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Should I un-group my forums?

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  • Should I un-group my forums?

    I run a science-fiction movie website featuring about 60 movie fan sites right now. Prior to discovering vBulletin, I used a lame forum system (read: glorified guestbook script) which was a mess to manage. In this system I had a "forum" for each movie fan site (i.e. Spaceballs had one, Tron had one...)... for a total of about 60 forums. Despite the many flaws and un-expandability of these hard-coded HTML forums, people seemed to used them a lot.

    When I installed vBulletin, I decided to change things a bit: in order to encourage visitors to read and write about many films, I merged the 60 individual forums into about 11 ones, depending on the general theme of the related movie (i.e. Spaceballs and Galaxy Quest in one "Alien Comedy Nest" forum, Tron and The Matrix in the "Cyberpunk Hub" forum).

    Now people don't post anymore. I realize that the introduction of vBulletin meant newly emptied forums, but I wonder if the combination of movie forums based on the theme is confusing people somewhat. Should I dismantle these megaforums into title based forums like on the old system or should I give up, buy myself a giraffe and become a monk? Could someone please visit my forums and tell me their impressions?

    Note: I haven't been a nice admin for my forums because I haven't been very active lately, but then again I never wrote in my old forums and they were decently active.

    Note 2: The vast majority of site visitors enter through the movie fan site, therefore rarely will they see the main page of the forum system.

    Note 3: The forums are located at http://www.sciflicks.com/forums/

    Thanks!
    Ramses - René-Marc Simard
    SciFlicks SQUAD! Forums
    SciFlicks.com - Science Fiction Cinema

  • #2
    I think you should bring the old formula back: Individual forums
    - Insert viable disclaimer here -

    ArtBeast!

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    • #3
      Perhaps people don't like the fact that they have to register in order to post. Maybe you shouldn't require registration until things get rather active.

      -jim
      "The dot-com bust has cleared out the carpetbaggers and left the Internet to those who really care about it"
      - Jon Ippolito, new-media curator, Guggenheim Museum

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      • #4
        have you explained to them what is going on?
        perhaps if you keep the old forums up to read, but don't allow posting it would help. That way they can continue discussions from over there, buy using an Re: subject type post
        That might encourage people to post again

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        • #5
          Thanks for the suggestions!

          Menno: I'll post a poll about my visitor's feelings on the forums, just to be sure. Nonetheless, chances are that I'll revert to the old title-based style.

          JimF: As proposed, I'll make registration optional. I've tried making it easy to register (no "You're not allowed" messages, just an invitation to register) but to no avail. Openness is better I guess.

          thetakerfan: I'll take a couple of days to convert manually the old messages to vBulletin so that people can read them and maybe even reply directly. I just hope for rain for the next few days (so that I won't feel bad about staying inside... again... )

          Cheers!
          Ramses - René-Marc Simard
          SciFlicks SQUAD! Forums
          SciFlicks.com - Science Fiction Cinema

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          • #6
            what BB software were you using before, out of curiosity

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            • #7
              Ok. Don't laugh now! I was using Tectonic Designs' Guestbook available at http://tectonicdesigns.com/freecgi/ . It's a god guestbook script and a simple and dirty way to create a "forum", but totally unmanageable since it writes guestbook entries to an html page, not a database. Want to edit something? Get the file through FTP, edit, and upload back, hoping no-one added something to the file in the meantime. Now repeat that for all the new entries you want to edit in 5 dozen forums... I'd rather have a life.

              Well, I had no revenues from my site at the time I installed that script...
              Ramses - René-Marc Simard
              SciFlicks SQUAD! Forums
              SciFlicks.com - Science Fiction Cinema

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              • #8
                thats understandable, I usually don't pay for anything I use on my website. I try my best to find things for free, and as a last resort I'll buy something

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