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:

York County election forums on tap
York Dispatch
The York 912 Patriots will host two forums, the first of which is Thursday and will feature candidates seeking judgeships at the local and state level. The forum will feature 15 candidates running in races for York County Court of Common Pleas, as ...

Legislative forums set for Winnebago, Worth counties
Mason City Globe Gazette
Terry Baxter, R-Garner, and Guth will be at Salveson Hall on the Waldorf College campus, 106 S. Sixth St., from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. The forum is co-sponsored by Forest City Economic Development, Forest City Chamber of Commerce and Winn-Worth Betco.

Christian ministry leaders to present forums in metro
Christian apologists Michael Ramsden and Stuart McAllister will present several open forums and question-and-answer sessions discussing religious intolerance, business integrity and ethics, and meaning and hope Tuesday and Wednesday in the ...

Solarize WNC forums demystify solar energy for the masses
Smoky Mountain News
out solarize A forum on how to transition to solar energy will be held at 7 p.m. Tuesday, April 7, at the Macon County Public Library in Franklin, the second in a string of events to be held throughout the region this spring and summer. The Solarize ...


Key economic forums in Russia and Asia agree to cooperate
By participating in the Boao Forum and cooperating with it, we gain a great opportunity for understanding Asia better and expanding our potential for economic collaboration,” Sergey Belyakov, Chairman of the Board of SPIEF Foundation said in a ...

and more »

Coming forums precede voting
Kilgore News Herald
The first opportunity to cast a ballot in the Spring 2015 election comes Monday, April 27 – the day before, young members of St. Luke's United Methodist Church will host their annual candidates forum with the Kilgore Chamber of Commerce and Kilgore ...

LDF farmers' forums to organise hartal on April 8
The Hindu
Farmers' organisations under the Left Democratic Front (LDF) in the district will organise various programmes in connection with a Statewide dawn-to-dusk hartal called by the front on April 8. The hartal is being organised in protest against the ...

Four States Homepage

Pittsburg Candidate Forums
Four States Homepage
The Pittsburg Area Chamber of Commerce held two candidate forums Tuesday night. Six candidates are running for school board and five are running for commission. Chamber President Blake Benson says an event like this gives candidates a chance to ...


Bodybuilding Forums Are One of the Last Relics of Web 1.0
Thus spoketh Bodybuilding.com forum user Justin-27, in a 2008 thread that was innocuously enough titled, "Full Body Workout Every Other Day?" The thread quickly devolved into a trainwreck of internet commenting, featuring more than five pages of users ...

County sets public forums for low-income residents
Daily Democrat
“The public is invited to attend the forums and give input on service needs in Yolo County,” said Yolo County Health & Human Services Agency Director Joan Planell. “The information gathered in these forums will be used to set service priorities for the ...

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