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Forum Moderators: buckworks
i might just be asking for trouble then?
Depends on how much time you can invest. Or if you can cultivate a moderator or two from the forum membership to help. Also depends on your clientel. I've operated on for several years with no problems. On the other hand I've been to sites where the forum members are out of control. Can be good. Can be bad. Leans more to the good if you just watch it closely.
A good tip for starting out is to allow anonymous posting (no registration required). This alone will boost the number of participants by a large factor (if they exist). You'll need to monitor the forum for spam bots. But they usually only come after it has been out for a few months.
You will also need to decide on which s/w to use: phpBB, SMF, vbulletin, etc. Each has its strengths and weaknesses.