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  1. #1
    Member
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    I'm curious how others have got forums started? I have set one up for discussing shopping bargains found at http://www.abettermall.com/forums, but don't know how to get it off the ground. Users won't check back regularly until there's regular discussion, and there won't be regular discussion until users check back regularly. Catch 22. I've been posting pretty much all the threads to get it started, but it's obvious it's not an active forum so users don't return. What should I do?

  2. #2
    Affiliate Miester my2cents's Avatar
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    I think a bigger problem is traffic... it takes a lot of traffic to get a forum going...
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    that's my2cents, 'cuz I'm a legend in my own mind....

  3. #3
    Resident Genius and Staunch Capitalist Leader's Avatar
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    Same boat here with my recipe forum. Someone suggested giving away stuff for a certain number of posts. So I tried giving away a free recipe software CD for 50 posts. No takers. Only one person even emailed her address and she gave up the idea at 15 posts.

    Someone else suggested getting discussing something controversial or at least that everyone would have a strong opinion on. But WTF is controverial about cooking?!?! Plus I don't want to draw too many cuckoos yet.

    Another problem is that the people that do sign up, don't *talk* about anything! They post a few recipes and disappear.

    Then I come here and read a post where someone says they have something like 20,000 posts in their forum and it's "only" 3 or 6 months old! Gah!
    There is no knowledge that is not power. ~Hemingway

  4. #4
    ABW Ambassador flamingoworld's Avatar
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    Well Jeremy, one thing you DON'T do is go to other people's shopping forums and tell them to come to yours...I didn't appreciate that, and my admins took care of it.

  5. #5
    Sgt. Joe Friday frank3iii's Avatar
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    I'm glad to see this thread. I've been kicking around the forum idea for a while now.

    I am (have been)a member of so many forums that I don't even remember some of them. Only DevShed and ABW are active enough to count.

    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>
    Another problem is that the people that do sign up, don't *talk* about anything! They post a few recipes and disappear.
    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    I think that is the reason some forum admin types take on alias names and post to themselves. Trying to build interest and traffic.

    Does it matter what type of forum software is used?

    I have seen forum posts in search results. How does that happen?

    Frank
    "Just the facts, Ma'am." Sgt. Joe Friday, Dragnet

  6. #6
    Resident Genius and Staunch Capitalist Leader's Avatar
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>I think that is the reason some forum admin types take on alias names and post to themselves. Trying to build interest and traffic. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    I tried that to a limited extent--I didn't talk up a whole storm (didn't want anybody to get too bent out of shape if OtherMe disappeared), but I left some openings for responses and nada. At one time I had a few active aliases but the only one it seemed to draw was Googlebot.

    Maybe OtherMe should be more talkative...

    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> I have seen forum posts in search results. How does that happen? <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    It just happens on its own; G-bot spiders it like any other page. My posts typically hit the index fast, but then they disappear after a couple of weeks. It may have helped that I put AdSense on, so every time a new page is generated it "calls in" the new address.

    G-bot came to the forum daily for a long time, but when it didn't keep getting new posts all the time, he stopped coming so much And I couldn't think of something new to say all the time when there wasn't anyone to interact with.

    I'm using Invision's software--I got it before they stopped offering the free version (whew)--and it seems to work fine, robots-wise. Software-wise, it's pretty good.

    And I love the notices it emails when a new registration happens. "Dear Mr. Admin, Sir!" LOL
    There is no knowledge that is not power. ~Hemingway

  7. #7
    ABW Founder Haiko de Poel, Jr.'s Avatar
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    I'll PM 'secrets' and headaches, if anyone wants

    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>I have seen forum posts in search results. How does that happen? <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Spiderable content in dynamically generated threads is usually done via three factors ... one of which is shown by a new topic an hour old here having a PR 3, another being using a spider interface via VB or the like, and lastly, the archive feature of VB and other forum software ... it's pure spider food.

    I'm here to help, I want to ... just ask!

    Learn the ? and other dynamics in 'separability'
    Continued Success,

    Haiko
    The secret of success is constancy of purpose ~ Disraeli

  8. #8
    MasterMike HardwareGeek's Avatar
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    A user friendly forum is a must. A good set of rules but not to many rules. Don't over moderat and if you are extra friendly people will stick around.

    Incentives are good but offer something worth their time and effort. I have given away 200 dollars to over 1000 dollars worth of software/hardware (AMD and a few other companies were generous) in contest on my site. Problem with contest though is that the losers will say its rigged and won't come back or may bad mouth you and after the contest is over after a while active users become lurkers. I have a lot of users who just have 1 to 15 post but visit more often then me.

    downside of a forum. The drama. ahh the drama I am sure Haiko can tell you about all the problems that come with a forum. I have been contacted by the FBI, Lawyers etc because of post my users have made or because of death threats made to other users via the PM system.

