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  1. #1
    SitePoint Evangelist lirux's Avatar
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    Wait until 1 or 2k to launch

    Hello.
    I am going to have a forum on my website, but I want to wait untill I have enough registered members to start the forum without those first weeks when no one posts anything... My first question is: I'm thinking about having 2k members before I open the forums, but maybe that's too much, maybe way too much, I don't know because I never had a site with a forum before... I'm not even going to have that much traffic! (I'm expecting about 10k uniques/month). So IS that too much? How many members would I need to have a minimally active forum?

    Now the most difficult thing I think, will be the actual pre-registration script.
    I want to use vBulletin (that's actually a reason why I want to have a decent number of members before I start). I think making a script to store all the info vBulletin asks members in a db could be fine. Then email them all when I open the forum.
    Or maybe getting a very basic forum script, and delete the view thread and view forum and add post files (so they can't be used), then upgrade to vBulletin when I reach X members.
    What do you think would be best? Would upgrading to vBulletin from a free forum script be more difficult than to code a script to save my members' info?

    Anyone who has vBulletin, do you know what member info is stored?


    Thanks!
    Duarte Carrilho da Graša
    RailsHelp.com: Searchable Rails reference
    CACA: Committee for the Annihilation of Complicated Acronyms

  2. #2
    Sports Publisher mjames's Avatar
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    Wait a second here, you want to "wait" to open the forums until after you have a certain amount of users? I don't recommend this... I say open your forums and start encouraging posts. People aren't going to register and wait to post. They are going to leave and go to a competitor.

    With only 10K uniques a month, you are aiming for up to 2K members? That's unrealistic, as you are expecting to get 1 in every 5 visitors to register. That is highly unlikely.

  3. #3
    SitePoint Wizard
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    People will only register if there is a good reason.
    You need to either offer them something (newsletter, chat etc), or just open the forums now and encourage posting as much as you can.

    It will likely take many months to get a 1k members, let alone 2k. I don't know anything about your visitors in particular but my forum's been up close to a year and only has 600 or so members.

  4. #4
    SitePoint Evangelist lirux's Avatar
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    What if I only wait until I get 500 members... In 2 months that's about 1/40 of visitors subscribing... Is that too much? I'm not really in a hurry to get the forums open, I have the whole site to build... I'm actually leaving it for later, because in the first 2 or three months I won't be able to spend all day posting in my own forums...

    I could say 'pre-register and win [whatever]'. If they like the site, and they'll possibly win a prize for registering, I think it will be possible to get 1/40 of visitors to register. If I link to the forums as if they were working (I mean, links of the top of each page)... (tho I don't have a lot of experience with forums, tell me if I'm wrong)

    Then when I reach 500 members I'll email them all telling them the forum is out, and one of them won something (or maybe just get something I can get for free and say they all won in the email and they have to get to my forums to get their prize, like a free program or something...).
    I'm thinking I could try to get a deal with a host, and offer everyone a month or two of free hosting (and the hosts gets the referals from that time on)...

    If they only get the prize by coming to my forums, and i set up some interesting topics before they come there, they might start posting, I'd expect to get 100 active members from that... It's a good number to start isn't it?
    Last edited by lirux; Sep 11, 2001 at 04:24.
    Duarte Carrilho da Graša
    RailsHelp.com: Searchable Rails reference
    CACA: Committee for the Annihilation of Complicated Acronyms

  5. #5
    SitePoint Wizard iTec's Avatar
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    why not slowly build your forum activity by having something like... have your say wether on such and such, this would take them to a specific thread that they could post in on a give topic and as usage increases you could slowly give them more and more topics to post in.... just an idea


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