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i have a forum for a relatively small (but rapidly growing) niche of researchers worldwide. it's been really slow getting it going.. very low traffic. do you think people will use it? are low traffic forums useful? the address is << url snipped to comply with forum policy >>

i think another problem is that a lot of old-school scientists aren't used to posting questions to a web-based forum. they ask on newsgroups or search the literature.

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Last Post by stbernardcom
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Well you have a nice skin, in my experience of running forums no one will come and just start posting, add content and exclusive content would be great it gives members something to talk about.

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Im sure peopel will. Just keep it up to date, and try to not lose intrest. Remember its something your trying to accompish, not work on and loose intrest. But remember we are humans we get sick of thing's lol. TOO MUCH, ill take a look at your forums. Science is a great and marvelous thing, and I love researcher's. Some smart men right there, and well right here at daniweb! (=

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thanks for the replies.

i just read the forum policy, after seeing that my forum URL had been removed from my original post in this thread. so why is it that threads like this haven't been edited?

and why do so many long-time users of these forums have blatent advertisements in their signature??

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This policy has just gone into effect within the past month, as a result of soooo many people posting in the Internet Marketing forums: "I'm getting no traffic to www.mysite.com - please help me" ... it just turned into a spam-fest. Therefore, I've recently enacted a no-advertisement rule within the Internet Marketing forums. Everytime I come across an old thread, I edit it out ... but since this is a new policy, it takes some time to go back and edit all of the old threads.

Once you have 10 posts (which I see you do) you can post about your site in our Site Reviews forum. If you have a webmaster-related service to offer, you can also post in the Webmaster Marketplace.

Links in signatures are still allowed.

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Sorry to double post ... but I just want to add. I edited out the URLs from that thread serfurj ... You see, it just became such a problem with blatant advertising ... and I want to keep the Internet Promotion forums a place to discuss general techniques and ideas, etc. ... and we can then talk about site-specific stuff in the Site Reviews forum :)

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okay, i understand. thanks for explaining. great job on these forums by the way.

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Thanks for understanding :) Now to answer your questions, all forums started off with little traffic at one point or another. If the quality of the posts is impressive, you can get converts. Also, make sure that you, as the administrator, personally respond to every post as soon as you can. It gives the impression that regardless of the number of total posts there are, a person's question / thread will get answered ... which is inevitably what everyone wants anyways.

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good suggestions.. thanks. i think one thing that really helps a forum get started is word of mouth. i've been trying to spread the word lately and have been getting more posts.

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Yup, definitely. Most online communities get most of their traffic from either word of mouth or from repeat visitors.

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I am trying to get my travel forum <url snipped to comply with forum policy > up and running, but am still having a hard time getting visitors...

Started reading articles about the subject though and found this one"

http://www.abc-articles.info/forums/41325.php

pretty usefull. It explaines how you can increase traffic to a just-started forum pretty good. I'm trying it now, and have had a couple of new registration already in a short time.

Read it and use it I suggest!

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That's a very common tactic for starting a new community of which I can say I've done myself. Used with other techniques it can help to get a community rolling.

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I have heard many people do this, but have to admit I never did it myself. Who knows, maybe if I did, it wouldn't have taken DaniWeb a year to reach our first 100 members.

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A niche forum is difficult to get off the ground initially. I have experienced this myself. However, if such a forum starts growing you might be one-of-a-kind, unique forum.

Keep at it and good luck with your efforts. :)

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From an interview I gave back in early 2005:

We also have a huge advantage that makes us unique, which has really helped. When I started DaniWeb, all of the webmasters of the world were screaming that only niche sites work. I set out to prove them wrong – and create something different in the process. We opted to go for a broad site, focusing on all aspects of I.T..

Unlike networks of sites, we’re a one stop resource that puts everything all together in one community. At the same time, we build up each individual forum as if it were a sub-site in and of its own. This encourages members who may have expertise in one area but not another to continue to explore new territory and learn, because the fear of being the uneducated newbie who doesn’t know anyone is eliminated. Instead, members feel more comfortable exploring new areas of the site and learning because they already belong to the community.

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I believe ppl will keep on visiting a low traffic forum if they can find what they want. Example, if your forum is offering something unique and they can't find it elsewhere, then your forum will have a large membership database soon. Offcourse, early bird catch the worm.

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Of course..!!If there is any useful or valuable points in the forum means surely people will use in where as the traffic also increase.
<snip false signature>

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For a start might do. I believe those high traffic forums started also from scratch. So why not give chance to those who are still at the starting phase? Who knows ... that lowly forum will reach the high pedestal in the long run.

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I must say that starting a forum is one of the more difficult tasks because you are building a community that requires user contribution. The best advice I can give you is that you personally need to stay active. Visit the forum daily and make sure things don't get stagnant. Start new threads, reply to other threads and ALWAYS welcome new members.

It takes time and dedication, normally about 2 years to really get things flowing. But in the end an active community is priceless.

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Most people will not participate in an empty forum, but if you have a specific niche like yours, then people will probably enter and post something.

There are two considerations. First, will they participate in a low traffic forum? Second, does your site have the correct look and navigation to allow easy participation.

Make sure you have a stat reporting tool on your site (such as Google Analytics) so you know where your visitors are coming from, where they are going on your site, and how long they are staying. If a lot of people click on your sign up link, but don't actually sign up, then you will know you need to redesign your sign up page.

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I don't think the answer is as easy as saying "People will never participate in an empty forum" because if that was the case, NO forum would have ever become popular. The trick is to find those people who are just happy posting in a new forum because they recognize that they'll have, at least, the forum administrator to talk to. It's just a matter of being dedicated enough as a forum admin that you respond to the person as quick as they would have received a response in a very heavily trafficked forum.

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i think another problem is that a lot of old-school scientists aren't used to posting questions to a web-based forum. they ask on newsgroups or search the literature.

Do you have a blog affiliated with the site? Or a way to post articles? If so, then consider posting a fun article on how to get acquainted with forum posting. Do the research and see how it's a different platform for basic search and newsgroups, and then spell it out in playful way -- though without making it sound like you are writing down to your audience. You could give them a big hint of why forum posting is a good investment, but do it in a polite way.

Or, you could post it directly as a new thread. The older generations need to get used to new web apps, they can catch on if they have examples to follow.

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Noob here..... what determines whether a forum has a high or low-volume of traffic? I mean, are there specific parameters in place? Like.... "if you have 100 posts in a day from 20 unique users, it's low traffic"?

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Me personally, I would say low traffic would be less than 20 new posts (preferably in at least 5 different threads) each day. But that's just my opinion, I'm sure others would have different standards, and it really depends on the niche too. You can get away with more if your niche is more specific, for instance, and the discussions depend more on critical discussion and interaction, rather than solving problems or commenting on the news.

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Thanks for the response, I was starting to think 'oh great... noob question put in the wrong spot or something.....'

Where ARE there parameters for forum size comparison? What's an acceptable rate of growth? How many moderators do you have for x# of active members? How did you establish advertising rates? Can you tell I'm full of questions?

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Thanks for the response, I was starting to think 'oh great... noob question put in the wrong spot or something.....'

Where ARE there parameters for forum size comparison? What's an acceptable rate of growth? How many moderators do you have for x# of active members? How did you establish advertising rates? Can you tell I'm full of questions?

It really depends on the niche you are talking about and the stats for that niche. Any parameters would have to be by an experienced forum administrator's account -- to have accurate parameters you would need to really document all the forums online and do the research to compare them.

I would say, don't worry about that too much. Find a forum in a similar niche and maybe ask them how they started.

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