  9. #9
    Resident Genius and Staunch Capitalist Leader's Avatar
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    Haiko, you have a PM
    There is no knowledge that is not power. ~Hemingway

  10. #10
    MasterMike HardwareGeek's Avatar
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    Just remembered a Forum Horror story.

    I ran a Beauty Contest. Cutest Geekette and had 15 girls compete. Any who the girl who won the contest had her AIM screen name listed in her user profile. One of the losers threatened to sue me claiming the contest was rigged but that wasn’t the real problem. One of my active users became obsessed with her and created a lot of AIM SNs and would message her as different people and I don't know how figured out where she lived. To make a long story short the Ohio state police arrested the guy and I even got a subpoena to appear in court which I never had to do the guy plead guilty.

  11. #11
    Sgt. Joe Friday frank3iii's Avatar
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Haiko:
    I'll PM 'secrets' and headaches, if anyone wants <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Thanks, I'd like to read these. PM away.

    One of the younger members of my extended family was watching as I put together a niche site. He asked what I was doing and I told him.

    He said 'you really make money like that?' I answered that I did sometimes. So he wants to learn how to do it.

    This young man is 10 and pretty sharp, but the only thing he has done on a computer is play games and draw pictures. When I started telling him about html, css, tables, etc. his eyes glazed over.

    This got me to thinking. There must be hundreds of thousands of young (and maybe not so young) folks who would like to learn about publishing on the web.

    There are a lot of resources out there, but they are spread out. Too many of them assume a basic knowledge of computers, etc.

    The thought process led to an idea of putting up a forum for new webmasters. With sections for several knowledge levels. Tutorials out the yingyang.

    Further, I think it should be a not-for-profit enterprise. One problem I see right away is how to obtain the mentors, tutors, teachers required for such a project.

    Time is another constraint. But the nature of the web is 24/7, so that may not be much of a problem.

    Do you think what I have outlined is a worthwhile project? Worthy of further work?

    Frank
    "Just the facts, Ma'am." Sgt. Joe Friday, Dragnet

  12. #12
    ABW Ambassador flamingoworld's Avatar
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    Well, Jeremy didn't even try to hide and be sneaky..he was very bold..here is the post that was deleted:

    JeremyZ
    New Member
    Reged: 11/03/04
    Posts: 1
    New Hot Deals Forum

    #188308 - 11/03/04 09:09 AM (216.60.18.40) Edit Reply Quote Quick Reply
    I just wanted to let everyone know of a new hot deals forum that is just getting started up at http://www.abettermall.com/Forums/. A lot of the other forums out there revolve around specific product lines (groceries, computers, etc). The goal of this forum is to help provide a consolidated list of hot deals. I'd appreciate it if you could post it to this forum also when you post a hot deal here, and help us get this site off the ground.

  13. #13
    ABW Ambassador flamingoworld's Avatar
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    I find it quite rude to come to my forum and make your first post an advertisement for your site.

    Hey...did I remember to send you an invoice? I charge for advertisements, they aren't free..

  14. #14
    MasterMike HardwareGeek's Avatar
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    LOL I thought I was the only one that did that.

  15. #15
    ABW Ambassador Snib's Avatar
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    If you're going to start a forum, you're going to need to have something innovative to compliment it. You really need to build an audience with something else to make a forum work. If you have something that generates traffic on a regular basis, not just SEO traffic, but true return-visitor traffic, you can start a forum. I've found that you can't just start a site with a forum and hope it'll catch on. You need to start the site with something else and the forum will sort of grow from there. Focus on other aspects of your site and provide tools and resources that people find useful. Work on those return visitors and make people actually want to use your site.

    - Scott
    Hatred stirs up strife, But love covers all transgressions.

  16. #16
    ABW Veteran Mr. Sal's Avatar
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>
    Someone else suggested getting discussing something controversial or at least that everyone would have a strong opinion on. But WTF is controverial about cooking?!?! Plus I don't want to draw too many cuckoos yet.
    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    What can be made controversial about cooking?

    Some ideas just with BURGERS:

    Burgers are made with meat, so what about the MAD COW DISEASE?
    Vegeburger are made from plant, so what about PESTICIDES?

    Burgers taste better if BROILED
    Burgers taste better if BARBECUED
    Burgers taste better if GRILLED

    Burgers taste better if RARE
    Burgers taste better if MEDIUM RARE
    Burgers taste better if WELL DONE

    Burgers taste better if fried in OIL
    Burgers taste better if fried in LARD
    Burgers taste better if fried in GAS grill
    Burgers taste better if fried in ELECTRIC grill
    Burgers taste better if fried in CHARCOAL

    The best Burgers are made By:

    McDonald's
    Burger King
    Wendy's
    White Castle
    Home Made

    Now I am getting hungry for a few

  17. #17
    MasterMike HardwareGeek's Avatar
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    Who was the better cook. The Lesbian Julia or Whats his name Emil.

