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Managing forums across multiple sites

One admin area, lots of different forum sites

     
10:29 pm on Jan 6, 2006 (gmt 0)

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In my annual look through the list of domain names that I still own, I have discovered about 20 or 30 "golden" names in terms of being excellent names to build web sites around. Generic single words or phrases in most cases (.co.uk's).

So I thought maybe instead of letting them just gather dust, I could pick up some traffic by setting each one up as a discussion forum, seeding them gently over the next year or two, and see if any grow.

However the work involved in running 20 or 30 seperate sites would be prohibitive, unless the software could support separate forums on separate domains but be linked to a central admin system where all the forums could be administered and moderated centrally.

Is there any multi-site forum software out there or does anyone have any experience of doing this?

9:41 pm on Jan 9, 2006 (gmt 0)

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That's an interesting idea, GordonS. I can't say that I've ever seen that exact setup.

One crude solution that occurs to me is to frame the forum content on each indendent site, and have the master forum on a single domain; each site's forum would be a subforum on the main domain. I could see major technical and management issues with that, though. You'd have to set up access rights in a relatively complex way if you wanted the sites to be truly independent, and users who visited more than one of your sites might get confused.

If you are mainly concerned about speed of moderation, etc., look for a package that maximizes what you can do from the page itself (without having to log into a control panel). This way each site could have its own complete forum and database, but you could be relatively efficient in moderating it.