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Community Building and User Generated Content Forum

    
I recently added a forum to my site...now what?
cgchris99




msg:1560732
 9:04 pm on May 25, 2004 (gmt 0)

I recently added a forum to my site. I haven't made it public knowledge that it is there until I know it is all working perfectly and have the color scheme/design changes done.

When I reach that point, how do I help it get started. Besides the obvious. Do I need to make the first few posts? Will that help?

Yes, I have some competition in this area so besides offering the general forums, I have a few that are specific to my site. I hope this helps.

I already get about 1000 visitors per day without the forum so I am hoping this will increase traffic.

Am I on the right track?

thanks for any advice

 

rogerd




msg:1560733
 1:56 am on May 26, 2004 (gmt 0)

Cgchris99, think of your forum as a dance floor. When you launch, the band is playing but the floor is empty. If you've ever been in this situation, you know it's tough for someone to break the ice. Maybe an unusually brave or skilled couple will get up and dance, but the crowd still holds back. Even when there are two or three couples, others may be reluctant to get out there. Eventually, though, as the floor starts to fill up, people stop holding back. Even those with two left feet (like me!) can be prodded into dancing because there is relative anonymity in the crush.

So... you need to get some "couples" out there talking. Whether you post yourself, or enlist your friends, or count on a few brave souls who currently visit your site, you've got to get some activity. Eventually, it will catch fire and you won't have to worry about it, but expect to nurture it for weeks or months.

A thousand visitors per day is a good start - post prominent links to your forum, and make it easy to get involved.

Members have posted a variety of ideas in the Starting a New Forum [webmasterworld.com] thread. Good luck!

TheDoctor




msg:1560734
 5:41 pm on May 26, 2004 (gmt 0)

think of your forum as a dance floor

What a lovely metaphor!

rogerd




msg:1560735
 11:09 pm on May 30, 2004 (gmt 0)

Thanks, Doc. The other forum metaphor I like is that of a house party where the forum owner is the host. The host must greet new arrivals, introduce them to people who have common interests, circulate around the room to be sure conversation is flowing, and at the same time make sure the party infrastructure (temperature, food, beverages, etc.) is functioning properly.

We've all been to parties where you barely meet the host, and others where the solicitous host remembers us, asks after common acquaintances, gives us a brief tour, and otherwise makes us feel important and welcome. I know I enjoy the latter kind of party more, and I suspect that forums produce similar responses to new visitors.

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