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Community Building and User Generated Content Forum

    
They don't need me anymore
When do you just let go?
spaceylacie




msg:1556686
 7:55 am on Oct 6, 2005 (gmt 0)

My forum members don't need me anymore. I started the forum as a blog of sorts.

There is a big event in the UK(I live in the US) coming up that falls into my niche and some of my members are planning to attend and wear a certain symbol so they can find each other. But, I was one of the last people to hear about it. I guess they were privately messaging each other until a thread was finally started to organize the event(what they would wear to identify each other). They all seemed to know about it already.

My mods have totally taken over the board as far as controlling who posts what. For example, I said email addresses were allowed, but my mods decided it wasn't a good idea.

The members used to chat freely with me, but now I'm just the "site admin". I guess it's time to just let them go and let the mods do their jobs, which they are doing well. It all happened so fast, a month ago, I would not have seen it coming.

 

Marketing Guy




msg:1556687
 8:41 am on Oct 6, 2005 (gmt 0)

Depends what you want from your forum. If you are happy for the mods to take over and run the ship then let them.

But at the end of the day it's your site and if there's stuff going on you don't like then put your foot down. That said, it's much better to ask opinions then make a decision rather than just giving orders. :)

In terms of the community - people naturally network on their own and develop their own groups and friends. It's not anything personal - it could just be that everyone assumes that you are "in the know" as you are the owner, so don't bother telling you.

Longhaired Genius




msg:1556688
 9:02 am on Oct 6, 2005 (gmt 0)

And, about the email thing, your mods were right!

grey259




msg:1556689
 3:26 pm on Oct 6, 2005 (gmt 0)

I wouldn't say that you're not needed anymore. I'm assuming that most of your members reached the forums after visiting your website, as most forums need some point to start from. You provide a valuable role in the health and wellbeing of your community that way. All forums need a fresh influx of new members as the old members lose interest, and that's what you provide.

If you decide to withdraw your personal role from the forums, continue to make it work for you as a source of repeated visitors for your site. If you have a lot of members or the right demographic, consider throwing some ads on the forums.

spaceylacie




msg:1556690
 11:13 pm on Oct 6, 2005 (gmt 0)

I was just in one of my moods yesterday and felt left out even on my own forum. Yeah, they do need me... a new member messaged me today to get help posting a picture on the forum... at which time I referred her to a mod because I have no clue how to do it as it's a method members came up with...

;-) Really, though, they do get to the board through my site and keep up with the site and talk about it... so it's all good. I'll just take my place in the background.

TheRookie




msg:1556691
 11:39 pm on Oct 6, 2005 (gmt 0)

Spacey, how big is your forum (members, posts, etc)? Just wanna know how big they get before "leaving home", so to speak.

spaceylacie




msg:1556692
 2:05 am on Oct 7, 2005 (gmt 0)

You probably can't compared the average to mine because my site is about a certain type of origami, a new but increasingly popular origami-type technique. A specialty niche if there ever was one. I post challenges on the main site.. then they go to the forum to talk about the challenges on the site and to start their own challenges(the part I didn't expect).

About 200 members and 3000 posts.

P.S. Should have mentioned, it's a new site, tomorrow will be it's 6 month anniversary and... their challenges are almost always more interesting than mine, but the newcomers enjoy the ones on my site.

rogerd




msg:1556693
 3:09 am on Oct 10, 2005 (gmt 0)

Congrats on building such an effective mod crew that you can feel irrelevant. (At least for a few minutes!)

That your forum is running smoothly without your intervention is a good thing - you can focus on being involved in the discussion, starting interesting topics, etc.

One of the problems with being a forum admin is that you can end up spending most of your time dealing with problems instead of participating - sounds like you have that issue well in hand. (I'm envious... :))

spaceylacie




msg:1556694
 4:28 am on Oct 10, 2005 (gmt 0)

Thanks, but don't be too envious. It was for a "few minutes" as you mentioned. Tonight I was asked to make an official decision on a religious matter(my members, without checking with me, are planning a Christmas swap).

If someone has a problem with it being called a Christmas swap(rather then holiday swap) they can arrange their own swaps if they want, just leave me out of it!

K, I'm done venting.

aeiouy




msg:1556695
 10:13 am on Oct 14, 2005 (gmt 0)

You got to a place most forums want to eventually get to, and few actually realize.

You should enjoy it instead of feeling bad about it. Since your mods have everything in control... you should feel free to integrate yourself back into your own community as a regular user...Especially if it is a topic and subject that you have a real interest in.

Just start acting like a regular user and enjoy what you have built. You still have bottom line authority.

If you want people to treat you differently, you have to act a bit differently. If you just start changing stuff so you feel more comfortable you are liable to topple the whole applecart and really do serious harm to your community.

So again, enjoy it and use it.. You built it, and should consider yourself lucky.

JollyK




msg:1556696
 4:54 pm on Oct 14, 2005 (gmt 0)

spaceylacie, I just wanted to say that sometimes, you start out with a forum, but you end up building a community that evolves out of what you started. Sometimes, the community takes on a life of its own, and you get put in the position of a parent suddenly realizing their child is a grownup. Your child will always need you in some way as their parent, but they'll also be more independent. That's actually a good thing -- it's hard to build a real community. It still kind of sucks when your kid grows up, though. :-)

I think the feeling left out is normal. Just don't dwell on it. :-)

JK

spaceylacie




msg:1556697
 10:52 pm on Oct 16, 2005 (gmt 0)

Good analogy. Along the same lines, I had to step in and be the parent today. But, just a gentle reminder since they are now "all grown up". I have been getting on to just chat with the newcomers and more established members lately. It is fun.

bradley phil




msg:1556698
 12:53 pm on Oct 30, 2005 (gmt 0)

bah - sign up a new account and join in the community incognito!

or occupy yourself expanding the site, implementing new features, attracting advertisers, getting more backlinks, etc... an admin's work is never done ;)

jazzd1




msg:1556699
 10:56 pm on Nov 27, 2005 (gmt 0)

This was a good topic.. Danny

goldminer




msg:1556700
 2:41 am on Nov 28, 2005 (gmt 0)

That can never happen to me! [webmasterworld.com]
Off course my forum is bigger.

Your story makes me remember the first time i realised people could get connected together without me in my forum.
They could talk together, chat together, become friends, meet together IRL.
I was pretty happy. Because that is part of why i have made a community.
reading your story i think this is a moment every successfull forum admin is facing.

A moment that also has to be overcome.
Because any forum needs an old oak here from day zero, that is still here to bring the joint nobody see, gives the trick, makes the connection.

As a forum admin, i ve never seen nobody from my forum have such emotion and determination that i have, nobody that think so hard when it is time to, nobody so much devoted to it, and i feel that is where my place is. Don't you?

Casethejoint




msg:1556701
 11:51 am on Nov 29, 2005 (gmt 0)

Doesn't it encourage to move on and create something new though, knowing that you've successfully enabled this group to carry on under their own steam? I'd take heart from that, but I can understand feeling a bit left out (the rude little so-and-sos!).

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