Content is very important in any site, but how does it work with forums?

Does "content" mean writing article about your forum, blogs, links and so on?

Or, in the forum world, does it mean different discussions on your forum?


Content means the discussions in the forum. It means the wealth of information. It can mean tutorials that are written. This is compared to a non-content-based site such as an e-commerce site that isn't an informational resource.

what are your thoughts on original content vs. imported content?

Personally it has to be original content. It defines the forums character and originality. I mean our most successful item has to be sending an inflatable donkey around the world to all the moderators and posting pictures and the story of his trip. People love it as its quirky. Yes its hardly a thread that will inspire greatness, but its something we have that other forums dont, so it ensures people return to check on his progress.

IMO, there is nothing as cheesy as seeing a site have articles and tutorials that are public domain or found elsewhere on the web. :-/

IMO, there is nothing as cheesy as seeing a site have articles and tutorials that are public domain or found elsewhere on the web. :-/

Agreed. Google also penalizes for the duplicate content

What if is wasn't necessary 'dead' imported feeds - what if you imported second hand feeds but then allowed it to be posted to and from - making it a new 'live' feed with its own orginal content?

If it wasn't a dead peice of info then it would be even worse! And you may even get into legal trouble...

please explain:

1. why would it be 'even worse' if they weren't 'dead' feeds?
2. why there would be legal issues if all feeds were 'hosted' for syndication

Is there any interest in linking forums together? IE. - pull threads from a 'hosted' forum and have replies sent seamlessly between the forums?

I would have a very negative feeling about any system that "imported" content from one of the forums I operate, into their own system. In fact the very thought makes me want to have a long talk with my lawyer.

i am talking about people who choose to 'host' their forums ... i am not talking about sneaking into other's forums ... IE - has a forum which has information for their users, so they 'host' their forums so their users can 'subscribe' to those threads ... this makes it where the information goes to the subscriber's forum. This thread can then be replied to seemlessly between the two. The linking of forums would only happen with mutual consent. Understand? Thoughts?

If I have a forum with content related to a specific service or product, then why do I need to have my forum "hosted" in another forum? I already HAVE a forum.

If on the other hand I'm hosting a forum that is more or less "public", I'm doing so for two reasons. One of those reasons, let's be honest, is to generate ad revenue. I don't want "my" content hosted on someone else's system. Doing so would dilute the value of my forum and thus it's attractiveness to advertisers. (The other reason I run forums is because I'm genuinely interested in the topic.)

What you're describing sounds closely related to what the blog world calls "trackbacks". I hate those, too.

Another way to look at this is to realize that a forum isn't JUST content, it's also identity and community.

If I "hosted" a forum on a system like you describe, I'm in essence allowing other forum operators to have my content MINUS the identity I've striven to create and the community that generates that content. I just can't imagine why I'd want to do that.

I guess it’s a point of view. If you and a “sister site share similar interests with your forums you can gain topics of discussion from that forum’s user base just as that system gains topics of discussion from your user base. When someone posts a topic it begs to be answered. Getting topics started is one of the more difficult aspects of growing a community or getting one started. By connecting forums together (let’s expand and say not just 2 sites but 10) you’re now leveraging the user base, knowledge, and activity of all 10 sites. Thus, those users who visit your site (for whatever reason beyond just the networked or linked forums) will be more likely to add/reply to active (again, seeing the activity of 10 sites is impressive) topics helping to keep users longer on your site thus increase ad revenues if that is your objective.

The point of forum networking is not to clone your site with 10 other sites but, to find a point of interest between them so that you can keep an active forum always having new topics and areas of discussion. This also helps to bring in new members who visit your site. Seeing a very active system of users dialoging is encouraging for forum-goers to stick around and participate. The 10 sites that have networked together now become greater than the sum of their parts because they offer engaging conversation for a larger audience plus the “local original content that you’ve always offered. Networking forums is meant to accent the system not supplant it. By offering more to your users they’re more likely to stay at your site, find topics of interest, and have their questions answered.

If revenue is a primary objective with your forum, syndicating one of your own active forums for profit is also a possibility. Charge the 10 forums (that not only pull your forums content but also add to it making it more valuable) a fee to have access to your private network. Again, having uniqueness between the forums will ultimately decide why a user chooses one over the other. However, as this idea progresses it will become increasingly difficult for isolated “island forums to compete with networked forums that offer a wider variety of discussions in highly active forums.

As a user of forums, and as long as I receive replies from other users regarding my posts, it’s not important to me that the reply originate on that site or not. I had something to say, engaged in an interesting conversation and/or got my question answered. Or, even if I’m just a lurker I had a lot of interesting content to read. Even if your site offered no original content the user is inclined to stay a member of your site by virtue of comfort with your interface and community. BBS’s from the early 80’s to mid 90’s pioneered this concept and building echo-mail networks between BBS’s dominating the industry very near its inception. Once forum operators embrace how powerful/beneficial networking forums can be, it will be just a matter of time.

Link exchanges and banner exchanges seem to encourage the same idea. You put a link on your site for a similar topic site and they put one for you on their site. The goal is to bring users to your site from theirs and for you to share your users with them.

It’s an idea that may not be for everyone. But, networking forums is now available to forum operators, and forum operators are embracing it in ever growing numbers.

Well, we've given both viewpoints in this thread, allowing you to advertise your system :). So I'll leave it at that and let the Invisible Hand decide.

there is nothing as cheesy as seeing a site have articles and tutorials that are public domain or found elsewhere on the web

It depends on HOW it's handled IMO...I have a section for computer news and one for health news. In both sections I am quoting others works but I only give a lead in to the article and a link back to the orginal story. I don't give the entire story unless the danged thing is so short it's impossible not too but I ALWAYS give credit back to the source I got it from.

But it's only two sections and clearly labled. Liz