Hey guys! Our second interview is finally here. As you may already know, we originally planned to interview Hissae2, but we have now decided to push that interview back until next week. Instead, we are interviewing Continue reading
Hello wonderful members of Forum Promotion! If you remember a few months ago, the Editorial Team hosted a weekly interview series for quite a while, we previously interviewed active members and staff members of the community. With my recent promotion, one of my new responsibilities is to get this interview ship sailing once more. The interview series is back, and hopefully better than ever! Rather than trying to release multiple interviews Continue reading
On any internet forum, you’ll find that there are a majority of groups that members are sorted in. Each level has its own permissions, but the default group that makes up for most of your numbers is the registered member. I will be covering the different types of usergroups you may come across Continue reading
The Editorial Team has decided to start doing staff interviews, to allow you, the community, to get to know some of our staff a little bit better. Our first interviewee was Jadster!
1. Tell us a bit about yourself (age,name, location etc):
Well, my real name is James otherwise known as Jadster. I am 17 years old and was born on March 8th. I currently reside in Omaha, Nebraska of the United States. I was born in Nebraska but moved around a lot as a child. So due to this, I lived in South Carolina, Georgia, and Arizona. I currently have 3 step brothers, 2 younger and 1 older. I also have 1 half sister. I am a senior in high school and I am currently employed as a cashier / checker at HyVee on weekends only to help save up for my college & such. I am also a gamer, coder, and forum owner.
2. When did you first start visiting forums?:
I started visiting forums back when I was about 8 years old. I was interested in the computer and one day decided to make a website of my own. However being an 8 year old trying to learn how to make a website wasn’t the easiest, so that plan fell through quickly. Over the years though, I began to grow an interest into game design and how they were made. So I found out about coding and what it can be used for. I immediately found an interest and spent years of my life learning it. I have also taken classes in my high school to continue learning and to this day, I haven’t looked back.
3. Biggest life success/achievement:
My biggest achievement in life so far? Well that is surely a tough one to answer. I would have to say my biggest achievement or success in my life was making it to where I am today. Surrounded by people I enjoy and people who care for me. Got a great job both offline and online and just a great life in general. Sure, I had my hard times like any normal human being but just being able to see my past and see where I am today and know that I have come so far, it is surely the best feeling to me. Knowing that I am making my family proud and that I always have them to support me is by far something I see as a success in my own life.
4. What would you change about FP?:
This is a question I feel the staff and even members at times get asked quite frequently. Looking at ForumPromotion now compared to when I first joined in September of 2012, I feel that many things have changed. Some for the better and some for the worse but needless to say, this site has still gained its popularity and still continued to grow over the years. But if I had to change something, I would have to say the reputation system. My reason for this, is when members reach a certain amount of posts, their rep they give, is 2 instead of 1. I feel that a like system could be implemented to like posts instead of giving reputation. Because in my eyes, reputation is earned over a course of time, but having such a high number of reputation just cause members can give 2 instead of 1, I feel that is abused because then people think they have a “reputation” here even if they really don’t. But then again, maybe that is just me being paranoid about things.
5. One thing in life you regret:
Oh boy, there are a lot of things I regret to be honest. I would have to say my biggest thing I regret was not spending enough time with my family and grandparents when I was younger, and even today. I always was so fascinated by my own things such as websites, video games, toys, friends that I never really payed much attention to my family or I would seclude myself away from all of them. Which didn’t punish me, it punished them. I feel that I spent way too much time doing things that I enjoyed that I never spent much time around my own family and I regret that. I don’t want to end up being 30 or 40 years old and looking back on my life and feeling bad about all the things I never got to do with my family. Thus why I am doing what I can to change and be around them more. I regret not spending more time with them when I was younger, so I am now trying to make up for that today.
6. Funniest life experience/moment:
This answer cannot be just 1 moment or experience. It is just too hard to pick out of all of them. I would just have to say any time I am with my 2 best friend Preston & Jared. The 3 of us will crack jokes, make puns, do stupid stuff and just make so many references to stuff we have heard or seen together that we all just have a great time. We all will laugh until we are in too much pain or until somebody is in the hospital (not literally). But just having those 2 as my friends and more importantly, my best friends is something I never want to give up. Every day is a fun day with those guys. We all go to school together and even if I am in the worst of moods ever, those guys know how to make me smile and laugh without even having to try. So I would just have to say any moment or experience I have with the 2 of them is a funny moment in my life.
