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Old 02-17-2007, 08:57 AM   #1
ravenguy2000
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Talking 10 Mistakes that Will KILL a Forum

http://www.seorefugee.com/seoblog/20...-kill-a-forum/

1. Excessive Ads - Hey, there’s nothing wrong with making some money off your forum. But, when your advertisements begin to take up more space on your forum than your content, you’ve got a problem. People visit forums to talk to other people with similar interests. They want to share their ideas or ask questions. They DON’T want to have to sort through 3 pages of ads, to find one page worth of content. Think of it this way, you don’t tune in to your favorite TV show to watch the commercials do you? Well neither do your visitors.



2. Cliques - OK look, your forum is supposed to be an online community, not an online clique. If your community is not open and welcoming to new members and fresh ideas, your forum will quickly stop growing, become stagnant, and eventually die out. People want to be accepted. It’s perfectly fine to have a group of friends in your forum, just be sure you don’t isolate yourself from the rest of the web.



3. Trolls - never a good thing for a forumTrolls - Everyone’s encountered a troll whether you knew it or not. The Urban Dictionary defines a troll as “someone who gets pleasure by typing annoying/controversial/offensive words on internet forums or message boards.” If you run a forum long enough, probably every one of your members will annoy you from time to time. That’s just human nature. Trolls on the other hand, bring absolutely NO value to the forum and instead sit back and generally annoy you along with everyone else on the forum. They simply aren’t worth the hassle. To top it all of, many times, not only are trolls an annoyance, but they end up starting…


4. Fights - Now don’t think for one second that everyone on your forum will agree with each other all the time. It’s just not going to happen. In fact, you don’t even WANT it to happen. Controversy is good remember? However, there’s a BIG difference between a healthy debate/heated discussion and a fight. Once a discussion or debate devolves into name calling and personal attacks, it’s time to shut it down. If you let fights fester, they’ll begin infecting the rest of the forum and will likely end up driving away people on one, or both sides of the issue. You’ll also lose members who simply don’t want to hear the pissing and moaning anymore. The internet is a vast and wonderful place, if your site loses its appeal, your members can abandon ship and jump over to an alternative with just a few quick keystrokes.



5. Heavy Handed Moderating - Have you ever heard the saying that “absolute power corrupts absolutely”? Or maybe, “the power’s gone to his head”? Both of these things can befall you, or your moderators if you don’t watch out for it. Forum Moderators or Administrators are given power to keep the rest of the forum in line. But, as Uncle Ben told Spiderman, with great power comes great responsibility. To continue the string of cliches, Moderators/Admin’s need to tread lightly but carry a big stick (basically they need to be Kung-Fu Masters). All forums and communities need a chain of command, but given the right situation, one Mod on an ego trip can splinter your forum while you’re on your lunch break.Don’t get me wrong, spam needs to be deleted, fight threads need to be locked, and the rules need to be enforced. However, you and your mods must always remember that your forum exists due to the contributions of your members. Arbitrarily closing threads critical of you or the forum can be dangerous and secretly deleting posts is just asking for trouble. If you’re involved in the argument, ask another moderator to step in. Take a breather, calm down, and make sure none of your decisions are motivated by anger or selfish ambitions. If you’re unsure which course of action to take, ask the rest of your staff. Whatever you do, always be open about it. When you screw up, and you will, man up and admit it.



6. Lack of Moderation - Yes, I just got done telling you that Over Moderation will kill your forum. The truth is, so will a lack of moderation. If you find yourself spending hours a day just trying to control your forum spam, it’s time to find some Mods. Get friends or family to help out or promote some trusted and long time members. And most importantly, use them. Consult them, give them a heads up before implementing changes, and listen to them when they offer up suggestions. You may even want to create a private “Moderators only” section where you can discuss any issues that pop up. But whatever you do, make sure you give your members a nice place to come. You wouldn’t invite friends over to your house if it looked like some back alley. The same holds true to your forum.



7. Over Posting - Look, people don’t come to a forum to hear one person talk all the time. It’s a community, not a soap box. If you want it to be all about you, start a blog. It’s very easy to dominate a forum, especially in the early days. There’s not a lot of activity and you’re eager to keep the conversations going. But, you need to give others a chance to answer questions, give advice, or offer up their opinions. If a post goes ignored for too long, by all means reply, but you’ll smother your forum if you’re the first to reply to every single post. As the old saying goes, “Better everyone think you a fool, than to open your mouth and prove them right.” And who knows, you might even learn something…



8. Violating Privacy - This one’s a no-brainer. When people sign up for your forum, they almost always have to give you some information. Whether that’s an email address or some other bit of privileged information, don’t compromise it. Don’t sell your email list or start spamming your members with your latest chain letters. Trust me, they won’t appreciate it. See, I told you this one was simple.



