Small community admin tips, tricks and solutions

hari

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Jan 2, 2006
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hari submitted a new Article:

Small community admin tips, tricks and solutions

Are you a small community admin? By small community admin, I mean you manage a community with less than 500 people and 10,000 posts and growing very slowly. Different people have different standards to define small communities, but my own assumption is that you are an admin who needs to keep posting constantly to keep your community alive. In other words, your community is not yet self-sustaining.

You're tried all the usual stuff: advertising, link exchange, SEO optimization and so on and still finding the results slow coming in.

Don't worry! There are thousands of obscure communities like this out there. If you get upset seeing a bigger community grow at a seemingly fast rate, remember that there are a thousand others like you who are small and not growing as fast. Most of them give up and die. Don't become one among them! Here, I'll try to share some tips with you so that you aren't frustrated in your attempts to promote your site activity.

Content doesn't mean activity (well, almost not)

A lot of people believe that stuffing your forum with content will automatically get people to respond. This is quite a wrong notion. By content, I mean, of course, articles, reviews or anything of that kind. Content is useful in bringing people to your site, but if you leave it at that, it's not going to translate into active members. Most of the people will read your content and be satisfied with that.

To get participation, you need a thriving community. Unfortunately for most of us, this is a catch-22 situation. You cannot have a thriving community unless you have members and you cannot get new members until your community has enough activity.

The best solution would be to start topics of general interest all over your forum. Ask yourself, "Would the average person reading this be able to respond in an intelligent manner?" That's what forum participation demands. You might think that a topic like - "What's your favourite TV channel" or "What's your pet's name" might be silly. But unless you can get people to feel free and confident about discussing things on your forum, it will be hard to get them to participate.

Some tips for topic ideas would be:
  1. Humour which can be shared.
  2. Current affairs/politics/interesting news items
  3. Forum games
While these don't guarantee automatic participation, you'll at least know that people would be more likely to respond to these topics than technical articles or...
Read more about this article here...
 
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dojo

Passionate admin
Joined
Apr 27, 2005
Messages
3,772
It's a good article. I agree with a lot of the things you have mentioned in here. Thank you for sharing the info :)
 

ccs

Aspirant
Joined
Mar 25, 2006
Messages
40
The part of taking a break from your forum was good. I found myself invisible and reloading to see if there were any new guests or sign-ups daily. Usually I let it ride by itself on the weekends. Especially long weekends or holidays, I know to enjoy friends and the weather instead of staying inside to see who is logging in or viewing pages. Sometimes you just got to step away and enjoy your life:tiphat:
 

Jijo

Fan
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Nov 28, 2004
Messages
562
At one point of time, the article saved me from closing down my forum :D
 

navjotjsingh

Neophyte
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Jun 14, 2006
Messages
8
Nice Article...Good for me...since its just 15 days I started my own community. Let me see how far it goes.
 

Basto

Forum Expert
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Feb 11, 2006
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105
Fantastic article, very nice thanks a lot this and the emoticon articles are great :)
 

Demosthenes

Resident Mancunian
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Mar 10, 2004
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Not something I need to use personally but this should be really helpful to new administrators, a lot of it something we've had to learn the hard way. I think all of your articles are really very helpful and something I would have loved to see as a new admin, harishankar. Great work.
 

hari

Tazmanian
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Jan 2, 2006
Messages
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Thanks everybody for your appreciation! :D I genuinely love writing such articles and your responses encourage me to write more :)
 

Aussieart

Enthusiast
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Mar 31, 2006
Messages
162
I love the part about not hogging the limelight and stepping back and letting others post :tiphat: Really good article, I'm definately guilty of visiting every day and posting too much at times.
 

DodgeFB

Fanatic
Joined
Jun 9, 2006
Messages
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harishankar I sure hope you write more. I not only like them, I need them.:)
 

Jane

Aspirant
Joined
Apr 8, 2006
Messages
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harishanker,
Thanks for a great article. I know I am guilty of hogging the limelight at times. I definitely needed this reminder right now.
 

CrimsonX

FF Fanatic
Joined
Apr 14, 2006
Messages
110
thanks for posting this it helped me realize some of the things I was doing wrong such as plastering the forums with empty topics...
 

DarkHalo

Aspirant
Joined
Jun 28, 2006
Messages
42
Something that we have done in my forum thats a little different is the admins and moderators are anonymous. They are regular members but only do their official duties as "moderator1" or "admin2" etc. The reason is to remove personalities and egos from the equation. Plus its a political discussion site with conservatives and progressives so we dint want members to be able to accuse us of favoring one side or the other due to the mods political orientation. The staff doesn't participate in any discussion threads except as it replies specifically to forum policies and procedures. We never ever get involved in flame wars or pissing contests with the members. We do our job in a professional no nonsense style. Initially the members weren't real happy about this moderating style but we now have 500 members and theyve accepted it as "normal".
 

Belak

Enthusiast
Joined
Jun 22, 2006
Messages
184
Ok, this is good for forums that are officially open, and I know I tend to start most of the topics in my forum, and I know I have, by far the most posts, however we aren't really officially open yet. We allow membership and posting, but we are still in devolpment and de-buggery stages before being fully open.

Some of the topics I post are left blank, but plenty are taken up. We have a mean of 3.7 posts per topic, which of course means some are doing way better then others.

I am posting this here, because I hadn't thought of any of what I've said above as a problem yet, but I was wondering if anyone did after reading your artical.
 

blossom

Aspirant
Joined
Jul 1, 2006
Messages
16
Im really glad i read this article thanks......my forum is small atm it does have some active regular posters but not many new topic makers which can be hard on the Admin.. sometimes its slow and i do get a bit disheartened but this has made me feel better ty......i guess its all about patience
 
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