Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Noobie Question About Generating Users

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Noobie Question About Generating Users

    Ok, I have been working in software development for over 7 years now & now trying my hand at web development. As far as the coding & what nots I am learning as I go but the marketing is a different story. I've had my forums up for about 6 months now & have only generated about 60+ members in which none post. It seems like a task in it's own just to get a flow going.

    So my question is, are there any tips onb generating posts to get a forum off the ground? My second question is, I currently have a community based site which is comparable to my space, is this killing my chances to keep it a local site? Is it better to go for a more broad audience?

  • #2
    Content is what drives a forum. Without it it's dead, no matter how beautiful the skin or the bells and whistles.

    The content needs to be geared to your site and of a manageable length. Best thing is to offer some nuggets of info (do a search on a topic and find if there's a lot and not a lot traffic with it <-- if you want to do something on Paris Hilton you know the site will be drowned out by bigger ones with outrageous SEO tactics. So search for little known topics (or tips) and seed your forum with them. Folks will come because it's unique, and if you do it regularly more so.

    Forum membership building is like attracting bees to flowers so they can make honey. Have to have the flower, and you have to offer some honey for them to be satisfied to keep returning.

    BTW, built in communities have pro and cons. Pro is you won't have to work as hard to get new visitors. Con, such sites (like Delphiforums) can rob you of visitors, as someone else can have the same forum and you'll have to share membership.

    Chris
    "Anyone who conducts an argument by appealing to Authority
    is not using his intelligence, he is just using his memory."
    ~~~
    Leonardo da Vinci

    Comment


    • #3
      Yes id say content is the key to any forum. I used a usenet hack over at vb.org to drive traffic to my site and also used a lot of article sites and copied articles into the forums. Also create a few user ids every week, if you dont get many and this looks like you are active. Also try and post new bits all the time as you find them with different usernames, Dont use your admin account.
      Kind Regards
      Bill

      Comment


      • #4
        Generating Communities

        That's good advice. The forums are just asmall portion of the site but in my own opinion one of the most important because all of the areas of the site are cored into the forums.

        As of right now I just have the basic categories setup with a few extras just for fun. It seems as though people are drawn to the site for the classifieds, Chat Rooms, Matchmaker, Blogs, Media Center & Photo Rating but just step right over the forums. There are a couple of people that are trying to get a conversation started but it just seems to remain a ghost town. I think I'll take your advice & see if I can't get in there myself to spark up some conversation.

        By the way I think my 2nd question came across worng. Currently my site is geared toward one city only. Is that a mistake?

        Comment


        • #5
          Good points and advice for you here, and like Chris said. Doesn't matter how nice your site looks. Without that all important content your going to stuggle really hard.

          1: As mentioned already, search the net for the different type of content on other sites that would suit yours. And copy it to your site. It will give something for people to read that might entice them to join and reply.

          2: Do what I do - go to Bigboard and join the biggest boards on the internet that allow you to display a signature with your site link. Sites like Gaia allow you to do this. Thats a good way of trying to direct traffic to your site by adding a link in your posts that leads to your site on these huge boards that allow it. I use this same method and it's an easy way to get more hits. Very useful if you can find another large site that covers the same topics as your board and allows signature links to personal sites. Sadly most don't though these days to protect there member list!!!

          3: Don't be afraid to create a couple of fake members accounts on your site without going too silly in doing it (people hate this, but at the same time many people do it and don't admit it). This way you can make your site look as though you already have some active members posting already, and its a good way to add copied content without using the same username all the time which is not really a good idea anyway. (people tend not to join if they see 200 posts by the same person and it looks to much like a bot posting). This can work wonders if done right and in a clever way.

          4: Don't be afraid to post some sensitve topics, you know topics that people might look at andthink "WTF", I'm gonna join to reply to that. Just don't post them as admin account to avoid flak

          5: Concider installing a RSS New feed bot, while member won't reply to the feeds in general and don't like them, you can still use them to grab feeds from other sites quick and get a few hundered news articles on your site very fast indeed that will help get your board indexed in google much faster. Plus if you can get some news feeds that matches your site main topics covered. Even better becuase it will match and make sence to members why it's there. Plus it saves you a lot of typing!

          6: Also take a look at the "Easy Archive Mod" over at vb.org, again to help get pages indexed much better in search engines by adding a friendly second archive version. which in turn again will bring you more visits and chances of people joining.