  18. #18
    ABW Ambassador
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    Here's one way to get a forum started that actually works. If you're already a member of different forums about the same subject as yours, you'll already know a bunch of people who post regularly on forums about this topic. Invite them to become moderators at your forum and you'll have ready-made, regular posters. Of course, the owner of the forum you're getting your moderators from won't be too happy, but it does work !

  19. #19
    Resident Genius and Staunch Capitalist Leader's Avatar
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    Like everything else, burgers taste better fried in BUTTER

    I think I'll try some of those burger ones...It's worth a shot.
    There is no knowledge that is not power. ~Hemingway

  20. #20
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    The most active conversations concerning cooking are DIET!

    How to make those yummy meals FAST, Cheap and not Fattening.

    If you can chat with people on how to eat those wonderful fries and not gain a pound! Even I would sign up, if for nothing else but to cook up those fries and complain I gained a pound!

  21. #21
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    "So I tried giving away a free recipe software CD for 50 posts. No takers. "

    I've always heard you say cash

    I have a forum, nothing to do with food, and Christmas topics are good. With recipes maybe something about their favorite Christmas recipes or something. Prize could be maybe an Amazon gift certificate, lot of people shop online there for Xmas or some other prize. Maybe publish the winning recipe and recipies in the running, on your site, some free content, content is king

    Also people like seeing their stuff on a website, they think it's cool. They will tell their friends "Look my recipe was published on leaders-recipe-site.com" Get a little traffic.

  22. #22
    The Eternal Optimist zimmy's Avatar
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    I just recently added a diet and exercise board to my forum and that is very popular. We also have a holiday board and people are posting a lot on that but...the main place people post and view is the generic talk board where people can post about anything. That's really where people start and get to know each other.



    ~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

    The big shots are only the little shots who keep shooting.
    -Christopher Morley

  23. #23
    ABW Ambassador
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    Quote Originally Posted by HardwareGeek

    downside of a forum. The drama. ahh the drama I am sure Haiko can tell you about all the problems that come with a forum. I have been contacted by the FBI, Lawyers etc because of post my users have made or because of death threats made to other users via the PM system.
    I've often thought about setting up a forum on UFOs and Extraterrestials.

    I've been close enough two times to know that these flying craft
    were not built on this planet (no wings or fins, for example, and FAST).

    (For weak-minded doubters, I am not crazy and very, very rarely touch booze.)

    I believe that Earthlings should be prepared to defend our planet in case these extraterrestial visitors are up to no good.

    I imagine I would get to know a lot of CIA, DIA, and FBI guys as well as a ton of kooks with a UFO Forum.

    The phpBB forum software looks good and the price is right.

    Thing is, how to make a UFO/Extraterrestial web site at least pay for itself .

    Plus, how does one keep one's sanity while dealing with the huge kook factor?

    On the other hand, maybe I am just crazed from lack of sleep and reading ABW posts till near dawn.

    Any intelligent comments?

    RadarCat, Webmaster
    http://www.os2warplinks.com

  24. #24
    Resident Genius and Staunch Capitalist Leader's Avatar
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    On the other hand, maybe I am just crazed from lack of sleep and reading ABW posts till near dawn.
    Rule #1: Do not invest or type anything serious on your site until getting some sleep! I've also found that the same applies to signing up for merchants.

    As for a UFO forum, I've seen a few, and they seem to have the same basic difficulties as ones on any other topic. Getting members to post, spam removal etc. And you're right, they get more than their share of kooks especially if you let them get going with the conspiracy theories. And if someone posts obviously bogus pix they start flaming if their post is removed, so a lot of admins get chicken and let any ol' claim fly, Copyright Photoshop or not... I've never been inclined to join one because of the cuckoo factor and also because no one seems to have the guts to say "Oh, bull fertilizer!" to the obviously fake stuff.

    Thing is, how to make a UFO/Extraterrestial web site at least pay for itself.

    Hm... First I'd try typing some UFO-related stuff into Google and see if it brings up any lucrative-looking AdSense... There's always the "related books" angle... sell plane tickets to Area 51~? Not sure about that last one..
    There is no knowledge that is not power. ~Hemingway

  25. #25
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    Hi, Leader,

    Thank you for your wise observations. I will think about them very seriously.

    You are cool and very smart!!

    RadarCat, Webmaster
    http://www.os2warplinks.com

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