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  1. #1
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    Starting a Community Site

    We've just started a "Pop Culture" discussion forum (link in sig). It's pretty general in subject matter.

    We're investing quite a bit in traffic and design (design contest posted here, please enter!).

    We're also holding contests to entice new users to join and participate.

    We've seeded the site with RSS feed posts, hoping to attract folks with some topics to talk about.

    What else can we do to attract users? How do I get the site in front of folks likely to register?

    This is our first try at a discussion forum site and we're willing to learn from the experts here!

  2. #2
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    id fix the look of the forum for starters

  3. #3
    The I's for intelligent silver trophy iTechno's Avatar
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    Ok try a new skin, also you have too many sections, reduce that, You're also in a very big niche, and there is too many genres you should have gone for one and really attacked it, now you'll struggle imo.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by thePro View Post
    id fix the look of the forum for starters
    Working on it:
    http://www.sitepoint.com/marketplace/contest/469?

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by iTechno View Post
    Ok try a new skin, also you have too many sections, reduce that, You're also in a very big niche, and there is too many genres you should have gone for one and really attacked it, now you'll struggle imo.
    We were planning on thinning things out once we had a bit of activity. If something isn't popular, we kill it in favor of some topics in demand by the users.

    My main concern is how to get a couple hundred users to start the community out.

    Right now, I'm just an offtopic.com wannabe...

  6. #6
    Intoxicated with the madness petertdavis's Avatar
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    Your best bet is to get people you know, friends etc., in to help you launch it.
    Peter T Davis

    I buy forums - PM me if you're selling.

  7. #7
    The I's for intelligent silver trophy iTechno's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WebProperties View Post
    We were planning on thinning things out once we had a bit of activity. If something isn't popular, we kill it in favor of some topics in demand by the users.

    My main concern is how to get a couple hundred users to start the community out.

    Right now, I'm just an offtopic.com wannabe...
    Ask yourself this, for what reason should members go to your site rather then Offtopic.com, if you can't find any reasons, then the members won't be able to.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by iTechno View Post
    Ask yourself this, for what reason should members go to your site rather then Offtopic.com, if you can't find any reasons, then the members won't be able to.
    I deny the truth!!!

    My thinking was that offtopic is now sooo huge that it might be too busy for some.

    And initially, I have been trying to attract new users with the "bribery" method. That's something that doesn't exist on the bigger forums.

  9. #9
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    I suggest instead of trying to bribe users, spend your money on advertising. If I had just $300 to burn I would have 3 times the users i have now

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by lodist View Post
    I suggest instead of trying to bribe users, spend your money on advertising. If I had just $300 to burn I would have 3 times the users i have now
    Where and how do you suggest we advertise? I'm more than willing to do both! The budget is not terribly constrained.

  11. #11
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    I suggest advertising a specific niche maybe using adwords and see what happens from there.

  12. #12
    SitePoint Addict soccerfriend's Avatar
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    The topic of the site is very important: I used to have a soccer related forum that had 400 visits a day and 1 post a week.

    Now I am a partner in the tax related forum we have about 2 posts a day from 10 visitors a day..
    TaxForum.us Have questions about US tax law?
    SoccerLinks.org - submit your soccer link free

  13. #13
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    Exactly, start off with a small niche and slowly build, not the other way around. At first its really really frustrating (especially if you have no money to spend ), but keep at it.

  14. #14
    SitePoint Enthusiast Webmaster7's Avatar
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    I never had problems getting users, the problem has been making them participate... I don't know why some people register... and never write.

    Create good threads that may be linked from other sites, and optimize your forum for search engines.

  15. #15
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    Thanks for all the suggetions, folks.

    They are very much appreciated!


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