Big Board Vs Small Board, Where is the Line?

ThornInYourSide

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Jul 12, 2021
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Do you look at post count, thread count, member count? Membership doesnt;' seem to be a good criteria since some make a few posts and never come back. I see boards with well over a million posts. I know of one on VBB with over a million threads, 60 million posts and nearly 3 million members. Most that I frequent are far smaller than that.
 

DigNap15

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x-y (s*7)/b = busy

There may be other forumula.
Members active during the day
 

zappaDPJ

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Ask 50 people, get 50 answers.

And that is probably the only realistic answer e.g. I manage a huge forum with millions of posts but I doubt it's ever had more than 50 active users at any one time so I consider it a small forum regardless of the amount of content.
 

Pete

Flavours of Forums Forever
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My argument has always been 'once you're *requiring* a VPS to run the forum at all, you're no longer a small forum' and 'once you're *requiring a dedicated server or multiple VPSes to run the forum at all, you're no longer medium'.
 

haqzore

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My argument has always been 'once you're *requiring* a VPS to run the forum at all, you're no longer a small forum' and 'once you're *requiring a dedicated server or multiple VPSes to run the forum at all, you're no longer medium'.
Or just a really bad server admin.
 

Pete

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Let's assume a reasonable level of competence on the part of the server admin :p
 

eva2000

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Do you look at post count, thread count, member count? Membership doesnt;' seem to be a good criteria since some make a few posts and never come back. I see boards with well over a million posts. I know of one on VBB with over a million threads, 60 million posts and nearly 3 million members. Most that I frequent are far smaller than that.

I've been working with some of the largest forums on the internet for nearly 20 yrs - including forums with up to 60,000 concurrent members and 500,000+ unique IP visitors/day. My idea of a big forum is in this order of criteria

1. concurrent guest and concurrent member activity and concurrent web server, PHP and MySQL connections. That ultimately decides how much you must scale up your server hardware/configuration to meet your needs. Forum's session timeout calculations can skew real concurrency though. If you had 2 forums - one with 1,000 reported visitors + members but had a 24hr session timeout would have real concurrent user counts much less than a forum with 1,000 reported visitors + members with a 5 minute session timeout.

2. size of the actual data set for files + MySQL database(s) - larger the size = larger the disk storage and backup storage & required hardware and server resource usage (memory, cpu, disk)
 

ThornInYourSide

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Jul 12, 2021
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I'm on one board with over a million threads, sixty million posts and two and a half million members. No idea what their daily traffic is. Board was started in '99 and is still on VBB, though I can't tell which version. The board is secondary to the main site and doesn't get a lot of support unless something happens. This past week it was down for about half a day and when it came back the previous 24 hours of posts were gone. I'm thinking server glitch and daily backup.

I'm not sure if they''re to big to port to a new package or just not interested in doing so.
 

SaN-DeeP

TechArena.IN
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Jun 30, 2004
Messages
4,290
There is technically no line anywhere today.
But completely depends on how active your board is.
Most of the big boards are non-active today including the one displayed in my signature.
Google ate entire forum industry..

If it is very active and interesting content, it will just take a few months to cross posts/topics threshold.
 

Pete

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I can lay many claims at Google’s door, but killing forums isn’t one of them. They might have made user generated content less “valuable” but social media is really what has done a number on forums, between changing where people spend their time and pushing for ”now now now” content meaning that slower paced content is perceived as less valuable/people don’t have time to wait around.
 

vikvaliant

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Oct 21, 2014
Messages
98
To me, it depends on whether you're the owner or an observer.

For the owner, a big board vs small board is based on three different and independent criteria:

1. Size of the board
2. Traffic per day
3. Revenue

The size of each can determine how much hardware you need, the work you need to put in to maintain/monitor/upgrade, or taxes that you need to pay. For example, PayPal will send you a 1099 (and report to the IRS) if you process over $20,000/year or over 200 transactions; or if you process more than $600/year or have more than 4 transactions if you're in certain states.

So personally, if I have to put in more than a couple hours a week or expense to maintain or monitor #1 or #2, or meet a threshold where I have to pay taxes, then I'm in "big board" territory.

For the outside observer, I would say it's based on activity and/or quality of the content, compared to wherever else they can get similar content. So a large inactive board with outdated or poor content can be a 'small board,' but a small active board in a niche can be a 'big board' if that's one of the few places they can get quality content that they're looking for.
 

Pete

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Big boards have some inertia of their own - the collective weight of posts has a habit of keeping people coming back and luring in new people through what amounts to long-tail content. But that doesn't mean the inertia is infinite - it just means it's easier to keep it going.
 

DigNap15

Fan
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Sep 14, 2019
Messages
679
There is technically no line anywhere today.
But completely depends on how active your board is.
Most of the big boards are non-active today including the one displayed in my signature.
Google ate entire forum industry..

If it is very active and interesting content, it will just take a few months to cross posts/topics threshold.
Inactive today!
And yet you had 500,000 members!
 

ThornInYourSide

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Jul 12, 2021
Messages
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Google ate entire forum industry..
I can lay many claims at Google’s door, but killing forums isn’t one of them.
The mass evil known as ZuckerBook did that. Worst thing to ever hit the web.
I disagree with that. I think there are many big boards that are thriving. It's the smaller boards that seem to lack activity.
Niche boards are thriving. The types that the ZuckerDemon wouldn't allow.
 
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