I've just joined this forum (because I'm converting from Ikonboard - sorry!). I've been running a forum for the last 10 years or so. And I have to say it's changed my life, I know that sounds very dramatic, but hell, it's just how it is! My board is a flyfishing board, and through that board several things have happened - I can go flyfishing anywhere around the world and have friends who live there - who I may have talked to for many years! And others, who are also forum members, do the same thing too - this was a big move forward for us; when Mr X in Germany visited Mr Y in California for a week's fun and fishing. It's actually moved forward from there too, because we have board members' meet in the UK, NZ, Australia, US, Canada and so on - and in places 30-50 board members meet - flyfishers and predominantly instructors.
Also through the Internet discussions flycasting knowledge has tripled in the last decade, and we are at the forefront of that. OK, so there's a bit of flyfishing in there, but I had to get it in!
Anyway, that's my introduction, sorry it's a bit long-winded (would like a friendly tounge-out emoticon now!).
One thing I've noticed, is while there is directions as to how to incorporate the software, there is never instructions as to what to actually do with it! I have three recommendations and would love to start a topic in which we can learn more!
I feel very strongly about that subject, so much so that I changed our wink to a friendly wink!
2) Always be open to being wrong. If you can say, "thanks, I was wrong, I learned something new there. Thanks again!" Then your forum members will do the same. If you can't do that, then you shouldn't be running a forum in the first place.
3) Cut out the chaff. At some point you're going to have to delete people; do it early. They will become like bad apples; the longer you wait the more people you'll have to delete!! Take them out early, prevent them re-registering under a different name. Always. I've learned that it's impossible to change someone, easy to delete them and others forget them very quickly. I've always considered my forum to be like a campfire that I initiated; if someone becomes unruly, take them by the ear and chuck them out.
Boards are an incredible human interaction! Take a normal meeting of 20 people, 2-3 people dominate and the rest have no say. That doesn't happen on Internet forums; everyone not only has a say, but can work on their posts to their very best. Believe me, there is nothing else like it. As with all the guys and girls who run these things, I believe we have a lot to learn. I would be interested to hear from other board administrators on how they run boards; what they have learned, no matter in what field we post. Could this be an interesting topic?