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:

BizTek Mojo

Plex Forums Breached, Hacker Holding Data for Ransom
PC Magazine
Media server Plex has revealed that its forums were hacked and certain user information compromised. The hacker made off with IP addresses, forum private messages, email addresses, and encrypted passwords, Plex said in a blog post. Since passwords ...
Media Server Company Plex Hacked – Forum Servers Affected, But Payment ...TechCrunch
Plex's forum data is being held for ransomThe Verge
Plex Forums Hacked, Hacker Holding PlexTV Account Data for BTC RansomBizTek Mojo
BetaNews -International Business Times, India Edition -Ubergizmo (blog)
all 65 news articles »


Popular Reddit forums back online following day-long blackout
Reddit — which touts itself as "the front page of the Internet" — was in a state of disarray Friday morning. Following the abrupt departure of Victoria Taylor, the director of talent and a key employee to the site's Ask Me Anything forum, a number of ...
Popular Reddit forums go private as civil war simmers [Update]SlashGear
Reddit's top forums are shutting down to protest an admin's removalFusion
Reddit forums shut down in staff sacking protestMetro
The Times (subscription) -Newsweek -Daily Mail
all 293 news articles »

The Elkhart Truth

Goshen Board of Works to hold forums to discuss Fifth Street railroad crossing ...
The Elkhart Truth
Goshen Board of Works to hold forums to discuss Fifth Street railroad crossing closure. The crossing's closure was approved June 29, and the city has since received several calls about the decision. Fifth%2520Street%2520Closing. A Norfolk Southern ...

Motor Authority

This Week On The Forums: A Porsche Project, An F-Type With Straight Pipes ...
Motor Authority
So in the days leading up to long weekend of cookouts, cold beer and fireworks, many enthusiasts prepared the only way they know how: By procrastinating and arguing about cars on the forums. Once again, Motor Authority has cleaned off the greasy bits ...

Medical Daily

Seniors Are Using Chat Rooms And Forums To Talk Openly About The Highs ...
Medical Daily
Proving that some subjects don't have an age limit, the authors of a study published today in the Journal of Leisure Research found that seniors are flocking to the internet through forums and chat rooms in order to talk about sex. And it's allowing ...


Food wars: Are online food forums a force for good or ripe for misuse?
These are online food forums where people share and discuss their good and bad experiences alike with fellow foodies. Many of us rely on these pages while deciding where we want to dine out on the weekend or which home baker to order a cake from for ...

BuzzFeed News

Inside The Very Strange, Very Heated, Kanye West Forum Wars
BuzzFeed News
Rumors began swirling on forums and Twitter that Yeezy Talk — a newer, smaller Kanye forum — had initiated a DDoS attack to bring its larger, more established counterpart down. Conspiracy theories were floated. Threats were made. Someone set up a ...

Top 20 Silver Investing Forums
For those looking for trading ideas, investing strategies, or even the best places to buy silver, some of the best resources to utilize are forums. Using forums will require a bit of scouring (certainly not everything that is posted is relevant), but ...

Niagara Falls residents invited to Friday police forums
Buffalo News
NIAGARA FALLS – The Niagara Falls superintendent of police and command staff will present “Kickin' It with the Cops” – a series of community forums from 10 a.m. to noon on the first Friday of each month. The goal of the meetings is to address policing ...

and more »

Washington Examiner (blog)

NRA: Gun blogs, videos, web forums threatened by new Obama regulation
Washington Examiner (blog)
"Your action is urgently needed to ensure that online blogs, videos, and web forums devoted to the technical aspects of firearms and ammunition do not become subject to prior review by State Department bureaucrats before they can be published," it added.
Share “NRA: Gun blogs, videos, web forums...”NewsOK.com (blog)

all 5 news articles »
Google News

Forum Signatures to Build Back Links - Helping Your Search Rankings

Building Backlinks! There are several ways to build backlinks. We... Read More

Some Quick Tips to Easily Improve the Success of Your Forum!

It is difficult to define a 'successful forum'. However, all... Read More

Internet Forums - Six Ways To Avoid Disaster

Internet Forums are highly popular, they cater for all tastes... Read More

Whats The Deal With Discussion Lists? (Part Three)

Why Do People Start Writing Discussion Lists? Angela Gillaspie, who... Read More

The Value of Forums

There are literally thousands of online forums that cover a... Read More

Business Forums

Forums are a community where a group of webmasters can... Read More

Seven Must Follow Rules While Participating In Message Boards

Participating in message boards (forums) discussions is a great way... Read More

Intro to Health Forums

Health forums are great for gathering information, resources, advice, tips... Read More

The Importance of Forum Participation in Promoting an Internet Business

Many internet business owners are really lost when doing anything... Read More

Why You Should Use (Not Abuse) Forums to Increase Your Traffic

There are dozens of reasons why you should look up... Read More

Milton Keynes - A City For The Future?

The two main features of Milton Keynes which distinguish it... Read More

Using Forums to Promote Your Business

When is work not really work? When it's fun!Using online... Read More

6 Forum Management Essentials

If you are tasked with managing a forum, congratulations to... Read More

3 Reasons Why PHP Message Boards Rock

If you are web designer, chances are you include forums... Read More

Chat Forums and Blogs: The Unofficial Internet Posting Rules

Have you been hanging around in internet forums and/or making... Read More

The Demise of EZBoard

For years, EZBoard was a community that offered relatively cheap... Read More

Make Money From Forums

If you have a website about a topic you enjoy,... Read More

10 Commandments To Maximizing Your Time In Forum Participation

1) Gain an idea/keep in touch of what is happening... Read More

Search for Business Partners Effortlessly

With the internet revolution ushering in new modes of communication... Read More

How To Maximize Your Profits With Forums

Forums are one of the most effective free internet marketing... Read More

How to Build a Forum That Doesnt Fall Apart Two Months Later, Part 1

If you can get a big enough following from customer... Read More

11 Ways To Increase Forums Activities

Getting people to post in your forum is probably the... Read More

Get Traffic & Sales Using Discussion Forums

Message boards, discussion forums and newsgroups can all produce very... Read More

Using Message Boards Properly

We all have our own reasons for joining message boards.... Read More

5 Reasons Why Participating in Forums can Benefit Your Business

Did you know that by simply participating in various forums... Read More