It is possible to launch a forum and be a hit!

DaveL

Habitué
Joined
Feb 4, 2007
Messages
1,433
Was a year ago I updated from XF1 to XF2 and gave everything a fresh lick of paint!
Thought it was time to see what could benefit the site so made a few adjustments.

1) After much research, added a shoutbox. I was cautious it might take away activity for the forum, but the members see it as a quick way of working together and it's been a huge success.

2) I installed the Private Threads add-on in 2017 which was very popular. Had over 100K posts in that section, with some Private Threads having in excess of 5K in themselves. Yesterday it was replaced by Social Groups, to make it easier and so far that has been a great success.

The easier I can make it for groups of people to stay on my site and discuss game tactics and plans, the less will move to places like Discord. So far seems to be working!

Latest Tally is:
Threads - 31,971
Messages - 476,885
Members - 6,072

Looking forward to the next big milestone of 500,000 posts!
 

gogoblender

shiny happy pantless
Joined
Feb 20, 2006
Messages
15,307
Looks beautiful! That shoutbox is nice...i love its placement at top and the way it shows convo going downwards down on top of your forum...the two look very connected...
u sure this didnt have much of an effect on your posts?
I panicky about our own forum going the way of chat... and have been fighting it for 15 years now... so much of my content is guides, mods lots of coding..its all very searchable as posts and makes the info surface quickly.
I'm worried about something like shoutbox's ability to surface past into in it to someone searching?
:)

gogo
 

Abizaga

I am a tuna sandwich!
Joined
Apr 11, 2008
Messages
511
Congrats on the success! Also thanks for the hopeful message! I started a forum almost 2 months ago, and it has 2700 posts now!
 

DaveL

Habitué
Joined
Feb 4, 2007
Messages
1,433
Looks beautiful! That shoutbox is nice...i love its placement at top and the way it shows convo going downwards down on top of your forum...the two look very connected...
u sure this didnt have much of an effect on your posts?
I panicky about our own forum going the way of chat... and have been fighting it for 15 years now... so much of my content is guides, mods lots of coding..its all very searchable as posts and makes the info surface quickly.
I'm worried about something like shoutbox's ability to surface past into in it to someone searching?
:)

gogo

I've been looking at a shoutbox for years, but finally decided the time was right. Might have lost a few posts, however I can accept that, on other hand, it's kept members on the forum, as they can chat in real time together as they take part in an event.
I have seen some groups of people visit the site less often, and seems they have moved over to Discord to communicate. If I can provide similar functinality on my site, then I see that as a winner.

My next step will be upgrading the Shoutbox to the Chatroom. Keeping it in the Shoutbox style, but allowing the new groups to have their own password protected rooms.

My site may differ from others, but we do have a lot of real time events where quick communication is key. Probably why some have moved to Discord.

I only put the Shoutbox on as a trial, and made that very clear it was a trial: https://www.airportcitygame.com/threads/airportcity-shoutbox-trial.32603/

For the sake of 9.99 euros, was worth a punt and luckily it seems to have paid off.

I also forgot to mention, we added a Wiki to the site a few months ago which now has hundreds and hundreds of pages and a team of dedicated users adding more each day!
 
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DaveL

Habitué
Joined
Feb 4, 2007
Messages
1,433
Congrats on the success! Also thanks for the hopeful message! I started a forum almost 2 months ago, and it has 2700 posts now!
Thank you. That's why exactly why I like to keep updating this post :D
 

gogoblender

shiny happy pantless
Joined
Feb 20, 2006
Messages
15,307
I've been looking at a shoutbox for years, but finally decided the time was right. Might have lost a few posts, however I can accept that, on other hand, it's kept members on the forum, as they can chat in real time together as they take part in an event.
I have seen some groups of people visit the site less often, and seems they have moved over to Discord to communicate. If I can provide similar functinality on my site, then I see that as a winner.

My next step will be upgrading the Shoutbox to the Chatroom. Keeping it in the Shoutbox style, but allowing the new groups to have their own password protected rooms.

My site may differ from others, but we do have a lot of real time events where quick communication is key. Probably why some have moved to Discord.

I only put the Shoutbox on as a trial, and made that very clear it was a trial: https://www.airportcitygame.com/threads/airportcity-shoutbox-trial.32603/

For the sake of 9.99 euros, was worth a punt and luckily it seems to have paid off.

I also forgot to mention, we added a Wiki to the site a few months ago which now has hundreds and hundreds of pages and a team of dedicated users adding more each day!



Ahhh, a wiki ...brilliant ...kaching
;)

gogo

p.s. what are you using for the Wiki CMS... we use media wiki... very successful like you as you note... people just love to do things together!! We turned off commenting on the Wiki years ago when we started it.. we didnt want them to run a community on the wiki but rather on our forum.. every time they click a link for commenting on the wiki it bring them to our forum where they can register and use posts or our pre designated threads to run ideas along.
 
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DigNap15

Fan
Joined
Sep 14, 2019
Messages
549
"02.
Choose a forum script.
There are many different forum scripts available. It is best to start with a free forum script. Make sure that it is able to move information to another forum script should you want to change later. A good free script that does allow you to transfer your information is phpBB. This is the script that many web hosts offer as part of their packages as well. When you want to change to a paid forum script, vBulletin is a good one and it comes with a migration tool for phpBB, which will allow you to easily transfer all your forum information without losing anything. "

I dont agree.
Starting with a free script, means that your foum will look old and tired right from the start.
I started with XF out of the box, and all my members say its so clean and tidy and easy to use.
www.NZissues.com
And mobile friendly.
 

