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Should I start my own forum?

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  • Should I start my own forum?

    Any opinions on that? Is it worth starting my own web forum? I think it would be a great way to get people to visit my website and possible create some business. If nothing else, I get to enjoy the sharing of information that goes on and have the satifaction of kowing I'm contributing to it.
    Ideal Plumbing

  • #2
    Re: Should I start my own forum?

    Yes. I can come up with 2 words why.


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    • #3
      Re: Should I start my own forum?

      That's what I was thinking as well. Constantly having new content and tons of keywords.

      Seems like I should have my site all put together and looking professional first though.

      I have big dreams and a small budget
      Ideal Plumbing

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      • #4
        Re: Should I start my own forum?

        I can think of another plumber that has a forum that probably made him some mone in the beginning but unfortunately, since it is so poorly run and moderated it has turned into the biggest joke on the web, so be careful how and who you let run the thing.
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        • #5
          Re: Should I start my own forum?

          Having your own Internet site where customers can search for information, services and other helpful ideas is a wonderful way to round out your business. I would point out that "search engines" are how folks find you unless they already have your Internet address, and staying on top of those search lists can cost thousands a month.

          Ever watch the infomercials about making millions on the Internet? Well, what they don't tell you is that you may lose thousands paying to keep your site in the first hundred or so among on a single search engine!

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          • #6
            Re: Should I start my own forum?

            I dont disagree with anyone's responses. However, there are 2 big keys to the success of a site.

            1) You need a lot of fresh content. Its really difficult to get a community that is active enough to generate that content. Some other forums have had the same guy talking to himself from 3 or 4 different logins. Eventually that ends up burning out though.

            2) In order to get #1 you need a lot of active members. We have probably 30-50 visitors that aren't members per every 1 registered member. Then of those registered members there are a small handful of truly active members who post.

            3) If you start your own forum I would ask please make sure you follow the forum rules and do not use this forum to pull members into participating on your forum through PMs or through posts in the public forum.

            BTW... if you go with a forum software I would highly recommend vbulletin... very solid software.

            Later,

            Josh

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            • #7
              Re: Should I start my own forum?

              I suppose a lot depends on how much time you want to spend with it.

              Creating an interactive "forum" where members can meet and share ideas is certainly a decent idea, but I think that is probably an endless task for the host.

              Having a good website takes a lot of effort and keeping it upgraded and interesting can be challenging. But far less than what a "forum" would take, I think. Of course a "forum" would be something that people could participate in and therefore be the reason, in itself, for returning. (Like here on the Ridgid site.) Ryobi dropped their forum over a year ago, and though I was once active there, I really no longer have a daily reason to visit that site and now catch it maybe once or twice a month just for product curiosity.

              There was another forum that I had belonged too, almost as a charter member. But everytime I turned around there was a glitch and I couldn't log on. Seemed that somebody was always changing something and when that happened, it didn't work right. That, plus it became a place dominated by a small number of members and after a short time, it just wasn't worth the hassle. That forum offered nothing beyond just the discussions between members.

              The BT3Central web site is an excellent example of a "very good" forum, but it requires a lot of effort on behalf of the moderators to keep people on track. There's no political or religious discussions allowed, of any kind there, and though I think that's a good idea, it does on occasion cause some concerns with some members. In addition to their "forum" they also have a lot of articles written my other members that make the site work very well.

              So, forums can be tough with your time, and certainly moderatation can be challenging; and, I would imagine it wouldn't take much for someone to come in and totally scuddle the thing on you, if you weren't diligent.

              Just my thoughts,

              CWS

              So,

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              • #8
                Re: Should I start my own forum?

                Yup yup, it is definitely a full time task keeping things running 100%. I would probably find a few willing folks to moderate and as long as things aren't always being reworked or redesigned I think that I won't have too many problems.

                Josh, I'm considering starting with phpBB for the forum software as it's free, but I will look into vBulletin. Oh and no worries, I won't be publicly advertising anything. If people come up on my site by searching or whatever and decide to join, then they will. I don't want to step on any toes here or anywhere else. Thanks for the info
                Ideal Plumbing

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