7. What are you planning to do in later life?:
After I graduate high school, I hope to go on to Metropolitan Community College, get my degree in welding and then move to ITT Technical Institute to get my degree in anything computer related. I love doing computer based stuff but I also enjoy getting my hands dirty and if I had to choose any hands on career, welding would be my choice hands down. I have taken every welding class my high school has to offer except for 1 of them and I am taking that one in January. So by the time I graduate, I will have taken all the welding classes I can and almost all the computer based classes that I can. So seeing as how I have a passion for both of those fields, I plan to go and get my certification and degree in both to open up my options after college.
8. Do you want to get married/have kids as you get older?:
Do I want to get married? Yes. Do I want to have kids? Yes. When I am older, graduate college and have a career that pays good to be able to help me support myself and a family, I would love to have a wife and kids. I absolutely love the idea of having kids but I have to make sure that I can support myself and do good for myself before I bring in another person and maybe even a few younger ones into my life. But I also don’t plan on getting married until after I graduate college and can maintain a relationship for a good amount of time.
9. Have you ever owned a forum? If you have what advice would you give to new forum owners?:
Yes, as it stands I currently own a forum and I am still building it up as I type this but to answer the question, yes, I have owned a forum. Several to be honest. Some advice I could give would have to be pick a good niche. Picking a niche is key when wanting to make a forum because your niche will with you for the entirety of your forum. So you want to pick one that you can do well and that you can build a community off of. Another piece of key advice would have to be, never give up. Giving up will only lead to failure and you will have to try again. Now I am known to do that so it isn’t the best advice but I am always working on practicing what I preach but even though I may not follow it 100%, that doesn’t mean it isn’t true.
10. Of all the teams you have worked on at FP which one has been the best and why?:
Well, as it stands, I have only worked on 2 of the teams here at Forum Promotion. I worked as a Package Team Member for a while and I worked as a Review Team Member as well. But now, I am working here at Forum Promotion as the Review Team Leader, so I currently run the entire review team and the service itself. But if I had to choose which one is the best, I would have to say both. They are equally important. Now, the package service is more popular but both teams serve a very important role in providing quality services here at Forum Promotion. So I really cannot choose between the both that I have worked on because I feel they are both just as important and both just as good. Now, others may feel different but again, that is their opinion and this is mine.
11. Any other comments?:
I just would like to thank you for allowing me to be interviewed for the Forum Promotion blog and I am glad I got to take the time to do the interview and I hope you all enjoyed reading it and getting to know more about me.
This article was first posted on our blog on 01/06/2011. For this reason, the information may be outdated and no longer reliable/correct.
The formula for a successful forum is complex. Getting the balance right is an art–too many categories, not enough advertising, too many guests, not enough members. All these things are very important, but I’m sure that everyone would agree with me when I say that your members are the key to your success. Keeping your members happy will mean that they have a higher chance of returning to your forum day after day. This, in turn, creates an active forum that produces revenue.
Their Wish is Your Command
Nearly all forums have a category that goes by a name such as”Community Suggestions.” Here users of your site can post suggestions regarding what they feel could be changed or added on the site. This category plays a major part in assuring the growth of your forum. If your members request something, then trying to fulfill their requests (within reason) should be your main objective.
Suggestions are made to help you, not to criticize you; so reply to them in the right way. Try to refrain from being a pushover and just answering: “Ok, I will do that as soon as I can”. Try to discuss in a friendly tone with the members that have suggested this, find out what ideas they have and maybe a little on why they want a certain thing changed or added. Creating a discussion will get more of your members involved and more ideas may sprout.
The Big NO is a NO!
Don’t ever reply: “No, I don’t want this” or “I am not doing this”. It does happen that suggestions come in that are way out of proportion, or something is suggested that you are unable to do at the current time. It may just be the case that you really don’t want to do what has been suggested. It is in these cases you have to be careful on how you answer, explain why the suggestion cannot be implemented, maybe come with a compromise, just never turn your back and say no.
Don’t Be Too Quick
You may have replied to a topic, but that doesn’t mean that the members feel that the discussion is over. Don’t be too quick to archive a topic; leaving it open may bring you more feedback or suggestions. Leaving the topic open also gives a picture of you as an admin; it shows that you are not overly controlling and that you are open to change.
