Re: Forum website
Posted by Mark
18 February, 2015 10:00
Remember the key thing is to provide something that is useful and fun to the local area.
- Start small, get some hosting and a domain name with someone like Heart Internet and install forum software.
- Set up the sections of the site, this one had five to start with but that changed with the times.
- Be strict but fair, you've set it up, so you set the rules (borrow the ones from here if you want).
- Be prepared for the Admin team to make mistakes, apologise and make u-turns.
- Most people are fantastic and you'll get a great community (which will then be referred to as "the clique" by others).
- Some people will push you to the edge but move on, the community will help you deal with them if you've been fair.
- Find some awesome moderators, we have great ones on here and they help the place stay great.
- Have a few low budget promotions, we printed 1,500 postcards and had them delivered locally.
- You will get people from outside the areas trying it on e.g."why can't I advertise my Brixton builders", be strict but fair.
- User's confidentiality is very important, only give details if requested to by the authorities.
- Have fun, it's hard work but worth it.
- Don't expect local businesses to ever thank you for what you've done.
- It's not a news site, they're full of bad news. It's the equivalent of chatting to your neighbour over the fence.
- There will be times when it will become a bad tempered whinge-fest, and people don't like returning to places that are always bad tempered.
- Listen to suggestions about the forum but don't act on all of them. If it feels right then do it, if you’re not sure, think about it for a while or ask a few forumites you trust.
I'm sure I'll add some more thoughts as I think of them but remember it has to be useful and fun.
For better usability amend titles so people know what the discussion thread is about before they click its link.