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Old Feb 4, 2013, 06:28 PM   #1
Squilly
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I Want To Start A Forum

For those of you that have experience as webmasters:
I'm experienced with MyBB and a little bit in VBulletin, which is what MR is based off of. How do you suggest I start in creating a forum? I've always wanted to do it just for the hell of it and as a source of income. I have a game plan, although don't know what niche I want to base it off of yet. The Apple niche is relatively saturated, but that's the one I'm most intrigued in working with (or technology in general). Suggestions?
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Old Feb 4, 2013, 06:35 PM   #2
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Sounds like your question boils down to topic and visibility. Setting up a forum should be relatively straightforward from a technical point of view, and you claim to be proficient there.

You either need to find a special niche that hasn't been satisfied, offer something of value beyond what exists now, or both. Visibility is another hard part.
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Old Feb 4, 2013, 08:23 PM   #3
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Niche suggestions? Forums are so saturated at the moment, it's hard to squeeze in.
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Old Feb 4, 2013, 09:23 PM   #4
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I have no ideas. And if you have none either, you might move on to your next get-rich-quick scheme.

But seriously, I'm not going to do all the hard work for you.
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Old Feb 4, 2013, 09:26 PM   #5
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Don't quit your day job. Forums are rarely a source of income. Certainly not in the short term.
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Old Feb 5, 2013, 01:39 AM   #6
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Don't quit your day job. Forums are rarely a source of income. Certainly not in the short term.
It seems like it if you are a very large forum. The owners of a site I mod have only one job and that is working on the site.
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Old Feb 5, 2013, 07:33 AM   #7
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I'd say it takes a long time for a forum to develop enough traffic to warrant it being a full time job. Anyway, forum admin can usually be done in spare time.
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Old Feb 5, 2013, 07:36 AM   #8
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Niche suggestions? Forums are so saturated at the moment, it's hard to squeeze in.
When you write something like that it tells me that you should know this is a terrible idea; at least as far as you're concerned. If your only goal is to never get a real damn job then fine. Welfare for able-bodied folks who just want money and not to do any of the work is a plenty in this country so perhaps you should just do that and save your brain from having to come up with various schemes.
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Old Feb 5, 2013, 07:38 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Squilly View Post
Niche suggestions? Forums are so saturated at the moment, it's hard to squeeze in.
Don't do a niche forum because it's niche. Do something you love. Otherwise you'll have no interest in maintaining or supporting the forum and then nobody will come or stay. Most forums that stick around also post news of some sort relevant to their users. So start there. There are some exceptions but they're rare.
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Old Feb 5, 2013, 07:57 AM   #10
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When you write something like that it tells me that you should know this is a terrible idea; at least as far as you're concerned. If your only goal is to never get a real damn job then fine. Welfare for able-bodied folks who just want money and not to do any of the work is a plenty in this country so perhaps you should just do that and save your brain from having to come up with various schemes.
I mean, I have ideas, just in a saturated market. Specifically about Mac. Very difficult to enter at the moment.
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Old Feb 5, 2013, 08:02 AM   #11
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I mean, I have ideas, just in a saturated market. Specifically about Mac. Very difficult to enter at the moment.
It's likely not going to get better. No harm in trying, even if for the experience of setting it up. But don't quit your day job any time soon and be prepared to spend your own money for a while.
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Old Feb 5, 2013, 12:26 PM   #12
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Don't start a website just to start a website. Apple websites are saturated, yes, but they all have their own unique style, and have different quirky things that make them stand out.
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Old Feb 5, 2013, 04:20 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by SilentPanda View Post
Don't do a niche forum because it's niche. Do something you love. Otherwise you'll have no interest in maintaining or supporting the forum and then nobody will come or stay. Most forums that stick around also post news of some sort relevant to their users. So start there. There are some exceptions but they're rare.
Completely agree.

Also, you don't have to be first, you just have to be the best.
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Old Feb 5, 2013, 04:55 PM   #14
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Completely agree.

