My friends and I wanted to start a site about home improvement, and we extensively discussed whether to do a blog or forum format. We felt that the forum format was better for two reasons:incredibleasia wrote: ↑Fri May 08, 2020 7:16 pmIt is an old topic but still let me ask again the same question. In the times of Instagram and FB groups forums became much less popular and active and of course it makes me sad. Some of members even think that it is not a good idea to keep a forum now-a-days, it is better to start FB group instead. What do you think about it? Are there some ways which can keep a forum active? What can be added to the site? Any suggestions would be appreciated.
1) It allowed us to create content that was more conversational; we have these conversations in group messages all day long anyhow, why not use that conversation to create content?
2) It allows others to help create content on the site once it grows, far more than a blog + comments would.
I think #1 is really important, and it actually works, as we see even on this particular thread here.
Regarding activity: I think keeping your board active daily and spreading the word through your friends are both really important. Our home improvement forum started with three people, but as I mentioned to others that I was starting this up, they miraculously began posting as well. As long as the conversation kept flowing and remained interesting, people got in the habit of checking back and posting daily.
One last point that I don't see here enough: I think it's important to lower the barrier to entry as much as possible when you're first starting out. For example, we don't require folks to register in order to make a post, and we don't even require guests to solve a CAPTCHA thanks to ReCaptcha 3. For example, someone can land on our conversation about avocado slicers and pitch in with thoughts without needing to verify an email, set a password, etc.
PS: Focus on the quality of content, not the quantity. People are way more attracted to a forum with high quality discussions than a forum with a high post count. Post count doesn't matter, interesting discussions do! I wrote the first long-form article on my forum on the topic of optimizing your home WiFi network, and I intend to do many more like this. Think of tutorials / guides you can put on your site, and write those as long-form posts. I feel way better about spending an hour writing this vs. spending an hour creating 10 other lightweight posts.