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How to get a forum community started

  1. Dec 3, 2006 #1


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    Hey guys,

    I seem to be in a tight situation. I'm trying to get my online community started (OS Conflict). Its been up since September and we only have about 60 members, a majority of which arent even active. I've been posting in forums, IRC chats, and other various chat rooms to attract members and boost activity, but that seems to be ineffective. Is there anything wrong with the community in terms of look, layout, etc? Can anyone give any suggestions? Like how to have a user base as big as PF. At any given moment there are hundreds of guests on PF.

    Feedback welcome.

    --thank you.
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 4, 2006 #2


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    I'm sure it took a while for PF to get off the ground. It does for most forums that don't form from a pre-existing community. Learning what various search engines do to rank your site and then doing what you can to maximize the ranking would presumably help.
  4. Dec 4, 2006 #3
    Its all about content... More applicable content the merrier
  5. Dec 4, 2006 #4


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    Here's one thing for me: I'm not willing to register just to be able to view the content. By weak analogy, I'm not willing to buy an unfamiliar book if it is shrinkwrapped.
  6. Dec 4, 2006 #5
    I second that. Most, if not all, of the forums on the internet will at least let you read posts without registering, having may be one or two sections for registered members/subscribers.
  7. Dec 4, 2006 #6
    I definitely am with robphy, I would not be willing to register for a forum I can't check out first. I would suggest you allow guests to browse.

    I also think that website growth is exponential. At first it will seem very slow because most people will see you have a total of around 50 posts in your forums, but as you get more posts, more people will stick around.

    Looks like an interesting site, 60 members in 4 months is not too bad. As people come and visit your site they will tell more friends about it. I say just wait it out.

    I am not a web developer so all my statements are merely oppinions.

    edit:: woops I realized that guests can browse... sorry, that big banner at the top that says I must register is misleading.
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2006
  8. Dec 4, 2006 #7
    Just a random idea but why not write a few guides in your forum? I found physicsforums by literally asking a question to google about physics or something, so perhaps if you write a few guides for common OS problems you might get more hits?
  9. Dec 4, 2006 #8
    Indeed it is. :redface:
  10. Dec 4, 2006 #9
    neutrino : :smile:

    ranger : Also, I noticed that you do have a few guides going up, so that's good I think.

    One last comment from me. Your forum has a lot of sub-forums. I would cut down on a few of them because by having so many it starts to feel like a graveyard :biggrin:. Although I am joking, it isn't that lonely, you could combine some subforums like civilized debates, newcomers (definitely) and tech tips into just a "general discussion" subforum.

    Or you could just hand out free beer. [​IMG]
  11. Dec 4, 2006 #10


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    Thanks for the comments guys. When it first started out, I had an entire forum section for the major operating systems and programing languages. That made it looked lonely, so I just dumped all that into one section. You think I should take the subforums of the windows sections (windows vista to windows 9x) and combine them into one major subforum, then expand as more content is posted?

    Now that you mention it, "Welcome Guest, Register to Remove this Message" is kind of forceful and misleading. I'll have to change the caption.

    dontdisturbmycircles: great idea. I'll rearrange the forums in the general section. I wish I could hand out beer, but several of our members are quite young :)
  12. Dec 4, 2006 #11
    Another good idea, is to link it to a very busy forum, which will generate traffic from that forum, and google backlinks will increase your page rankings...

    ohhh :rolleyes:
  13. Dec 4, 2006 #12


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    I've tried posting on forums that allow it. Such as those with a specific section for advertising. I try not to spam :)
  14. Dec 4, 2006 #13
    I dont understand the focus of your board.. anyway to be honest, there are so many technology forums out there, you need to have some 'Je ne sais quoi' some edge that will get people interested and posting.

    anyway good luck
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2006
  15. Dec 4, 2006 #14


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    When I was recruited for the site, its main focus was to debate operating systems. But I changed that to attract a wider range of discussions. I just realized that the caption "OS Conflict - Forums" wasnt too descriptive. So I've changed it, that may give a hint as to what the community is about. As for making it stand out, I'm running out of ideas. It seems like writing guides and tutorials is the only way.
  16. Dec 4, 2006 #15
    In all honesty, if you are looking at very high level stuff, you will be hard pressed to beat some technology forums like tek tips or some news groups. thats why I said you need an edge, something else that those type of forums and news groups lack.

    Actually I think the gap is High Level content WITH personality :wink: The big tech forums dont really have any personality, nor do news groups....

    Anyway good luck
  17. Dec 4, 2006 #16
    Create big (flashy) banners that people can display in their webpages, other forums, etc.

    Edit: Inculde Ubuntu is you Linux sub-forum, even though it may have been created from Debian, I'm sure you'll get a lot of hits. :wink:
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2006
  18. Dec 4, 2006 #17


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    Working on that...

    ah yes of course. Ubuntu is becoming a very popular distro. I'll add that in place of mandriva (I never liked mandriva in any case). Thanks!
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