How to ressurect a forum

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gflex1
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How to ressurect a forum

Post by gflex1 » Tue Mar 13, 2018 5:34 pm

My father has a fishing club. A couple years ago I created him a discussion forum and it was running great. It has about 150 active users. I know that these numbers are very low, but this forum has no social media ads, no active work on a local market.
But now I see that this forum is dead....no active users in about 2 years....:/ This problem is that there was some problems in club administration so it reflected negatively on a discussion forum too.

How can I do to make this forum alive again? I started to work on club's social media, on a main website and refresh things.

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Lumpy Burgertushie
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Re: How to ressurect a forum

Post by Lumpy Burgertushie » Tue Mar 13, 2018 5:55 pm

do you mean technically how to reinstall or update the old files etc. or are you talking about how to bring the members back or bring in new members etc. ?


robert

gflex1
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Re: How to ressurect a forum

Post by gflex1 » Tue Mar 13, 2018 5:56 pm

Robert, I mean to get back old members and also new members to join and disquss things ;)

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Lumpy Burgertushie
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Re: How to ressurect a forum

Post by Lumpy Burgertushie » Tue Mar 13, 2018 6:33 pm

to get back old members you would have to let them know that the board/site is back. assuming that they would still have the same email address as they did before, just send them an email from the board.

for new members, as always, you have to have good , current content about whatever your board is about. that will get search engine listings higher so that more people find the board.
along with the content, make sure you do normal SEO (search engine optimization) stuff.

make the category/forum/topic titles have relevant keywords about the subject(s) of your board.
make sure the board name is relevant to keywords etc. etc.

use forum descriptions with keywords
there is a extension here that will create meta descriptions for each page , install that.

do NOT worry about changing the file names/urls of the board. the search engines no longer care about that and neither will your members etc.

go out and post on other boards/sites with the same general subject as yours . leave a link or whatever that site allows you to do. do NOT spame or break their rules about links.

those are just some of the things you can do.

robert

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Re: How to ressurect a forum

Post by gflex1 » Tue Mar 13, 2018 6:35 pm

Thank you!

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AmigoJack
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Re: How to ressurect a forum

Post by AmigoJack » Wed Mar 14, 2018 9:59 am

gflex1 wrote:
Tue Mar 13, 2018 5:34 pm
A couple years ago
It has about 150 active users
no active users in about 2 years
All this doesn't really fit; check again if you don't look on one of those too optimistically.

I guess the target audience won't come back, no matter what you try. "Fishing club", that's quite a local thing - over the years people's interests and/or homes shift; most likely you'll only get half a dozen back and even then the reprise won't last long. Most will probably argue they use other methods to stay in contact.

Lumpy Burgertushie wrote:
Tue Mar 13, 2018 6:33 pm
send them an email from the board
Prepare for a lot of bounces. For those you might be lucky and they left more contacts, like messengers or a website - but from personal experience and as you see it on this board very few to no people use that at all.

gflex1
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Re: How to ressurect a forum

Post by gflex1 » Wed Mar 14, 2018 6:12 pm

Yep, i'am afraid that the old audience will not come back because old conflicts with club administration :(

Secondly, sometimes I think that discussion forum era is over. Facebook and other social media is on top.... but I don't like fb groups and other stuff...it is so generic....PHPBB is the ultimate stuff.

Maybe I will try some challange... who register and first writes 50 ir 100 posts (with min 300 words or something like that) will get some stuff... How about this Idea?

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Re: How to ressurect a forum

Post by warmweer » Wed Mar 14, 2018 6:20 pm

gflex1 wrote:
Wed Mar 14, 2018 6:12 pm
Yep, i'am afraid that the old audience will not come back because old conflicts with club administration :(

Secondly, sometimes I think that discussion forum era is over. Facebook and other social media is on top.... but I don't like fb groups and other stuff...it is so generic....PHPBB is the ultimate stuff.

Maybe I will try some challange... who register and first writes 50 ir 100 posts (with min 300 words or something like that) will get some stuff... How about this Idea?
50 to 100 posts? Don't push too hard or you'll push you members away.
Start with posting a couple of things yourself, such as what you would like to achieve with the forum (old memories always bring up a smile with your members, ask for ideas, allow some offtopic.
Discussion forums are not a thing of the past: the public is there but you have to entice them to visit , and then to stay ;) .

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Re: How to ressurect a forum

Post by TheDude2 » Sat Mar 24, 2018 9:20 pm

my experience has been that it's easier to get new members than to get members who left to come back.

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Mick
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Re: How to ressurect a forum

Post by Mick » Sun Mar 25, 2018 8:44 am

Repeat orders are a salesman’s biggest challenge.
"The more connected we get the more alone we become" - Kyle Broflovski

There are no ‘threads’ in phpBB, they are topics.
Forza Garibaldi

maxrpg
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Re: How to ressurect a forum

Post by maxrpg » Sun Mar 25, 2018 1:08 pm

I too have struggled with this same situation and at the moment I still am.

My board was once very active with members coming and posting content every day and I would also post new stuff every day and this was the case for the first few years and then sadly other commitments such as changing job and working hours meant that I had little or not time to post on my site. Sadly this meant a lot of posts/requests from my members went unanswered and as a result they started to come to my site less and less until eventually I lost all but a hand full of my regular members and the site now ...for lack of a better word..dead.

