Restart an old forum or create a brand new?

simonweb

Up-and-Coming Sensation
Aug 1, 2017
257
79
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33
Sweden
redly.social
FP$
792
I have an old forum, like really old, that was created in 2008 and have been closed since 2017. The forum is about a pretty niche topic and back in the days it was a fairly popular community.

Now I am considering getting a similar community going again and I was wondering if I could (or rather: if I should) restart this old community? The community has thousands of posts and members, but the content is several years old and kind of outdated by now.

Should I try to revive this old community (Is that even possible after all these years?) or should I simply create a new forum around this topic? Has anyone else done something like this, and if so, what was your experience?
 

Deadface

Reputable
Feb 28, 2019
114
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35
Sheffield, England
umbrella-online.co.uk
FP$
475
I've just recently revived a community project that last ran in 2003.

Ultimately though, everything is new and shiny apart from the name. I sent an email out to members who existed in my old backups (yes, I still have them) - but the majority of emails bounced which was rather expected, but I did get a few returning members out of it which is awesome!

Ideally I'd liked to have used the old domain, but unfortunately I let it expire and I'm not prepared to pay the extortionate amount being asked for it, seeing as though it's just been "parked" since I had it.
 

Lambwitch

Community Team Leader
Community Team
Feb 10, 2019
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www.christianityhaven.com
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I say restart what you built up! You took the time in the first place to build the community so take advantage of that and make an announcement that there is a grand re-opening. So what if the posts are old if you're announcing a come back!
 

meetdilip

Up-and-Coming Sensation
Feb 17, 2019
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I don't think there is anything bad in using an established domain in the same niche. Move the old content to an archive board and make necessary redirects. Some background is always better than a blank forum.
 

simonweb

Up-and-Coming Sensation
Aug 1, 2017
257
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Sweden
redly.social
FP$
792
but I did get a few returning members out of it which is awesome!
That's nice to hear. :) What kind of response did you get from your old members?
I say restart what you built up! You took the time in the first place to build the community so take advantage of that and make an announcement that there is a grand re-opening. So what if the posts are old if you're announcing a come back!
That is true, why start from scratch when I can build upon something which I've already spent a lot of time on.
Move the old content to an archive board and make necessary redirects.
What are the pros and cons of moving the old content into an archive board? I've never really done that before.
 

meetdilip

Up-and-Coming Sensation
Feb 17, 2019
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Google recognises content archives. If you float old content in main layout

1. It will look bad to visitors
2. Will cause SEO fissures

That is mainly because Google might have already indexed this content. It is not wise to we make them reappear after a few years.
 
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Eldritch

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Jul 10, 2020
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geezezone.com
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I have an old forum, like really old, that was created in 2008 and have been closed since 2017. The forum is about a pretty niche topic and back in the days it was a fairly popular community.

Now I am considering getting a similar community going again and I was wondering if I could (or rather: if I should) restart this old community? The community has thousands of posts and members, but the content is several years old and kind of outdated by now.

Should I try to revive this old community (Is that even possible after all these years?) or should I simply create a new forum around this topic? Has anyone else done something like this, and if so, what was your experience?
New one. I tried my hand at trying to revive an old forum of my own from 2007, only to find most of the old users emails either dont work or were abandoned. Of course my old site's niche was fairly exclusive to that group too, so recruiting NEW members to that project proved far too daunting. After that, I just put webarchive screenshots in the place of the old forum to keep its memory alive.
 

Deadface

Reputable
Feb 28, 2019
114
45
43
35
Sheffield, England
umbrella-online.co.uk
FP$
475
That's nice to hear. :) What kind of response did you get from your old members?
They were certainly surprised, both to get an email and to hear that the project had been revived.. :D

One former member has been particularly proactive in their activity, and helping with the development of the Wiki behind the scenes.
 

Ashley

Paragon
Jan 10, 2013
1,635
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78
32
chattingtime.net
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251
I toyed with the idea of bringing back our Chatting-Time database from 2011 if I could have figured out how to get it...we had some seriously impressive stats back then. I was tempted to contact my old tech administration and see if he still had a backup lying around somewhere. I was sure he'd have been willing to as he was my co-founder, but then I thought nope. Better to start fresh. Besides it would be way too much hassle to lock/archive topics that weren't relative to 2020 standards, so I just thought to heck with it and started over from scratch. If that wasn't an old version of Phpbb at the time I'd love to have that theme on this site.
 

Cumulus

Familiar Face
Oct 8, 2020
88
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8
FP$
186
I don't see anything wrong with restarting an old forum! Utilise the member base and content you had built up, and work on reinvigorating the forum! You could do a mass mail inviting everyone back too: Though I'd reccomend sending via SMTP rather than Phpmailer ;)
 

simonweb

Up-and-Coming Sensation
Aug 1, 2017
257
79
43
33
Sweden
redly.social
FP$
792
New one. I tried my hand at trying to revive an old forum of my own from 2007, only to find most of the old users emails either dont work or were abandoned. Of course my old site's niche was fairly exclusive to that group too, so recruiting NEW members to that project proved far too daunting. After that, I just put webarchive screenshots in the place of the old forum to keep its memory alive.
That's sad to hear, but at least you tried to get it back up and running again.

Whats the niche?
Politics/environment.

Better to start fresh. Besides it would be way too much hassle to lock/archive topics that weren't relative to 2020 standards, so I just thought to heck with it and started over from scratch.
Yeah, sometimes it's simply better to start fresh. But creating a new forum these days is hard, and the extra help I could get from this old and "established" forum could really help.

Utilise the member base and content you had built up, and work on reinvigorating the forum! You could do a mass mail inviting everyone back too:
That is what I am thinking of doing! :) There is a lot of work to do on the site to get it back in shape again before I feel comfortable sending out that email hehe. Maybe I should use a third-party email service?