Your Reputation is on the Line
Remember that every time you post and every time you are dealing with a member or a member’s suggestion, your reputation is on the line. Treat every member fairly; don’t favor a certain member or push people down if they come up with suggestions that aren’t quite up to scratch. Be the nice, friendly, open and helpful person that your users want to see; and they will keep coming back, day after day.
This article was first posted on our blog on 08/02/2011. For this reason, the information may be outdated and no longer reliable/correct.
Every forum owner dreams of his/her community having thousands of members and hundreds of thousands of posts. The reality is that the chance of this actually happening is slim. There are so many well established communities for every subject that you can possibly imagine. These communities have member counts well into the thousands, how are we small forum owners supposed to compete with this? The truth is that we really can’t, it often takes years of hard work, advertising, and commitment to achieve even a medium sized active user base.
I have a potential solution for this problem, however, results are never guaranteed. I used to co-own a gaming community with a friend of mine, and I tried my idea out and had quite a bit of success. The community started out with about fifteen members, I went to various forum directories; (InvisionFree, Proboards, FreeForums, etc.) looking for newly formed, small active gaming communities. I would then register on the boards and send a PM to the board administrator offering them the opportunity to merge their small community into ours. We had a professional theme, domain, and an active user base. In doing this I gained almost 150 active members.
So my advice to small forum owners is to go around, looking for other small ACTIVE communities with the same subject as your own. Get in touch with the administrator and try to work out a plan to combine your forums. In my opinion, it is the easiest way to get a community up and running.
There are a few things you need to watch out for. Firstly you want to make sure the person you are dealing with is mature and is able to work in a team. You don’t want to share admin rights with someone who is interested in only his/her own ideas. This would essentially cause you to lose your forum. Secondly, do not offer administrator priviliges to every forum owner with whom you ask to merge. If your community has forty members, and his/hers has six, is it really worth having another admin for six members? Offer them a moderator position or something similar to appease them.
When you ask someone to merge his/her community into yours, make sure that you have something to offer that person that will make it worth his/her while. A registered domain can be appealing, as can a professional site design. Nobody wants to give up what he/she has started only to get nothing in return.
There are many great services and features offered within the most popular promotion and webmaster forums. More often than not, members have options ranging from reviews, packages, signature ads, and other advertisement on the board. However, these are not the services you should be putting to work! Promotion forums give many under appreciated services that actually help you more than popular features.
Social Media Advertisements
Social Media ads such as Tweets or Facebook posts are one of the most commonly glanced over features of a promotion forum. Why? Because most people rationalize that no one is actually going to read the tweet, therefore, why spend the money on a hundred and forty characters?
The trick behind social media advertisements is not for the visitors, but for the search engines. Search engines like Google, Yahoo, and Bing have spiders all over social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook. Whenever there is a tweet containing a link, they automatically follow the link and index the contents. What that means is: the more you tweet (given reasonable space, of course) the more search engines like index your site, providing you better SEO. So, the magic isn’t in the new members from social media advertisements, it’s in the search engines!
Many people look at exchanges as a way to get temporary post increases or members by exchanging forum currency or the same service back to another individual. However, if used correctly, exchanges can benefit your website more than any other feature available. There are many different types of exchanges that go on within promotion forums. Member exchanges, “I’ll post on your forum if you post on mine,” and “Five [posts] for Five!” exchanges happen all of the time, and are almost useless (notice I say almost; there are times where they can be beneficial).
The most useful exchanges happen when two web masters exchange ad space, links, or participate in projects such as banner jumbles. Each of these yield free advertisement to hundreds of people, and all it costs is for you to return the favor! Remember back to the first point I made about search engines indexing your site when there is a tweet or Facebook ad? Well the same happens when your banner or link is on another webmaster’s site and they get indexed! You get even more search engine exposure through simple exchanges such as these!
The last most valuable resource a promotion forum can offer is an extensive community of webmasters, all with the same goal as you: to better their forum. These are also webmasters that may be more experienced than you that can offer support and feedback. Many communities have boards that allow technical support questions, peer-to-peer reviews, and other boards based around managing your site. Spending time in any of these boards, just reading what others have to say, can be valuable to the development of your personal forum.
In the end, many promotion forums can offer services such as packages and reviews, but those services may not help you and your board as much as you think. Instead, invaluable resources such as social media advertisements, exchanges, and community support can have a massive impact on your forum, if you use them correctly.
