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Paying for posts: Anyone ever did that?

     
1:02 am on Nov 4, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Hey all, Iím currently working on my first forum site. Like others, once I start getting traffic, Iím concerned about getting members to sign up and start posting, especially in the beginning, when the forum will be empty.

Someone online suggested that I use a paid posting service.

Has anyone ever used such a service? I can see the advantages of having many posts made on topic, itíll probably motivate lurkers and new members to actually post.

But, are there any drawbacks about paying for posts? Are there other alternatives to get as many posts quickly to make my forum look busy? Do you guys think itís a good idea?

[edited by: jatar_k at 6:09 pm (utc) on Nov. 8, 2005]
[edit reason] no urls thanks [/edit]

3:52 am on Nov 4, 2005 (gmt 0)

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My question is how do they know what to post, and would they be posting unique content or stealing from other web forums, i dunno..just a couple things to think about
4:02 pm on Nov 4, 2005 (gmt 0)

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If you will get paid posting support,you might loss the moral value of the forum as everything will be dummy, to increase the number of post and to make it live and real every time you've to take the support of that company.
8:39 pm on Nov 4, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Any incentive to post is risky - money is probably more risky. The main problem is post quality. I've seen people churn out dozens of one-sentences (or "me too") posts just to become a "senior member". If you pay them a little money (you can't pay a lot, probably), it will just encourage even more pointless posting.

How about awarding a prize each week (or five prizes) for the best post(s) of the week. You choose the winner(s). Maybe a winning post starts an interesting discussion, or provides great information on a topic. This way, you are encouraging quality rather than quantity. Plus, quality posts tend to encourage more posts by others, too.

2:09 pm on Nov 8, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Right, it will just increase the numbers rather than quality posts. Paying for posts will make you dependent to your providers, I don't think it is good in long run.
5:02 pm on Nov 8, 2005 (gmt 0)

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i'd *perhaps* consider paying for new topics, but i would NEVER pay for posts
5:52 pm on Nov 8, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Good job Brett is not paying for post in the ever more ridiculous update threads!
3:18 pm on Nov 10, 2005 (gmt 0)

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I pay moderators a small monthly fee to answer questions. These are people who have shown an initial interest and whom I would like to have hang around for a long time.

It's money well spent - my forum has grown mostly because of their work.

8:51 pm on Nov 10, 2005 (gmt 0)

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>>paying for post in the ever more ridiculous update threads!

Just about every forum has something comparable to the update threads - long threads where people seem to hang out and hit refresh ever minute. Rewards for posting encourage chit-chat and low content posts, and these kinds of threads are fertile ground.

9:23 pm on Nov 10, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Rather than paying for posts, I once ran a contest where I paid $100 for the best post over the course of a month. (It was a travel website, and I paid for what I judged to be the best trip report.)

The possibility of winning the award motivated writers to submit more, and better, reports, while not putting me on the hook to pay for a slew of lousy posts. Plus, having the contest generated buzz on and for the site. Finally, the fact that not every post was paid allowed the board to retain credibility, which it would have lost with hundreds of paid, astroturf posts.

12:12 am on Nov 12, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Revenue sharing forums are much better.
1:07 am on Nov 21, 2005 (gmt 0)

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I agree with most of what was said in this thread. Obviously, there's better alternatives to keep your forum active; I think running contests is a very good one.

But, my question was more about when you're just starting your forum, at its early stages, when it has few members and the forums are basically empty. Wouldn't hiring a posting service to do like 500 quality posts on your forum help speed up the growing process? I mean as a user, coming to a forum for the first time, if all the sections are empty, I'd be less tempted to join.

BTW, I'm sorry about the url thing, just wanted to have some feedback on them.

7:26 pm on Nov 25, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Rather than paying for posts, I once ran a contest where I paid $100 for the best post over the course of a month. (It was a travel website, and I paid for what I judged to be the best trip report.)

The possibility of winning the award motivated writers to submit more, and better, reports, while not putting me on the hook to pay for a slew of lousy posts. Plus, having the contest generated buzz on and for the site. Finally, the fact that not every post was paid allowed the board to retain credibility, which it would have lost with hundreds of paid, astroturf posts.

This is one of the better forum post incentives I have seen. Definately going to file it away for future use. It does seem like it is better suited to some topics over others. The travel site is good because you have trip reports and such that are a staple of the forum. Some forums are not as conducive to longer detailed reviews and posts.

But definately a good idea.