9. Slow Site - You remember how slow dial-up internet access used to be? It sucked right? Especially if you’d ever used a high speed connection. Well, having too many ads (yes, it’s worth mentioning again), widgets, plugins, or those cool ad-ons *******d in your forum can drag your site back to the dark ages. Navigating around a forum requires more clicks than on an average site, and members spend a longer than average time on your site. If every one of those clicks takes your users to a page that is slow to load, it’s going to take a LOT longer than it should to get around the site. We’re now firmly entrenched in an age of instant gratification and if your site is slow to load, your members and visitors simply won’t put up with it. They have too many other sites out there to sit around and wait for yours to get it’s act together.


10. Actually… there is no #10 - Oh wait! Over promising and under delivering. This is pretty much a good rule for life in general but it definitely applies to forums. If you tell your members you’re going to do something (add a feature, take care of a problem, listen to suggestions) then you’d better do it. Be very careful in what you promise and remember, this is a forum so everything is in print. You’d be surprised what people remember and call you on later. A couple of slip ups will likely be forgiven (they have in our case) but if you make a habit of getting people’s hopes up, only to disappoint them, don’t be surprised if you have fewer and fewer people to cry wolf to next time.

 
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Old 02-17-2007, 09:10 AM   #2
Junebug
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Default oh hey take a look at number 5

Quote:
Originally Posted by ravenguy2000
4. Fights .....will likely end up driving away people on one, or both sides of the issue.
...but that's why i like them. it hasn't worked very well here though.

 
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Old 02-17-2007, 09:16 AM   #3
MonteLDS
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never knew junebug was a fighting kind of girls..

funny, but this board has all of these. well except for #5

 
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Old 02-17-2007, 09:18 AM   #4
Junebug
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Talking unless you're being sarcastic for once

Quote:
Originally Posted by MonteLDS
funny, but this board has all of these. well except for #5
you weren't here yesterday were you

 
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Old 02-17-2007, 09:19 AM   #5
yo soy el mejor
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Old 02-17-2007, 09:21 AM   #6
MonteLDS
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Junebug
you weren't here yesterday were you

no i wasn't what went down?

 
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Old 02-17-2007, 09:28 AM   #7
Junebug
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Default only for you.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MonteLDS
no i wasn't what went down?
well, in a nutshell, the rep system. You can thank Esty and Future Boy.

http://forums.netphoria.org/showthread.php?t=135351

http://forums.netphoria.org/showthread.php?t=135378

 
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Old 02-17-2007, 09:32 AM   #8
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you know what that is kind of funny because from the start i thought the rep points were a bad idea with people here... this place sometimes has as much drama as britney spears life

 
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Old 02-17-2007, 09:38 AM   #9
yo soy el mejor
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Old 02-17-2007, 12:55 PM   #10
Future Boy
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Rep system should be honorable mention.

 
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Old 02-17-2007, 01:29 PM   #11
costra
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this is the only forum dumb enough to enable rep. so no, it shouldn't.

 
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Old 02-17-2007, 02:08 PM   #12
hereisnowhy
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Is netphoria the exception that proves the rule?

 
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Old 02-17-2007, 02:09 PM   #13
Andrew_Pakula
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Netphoria:

#1 - check, although I have seen forums with even more Ads then Netphoria
#2 - check, being an Amish Rake Fighter isn't exactly encouraging to newbies
#3 - check, they have been here since Day 1
#4 - check, what good is a forum without the occasional fight?
#5 - nope, compared to 90% of the boards on the net Netphoria is pretty lax, it has never been heavily moderated
#6 - check
#7 - check
#8 - nope, except for the occasional mass email usualy once or twice a year max.
#9 - it happens but not like the old server
#10 - promised stuff often always comes late here but most people fear change here anyways that it doesn't matter

Despite all that, Netphoria is more popular then ever.
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Old 02-17-2007, 02:14 PM   #14
wHATcOLOR
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i think boner and a few others might disagree with your take on number 8

 
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Old 02-17-2007, 02:16 PM   #15
monkeyfritters
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paluka, you are a stand up guy.