Your staff forms an integral part of managing a forum. We notice, so often, communities dying because the staff were too out of line with the general membership, or because of some avoidable flaws in the staff management protocols. In this post, I will shed some light on some of the fundamental steps that should be taken by forum administration, to ensure that staff management is running smoothly, and that they are doing what they are asked to do as part of the staff.
Staff segregation is not odd to do these days. Powerful forum software have ensured the feasibility of ‘specific forum moderators’, and there are an increasing number of webmasters who are turning to this popular idea. It is important to segregate your staff into groups and assign them specific tasks, so that you know that every facet that are being used by the community is being taken care of. The advantage is obvious – You know the particular staff group needs and wants, and can be asked to do whatever is pending. This not only makes ‘feature management’ easier, but also ensures that your staff members have a clear feeling of the sense of responsibility and oneness amongst each other.
No community is successful unless the staff recognizes the fact that members are dependent on the staff team. The merit of the community lies, at large, in the hands of the staff members who are able to give the feeling of being one within the community and to the members. As the first big step, train you staff members on properly answering a question which is raised by a member of the community. Remind them frequently to always start an answer with a informal greeting and conclude it by ensuring that help will always be given. Ensure you set up proper guides and tutorials, even if its for the simplest thing like moving or merging a topic in order to accommodate the less familiar, these are a couple of things you can do towards this end.
This is the one thing you cannot do away with! Have your staff members connect with you and their fellow staff members through a IM handle (preferably a group chat) so that one doesn’t have to spend more time than needed to be spent on brainstorming and helping each other. Always give your staff members a chance to apologize to each other in your staff forum (at least once in six months) so that you can break the ice between the team members and help them concentrate more on work.
Reward In Plenty
By rewards, I do not mean money or any other assortments. When one of your staff member makes a really good effort, ensure that you appreciate it with a thank you (Preferably as a private message). Do not be afraid to quote their examples in In-Staff announcements that you are making, so that others would feel more encouraged to work better.
Give Them Breaks
And I really mean it! Make it a point to return to that police-keeping duty after giving your staff a fair break (at least once in six months). This not only helps to re-motivate staff members but also gives them time to settle and sort out the real life issues before getting back to business.
Ofcourse, a huge staff team means more work, but keep in mind that you not only need an efficient staff team that is friendly and helpful, but also some robust ideas about managing your staff team to keep them motivated and going so that together with them, you can take your community to the next level.
Please do not hesitate to share your stories about staff management or any other comments that you have. I hope that this articles has been useful for you.
Welcome to the first segment in the new series I call “Member Spotlights.” In this series, we will interview different members of Forum Promotion, asking them questions about their experience in the community. I’ll be picking users throughout the forum randomly, so hopefully we can meet some great people! This week, we have dragonborn99! Dragonborn is currently the administrator of RPG Lounge and has around 1,700 posts here on Forum Promotion. He began working as an administrator last year on an old gaming website that has since shut down. In his free time, he enjoys writing, reading, gaming, and role playing. For interview purposes, I will be marked as “TF” and Dragonborn as “DB.”
TF: Hello! How long have you been on Forum Promotion?
DB: I have been on Forum Promotion since last year, August. I only began becoming active around the Christmas Holidays last year.
TF: Oh! I thought I remembered you from a long time ago! What keeps you coming back actively?
DB: It’d be the great community FP possesses and the awesome staff which are always active around the community, ensuring things are smooth around the forums. Forum Promotion is also a great place to aid with my forum.
TF: You say FP is a great place to aid your forum. What’s your favorite service?
DB: My favorite service? It’d have to be the reviewing service as it helps my forum get more members and I get to hear a professional opinion on my site and where improvement needs to be made. This service has helped me improve things I didn’t think could be improved.
TF: If you could join one staff team, which would it be and why?
DB: It would have to be the Package Team. The staff there seem like fun people and it’d be a great way to meet new people, not only on Forum Promotion but on the other forums you’d be helping as a packager.
TF: You know they’re hiring right now!
DB: Oh yes. It’s just that I’ve been busy as of late and not sure if I’d do very well with a packager.
TF: Completely understandable!
TF: Thanks for your time, man!
DB: No problem. Questions are always great.
Thanks for taking the time to read about Dragonborn! Be sure to check out his site, RPG Lounge, and stay tuned for our next Meet the Community member: Mikaya!