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 Making a Discussions Board: Basics

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Caihlem
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PostSubject: Making a Discussions Board: Basics   Mon 20 Aug - 23:10

Making a Discussions Board: The Basics

What is a Discussions board?
Why do this?
How do it work?

In this tutorial I will be answering these questions and putting forward some ideas on this matter.

Most people think this is the easiest forum to make and have...
::Edje:: wrote:
You just need good rules and a good staff

See, what I tell you? Razz
Well, it's probably the least technical of forum types, but as I've noticed it's also the hardest to have.
From all Discussions Boards I've seen, they're either full of members, or have a reasonable few but eventually loose them.

This tutorial will therefore mostly concentrate mostly on what to avoid rather than what to have

What is a Discussions Board?

Well basically it’s a forum where people… communicate
(Sounds fancy no?)


Why do this?

First of all, let’s recall that a forum is a sort of virtual community, and that means conversations and discussions. That explains the reason of the masses of these forums.

These forums are the most diverse. You can have discussion forums dedicated to just one or two subjects (ex: mangas, football etc…) just as you can have them be broader and involve a whole range of topics (ex: literature, music etc…)


Sections:

As said in the previous tutorial: (what you didn't read it? affraid)
Avoid having big chunks of emptiness

For example:
Almost all "dead" Discussion Boards I've seen had a Graphics request section.
These were most probably intended to bring new members. However, how are requests going to be done if no one can do them?

I also have seen a few who said:

::Edje:: wrote:
I'll have a discussions forum on everything

Well, good luck keeping that one open Razz
See for yourselves:



and



No image a whole forum like that...
Just a big load of empty spaces Shocked
I don't see a lot of members coming for that personally


Forum Evolution

If you've read the other tutorials, you might recall that forum's end to evolve and change over time.
The same is true with Discussions Boards.

A Discussions Board might propose more and more services and categories as it becomes increasingly popular.
We all have seen at least once a big forum with thousands of members that proposed every service imaginable.
This is because their number of members provided a healthy backbone which allowed them to develop these services.

Therefore, I'd advise you to start small, keeping in mind the big picture, and progressively increase the services and varieties as members come.
Starting with all these varieties would be like suicide and I've just said no too a few lines ago Wink


Evolution

As well as changing physically, a forum can also change aim, or type.

A Discussions Board wasn't necessarily one all the time. It might have been a RPG form in which members took more interest in the discussions and the forum would have left the RPG to a simple add-on service and concentrate on the discussions (in the bar bounce)

Vice versa, a forum might start a Discussions Board the time to attract a few members and then turn into a RPG forum...

All this depends on you and only you, although I'd advise you take time to listen to your members (unless they're idiots Laughing)


Staff

As crazy as it may seem, Discussion Boards are probably the type of forum in which the staff is the least needed.
I don’t mean by that that they're useless, but that the amount of work your members generate shouldn't normally be too much to deal with.

Also, big staff's tend to scare some members and make others want to be part of the staff rather than part of the forum.

As well some staff members take to considering themselves above members, which generally causes the ambiance to degrade considerably.

::Edje:: wrote:
Of course staff members are worth more than ordinary members, they're... ordinary

Do me a favour: Never ask him any advice Rolling Eyes

Written by Caihlem


Last edited by on Wed 22 Aug - 23:53; edited 2 times in total
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