Doing Your Research

PalePhoenix

Prince of Dorkness
Joined
Dec 11, 2005
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PalePhoenix submitted a new Article:

Doing Your Research

With the fierce competition for attention getting more ardent every day, it never hurts to do research before starting a forum. Any forum. There was a time when, if your site was more commercial, or you intended to approach alternative revenue sources (financial backers, which could be anyone from a bank, to the local cafés, to your parents), then a more business-y plan was indispensible. Now, it really depends more on what kind of research you're planning to do, and what purpose it's going to serve in giving you a strong[er] start.
Technical Research - Not all boardware was created equal. Likewise, your learning curve, sharp though it may be, was not designed to learn MySQL, PHP, HTML, and CSS coding in the space of two weeks. Either you come to foruming with little bits of each, a lot of one, maybe two, or absolutely zippo. No matter what, there's a lot of forgiving software out there that can make you look like a megastar with very little effort. Still, you should make it part of your Five-Year Plan to learn something of what makes your board work, so as not to be left high, dry, and sending support tickets all over creation when trouble comes. And it will come. If you are the kind of person who thinks cellphones, ATMs, PDAs, and even word processing applications have too many bells and whistles these days, then you're in for a shock if you get the latest versions of IPB or vBulletin. These are deceptively powerful programs, and you want to make sure that the things you choose to build them with are things you can maintain and understand.

Marketing & Money - You are going to have to consider how your forum is going to appeal to others. A thought soon to follow is going to be "How am I going to pay for all this?" While actual start-up costs remain within reach of even the minimum wage-earner and allowance recipient, getting reliable hosting and paying for a software license are big commitments for anyone. Not because the physical price is so high, but because you're making a product that hundreds, maybe even thousands of complete strangers are going to make part of their daily routines. You must research reliable sources of revenue, consider advertising and affiliate programs, and decide if you're in this to get rich or die trying. Unfortunately, the odds are high on the latter. Most forums fold or get completely revamped within six months of their launch dates. No...​

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Jijo

Fan
Joined
Nov 28, 2004
Messages
562
Fantastic Article :) I beleive it will help lot os newbies like me to think ahead
 

arnie

Lost in Cyber-Space
Joined
Aug 18, 2006
Messages
388
I've posted elsewhere that I think someone should write a script so that this article pops up whenever a member types "starting a new forum" into a post. :lildevil:
 
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