One thing you wish you knew!

Shawn Gossman

Tazmanian Master
Joined
Dec 16, 2005
Messages
8,161
If there was one thing you wish you knew as a beginner forum owner that you know now, what would that one thing be?

No cheating... pick only one thing!

What would be the #1 thing you wish you knew back then?

For me, it would have been focusing on community rather than numbers. I remember when I ran AAF and me and Pete would spend countless hours making post after post, reply after reply... I wanted the forum to reach that "big board" status. I really neglected the community by doing that. Content is definitely important but without a community, it really doesn't matter.

How about you folks?
 

Pete

Flavours of Forums Forever
Joined
Sep 9, 2013
Messages
2,705
What I wish I’d known was how to curb my temper. Especially against the jerks who post with intent to rattle the cage which inevitably I’d fall for.

I’d like to say I’m older and wiser, and calmer these days but one out of three ain’t bad, I guess.
 

Nev_Dull

Anachronism
Joined
Apr 27, 2010
Messages
2,492
I wish I'd know forums were dead. It took coming here, joining this forum, and hanging around for years to find that out. They really ought to put that in the manual.
 

Zero Numbers

Adherent
Joined
Sep 20, 2013
Messages
350
I wish I'd know forums were dead. It took coming here, joining this forum, and hanging around for years to find that out. They really ought to put that in the manual.

Others have tried to give encouragement about it, I guess I will say this about the changing times too. Forums still have a place. The times are different now compared to the glorious days of internet forums/message boards. Just like with movies or television programs, you have to find ways to stay interesting to people. This is something many forums have a hard time with. Forums have to change ways in how they are interesting to people in order to adapt. Distinguishing or setting yourself apart also helps.
 

truthingtotruth

Aspirant
Joined
Jan 26, 2015
Messages
310
Logs / Records --- whatever that should be called. Right from the start a particular style of concise log keeping should be established. I don't mean the mod section where all sorts of discussion takes place. Or even the admin section, if you have more than one admin. I mean a kind of logbook that covers matters of concern. And "matters of concern" could be meant to be all sorts of things. And a log entry could simply point to another place where more details are provided.

Let me see, an example:

220625: Mod A is worried about New Member XXX - sub-forum link =>>> link here.

The thing is, after about ten years it can get very difficult, even with a good search tool available, --- it can be hard to find something that you remember happened but don't remember for sure when and so where you'd find the discussion of that "happening" in the mod sub-forum.

Kind of like the log we keep on an aircraft. A brief entry for the maintenance people and then they have much more detail in their records of what they did to fix it, if it needed fixing.

I don't know about now, but we also used to use red X and circle red X and dash and so on to indicate the degree of importance of that event in the logbook. Of course, a red X means the bird is grounded until that problem is fixed. Circle red X means one more flight only and usually mean you can fly the bird to where the maintenance can be done. So some sort of symbol system in your logs isn't so bad, either.

Just a thought.

But it has to be started right from the beginning. Catching up a number of years down the line is really difficult. Well, if you want to use that kind of system.
 

FTL

Adherent
Joined
Nov 4, 2021
Messages
312
If there was one thing you wish you knew as a beginner forum owner that you know now, what would that one thing be?

No cheating... pick only one thing!

What would be the #1 thing you wish you knew back then?
Oh, that's a good question.

I've wanted to run my own forum for several years now, but any forum starts off with a catch-22 scenario to getting it off the ground which helped to put me off starting the project.

I wish I'd known that the initial group of people that I knew in Real Life who'd promised to support my brand new forum with lots of activity could not be trusted to do so and would let me down so badly when their activity level started off poor and petered out to nothing after a couple of months. I ended up having to change domain to nerdzone.uk, remove all support for them and rebrand the forum, removing all connection to them. Thankfully, it's finally started taking off, if only in a very modest way for now.

I also wish I'd known that starting a forum nowadays is much harder than it was 10-15 years ago due to the presence of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram etc and smartphones which don't lend themselves to long form forums like this.

That's two things, but hey. :)
 

Abizaga

I am a tuna sandwich!
Joined
Apr 11, 2008
Messages
532
If there was one thing you wish you knew as a beginner forum owner that you know now, what would that one thing be?

No cheating... pick only one thing!

What would be the #1 thing you wish you knew back then?

For me, it would have been focusing on community rather than numbers. I remember when I ran AAF and me and Pete would spend countless hours making post after post, reply after reply... I wanted the forum to reach that "big board" status. I really neglected the community by doing that. Content is definitely important but without a community, it really doesn't matter.

How about you folks?
Yee when I started I original focused on having many members, then post count which was probably not the best way to do things
 

LeadCrow

Apocalypse Admin
Joined
Jun 29, 2008
Messages
6,759
Refresh the staff roster with younger folks sooner.

Many communities likely face predicaments with 'succession' that is not guaranteed - the only options forward arent only shutting down, selling or keeping the reins until the community withers alongside your personal activity level and passion.
 

Harvey

Aspirant
Joined
Apr 29, 2014
Messages
48
I wish I knew it was going to succeed. If I knew that I never would have started with Nabble (free) that couldn't be imported into a legit platform.
 

sanction9

Adherent
Joined
Feb 19, 2015
Messages
308
That a lot of people come and go over the years, for a whole bunch of reasons - sometimes they die! - and you can't take it personally (usually) when they go. So don't ever count on even your most prolific posters still being around a few years from now, appreciate them when they are, and keep doing whatever you think is necessary, despite many of your older user base always being resistant to change. When it's no longer profitable or you're not enjoying it, make changes or move on. There's my fortune cookie wisdom for the day. :D
 

Pixel Princess

Enthusiast
Joined
Apr 23, 2012
Messages
163
That running a one-off custom site is 10x the headache than it is worth, and users are unappreciative.
Yep, I totally "feel your pain" on that. I have a beautiful skin for a temporarily offline vB4 website of mine.....sigh....
 
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TriciaPug

Neophyte
Joined
Jun 30, 2022
Messages
8
Don't limit myself to just a forum. Get the content/blog out there front and center and WRITE because that is what draws people in.
Hi I'm new here, but my husband and co-owner of SkiTalk.com has been here for a bit.
We started out with a forum because it was easy to get up and running in a short time, but we had a map of getting the article and review sections up fairly quickly.

I honestly believe that forums are alive and well but they need to be attached to something that is more substantial.
The articles and reviews are definitely a huge draw for our site.
 
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