DaveL

Habitué
Joined
Feb 4, 2007
Messages
1,433
"02.
Choose a forum script.
There are many different forum scripts available. It is best to start with a free forum script. Make sure that it is able to move information to another forum script should you want to change later. A good free script that does allow you to transfer your information is phpBB. This is the script that many web hosts offer as part of their packages as well. When you want to change to a paid forum script, vBulletin is a good one and it comes with a migration tool for phpBB, which will allow you to easily transfer all your forum information without losing anything. "

I dont agree.
Starting with a free script, means that your foum will look old and tired right from the start.
I started with XF out of the box, and all my members say its so clean and tidy and easy to use.
www.NZissues.com
And mobile friendly.

Yes and no.
I started with a free forum script with a nice style. Back in 2012 responsive design wasn't what it is now. Even Xenforo wasn't responsive back then.

If memory serves me correctly, I went from MyBB to IPB and from 2013 been on XF where I plan to remain.
 

DaveL

Habitué
Joined
Feb 4, 2007
Messages
1,433
Ahhh, a wiki ...brilliant ...kaching
;)

gogo

p.s. what are you using for the Wiki CMS... we use media wiki... very successful like you as you note... people just love to do things together!! We turned off commenting on the Wiki years ago when we started it.. we didnt want them to run a community on the wiki but rather on our forum.. every time they click a link for commenting on the wiki it bring them to our forum where they can register and use posts or our pre designated threads to run ideas along.
I tried doing one in 2015 using vault wiki, but was far too much work for myself.

Start of this year members were talking about the game wiki on fandom and how out of date it was and they wanted to get it updated.
I floated the idea of having a wiki on the forum and they loved it, so this time I went with xencarta2 wiki.
 

DaveL

Habitué
Joined
Feb 4, 2007
Messages
1,433
Time to up my game a bit! Seems that in the next update of the Game, the developers are adding a Discord Channel. The one word that fills the forum admin full of dread!
 

Taylor J

Fan
Joined
Mar 13, 2010
Messages
896
"02.
Choose a forum script.
There are many different forum scripts available. It is best to start with a free forum script. Make sure that it is able to move information to another forum script should you want to change later. A good free script that does allow you to transfer your information is phpBB. This is the script that many web hosts offer as part of their packages as well. When you want to change to a paid forum script, vBulletin is a good one and it comes with a migration tool for phpBB, which will allow you to easily transfer all your forum information without losing anything. "

I dont agree.
Starting with a free script, means that your foum will look old and tired right from the start.
I started with XF out of the box, and all my members say its so clean and tidy and easy to use.
www.NZissues.com
And mobile friendly.

Not sure I agree with you either...

Just because you use a free solution doesn't mean the forum will look old and tired... That all comes down to the theme/style/skin being used on that forum solution. There are styles for Xenforo that are just plain bad and old looking them selves.
 

DaveL

Habitué
Joined
Feb 4, 2007
Messages
1,433
So the game developers have released their discord channel - They made a thread about it on the forum inviting members to come and try it, before they do the full on release to all their social media channels and making it accessible in-game as well.

I was very surprised that in a pinned post that everyone who joins their discord channel will see, they mention and link to my site! (2nd link from the bottom)

dis.png

I thought that was a nice little touch :D
 

shawnhartwell

Habitué
Joined
Jun 23, 2007
Messages
1,212
That is the honest truth, isn't it? If you find a niche with a high level of demand with few options already in place you can easily suceed. I think most people tend to cast theur niche-net too wide and obviously fail due to the competition.
 

Brad P

Enthusiast
Joined
May 1, 2015
Messages
214
Well I've opened a general chat forum in 2020 and been open over 3 months and currently getting about 1k posts per month and activity has got better each month. I mean its early days for sure but sometimes you get a good feeling 😌

I do believe in content is king as my site on a Google search was never to be seen but when I type my name its 4th in a list on first page now :)
 

Oh!

Adherent
Joined
Oct 1, 2020
Messages
289
First congratulations. It is good to see your forum started well off.
Second, though, I believe a forum needs to be up and active for a longer time to consider it a real hit.

As gogo said, fulfilling contemporary needs is a good way to start big and active, but as the word also says, it is not necessarily a lasting effect. Many things that are a trend and the new hit are overcome by the next big thing in a short months. This is most often true regarding technical stuff, especially video games, I think.

With no more input from that original source the forum usually have to shift to a broader audience or change its focus a lot.

Rarely this transition works great with forums. Forums about video games change towards games about the whole series (if there is one) or gaming in general eventually.
It doesn't happen often that a forum about a series that wasn't a huge success to begin with and is not really new anymore gets big as gogo managed.
Those cases need a lot of luck and heart blood put into them.
Was a year ago I updated from XF1 to XF2 and gave everything a fresh lick of paint!
Thought it was time to see what could benefit the site so made a few adjustments.

1) After much research, added a shoutbox. I was cautious it might take away activity for the forum, but the members see it as a quick way of working together and it's been a huge success.

2) I installed the Private Threads add-on in 2017 which was very popular. Had over 100K posts in that section, with some Private Threads having in excess of 5K in themselves. Yesterday it was replaced by Social Groups, to make it easier and so far that has been a great success.

The easier I can make it for groups of people to stay on my site and discuss game tactics and plans, the less will move to places like Discord. So far seems to be working!

Latest Tally is:
Threads - 31,971
Messages - 476,885
Members - 6,072

Looking forward to the next big milestone of 500,000 posts!
I would not necessarily disagree with Namorat's understandable skepticism/caution when you launched - but I am awfully glad to see you prove him wrong. :) Well done, DaveL!
 
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