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Okay, now you're a forum junkie - you just LOVE forums. But you're not going to spend your life posting to every forum in existence. So what is the threshold level? What determines a forum worth your time from one that isn't?

I guess what I'm asking is when you find a new forum (be it via the search engines, another site, etc), what specifically about it makes it worth staying on and posting ... or worth dismissing as just another forum?

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Last Post by dojo
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Most people like active forums with a bit of fun in posts (friendly ppl). :D

I created a forum for my countries web developer`s but rarely anyone is interested as it`s new and has less member :( .

psst(Dani) : I talked to u on MSN once abt this ;) how u got daniweb so popular . he he

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The longer stay in a forum depends upon different aspect of a board. I mainly think that people develop a relationship with fellow members interacting each other. Other factors can be taken into consideration like good posts, valuable article, larger community etc.

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Personally I only use a forum thats useful to me, so I guess thats content. The forums I am a regular member are all webmaster forums, not counting my own forum that is.

Content captures guests, while community feel makes them members.

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Content captures guests, while community feel makes them members.

I agree! :) Which, unfortunately, seems to be my biggest problem at the moment. Something to strive for, I guess!

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Okay, now you're a forum junkie - you just LOVE forums. But you're not going to spend your life posting to every forum in existence. So what is the threshold level? What determines a forum worth your time from one that isn't?

Do I learn things when I think I know everything?
Do I "best" the most knoweldgeable posters, or am I a pale shadow?
Do I find elements of interest, such as a sharp-tongued post which I fully understand the backdrop of?
Are there other things that it seems those most knowledgeable may pass to me while I lurk?
Do my posts fit somewhere in the middle: Am I the sh!t? Or am I teh newb?
Can I post what I want, how I want? Or are there restrictions on content or form that I find annoying?
Is everyone else here on dope? Or can I post something of value that can possibly be understood?
Can I teach? Or is this Bullshildt central?
Is there enough traffic, or do I have to wait a week for 3 responses?

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In my opinion an ideal forum should not only contain same treads like this forum (only computer site). If you open a general topics and parts you will win.
Secondly you should give price members who share information. For example who post new treat can win point. Moreover members can give advertisement under their name in their post. By this way, they can earn many

In my country, turkey, there are a lot of example of these
For example;
www.forumtr.com number of member 220 000 daily visit 125000
www.turkforum.net number of member 135 000 110000

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for a forum i have to like it, got to give me good infomation but also give me some fun along the way! and it willkeep me!

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I personally stay longer in Webhostingtalk forum, I find people on their board are quite knowledgeable and helpful and that board has plenty of new posts and interesting topics and recent update :)

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WHT's design rocks too, but I digress. To be honest though, you brought up an interesting point. Most of the big boards out there are exclusively forums without the bells and whistles of every hack in the book.

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WHT maintain well their integrity and decorum of forum. I found dani as well developing nicely coming up with good design and good post. My best wishes to you and your team! :)

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I am already active in more than 80 forums. Don't think I can spend time on them all, but I get to them from time to time. I post in GOOD content forums. If I sense a forum is getting too "advertisement" filled (too many spammers and a degrading quality of posts) I try not to show up as frequently.

I am looking for mature and good posters. When I see kiddies making fool of themselves with SMS type of writing, I just smile and leave ...

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I'm happy to see you have 20+ posts already and you just registered here today :) I think one of the hardest things to do, especially in a webmaster community, is to ditch the spam factor without having rules that are too hard to enforce, are unwelcome to newbies, or stifle / limit conversation.

For example, I want to tell you guys right now about a bunch of sites that I frequent and what I like and dislike about each one. What made me stay at one and what made me leave. But I won't because I have a self-enforced no tolerance policy of linking to or discussing specific sites in this forum. I've learned from the past, where all that leads to is the owner of any of these forums posting here maliciously defending their site, or (more commonly) other small webmasters replying "my site is better and covers the same thing" ... easily turning an otherwise harmless thread into a spamfest.

My solution has been to not disallow site-specific talk entirely, but instead to confine it all into a single Site-Specific Questions area. If I want to talk about a particular webmaster service I've found, I'll post it in the Web-Based Services forum, for example.

</ end rant>

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<< update >> Sorry to double post, but I just thought of something else I want to ask. How important is site navigation and design on a forum? Would a bad design keep you away even if the content is awesome?

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How important is site navigation and design on a forum? Would a bad design keep you away even if the content is awesome?

Long version:
Yeah. If there's a feature I know should be available -- perhaps because I've visited other forums -- and I have to hunt for it for several minutes or never find it (such as a "plain" Reply button that is several pages above/below the post I'd like to reply to; or fonts, colors, or other formatting that are not available or or hard to discover; or extra links to follow that rudely resize my browser window and subsequent links to follow to disable a default behavior I don't care for; or seeing subsequent frequent rearranging of what was once common; or subsequent removing/adding features too frequently), I might lose the feel of awesomeness. Even though initially I might have found great appeal, this might be trampled and the best features -- in my opinion -- may have been ditched.

Short version:
Yes the content is there, but it's becoming a pain to find it. Maybe I'll stick with simplicity.

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I post in some not too atractive message boards, just because they are new and I help them out. I am picky and I have the feeling that if a board looks too default it's just brand new and the admin didn't have the time to make the theme appealing. I know there are also older forums with a default theme on them and I still have the feeling that's new, even with thousands of posts in them.

So .. I don't like posting in unfinishes projects, unless I am there to help. I have some members on my forums with their own projects and I am always there to help and give a hint.

If I am not "related" in this way to the admin, I just ignore the forums.

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When I was playing with a travel affiliate website I was running, I quickly found that it's a hyper competitive market! I had no chance of competing on a zero-budget, so I joined at least three SEO forums and began reading advice and re-submitting the site for review. One site went away <POOF!>, another gave riduculous advice that obliterated my PR for 2 months. The third forum I stayed with for about a year because of dilligent Moderators:

-The moderators judiciously monitored us noobs, to be sure that we weren't led astray
-Site Admin gave Mods authority to bounce anyone they considered a lurker
-Those members who weren't chased off for violating TOS provided consistent information and suggestions
-Mods were personable, and wanted to know about your PR success or failure, and why

I've never run a forum myself, but I stay a member of one that provides me with reasonably accurate information, and has members and Mods that are sincere about contributing.

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Interesting thread.

Growing a community is hard work. I thought it would be easy, but learning there is a lot more to it. Dani does a great job of staying in touch with her community and getting feedback from them about the direction of daniweb.

I like the members here. Maybe that has something to do with the more rigid posting policies.

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In a business-related community (such as a webmaster-related one), the members are there to learn how to improve their businesses. Without such rigid policies, they'll do that by promoting their site on the forums nonstop. It's easy for spam to get out of control.

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I agree with you :)

I already feel what is like to have people who come in just to plub their ad. I am not willing to pay for the site and have useless junk like that. In my opinion, advertising is good for me to reward my good members. I do allow them to advertise and place contests and sell/buy threads, but not from the moment they sign up. They need 20 posts to be able to enter that "room". Maybe it's too sctrict, but at least I can make sure I have content and not just ads

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