Thinking about buying another forum? Read this first!

Shawn Gossman

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Shawn Gossman submitted a new Article:

Thinking about buying another forum? Read this first!

Some people who want to start a forum of their own will buy another forum that has already been established. Some forum owners will buy a forum to merge the database to their existing forum. These practices are common in the forum world. However, as a smart forum owner, you need to be cautious when buying forums because you might be getting something completely opposite of what you think it is.

Look for fake users
There are some shady forum owners out there that will fill their forums with fake members and then try to sell the community. You should at least have access to the member list and go through looking at some of the members. Do a Google search of member accounts and compare them on other forums. Look to see when accounts were created and check to see when the members logged in last if that feature is available. If the current owner has made it almost impossible to check for these items of interest, they might have done it for their shady reasons. Don’t waste your money on a forum full of fake member accounts.

Look for activity
The forum you are interested in acquiring might be large and considered a big board but is it active as well? Don’t spend a lot of money on a forum that isn’t active! Look at the forum owner’s post count and check to see if they have the most posts or a large majority of the posts. The forum owner could be the main member keeping the forum as active as it looks. Myself, I could never sell my forums because 95% of the posts and activity are mine so it would be a waste of money for someone to buy the forum. An active forum owner is a good thing but it can also be bad for buying forums as well.

Merging Database Issue
For those of you who buy forums to merge the database into an existing forum, you need to stop and think about ethics first. You are essentially blocking out the permission factor of others joining your forum. Basically, you are merging members and their content into a forum without asking them beforehand! I have seen this done in the past and quite a few member complain saying they didn’t join the new forum and they want their account deleted. The forum owner then becomes upset about it but do they have that right in the first place? I don’t merge databases for this very reason – I find it unethical.

Thanks for reading my article! I hope it helps in your decisions to buy another forum or database. Please share this article with other forum owners to show me your support for...

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gogoblender

shiny happy pantless
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Feb 20, 2006
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15,307
Nice read Shawn
The first thing that draws me to any forum is activity. I always press View New Posts to see what's actually happening.

that any good?

:)

gogo
 

Shawn Gossman

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Out of any given forum, View New Posts is my most used and favorite feature :p So yes, I agree with that tactic :)
 

gogoblender

shiny happy pantless
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Feb 20, 2006
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All the rest can be faked, entire communities, dead...but view new posts is something easy to check, it's like someone's pulse or hearbeat.

You can actually analyyze the quality of posts and reconcile this against how many and how recent the activity is.

Is there any value at all for a dbase where no activity at all in last few months, but lots of members and posts from last years or so?
:)

gogo
 

petertdavis

Not a Beginner
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Feb 24, 2004
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I think the issue of the owner being too much the lifeblood of the forum is more prevalent than people might think. When you're buying a forum, do spend a lot of attention looking at whether the community revolves around the owner, or any specific individual or small group of individuals. Forums like that don't often survive the transfer of ownership.
 

Shawn Gossman

Tazmanian Master
Joined
Dec 16, 2005
Messages
8,071
I think the issue of the owner being too much the lifeblood of the forum is more prevalent than people might think. When you're buying a forum, do spend a lot of attention looking at whether the community revolves around the owner, or any specific individual or small group of individuals. Forums like that don't often survive the transfer of ownership.

100% Agreed :)
 

Namorat

Duder
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Mar 1, 2010
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3,273
A helpful article. While at first it seems basic, it is great to have this information presented like this in one place :)
 

Darth_Apple

Adherent
Joined
Mar 23, 2013
Messages
269
Nice article. You made a great point regarding database merges as well. People in the past have asked for my feedback on the idea of a database merge, and honestly, it is a bit unethical.

Thanks for sharing.
 

InsightsToHealth

Neophyte
Joined
Jul 29, 2013
Messages
8
Great post !
Can anybody explain how can i detect the fake user's on Forums?
By their activities or is their something else.
 

mrdon

Aspirant
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Apr 30, 2014
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I always read through a number of threads. And see if they read well and make sense, the I copy some of the text in the threads and search google for duplicate content.
 

Nogitsune

Unleash The Beast....
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Feb 7, 2012
Messages
1,753
I know this thread is old by nearly a year but I don't see the issue of merging the database as unethical. It is YOUR database to do as you wish with.
If members which to leave due to not wanting to join the forum, that's unfortunate, but cant please everyone.
 
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