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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 07-31-2007, 12:08 AM
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Thumbs down Excellent Forum vs. Just Another Forum

A thread we have going in the V7N blogging forum right now about an Excellent Blog vs. Just a Blog made me start to wonder about those things that make the biggest difference between an excellent forum and just another forum.

Think about those forums that you most enjoy actively participating in and tend to visit over and over again...

What do you feel sets them apart from those that you never return to again? What makes a forum excellent? What makes it just another forum?
 
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Old 07-31-2007, 01:17 AM
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I think it is a combination of many elements that come together mixed with a bit of good fortune. It takes a good vision from the administrator, excellent moderation and the right mix of people with their own incentive to be there.

The administration has to have the right vision for the forum and put in place a set of values that ensure equality for members and allows for the smooth running of the forum.

The moderators have to understand and share that vision, and be capable of enforcing it without bias or prejudice or favouritism, while being tactful, diplomatic and maintaining a sense of humour. They need to remember people make mistakes.

It is then a matter of having the right mix of people in terms of knowledge, experience, personality. Obviously there needs to be the right numbers of people but they also have to have a reason for being there. People don't generally give of themselves and their time for nothing, they all need to get something out of it. The mix of people should be as broad as possible.

Most importantly the forum must be welcoming to new members and tolerant of all the crazy ones.
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Old 07-31-2007, 04:41 AM
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I think every forum has its appeal. For me, this forum has more of a family feel about it more than anything. In other forums, the appeal is purely strategic...
 
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Old 07-31-2007, 04:43 AM
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Good thread, will post my a bit later.
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Old 07-31-2007, 07:54 AM
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I'll add to front page when it picks up a litle steam.

(We need more of those!)
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Old 07-31-2007, 08:49 AM
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Forums are like living things... there doesn't seem to be a stable state of being, but rather an oscillation between greater and lesser points. A good forum one year might devolve into a crowded, spam-filled mess the next, or simply run out of steam. It's hard to cultivate a good forum and keep it flourishing. Good, involved mods that one actually might want to talk to are a necessary factor though.
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Old 07-31-2007, 10:50 AM
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To me, forums take on personalities, much like small towns do.

Have you ever visited a town where the people treated you like an outsider, as if you didn't belong? It doesn't make you real eager to visit that town again, does it? You sure wouldn't consider recommending that town to your friends, would you?

Likewise, have you visited a town that welcomed you into the community as if you had lived there your entire life? It almost makes you want to call that new town home, doesn't it?

I think people have a natural need to feel accepted as a valuable member in a community. No matter how good the information in a forum might be, people are unlikely to stay around very long if they do not feel as if they are a part of the community around them.

When people are welcomed into a community, openly and honestly, they will become strong active members in the forum and do everything they can to help make it stronger.

"People don't care how much you know until they know how much you care." (Zig Ziglar)
 
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Old 07-31-2007, 12:25 PM
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P.S. Oh yeah! The biggest difference may be based on the quality of the forum's coffee boy.
 
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Old 07-31-2007, 01:50 PM
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This place is a second home to me! When I go to sleep I check it...when I wake up in the morning I check it when I play around on the net I check it...when I chat with others on IM I check it!!

Well the most important thing that makes a forum an excellent forum, as already mentioned my dear friends is that the "love"..."affection"..."friendliness"...and right of "equality" for every member! I've been here for just over a year but feels like this is the place I ever lived!
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Old 07-31-2007, 02:12 PM
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I've used forums my whole career to find solutions to immediate problems/issues I was having - until this forum. I'm not really sure why, but I can say that the people who come here each day know me better than many people in my "real" life.

Sometimes I have the warm fuzzies from the friendships I've made here and other times I want to kick some ass (mostly john) but as manish said above I still check it all throughout the day.
 
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Old 07-31-2007, 05:41 PM
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V7N is very unique. dynamic and is a head and shoulders above the other forums I visit. Sure there's a ton of good information here, but aside from that, this place is like a big party. There's always some sort of interesting topic being discussed, debated or argued over. The best part is the humor; that's what keeps me here. Many of you make me laugh til I cry. I can't wait to see what you guys say next. It would be fun to hang out with many of you *offline* - and I can't say that about anyone else I've met in a forum.
 
