What's wrong with my forum...?

  barryoneoff.co.uk 13:20 07 Jun 2003

I recently added a forum to my website aimed at people with East End associations. The figures tell me that many hundreds of visitors have looked at it, but only eight have registered since Easter.

Now I know that people not from the East End wont be interested, but I would have thought that a certain percentage of visitors to my site would be from that area.

Would you please just have a quick look round it and tell me what would put you off, or how I could make it more attractive to potential members?

You gave me a great deal of advice when building my website and it was much appreciated. So could you do the same with the forum, and just tell me what would stop you joining in if you were associated with the East End in any way. Layout, content, subject matter...anything!

Cheers, Whiz...

  barryoneoff.co.uk 13:32 07 Jun 2003

sorry, must be jet lag click here

  Forum Editor 14:43 07 Jun 2003

as being a deterrent, although the necessity to register will always put some people off.

One of the problems with forums nowadays is that almost every site has one, and people can tend to react with apathy: "Here we go again, another forum populated by a few wierdos who ramble on about conspiracy theories all day long".

Stick at it and I'm sure you'll build a nice little forum, but it will take time. The one piece of advice I would stress above all others is to control the forum firmly. If you don't do that it will rapdily degenerate into a foul-mouthed slanging match. Note that I said 'will' and not 'might' - there's no doubt about it. Keep it clean, even though you'll be accused of being a prude, being a sad person, and a spoil-sport, and you'll end up with a thriving little community of people who know they'll get some interesting and intelligent content.

Don't allow joke threads - no two people have exactly the same taste in humour - and don't allow religious/racist intolerance of any description, it's the kiss of death and anyway it's illegal. Avoid the 'England for the English' element who go looking for receptive forums - they'll cause untold problems, and most of them don't have a single intelligent thought in their heads anyway.

A good forum, if it's busy will take up a great deal of your time. People will expect to see you in there every day, and if you're not they'll get the feeling it's drifting.

Good luck with it - I think you have the makings of something very interesting, given the theme of your site, and I'll certainly pay you a visit from time to time.

  barryoneoff.co.uk 14:58 07 Jun 2003

I agree with you on the keep it clean bit, I just wish I had a few more people to keep in line!

I will give it about six months to take off, then I might take off, if the interest isn't there.
Cheers, Whiz...

  powertool 20:58 09 Jun 2003

For work, I set up a forum using EZ board - I had been on my work e-mail address for over 2 years and not a single spam e-mail had got through.

The day after I registered with EZ board they started - not a huge number - about 2 a day - some porn related and not welcome in my work intray!

Hope this helps.

  barryoneoff.co.uk 23:34 09 Jun 2003

but how would people know that before they registered. Also, both myself, and one of my daughters are registered and have received nothing like that.

Mind you, I think it may be the registration stopping people joining but I can see no other way to stop abuse of the forum.

Thanks for your comment anyway, Whiz...

  Agricola 12:14 11 Jun 2003

I once set up a board and encountered same problems as you. Had lots of hits and no-one registering. In end I found it was apparent lack of activity and a small number of posts. A person looking for first time only see a couple of posts per topic and think this is a dead board. Everyone thinks the same and don’t both.

One way I improved this situation was to create dozens of aliases and spent best part of a week creating new threads and replies under these new names. Result was that I ended up with 100s of postings and gave first impression the boards where very active.

It wasn’t long before people were registering and willing to join in this very busy and happening place!

Of course for a few weeks you still have a lot of hard work posting to keep up illusion, but as more people join you can start to drop of the posts.

Another theme of this is to just start dozens of posts under your own admin name people. Or get a few friends to make it easier and set up multiple accounts to help you out. You also need some sort of incentive to keep people coming back. But that’s another subject.

Hope this is of help!

  barryoneoff.co.uk 19:42 11 Jun 2003

but I dont fancy sitting here answering my own postings (end up talking to myself, or even arguing).

I will give it a bit of time till I turn schzitzo!
Cheers anyway, Whiz...

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