Hello, and welcome to the latest edition of our Weekly Staff Member Interview Series!
This week, we have decided to interview Cosmic. This member is a staff member of Forum Promotion, and is part of the Editorial Team!
Now on to the interview!
Hi Cosmic, the question I like to start off with, just like everyone else, is what can you tell us about yourself?
My name is Matt E, and I also frequently go by “Cosmic.” My day job is as a software developer at a defense contractor. In addition to that, I develop websites, and also write science fiction when I get a chance.
How has your time here at FP been? What do you like about the community?
Forum promotion is a very good website. There really isn’t any other place that I know of which lets you bootstrap a forum like you can do at FP. You can start with a forum that has zero posts and go to a thousand, and beyond, pretty quickly if you play your cards right.
What can you tell us about the Feedback Exchange?
FeedbackExchange is a forum dedicated to one thing: receiving feedback on your websites and ideas. We have sections for websites, forums, businesses, open source, projects, graphics, writing, and more. All you have to do is post a single topic, no other posts required, and we will guarantee you one lengthy review, and will answer any questions which you have about how to better improve your project.
You can find FeedbackExchange at the following URL: https://feedbackexchange.org/
Are there any other forums you are part of the staff?
Not currently. I was a forum moderator on the RuneScape Official Forums a few years back. That was a very interesting experience, and I think it made me a better forum administrator. Also I’ve helped out with a few websites started by other people here in the FP community, although most of them have disappeared over the years.
What advice can you tell newer admins here at Forum Promotion, on what they could do to better their new forums?
Start with an idea: If you want to create a successful website, you first need to have a good idea. An idea which, above all, interests you enough to keep you interested until the website is a success. Let’s take my own website as an example. I started FeedbackExchange because I wanted a place where I could get high-quality feedback on my ideas, so I decided to create that place myself. That brief sentence “a place where people can …” is the idea behind your forum. Kind of like a mission statement, but short and to the point. This is what you will need before you can do anything else, and as I said, it needs to be a mission which interests you.
Then, build a great website: Once you know what kind of website you’re going to make, you need to go ahead and build the website. This is the fun part. Give it flavor! Pick a good looking theme, but also make modifications to it to make it your own. Choose a logo! The more flair your website has, the more people will want to use it. Also make sure that your website is different enough from the competition that people will want to use your website over the other ones. You don’t have to be better than the competition, you almost never will be at first, but you can always be different.
Build up your post count: Now that you have a good website, you will need to start promoting. When I monitor my website’s progress I look at only one statistic. Not page views, not visits. Post count. Page views are so transitory. One day you might have a thousand, the next day a hundred. But posts will persist. Your post count tomorrow will be greater than or equal to your forum’s post count today. It always goes up, never down. The higher your forum’s post count, the more valuable it is. The better people will think of it when they are considering joining your forum.
To increase post count, you will need to promote. The most effective ways to receive posts on a few forum are, in my opinion (and also in order):
1. Posting messages yourself – you can only post so many of these, but in the beginning, you will always have more posts that every other member on your forum. Make sure to reply to as many posts by other people as possible.
2. Posting Exchanges – Posting exchanges may seem inefficient. How can a 15:15 exchange be that good for my website, you might ask. The reason why post exchanges are so useful is that you can reply to the posts other people make on your website, which means that doing a 15:15 post exchange with someone else will result in about 23 new posts on your forum (you probably won’t be able to replay to every post they make, which is why I say 23 instead of 30). If you have other members, that factor can be even greater. Until your forum has a couple thousand posts, you will need to do post exchanges, and a lot of them.
3. Staff Members – Generally you will get more posts via post exchange than your staff members in a new forum. This is alright. Don’t push your staff members too hard, because they may just give up. If you recruit a few administrators or moderators and make clear to them that they are part of the team rather than just hired help, they will make your forum a better place, and increase the post count.
I guess you can say that that’s my plan to make FeedbackExchange a success. I think it’s a good one, so I recommend you try it. Either way, good luck with your website.
Since you have been here for a number of years, what would you suggest to improve Forum Promotion? It could be anything.
One thing I think could be improved in FP is the promotion directory. Back when I first joined FP the promotion directory was a single forum, rather than several different subforums (Advertising/Services, Webmaster, etc). The idea when the subforums were put in was to make it easier to find what people were looking for. However, ever since that happened I’ve noticed one problem.
With forums divided into so many different categories, people rarely venture outside of the forum where their website is being advertised. People don’t discover new things as much, and each individual subforum is a lot quieter than the one, single section used to be.
What I’m trying to say is that when you first start a forum (generally speaking, not just on FP), all you hear are crickets. The silence is so deafening that your ears feel like they’re about to burst. No one is interested. No one cares. No one says anything. If the FP promotion directory could become a place where members and staff members post “maybe you should fix XYZ,” or “That’s a pretty good website, good luck!” with more frequency, then I think FP would become a much better place. I think removing the subforums would be one way to help fix this problem. Another way, of course, is for FP staff members, and members as well, to post comments on peoples’ threads in the promotion directory. Let people know that someone cares. To a new website, that could be the one push which keeps the owner from giving up.
In the years that we had the older Content Team, and the current Editorial Team, what are the things you know that they did as part of their team?
The blog has come a long way since it was first introduced, I think. The layout looks better and the content is good too. Good luck with the blog, and I hope the articles you publish in it can give a lot of new forum admins a helping hand.
And that wraps up this weeks staff member interview! Thank you for reading this, we hope you will continue reading these every week that they are posted!
Feel free to comment below on the interview. Also, feel free to ask the person that got reviewed any questions you feel like!