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Old 07-31-2007, 05:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by do-over View Post
V7N is very unique. dynamic and is a head and shoulders above the other forums I visit. Sure there's a ton of good information here, but aside from that, this place is like a big party. There's always some sort of interesting topic being discussed, debated or argued over. The best part is the humor; that's what keeps me here. Many of you make me laugh til I cry. I can't wait to see what you guys say next. It would be fun to hang out with many of you *offline* - and I can't say that about anyone else I've met in a forum.
Girl - that's why you fit in so well cuz you've had me in tears a few times too!
 
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Old 07-31-2007, 05:54 PM
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Aww kristeejo!! Thank you!

All I can say is: LIKEWISE!
 
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Old 07-31-2007, 06:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StrongInTheArm View Post
The moderators have to understand and share that vision, and be capable of enforcing it without bias or prejudice or favouritism, while being tactful, diplomatic and maintaining a sense of humour. They need to remember people make mistakes.
One more flamin' post like that out of you and you're banned, dude

Anyway, back to my point here, you go to a lot of forums and they may chat about whatever topic you may be interested but I have found a certain lack of warmth and friendliness within them.

Though forums are a virtual world which can be a cold place, the people that frequent them are real (bar a few here ) and it is that warmth that makes a place different from the rest.

Hell, a lot of places can talk about and explain seo but there is a friendliness and family atmosphere here that I haven't experienced online anywhere else.

btw - I agree about having understanding mods and would like to say, if you have any issues, please don't hesitate to let us know we could do with a good laugh ;:-)
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Old 07-31-2007, 06:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cricket View Post
forums take on personalities
I totally agree and I always found that strange actually. I always found V7N totally different than most of the forums that I post in. To be honest I'm not sure what it is but I would tend to think its the personalities of the members/Mods/Owner that help.
 
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Old 07-31-2007, 06:51 PM
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Lightbulb Great Topic!

Lots of things make an excellent forum. From where I sit the biggest make or break is the quality of the staff (moderators & admins) if you have a staff that just doesn't care or treats the members badly, no one is going to bother hanging around.
A foot note to good staff is availability of staff. Private messages and emails are answered ASAP. I've been to more than a few forums where the admin is on the milk carton and the mods don't have the tools nor knowledge to fix problems.
Second is the quality (not quantity) of members. Members who have lots of information about your forums topic, in my case DJs and are friendly to new members are a huge plus.

Third is customization, no one wants to look a vanilla bulletin board install. Adding new or cool features and a snazzy template is always a nice touch, just be sure no to bring your server to it's knees
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Old 07-31-2007, 07:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Deejay Dan View Post

Third is customization, no one wants to look a vanilla bulletin board install. Adding new or cool features and a snazzy template is always a nice touch, just be sure no to bring your server to it's knees
plus, a great color scheme! v7n's is very easy on the eyes.
 
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Old 07-31-2007, 10:10 PM
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Quote:
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plus, a great color scheme! v7n's is very easy on the eyes.
It sounds silly, but I think that is an important part of it. The soft colors are very relaxing, almost like coming home.
 
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Old 07-31-2007, 11:07 PM
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It sounds silly, but I think that is an important part of it. The soft colors are very relaxing, almost like coming home.
Here I feel like I am around friends, who share and love to talk. At DP, people and mods normally love to Ban and dont like to talk to members or anything. Here from Mods like you, and others, Nice man like John taught me a lot.

I dont want to praise much, but the liking of people should say it all, that V7n is definitely a forum of future.


Viineet jain
 
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Old 07-31-2007, 11:35 PM
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Balance is probably also an important key. I have visited forums with very little moderatoration where people are free to disrespect others almost to the point of personal attacks, and spam is rampant. On the other hand some forums are so overmoderated that people just don't even bother taking an active part anymore. Finding the balance between the two can be difficult.
 
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