 
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Old 02-17-2007, 02:21 PM   #16
costra
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i like him. i wish he'd put more effort into netphoria.org though.

 
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Old 02-17-2007, 02:25 PM   #17
monkeyfritters
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yeah, paluka is pretty cool. I'd love to see a new site design for the front page though. it's so tired. I've always preferred the look of netphoria when its loading and it shows up all white and shiney and virginal.

 
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Old 02-17-2007, 02:31 PM   #18
Andrew_Pakula
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Quote:
Originally Posted by monkeyfritters
yeah, paluka is pretty cool. I'd love to see a new site design for the front page though. it's so tired. I've always preferred the look of netphoria when its loading and it shows up all white and shiney and virginal.
The main page of Netphoria will be redesigned soon and will be enhanced so that it will be automated so it will be easier to add news quicker. It has been suggested that I run a contest for someone to come up with a new design, however I wonder how many actual decent designs would be submitted, I can't help but think most would just be gag ones making fun of Netphoria instead.
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Old 02-17-2007, 02:34 PM   #19
Junebug
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i don't see how it could be worth the effort to redesign the front page. not that many people even see it, right?

 
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Old 02-17-2007, 02:53 PM   #20
Boycott Graceland
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Future Boy
Rep system should be honorable mention.
i was gonna say, future boy and esty to thread

 
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Old 02-17-2007, 02:55 PM   #21
Boycott Graceland
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew_Pakula
It has been suggested that I run a contest for someone to come up with a new design, however I wonder how many actual decent designs would be submitted, I can't help but think most would just be gag ones making fun of Netphoria instead.
PLEASE DO IT

 
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Old 02-17-2007, 02:58 PM   #22
ravenguy2000
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Junebug
i don't see how it could be worth the effort to redesign the front page. not that many people even see it, right?
If you google "smashing pumpkins" netphoria is the fourth link after the official google result, the official site, and the wikipedia entry.

So anybody just generically searching for the band will probably see the front page sooner than later.

I wonder how Bill and people directly associated with band would feel about that.

 
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Old 02-17-2007, 02:59 PM   #23
avian chaos
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Smile

Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew_Pakula
The main page of Netphoria will be redesigned soon and will be enhanced so that it will be automated so it will be easier to add news quicker. It has been suggested that I run a contest for someone to come up with a new design, however I wonder how many actual decent designs would be submitted, I can't help but think most would just be gag ones making fun of Netphoria instead.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew_Pakula
#10 - promised stuff often always comes late here but most people fear change here anyways that it doesn't matter

In other words, don't hold your breath.

 
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Old 02-17-2007, 03:00 PM   #24
avian chaos
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You know what I love about the Pakman? His misuse of the word "then" and his charming combination of the words "often always."

 
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Old 02-17-2007, 03:02 PM   #25
D.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew_Pakula
I can't help but think most would just be gag ones making fun of Netphoria instead.
yes, yes. this is netphoria, after all.

 
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Old 02-17-2007, 03:05 PM   #26
Junebug
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Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by ravenguy2000
If you google "smashing pumpkins" netphoria is the fourth link after the official google result, the official site, and the wikipedia entry.

So anybody just generically searching for the band will probably see the front page sooner than later.

I wonder how Bill and people directly associated with band would feel about that.

huh, I had no idea. I bet they're pleased as a peach.

 
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Old 02-17-2007, 04:00 PM   #27
hereisnowhy
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I love that this site ranks above the pumpkins myspace. TPQ is shaking her fist at the heavens.

 
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Old 02-17-2007, 04:10 PM   #28
Trotskilicious
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MonteLDS
never knew junebug was a fighting kind of girls.
You must not read her posts.

 
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Old 02-17-2007, 04:18 PM   #29
Geek USA
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Arrow

Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew_Pakula
Netphoria:

#1 - check, although I have seen forums with even more Ads then Netphoria

you need to calm this shit down, pakman.

 
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Old 02-17-2007, 04:30 PM   #30
Trotskilicious
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew_Pakula
The main page of Netphoria will be redesigned soon and will be enhanced so that it will be automated so it will be easier to add news quicker. It has been suggested that I run a contest for someone to come up with a new design, however I wonder how many actual decent designs would be submitted, I can't help but think most would just be gag ones making fun of Netphoria instead.
You do realize that there are people on this board who are graphic designers, don't you? I think you would get serious entries. I personally think there is potential here for some user content, maybe get something going. It's Netphoria, it's not like the name is commited totally to SP, either.

 
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