          Basicly mate - do whatever it takes. Your paying the bill at the end of the day!
          Last edited by MRGTB; Fri 11 Nov '05, 9:09pm.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by jmorrow
            By the way I think my 2nd question came across worng. Currently my site is geared toward one city only. Is that a mistake?
            If it's local, no. Actually you can promote it more -- from flyers, to getting a radio spot to promote it. One of my favorite sites was local (until they shut down), and yes they like the chit chat environment the best (get a rant and rave type forum up locally and see how quickly it gets used, for example!).

            Tip: it's easier to be negative than positive. Negativity can also bring traffic due to controversy, which can start posting like no other. When first starting a forum being too controlling and uptight will scare visitors away. Visitors come to be entertained or to get some knowledge, not be brow beaten with rules and "I'm the Administrator" attitude (in other words, have a "light touch"). It's why sites have the Intel vs. AMD and *nix vs. Windows threads as long standing seeds, as folks are passionate about them. Take the position of Intel and Windows are better, and watch how traffic just gravitates to those threads -- irks fanbois to no end.

            Part of forum building is marketing, part of it is basic psychology. If you don't know either the forum will stagnate (you need to get your forum up so folks can see it, but you need to know the psychology of why a person would come there in the first place, and what would make them stay). Sometimes that takes generating controversy (start up a ID vs. Creation vs. Evolution thread and promote it on some Christian AND Atheist sites, for example <-- that can generate a active 6 month thread alone). Sometimes it's providing a calm zen environment (like what's best for self-help communities). Match the mood and theme, with good marketing and in a couple of months you should have a self-substaining forum <-- but be aware of thread crappers who come in arguing to close threads on their conditions though. If you have competitors they will do that to help destroy your content, by shutting it down (i.e., claiming it's best for the forum; claiming it upsets them, etc.). Never let content be ruined or closed, as even if it doesn't look pleasant for XYZ, ABC may prefer it (and you won't know the stats until you test what your community prefers).

            Chris
            "Anyone who conducts an argument by appealing to Authority
            is not using his intelligence, he is just using his memory."
            ~~~
            Leonardo da Vinci

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Gary Bolton
              3: Don't be afraid to create a couple of fake members accounts on your site without going too silly in doing it (people hate this, but at the same time many people do it and don't admit it).
              Lame. I have one extra username that I use for testing purposes. I don't post with it. It's just used to be sure I have permissions set correctly.

              My main board is car a specific car model. I post on the same make boards with my forum in the sig but don't be a post whore. That is simply posting for the hell of it. If you can answer a persons question and they see who are there to help, you will attract members. Then if you get members that also cross post, ask them to have the forum in their sig too.

              It takes time to develop a userbase. I get 3-4 new registration a day.

              For me is quality over quantity. What is the reason for the board?
              To help a community of people with similar interests or just clone another board?
              Hell, I still use the default skin.
              ...steven
              www.318ti.org (vB3.8) | www.nccbmwcca.org (vB4.2)
              bmwcca.org/forum | m135i.net
              "I tried to clean this up but this thread is beyond redemption." - Steve Machol

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by 1996 328ti
                It takes time to develop a userbase. I get 3-4 new registration a day.
                You might want to do what Gary mentioned, for it can help get you more members.

                This is a forum forum, and there's no need to claim, "I don't have fake accounts" because many sites do, and there's no shame in it to get the forum started (it's no worse than hiring forum seeders). It's also a technique admins know that can work, especially with forums that have to compete with larger ones for the same membership pool.

                A community isn't a community until is self-sustaining, and the only way to do it is to put up good content, have a forum that's looks "lived in", and your user statistics show there's more than 20 members online. People come to forums to interact, and it's hard when there's only 20 people online, as that roughly translates to maybe 2 posting.

                Chris
                "Anyone who conducts an argument by appealing to Authority
                is not using his intelligence, he is just using his memory."
                ~~~
                Leonardo da Vinci

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by ChrisLM2001

                  A community isn't a community until is self-sustaining, and the only way to do it is to put up good content, have a forum that's looks "lived in", and your user statistics show there's more than 20 members online. People come to forums to interact, and it's hard when there's only 20 people online, as that roughly translates to maybe 2 posting.
                  This is a reason why I like showing who has logged on within the last 24 hours and how many people have logged on at least once in 10 days. It shows people are visiting and they are not the only one. There are a lot of people that lurk and simply search without contributing. I think the best way is to have your forum in a signature and contribute to other forums. Just don't appear that you are just their to harvest members. I click on sigs all the time out of curiosity. I join different forums but don't necessarily post since I have nothing to contribute.

