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:


League of Women Voters hosts forums
Columbia Daily Tribune
League of Women Voters hosts forums. League of Women Voters hosts forums · Monday, October 20, 2014 at 1:00 pm. The League of Women Voters presents two election forums this week, with a candidates' forum on tap for 6:30 p.m. Tuesday. The forums ...
League of Women Voters of St. Paul to hold candidate forumsInsight News

all 9 news articles »

The Daily News Journal

MILLER: Smyrna loses with lack of candidate forums
The Daily News Journal
So is the debate on, or is the debate off. Recently local sites that have local interests as their main subject have been busy with discussions on whether a debate between Mayor Mary Esther Reed and Jeff Hollingshead organized by the League of Women ...

Where to watch Cayuga County forums featuring Gary Finch, Diane Dwire, John ...
Auburn Citizen
Two upcoming political forums in Cayuga County will be aired this week by a local public affairs program. An upcoming forum for the 24th Congressional District will feature only one candidate. Republican challenger John Katko will be the lone ...

BLOG: Dist 26 Candidates to Meet at 2 Public Forums This Week
Twin Falls Times-News (blog)
The Gooding Chamber of Commerce is hosting a forum Tuesday, Oct. 21, in the multi-purpose room at Gooding High School, 1050 Seventh Ave. W. Doug Maughan, spokesman for the College of Southern Idaho, is moderating. Doors open at 5:30 p.m., and ...

Why nurses hate EHRS WEDI-Con, Cybersecurity of med devices forums this ...
With help from Arthur Allen (@ArthurAllen202) and David Pittman (@David_Pittman). NURSES HATE EHRS — WHY? A recent survey of 14,000 registered nurses by BlackBlook shows that their dissatisfaction with EHRs stands at a whopping 92 percent.

and more »

Candidate Forums Set for This Week
Bartlesville Radio
The Bartlesville League of Women Voters will host two candidate forums this week. Tuesday night, the league will host a forum featuring candidates for Bartlesville City Council in Wards 2 and 3. Ward 2 candidates include incumbent Mike McGrew and ...

and more »

Learn about candidates, issues at 3 forums
Wednesday, 1:30 p.m., Arlington: forum featuring Snohomish County executive and sheriff candidates at the Stillaguamish Senior Center main hall, 18308 Smokey Point Blvd. More info: 360-653-4551 or www.stillycenter.com.

and more »

Daviess Co., KY Public Schools hosting public forums on classroom standards
14 News WFIE Evansville
Daviess County Public Schools are hosting three public forums to help develop recommendations to establish new classroom standards. The Attendance Zone Committee is trying to determine the most effective learning environments for students and to make ...

State Rep. Drew Springer announces post-session town hall forums
Graham Leader
MUENSTER, TEXAS – Today, State Representative Drew Springer announced a series of town hall forums on Oct. 21 with stops in Jacksboro, Graham, Throckmorton, and Olney. At the forums, Springer will discuss the upcoming 84th Session. These town hall ...

After 40 forums on safety levy, voters get final say
Billings Gazette
Todd Buchanan, the main advocate for the public safety levy that will be decided by Billings voters Nov. 4, has helped lead about 40 presentations designed to bring voters up to speed on what proponents view as a clear need to boost public safety funding.

and more »
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