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Can it be successful to buy established forums? In most cases, after the management transfer, do most moderators stay on? How does the community react? Design changes? Forum management changes?

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Last Post by dojo
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Can it be successful to buy established forums? In most cases, after the management transfer, do most moderators stay on? How does the community react? Design changes? Forum management changes?

I doubt most users would notice. Although, in a tightly knit community, some users may have loyalties to the person who ran the site. From my experience, however, the person in charge will generally be either loved or hated so half of the people with opinions may stay just because they think the new owner will better. The majority will probably not care still.

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I like to think that management plays an important role in how a forum is run ... setting the tone of the forum can have a huge impact on contributions. Or is that just my ego talking? :) Gah, probably is!

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I like to think that management plays an important role in how a forum is run ... setting the tone of the forum can have a huge impact on contributions. Or is that just my ego talking? :) Gah, probably is!

It is very important. I think that once the tone is set however, it is fairly easy to mimic, especially if a TOS is already in place and there is a group of moderators who adhere to the rules.

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I guess so. :) A lot of times moderators become very attached to the owner, though. That's the problem. Personally, I don't know if I would ever buy an established forum because I would almost feel like an intruder or outsider into someone else's community / circle of friends.

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well when you are buying a established forum you will need to monitor and see how many users are active since there are many forums that are for sale that have say 500 subscribers but only 10% are active so this will also reflect the actual price you are going tp pay.

I will doubt that a new owner will be noticed or will make a difference to there view of the forum but you will need to show your users that you are dedicated to the forum by being as active as possible.

Just like cscgal.

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This can get tricky indeed. Sometimes people might react and you could lose some membership. On the other hand if the previous management wasn't that good or the admin too active, people might not even sense this. The question is: would the previous owner still activate? If so, people wouldn't react too bad. If the admin just disapears some might be brokenhearted :D

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clarinetalex and dojo both brought up the point of an admin who is not well-liked in the community. Could a community ever succeed like this? I don't think I would ever want to participate in a community where I didn't like / didn't get along with the management.

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Well .. I see 2 types of admins:

1. Involved and nice. Posts a lot, people KNOW him/her. The community exists because of the person and members just feel a close connection. In this case, selling the boards will certainly make people angry and sad. If the admin keeps posting this could be less "traumatic", but if the next one will have another approach and the old one disapears, then it will be "revolution" time.

2. On the other hand - there are what I call "bad" admins. Not bad because they are mean, but because of their lack of involvement in the community. For me there is a distinction between forums and communities. I want communities, my members feel the "bond" and it's indeed something that keeps us together.

An admin that fails bringing his people together has a forum not a community. For a forum, changing admin is easy, the members didn't notice the previous one anyway, so why bother ...

To end my long rant: if the admin is seen as the quintesential person in the community, it's life and soul, then the big change will have some serious "results". If the admin didn't quite become the "essence" of his community, then this is not a huge issue.

As a BUYER .. I would try to start my activity as soon as possible. I would even allow 1-2 weeks of previous administration until I could get noticed in the community. With my huge posting rate I could make few quality posts in those days so that people would notice me and admire me in the end. In few days I could have the reins and perhaps ask the previous admin to hang out for a while too so that his absense won't be missed that much.

Immediatelly after getting the forums under my rule I'd get some improvements: a new feature, some ideas ... It's important to have a serious new topics rate too, so that you make people involved in this and forget about the "divorce". If the "masses" feel you are there to improve the community, then you've got beside you.

As a general rule (even when dealing with some issues related to members or the forums) always get something new and improved. I remmember I had some issues on a MA forum I have. As I dealt with disgruntled members who were making a mess out of my board, I had a theme modding and new hacks installed. People who were there to see "the fight" got immediatelly distracted and saw the board is growing and I am not playing games there ....

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