Common Mistakes That Forum Administrators Make

The Sandman

Administrator
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Jan 1, 2004
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The Sandman submitted a new Article:

Common Mistakes That Forum Administrators Make

Note: This is an excerpt from our Interview with Erwin

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Common Mistakes That Forum Administrators Make
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  1. Starting too big.
    I see many forums which are new and have a small number of members, but they have complicated sites with too many forums. Always start small, start simple, get a core group of members first, and build from there.
  2. Sites that are too complicated.
    Newbies get confused. Make your design nice but simple.
  3. Too many hacks.
    Only add hacks that would be useful to your particular community.
  4. Overconfidence and poor security.
    CF was hacked into recently because I was overconfident and thought I had it secured - I overlooked a bbcode that allowed input variables - I knew it was not secure, but I didn't think anyone would know about it - I found out that hackers were copying cookies and logging into my staff accounts - this apparently went on for months. Thank God the hackers involved were not malicious, and I was told of this breach, which is now fixed. But overconfidence and pride can lead to serious consequences - always be overcautious when it comes to security.
  5. Too much graphics.
    If you do have lots of graphics at least offer a text-based style as well.
  6. No plan for growth.
    A lot of forum admins start a forum, but when it gets bigger, the forum closes down because:
    • Not enough staff to moderate
    • The server is not powerful enough so too slow
    • The community splits into factions and splits
    • Always assume your site will grow, and have a plan - how do you plan to pay for upgrades?
  7. Poor selection of staff, and poor staff management.
    Members are the blood of a forum. The moderators is like the heart of a forum that controls the circulation of the blood. Without good moderators, a forum WILL fail. When it comes to moderators, a forum admin needs to:
    • Figure out how many mods a forum needs - don't have too many if your forum is too small, but you need enough so that mods do not burn out.
    • Choose mods from members who are dedicated
    • Offer a way for members to apply
    • Be strict in accepting staff - it is HARDER to fire a mod than to hire one.
    • Always have a live interview process
    • Always have a training process
    • Always...

Read more about this article here...
 
Last edited by a moderator:

gogoblender

shiny happy pantless
Joined
Feb 20, 2006
Messages
15,307
Mea culpa!
:lol:

Of a few anyway...working on them as we speak.
Thanks Sandman for the post.

:)

gogo
 

chartmusic

Participant
Joined
Jan 4, 2007
Messages
82
Note: This is an excerpt from our Interview with Erwin

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Common Mistakes That Forum Administrators Make
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E. Always have a live interview process
F. Always have a training process
G. Always have a probationary period - For example, at CF, we have a live interview with senior staff, then training for 30 days, and a probationary period of 60 days - during the first 90 days, you may be asked to step down as a mod if you are found to be unsuitable.

Written by Erwin
Not sure about those. Added C recently and found that to be very helpful.
 

ericho

Neophyte
Joined
Aug 16, 2007
Messages
4
common mistakes Forum Administrators make.

I really appreciate this post.

I was just asking another forum owner today, of there are a list of guidelines that new forums admins can follow as a guide.

I am very experienced with communication in the real world - but internet communication is so much different - and I am a newbie in this field.

One thing I have done is work on another forum to gain some more experience as well as launching my own forum less than 2 months ago.

I've made mistakes and that's OK to learn from, but I wish I had seen this post back then...I might have taken a few more things into consideration.

I do have other questions that maybe some of you can answer from your own experiences

  1. How much should an administrator get involved in conversations with members on the forum?
  2. And, can we interact as both a member and an administrator or should we separate those two identities?

I am really interested in hearing your opinions.

Elizabeth Richardson
 

TechGuy1

Aspirant
Joined
Oct 23, 2010
Messages
12
Really this is a fertile article.it will help us to make our forums live for long time………. :blueyup:
 

DaveL

Habitué
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Feb 4, 2007
Messages
1,433
When they refer to CF in the article, which forum is/was that?
 

djayusevlademir

Aspirant
Joined
Nov 4, 2010
Messages
15
Nice Article indeed.. there are so much essence on those guidelines.. :bouncy:
There are info that I know can be very helpful not just for forums but for other sites as well

I do have other questions that maybe some of you can answer from your own experiences

  1. How much should an administrator get involved in conversations with members on the forum?
  2. And, can we interact as both a member and an administrator or should we separate those two identities?
Elizabeth Richardson

Getting involved and interacting in the forum won't hurt you as an admin of the forum.. just make sure that with your every post you follow your own rules and guidelines. participating with your members will make them feel that they are more welcome on the community..
 

Hillwitch

Neophyte
Joined
Apr 24, 2010
Messages
7
I have just found these guidelines and they are pretty much how I have been running my forum since it started in March. With a small core membership, (most of us were refugees from a now defunct forum,) I built up a strong moderator and admin team and over the course of eight months we have created a very strong foundation. As we go into the New Year we will have a membership drive while the technical admin develops her side of things.
I think slow and steady is the only way to go for a successful site. I know I can take a break from things and that the forum is still in very good and capable hands.
 

msmir

Aspirant
Joined
Oct 24, 2010
Messages
15
This is very good and will bookmark it. Thanks for taking the time to write this.

Mir
 
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