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Forum Moderators: rogerd
It's in travel but no matter what we do our traffic gets to about 3-5k uniques a day but no more.
To try and get more repeat visitors we have readied a forum on phpbb and its ready to go.
We also have a page comment system ready to go.
I am nervous about a forum but it could really give the site wings.
Or should we go for the page comments or perhaps even both?
For either option we are favouring pre moderated postings as it just sounds like it stops a lot of hastle.
Any advice appreciated.
Is it best to pre moderate?
I'd try without, and turn it on only if you need to.
Nofollow will be vital as a way of protecting your ranking, as well as your readers - and you'll certainly need to moderate closely, as most drive-by spammers find it easier to spam and move on than check if nofollow exists (it's automated, why would they care?).
Personally, I believe that a quality registration/captcha system is much better than pre moderation.
What do you mean by nofollow? It sounds like it's something I need but I don't know what it is!
Personally when I post a comment on some newspaper sites I repeatedly return to check to see if my comment has been posted or not. If a reply is instant I don't tend to return-I have said my piece so I'll move on. I'm not talking about forums but the add comments.
From reading this forum I am concerned about the idiots who seem to lurk on forums.
What about moderate for say first 5-10 posts then when you can trust them allow free posting?
I think people treat forums a little differently to blogs - but that may be me :)
It's up to you, but I'd always start as open as possible - and as minimal intervention (=work!) - as possible. You may well need to pre moderate new posters; but you may not, so imposing a rule before you need it may be overkill. *ANY* rules are offputting, especially for a new forum with a lot of Empty Space.
OK here what you say.
I am also worried about legal issues.
For example are we responsible as a forum owner for everything that is said?
What if someone said something which is not outwardly offensive but could be false or even dangerous advice?
For example if you had a forum on travel and someone said in good faith it was OK to take a particular route but then someone took this route and got lost in quick sand (as we weren't to know either)
Am I being TOO worried?
Could we have a blanket disclaimer saying all material in these forums are views of posters only and may not be correct?
While I am not a lawyer, the general situation seems to be that you should remove all the obviously 'wrong' and abusive stuff (makes a for a better forum, anyway), and you should always act on 'reasonable complaints' within a 'reasonable time'.
That means sometimes having to give the complainer the benefit of the doubt - because if there's a complaint and you fail to act, then you are effectively opting to accept responsibility for the 'offending content'.
According to all my reading, the courts seem to have no problem understanding that moderators cannot act instantly, but have little sympathy for moderators/owners who do not act when they should.
If you are in business, and your forum is allowed to be used to attack your rivals, then sometimes you will be walking a tightrope!
Having said all that, in most cases, moderation is little more than common sense and knowing what's best for your forum; 'reasonable' is always the key word - but 'conflict of interest' is the one that can lead to trouble!
Do you have "WElcome to the forum, sorry it's a little slow so far" messages in each sub-forum, plus a major announcement on the front page?
Is the forum linked form every 'content' page on the site as part of 'normal' navigation?
Do you have extra "discuss it in the forum"-style promos around the site?
What have you done off-site?
[edited by: Quadrille at 8:58 am (utc) on Feb. 10, 2009]
You want a good forum? Work it. Work it hard. Count your successes by 10s of members until 100. After that count by the 50s until 1,000.
You may have built it but they won't come unless you make it fun.
Hot and heavy and controversial
Good solid info and experience reporting
Both work, the latter works better over the long run.
Been there, done that, both sides since before there was an Internet (back in the BBS daze...)
Good and solid is what has carried forward better. YMMV.
One method I have seen work is to have News page and then have a comment on this story in the forum link.
The macrumors site uses this method and it works brilliantly from what I can tell.
I was wondering if I could have a news page which had stories seen in the general media but with our own writing so no direct copying. So we would just write the facts-but I don't know if this can be done without infringing copyright.
I'd (loosely) divide using info into three categories:
Using a story - makes you subject to copyright, which means a full reference and permission; else you break the law.
Using chunks - makes you at risk of plagiarism if you don't cite sources, not illegal (unless you are 'passing off' someone's work as your own to defraud or cheat), but subject to 'good manners' convention.
Using an idea or the odd fact - more 'inspiration' than substance, not generally subject to anything - unless it's a Big Idea (standing on the shoulders of giants, etc.), and then a nod is good.