayette Parish Public Education Stakeholders Council is hosting three forums this week for Lafayette Parish School Board candidates. The forums will be at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday at the LITE Center, 537 Cajundome Blvd.


Nude celebrity photo leak: More images posted to online forums
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More nude photographs of celebrities were leaked online Saturday in what appears to be the second release of material from a hacker who posted intimate images of dozens of celebrities on an internet forum earlier this month. Apple admits some stars' ...

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Candidate forums kick off busy campaign week
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GEORGE – A series of candidate forums scheduled for Monday and Tuesday at Dixie State University kick off a busy campaign week as contenders for state and local office hit the stretch run before the Nov. 4 election. The forums, organized to give voters ...

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Spectrum, DSU to host candidate forums
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GEORGE – The Spectrum's Editorial Board and Dixie State University will host two evenings of candidate forums Monday and Tuesday to help voters gain a better understanding of where candidates for the Legislature and County Commission stand on ...

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Congressman Dan Kildee hosting college affordability forums in Flint, Saginaw
The Flint Journal
A forum has also been set from 5 p.m.-7 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 23 at the Rhea Miller Recital Hall, 7400 Bay Road, on the campus of Saginaw Valley State University. Roberto can be reached by phone at 810-429-3865, email at racosta1@mlive.com, ...


Vermont Workers' Center and allies to host series of People's candidate forums
vtdigger.org
The People's Forums will bring together candidates for public office with local community members, who will share personal stories about the interconnected crises we are facing and ask for candidates' positions on issues such as universal healthcare, ...


Attendance light at Johnson County Courthouse annex forums
Iowa City Press Citizen
While only four residents attended the public forum at the Iowa City/Johnson County Senior Center, hosted by Board of Supervisors Terrence Neuzil and Janelle Rettig, the turnout was comparable to the other forums hosted so far. "The attendance has been ...

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Erie County plans series of forums on elder abuse
Buffalo News
Members of the Erie County Legislature are holding a series of forums with the Erie County Council Against Elder Abuse. Following is the schedule of forums, which highlight abuse issues and outreach efforts: Tuesday – Legislator Joseph Lorigo, 9:30 a.m ...


Livingston Daily

Election forums begin this week
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Voters will have an opportunity to hear the views of candidates for Congress, Legislature and judicial races in Livingston County in three forums in advance of the Nov. 4 general election. But there has been a change in the lineups for the forums. The ...

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