                  Other tips, don't lock out the entire forum to non-registered. I really don't like that search is diabled for unregistered users.

                  It just takes time.

                  Edit: I also have many users that choose to be invisible. That doesn't help.
                  Last edited by steven s; Sat 12 Nov '05, 5:52am.
                  ...steven
                  www.318ti.org (vB3.8) | www.nccbmwcca.org (vB4.2)
                  bmwcca.org/forum | m135i.net
                  "I tried to clean this up but this thread is beyond redemption." - Steve Machol

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Time will Teach everyone

                    but i believe that if u have a hackers Friends telling u some secert it will help u alot and u will be the winner ..

                    This day is not like before 5 year ago .. know there is a kid with 10 year old have their own site ..

                    there is a company that take poeple from your board from posting and paying them to post in other site ..

                    i think if everyone need to save his time and get his community up then 3 think

                    1- Team - Find a Good Friend That will help u
                    2- Pay for Ads - Google - Yahoo and other as well
                    3- and this will help u alot alot alot Get Hackers

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Okie
                      Time will Teach everyone

                      but i believe that if u have a hackers Friends telling u some secert it will help u alot and u will be the winner ..

                      This day is not like before 5 year ago .. know there is a kid with 10 year old have their own site ..

                      there is a company that take poeple from your board from posting and paying them to post in other site ..

                      i think if everyone need to save his time and get his community up then 3 think

                      1- Team - Find a Good Friend That will help u
                      2- Pay for Ads - Google - Yahoo and other as well
                      3- and this will help u alot alot alot Get Hackers
                      Not everybody has the money to go and pay for Google to rank them high and display banners on adsence leading to there site though.

                      Also, how does inviting hackers on your site help you out? I'm baffled by that one.
                      Last edited by MRGTB; Sat 12 Nov '05, 10:20am.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        i dont say invite hackers to your site.. i say if u have a good friend who is hackers he will help u alot in your site

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Let me get this right - I have to go find a friend who is a "HACKER" to help me out, why a Hacker, why must he be a hacker?

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Gary Bolton
                            Let me get this right - I have to go find a friend who is a "HACKER" to help me out, why a Hacker, why must he be a hacker?
                            I'm also lost on this one, how can a hacker friend help out? I have a group of friends, who are not even that computer literate, that moderate my forum. We started out as a group of friends, talking on our own forum, to the 3rd largest local forum. So being local is actually an advantage because it keeps things close and friendly. Like everyone else said, content is the key and I'm a big believer in that. People don't sign up to an empty site and talk to themselves. They sign up because the site is already established with good topics, conversations, and many other exiting things. You will probably need to gather a good group of friends with similar interest and time to help out. It took my forum 2+ years to gain 400 members, and 10 months to gain 1300+ additional members. Things just don't happen overnight, it takes time to grow a forum. Good luck to ya!
                            Last edited by Vtec44; Sat 12 Nov '05, 11:21am.
                            So Cal Sportbike forum - So Cal Moto - Kawasaki Ninja 250R Forum - Custom vinyl decals - Southern California camping forum

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Everything you read by other members are true. And here are some tricks I use to get people and ofcourse for a good cause.
                              • Make sure the site audience will like the topic on your website. Like a 50 year old man would come and will look for topics like retirements/fundings but a 13 year old would most likey go for design and games... so you have to get some idea how old your audiences are.
                              • Give something in return for the registration. Like free email address, hosting, or something.
                              • Don't write your contents all in details, leave a chance that a user will ask about it in the forum.
                              • Possibly integrate your site article/content management systems with your forum to avoid double registration.
                              • Write newsletters through your forum once a while to keep them informed. Because some members come and register and forget about the website... so you have to keep reminding them.
                              • Don't make any rules when starting a forum, because sometimes it drives them away . (Yea you will get spams once in a while, but its worth it)
                              • And you may also want to start some interesting topics on the forum to give some members the chance to share their opinions.
                              This is how PhotoshopCity.com's community grew within 2 months and my calculation says by 2006 it will have over 500 members.

                              Good-Luck!!
                              Out to Change the world!

                              Comment

                              widgetinstance 262 (Related Topics) skipped due to lack of content & hide_module_if_empty option.
                              Working...
                              X