Also, you don't have to be first, you just have to be the best.
Look at MR, look at AI or 9to5. Well established forums. Starting new in an established area is bad. I don't know what else to do though. I'm passionate about Apple...
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Old Feb 5, 2013, 04:58 PM   #15
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Look at MR, look at AI or 9to5. Well established forums. Starting new in an established area is bad. I don't know what else to do though. I'm passionate about Apple...
Offer to contribute at a forum or just be helpful. Why do you need to run it?
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Old Feb 5, 2013, 05:00 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by Squilly View Post
Look at MR, look at AI or 9to5. Well established forums. Starting new in an established area is bad. I don't know what else to do though. I'm passionate about Apple...
The very best of luck with your forum/website then.
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Old Feb 5, 2013, 05:04 PM   #17
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Starting new in an established area is bad.
Good thing Apple never said that about music players, or smartphones or tablets.
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Old Feb 5, 2013, 05:18 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by SilentPanda View Post
Offer to contribute at a forum or just be helpful. Why do you need to run it?
He is more interested in the $$$.
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Old Feb 5, 2013, 08:14 PM   #19
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Offer to contribute at a forum or just be helpful. Why do you need to run it?
To get an income, through AdSense mainly.

----------

Quote:
Originally Posted by mobilehaathi View Post
He is more interested in the $$$.
For the $ and because I love researching/discussing the topic.
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Old Feb 5, 2013, 09:03 PM   #20
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The basic formula for success in venture's such as these is this; offer something no one else does, or do something better than everyone else.

Simple concept, but much easier said than done. A fellow forum member and I had our own Apple-based website/forum a few years back. We ended that experiment fairly quickly, because we had nothing unique to offer, nothing to set us apart from the myriad of Apple related sites already established, and therefore nothing to draw visitors in. We had some fun with it though, and it taught us not to throw our money away on a done-to-death concept. (For the most part. )

Asking for ideas is probably going to get you nowhere; if any of us had such a thing, we'd probably be keeping it to ourselves and be hard at work on it already.
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Old Feb 5, 2013, 09:45 PM   #21
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Even if you find your topic, remember that it probably won't pick up right away. It will take years. Look at Macrumors, it's been running for over 10 years. And still, you could say it has a lot of competition.

It might not even be worth your time. Invest in stocks or something
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Old Feb 6, 2013, 12:07 AM   #22
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Invest in stocks or something
Oh he is also trying to figure that out too!
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Old Feb 6, 2013, 04:16 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by Squilly View Post
For the $ and because I love researching/discussing the topic.
Nothing wrong with making money in doing something you love. I say go for it. Don't listen to the nay sayers. Course be realistic. Odds are you won't make decent money for a while (at least a few years). But don't let that stop you. It's your life. Your dream. Your goals.

People told Walt Disney it wouldn't work out; look at them now.

I know that's comparing Apples and Oranges, but still the same principle.
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Old Feb 6, 2013, 05:14 AM   #24
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It took several decades for MacRumors to become the moneymaking machine that it is.
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Old Feb 6, 2013, 06:53 AM   #25
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It took several decades for MacRumors to become the moneymaking machine that it is.
True. I don't think many sites will simply take off and make money. Many times sites need to ignore trying to make money until they have a good following. I think the sites that do best are the ones who have people who love the topic like TUAW for example. Their love of the Apple platform and constant coverage keeps me coming back. I have tried to start forums in the past. I used to run linadmin.org which was pretty successful at Linux stuff for me but it was mostly for my Apache Frontpage extension work which dried up when Microsoft abandoned Frontpage extensions.

For right now I've been working on www.enterpriseadmin.org as a completely not for profit project. I do desktop engineering for a living and there aren't that many central places to discuss things. I'm hoping it takes off, not to get rich, but to help me also have a single place to access info I need every day. So for me that site is something I'm passionate about. Maybe it'll become something. Not sure. I can dream.

So for the person wanting to start a forum.. Just look at your hobbies... What you know and want to talk about... And see if there are not that many popular places to talk about it or maybe you can handle the topic better than anyone else ... Make a forum about that. And find a friend to help you so they are posting too and you'll have more momentum.

When I have time I'm thinking of a Hazardous Materials team website. I'm on a team and having a place to go for info would be great. If that sounds interesting and you want to take that idea feel free. Send the link if you do and I'll join.
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