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when to setup the new ones?

     
1:29 pm on Nov 3, 2005 (gmt 0)

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I've started a new forum. At what point should I add all the new categories? I see two ways to go:

- Create all the ones I think will be good and usefull and create them from the start.
- Have only one to start with and then create new ones on demand.

1:38 pm on Nov 3, 2005 (gmt 0)

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- Create all the ones I think will be good and usefull and create them from the start.

That's generally a bad idea. You'll find your members wanting to talk about things that you might not have even considered. Additionally, unless you yourself can post at least one good quality post in each forum every day, it will continue to look "empty", and that's a bad indication for any forum. If you have a look at any unsucessful forum on the web, and there are plenty, that is generally a common theme - loads of categories and no posts.

The best approach is to start with a fewer number of forums (the minimum) and start to split into new categories when it becomes obvious to do so (you'll know it when it happens).

- Have only one to start with and then create new ones on demand.

That's the general rule of thumb and works well to ensure that the forum looks busy and active.

Split when you have at least 20-30 threads which you can move immediately to the new forum.

Divide and conquor is a good tactic.

TJ

1:44 pm on Nov 3, 2005 (gmt 0)

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definitely option #2. Too many forums gor for #1, and end up looking really empty. Activity gets too diluted, and overall activity drops (people can't be bothered to move from one subforum to another)
5:52 pm on Nov 3, 2005 (gmt 0)

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That's what I thought too, just wasn't sure. One thing I saw as a plus for #1 is that I can shape the forum the way I want. I.e. shape the niche.

I started with one general category so far. I will create new ones as the needs arises.

Thanks!

9:03 pm on Nov 3, 2005 (gmt 0)

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I think starting with several forums (say, 3 - 5) isn't a bad idea if your topic has a few natural divisions. You'll probably find, though, that in the early days people tend to congregate and post in whichever forum seems to be busiest.
12:08 pm on Nov 4, 2005 (gmt 0)

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i'd say 4 ontopic forums, 1 general chat and 1 site feedback/announcements one would be ideal. You want to keep as much of your content above the fold, for as long as possible, and having 4 allows you to do that
2:40 pm on Nov 4, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Your users may start suggesting how to divide up the fourms to better reflect what they're talking about too.
8:40 pm on Nov 4, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Forum topics will tend to create themselves - when you see that one forum is full of posts about a particular topic, perhaps it's time to split.
10:07 pm on Nov 4, 2005 (gmt 0)

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1 general chat and 1 site feedback/announcements one would be ideal.

That's a great suggestion. I will probably add those 2 sections.

perhaps it's time to split.

In that case, would you move all the "on topic" posts into that forum (providing that URLs do not change) or leave them where they are?