|Terrible Difficulty Trying To Grow Forum!|
I run a forum on my true ghost stories site, but despite getting over 1000 new visitors every day, I am having terrible difficulty growing the forum. All I get is spam, spam, spam and I am sick of it!
Can anybody give me some tips on how to get more postings in my forum?
You are not alone, as spam postings affect every forum out there. Once a forum grows, the spammers will see the subject matter and membership is untargeted for their porn/drug plugs, and many will quit.
Just keep deleting their accounts and posts, they will soon get the message.
You want to contact Ghost websites and link with them. Use PPC to drive targeted traffic and new members, and seo it, so the post headings get into the main engines.
Some good threads in the Library:
Starting a forum - [webmasterworld.com...]
Getting Lurkers to post - [webmasterworld.com...]
If you are getting a lot of spam, be sure you are taking the usual spam prevention precautions - image verification and email verification for new users are big ones.
Make sure that whatever forum program you're using - whether open source or purchased (assuming you didn't build it from scratch) - is operating on the latest version and that you get updates/patches installed as soon as they're available. The spammers (and worse) often learn pretty quickly where the vulnerabilities are.
For some reason spambots seem to like empty and very low use forums. If you don't have a lot of actively posting members yet (and seeing tons of spam will certainly send some of them elsewhere), keep the number of forums/subforums lean and mean so that they all have regular activity. As I'm sure you'll read in the threads rogerd linked to, this also makes the forum "feel" busier so people are more likely to want to join in. As posting increases, you can add more subforums by splitting into narrower subject areas.
[edited by: Beagle at 1:37 am (utc) on Sep. 25, 2007]
start contest, give prizes, promote loyal posters by giving them additional abilities within the forum, i don't know, stuff like that.
Sounds like you need an automated solution to the spam. Nothing turns users away from a forum more than seeing spam. They perceive it as an abandoned site.
The users you are targeting aren't academics, reward and punishment will do - few ideas if you have a few good posters:
The few good posters can get a V.I.P status which basically just means that they can post whatever they feel like - the rest initial posts (topic at hand) has to be "accepted" by a moderator.
Make a lower limit on how many words are needed to actually post something on the first post (topic at hand) to start with - for instance 200 words minimum or it just gets "can't do that - 200 words minimum" - bots will hate you since they usually just use a standard message..
Implement a karma system .. where people can vote eachothers topics up and down and affect eachother .. if somebody gets too much bad karma - their initial posts aren't on the top - they start in the middle instead .. and so on...
[edited by: RandomDot at 8:23 am (utc) on Sep. 29, 2007]
true! the more stats you have the more addictive the forum is going to be for potential subscribers and/or participants.
penalties for the spammers!