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  1. #1
    Member
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    March 13th, 2008
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    85
    I need serious advice quick
    I need advice quick because I just hired a programmer to do this for me and I now dont know if I want it done.

    My niche site has a messageboard that is mostly dead.
    People come in, look around, and leave. Unfortunatlely Im not an expert at the niche so I could never create a party environment in the forum, thats why its dead.
    I've hired lots of forum posters and have thousands of threads, but theres no traction there.

    So Im thinking of making a Q&A section to my site. Just like Yahoo Answers.
    People will ask a question and others will answer.
    People who give good answers will earn points and then can win prizes.

    However, I do already have a forum. Dead as it is, it is there.

    So my questions are:

    1. Is it reduntant to have an Answers section when I already have a forum?
    Or can you see a difference?

    2. Would I be better off with an "Ask the Experts" area than an open Q&A area where anyone can ask and answer?

    Its hard for me to be judgemental since its my site.
    But im looking for some changes to breathe life into the site.
    And I want a way for people to earn prizes.

    thanks for any advice

  2. #2
    ABW Founder Haiko de Poel, Jr.'s Avatar
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    January 18th, 2005
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    Ineed advice quick because I just hired a programmer and dont know what I want him to program.
    Take a week off and re-think - sounds like your bouncing off the walls. No offense intended.
    Continued Success,

    Haiko
    The secret of success is constancy of purpose ~ Disraeli

  3. #3
    Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Haiko de Poel, Jr.
    Take a week off and re-think - sounds like your bouncing off the walls. No offense intended.
    No offense taken, I am.
    I tend to be a frantic person, and this site is important to me, so thats why I'm taking it very seriously.

    I need a reason for people to come and tell their friends.

  4. #4
    ABW Founder Haiko de Poel, Jr.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by marc100
    I need a reason for people to come and tell their friends.
    You need to create the reason for people to WANT to tell thier friends, doesn't sound like a programmer nor software will accomplish this for you at this juncture. I'd suggest that you focus on strategy and marketing ---> getting the hook. That only comes after long, and more importantly, unencumbered thinking.
    Continued Success,

    Haiko
    The secret of success is constancy of purpose ~ Disraeli

  5. #5
    Life is Supposed to be Fun! Rexanne's Avatar
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    January 18th, 2005
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    Los Angeles
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    12,360
    Hi MArc100,

    If you gauge your forum's activity by comparing it to ABW, you'll be very disappointed. I can't get people to post on my forum either and I know my niche well. *sigh* It's very frustrating but I stay with it because I can't bear to give up. LOL

    I wish I had advice on how to liven up your visitors. - All I can offer at this point is commiseration. Maybe a Q&A section will work for you. Try it.

    If you find a way to get people to post, please come back and tell us.
    Peace,

    Rexanne

    Rexanne.com
    Loving Everyone's Child Creates Magic


  6. #6
    Moderator
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    April 6th, 2006
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    2,689
    You have to figure out that reason yourself - take a step back, think about sites YOU visit, and identify what you like. Creating a new Q&A site doesn't guarantee success (after all, why wouldn't they continue to use Yahoo Answers?). I know this well as it's something I tried with one of my sites...

    Getting a buzz-worthy level of forum/messageboard participation is challenging - look at this forum, 42,000 members, how many are active? Take Amazon.. millions of visitors, how many reviews?

    Me, I have sites that draw 1000/day.. I'm lucky if I see 1 review per day. What did I learn from this..? My visitors are coming to read, not participate.

    There's nothing to say you won't achieve your goal - you're motivated, and have ideas of rewarding your visitors. That's all good.

    The only deadline you have is (presumably) self-imposed. Remember that a programmer ONLY looks for direction - the more you stray, the more it will cost you.

    Good luck!

    Added: Not sure how you hired a programmer, but I use rentacoder.com for development tasks, and ONLY when I have a very clear idea of what I want. It's open bidding, and very cost efficient.

  7. #7
    Not that fat. ReallyBigGuy's Avatar
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    July 20th, 2005
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    "Unfortunatlely Im not an expert at the niche "

    If you don't love what you do, it will be terribly difficult to be successful. Ask some successful business folks and the common thread will be that they love what they do, and believe in their business.

    My advice is pick a niche you love, and become an expert.

  8. #8
    ABW Veteran Student Heyder's Avatar
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    January 18th, 2005
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    Yeah you need to tuck and run imo either that or find an expert to manage the site for you.

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