What makes a Forum Good?

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by fivetoadsloth, Dec 5, 2006.

  1. fivetoadsloth macrumors 65816


    Aug 15, 2006
    Some forums such as macrumors, do very well compared to others. what makes some forums better than others? Is it the amount of people that use it? The interest to the content?
    A friend of mine and i started a forum a while back and it enver really hit off. Any tips? http://forums.krazynonsense.com/
  2. OutThere macrumors 603


    Dec 19, 2002
    I think the best forums seem to start from an established website that has:

    - Interesting, regularly updated content
    - A strong central point (interest in something, news, a game, hobby, etc)
    - A regular user-base of people who check the website often.

    Often websites that get a group of regulars will start a forum for the regulars to discuss things, and thats where it all begins.

    People start talking on a forum because they're interested in the site and what other people have to say on the site, not because they're interested in talking on a forum, for the most part.

    Once a forum has a good size base of users and regular posters and a good amount of posted material, it will attract people who are interested in just talking on the forum, regardless of the site's general content.

    So...my conclusion would be that the best forums grow out of a site that has already captured an audience.
  3. MacNut macrumors Core


    Jan 4, 2002
    1. you need a good topic
    2. you need word of mouth
    3. you need a variety of interesting people to visit.
  4. MACDRIVE macrumors 68000


    Feb 17, 2006
    Clovis, California
    It helps to have intelligent people whom are the members. I'll stray away from MacRumors every now and again to visit some of those car forums. The people that frequent those boards are for the most part... flaming idiots. If you can weed your way through all the mispelled words and lack of punctuation, the content of their posts are often times annoyingly stupid. :rolleyes:
  5. Doctor Q Administrator

    Doctor Q

    Staff Member

    Sep 19, 2002
    Los Angeles
    You can't purposely arrange to have intelligent members -- unless you give them a test! The types of members you get depend on the theme. A forum about nanotechnology might attract a slightly more intelligent clientele than a forum about belching. (I know from having run both types of sites, of course. ;) ) OK, maybe a better example is that forums about science or medical topics are more serious than those about random bits of culture, like those devoted to TV shows.

    It takes a lot of word of mouth or other publicity to build up membership, and its a chicken and egg problem: To attract interesting members, you need other interesting members.
  6. OutThere macrumors 603


    Dec 19, 2002
    You know what absolutely fascinates me is forums about TV shows and, most especially, the IMDB forums. (Which may be some of the biggest and most active boards anywhere...but they're broken up and have no statistics)

    It is so cool to just troll through these forums and see the level of intelligence displayed among posters for different movies and TV shows. For example, look at the IMDB boards for Hilary Duff and The Fog of War. I can't help but chuckle out loud. :D

    It's also interesting to see the official message boards for various TV shows. I've gotten into the CBS show Jericho lately, and I was very surprised to find the boards to contain a good amount of well-written, well-thought-out stuff, unlike some boards I've seen for other popular TV shows.

    In a free-market free-choice demographical situation like the internet, it's interesting to see where people place themselves. :)
  7. SiliconAddict macrumors 603


    Jun 19, 2003
    Chicago, IL
    The moderators. You need to have people who are balanced, fair, don't get their panties in a bunch over minor infractions, and don't get their ego involved in it. Its a matter of finding that balance between a democracy and a dictatorship. For the most part MR has done an exemplary job with only a few :rolleyes: notable exceptions.
  8. scem0 macrumors 604


    Jul 16, 2002
    back in NYC!
    1. boobies
    2. constant use of ™
    3. lube
    4. Crazy people
    5. Sex talk™


  9. mannix87 macrumors 6502

    Nov 16, 2005
    in the southeast
    you need a lot of members with a lot of time in their hands;) :D

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