---- How many visitors does it take to open a forum?
lammert - 11:44 am on Apr 24, 2010 (gmt 0)
The current number of visitors wouldn't be a reason for me not to try it. If run well, the forum may easily increase the number of visits and page views per day. Some successful sites consist only of a forum with no additional static content. WebmasterWorld is a good example.
The main task you have is to create enough critical mass, both in number and quality of posts, and number of contributing members. Visitors do not automatically convert to contributers and you have to make it easy for them to do so. Seeding the forum yourself with meaningful threads helps. An easy sign-up procedure or posting without the need to register and enter silly questions and captchas also helps.
For me the reasons NOT to become active in a forum as a contributing member are:
No posts at all or a large number of empty sub-forums
A large number of stale threads where first-time visitors don't seem to get the attention they deserve to become returning contributers
No welcoming of new members
Large signatures or avatars which give me the impression that self-promotion of the members is more important than thread quality
Difficult sign-up procedure
Rude language, spam posts or other signs of missing appropriate moderation
The absolute number of users or threads in a forum is often not a reason for me not to join. The niche may just not have that many active contributors.