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Forum Moderators: rogerd
This personality is a community personality, but it is disproportionately shaped by two groups. The first group is composed of the prominent members, i.e., those who post a lot or who have a strong reputation (based on their forum participation or external factors). Visitors are more likely to encounter these members and/or more likely to consider them representatives of the community. E.g., if you make your first post in a forum and a senior member with 10,000 posts flames you, it's more likely a characteristic of the community than if a guy on his second post does it.
The other group is the moderator staff (including admins, owners, etc.) - they define and maintain the tone of discussion, and try to make sure that newcomers feel welcome and comfortable. I've visited some forums where the moderators were quite obnoxious and would use their moderating ability to win heated arguments with members; needless to say, these forums tend to be market share losers when there's a better alternative.
Becoming the major forum in your market space doesn't happen overnight - it takes many thousands of decisions by thousands of individuals to visit, to post, to return, to post again, etc. You win the battle one member at a time.
Word of mouth marketing will help; promote your forum by links from other sites, and perhaps (where appropriate and allowed) posting in other forums. Be sure you have an "email this page" link on every page. It's a slow process, but it will build if you work at it.
Yes we already do this. The "main" site is a webmaster resources site with a dozen or more SEO and webmaster "tools".
***promote your forum by links from other sites, and perhaps (where appropriate and allowed) posting in other forums.***
We've been doing this as well
***Be sure you have an "email this page" link on every page.***