Cheat-master30's Ultimate Forum Guide

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cheat_master30

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cheat_master30 submitted a new Article:

Cheat-master30's Ultimate Forum Guide

Based off of what I have written in reviews, the Good Forum Guide and the Clan Guide, this article is pretty much a what to do and not to do list article about running a good forum. Now, I'll be honest and say that many of these tips are rather much common sense, but seeing as half the forums I've reviewed completely ignore the advice, I guess it's important to post this up.

Forum Structure and Layout

Now, first of all, you must be reasonable with your forum organisation. Now, as the Clan Guide I once wrote said, covering multiple topics is a must, and you NEED at least one area for non topically related posts to go in. However, here are a few good tips for numbers of forums and such like.

1. Keep the forum number to a normal level

Now, you don't know how many times I've seen forums with hundreds of empty forums lying around, and many having about 0 posts. I've seen RP boards which seem to go completely overboard with areas, gaming boards which try to cover every minor console released in the last 20 years and webmaster forums which try to be Sitepoint 2.0 complete with the exact same huge numbers of forums. Keep it down, because too many forums WILL confuse your members, and will make the forum look far less active than it already is.

2. Keep your forums related

And this comes in two parts. One, do not do the Gamefaqs style everything for everyone forum layout with about fifteen boards related to interests only marginally related to your topic. Seriously, there is no reason to have a forum about food or a forum about a TV series on a webmaster forum for example, and trying to be the jack of all trades is getting kind of old.

The other piece of advice is to have forums that relate to your theme, and don't overgeneralise it. I've seen three boards with come under this exact category. They have clear connections to a Nintendo gaming related site, yet the forum structure isn't related to the topic, and demotes the site topic to one forum called 'video games', with then TV, music, movies and webmaster forums among others. That's boring to me, and pretty much says that you have very little interest in the actual topic the website was set up to write/talk about.

3. Fill up the ones you have

No forum should ever have zero posts, and the ones you have should indeed have content in. Three topics is a nice round number, and I'd say one of those should at least a semi intelligent one. Seriously, this along with the 1st piece...
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cheat_master30

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Old, but good grief I need to find a good thumbnail image for this icon. Cause that tiny smiley looks terrible at about 2000 times the normal size.

Any ideas?
 
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