However, now that I have some time free again and after spending a lot of time updating my site to the latest phpbb release I am now on a mission to get people back and new members to register.

One thing I found works well is to do a mass email to my members and for this I made a script which spits out a list of all members who have given permission to receive emails from my board and I use mail chimp to send the email so I can monitor who has opened them and who has clicked through. If your board has been "dead" for a while people could have changed email address or let them run out of life due to lack of access so a lot of my old members are now unreachable.

I am now going to start asking my members to voluntarily enter their mobile number in a custom profile field (invisible to all but me for privacy reasons) so I can at some point send mass SMS to them if I need to in the future because most people always keep the same phone number and is more reliable than email.

I would recommend adding some new content to your site, give it a fresh look and feel and if your site is just for local people why not open it up a bit and add categories that would be of interest to people outside of your community but still relevant to your site. Then send out a mass email/newsletter informing your members of whats new and that you are "back in business".

An incentive is always a good way of getting people back as well so why not have a contest to win something. It doesn't have to be something expensive but keep it related to your site as your site is fishing related it could be a tackle box, thermos flask or one of those folding chairs they sit on all can be picked up for a few quid but I find a contest encourages more clicks through to your site. Have a thread where members have to post a photo of their latest catch or something and 1 winner will be picked at random at the end of the month etc. Something simple and even if they only post in that one thread it will help get your new site and content noticed.

Get a facebook page opened with content from your site and actively post in other facebook groups in the same category as this will also help get your site noticed. Open a twitter account and activate the setting in facebook which auto posts your content to twitter so you are covered on both social networks.

I've seen sites in my category with over a hundred thousand members suddenly go silent over the last couple of years and I think it's due to peoples interests changing and the site failing to evolve with its members. You have to keep your site up to date, listen to your members, evolve with them and keep the content relevant.

It is very difficult these days to make a site a success and there's no straight forward easy way to do it but just remember these tips:
  • Make sure your site is SEO compliant and index-able by search engines
    Offer something that no other site in your category does - or do it better than they do.
    Keep your site updated with new content even if you start to feel like this is a waste of time and your just talking to yourself, keep going because eventually someone will find your content relevant and people will start coming.
    Get the word out on social media and by posting on other sites in your category - no one will come if they don't know your site exists.
    Look at the competition and see what they are doing to keep members engaged and if possible do the same thing on your site but BETTER.
I am a determined person and I refuse to let my site fade away in to nothing and I WILL bring people back.

Stay motivated.

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Big Mac
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Re: How to ressurect a forum

Post by Big Mac » Mon Mar 26, 2018 4:28 pm

gflex1 wrote:
Tue Mar 13, 2018 5:34 pm
My father has a fishing club. A couple years ago I created him a discussion forum and it was running great. It has about 150 active users. I know that these numbers are very low, but this forum has no social media ads, no active work on a local market.
I wouldn't suggest paying for social media adverts. It would be far better to concentrate on making your forum better, than paying for adverts.
gflex1 wrote:
Tue Mar 13, 2018 5:34 pm
But now I see that this forum is dead....no active users in about 2 years....:/ This problem is that there was some problems in club administration so it reflected negatively on a discussion forum too.
It is a shame about the problems with club administration. If you have forum members turning against administrators and moderators, it can make for an atmosphere where people feel a division and think that the forum staff are against them.

I don't want to pry into the business of your father's club, but has this dispute spilled out onto the forums you set up? If you have topics where people are insulting forum staff...or where forum staff are insulting forum members...or where forum members are insulting each other, that could be a turn off to potential newbie members.

You can not erase the past, but you don't have to wave the past in the faces of people who had no play in it.

I won't tell you to go on a delete-fest, but have a think about how you can make sure people know:
  • It is a new era,
  • Things are different and
  • You are ready to have new people talk about fishing.
gflex1 wrote:
Tue Mar 13, 2018 5:34 pm
How can I do to make this forum alive again? I started to work on club's social media, on a main website and refresh things.
If you can get some good discussions going, you can certainly share some topics over to Facebook, Google+, Twitter or anything else you are setting up for your father's club.

I wonder if you want to limit your forum just to your father's club, or if you might be better off making your father's club a specialist area within your forum (and aiming to pull in people that are in other fishing clubs).

You need to have new content, and if the forum is not so active, it might be you and a few other people at first.

Can you do things like write reviews of fishing rods or other fishing equipment? If you can think of things that do not directly conflict with your dad's fishing club, that might give you some ideas for topics that are interesting enough that people might surf in off the back of a Google search.

If you are going to have content on your main website, perhaps you could add a link at the bottom of articles inviting people to discuss whatever the article is about (and then link to an "official fishing club topic" dedicated to that specific article (with the "official topics" also linking back to the article they are about).

Maybe you could do some fun things, like have forum ranks named after different fish.

Good luck!

gflex1
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Re: How to ressurect a forum

Post by gflex1 » Sat Mar 31, 2018 1:58 pm

Big Mac, thank you for your support.

The problems where in the lack of club administration. Now, I trying to change all of that:

1. I finishing to redesign main club website.
2. Redesigned a disqussion forum to new website: the same style, the same fonts, colors...etc. This is called style book or something like that.
3. We got a new local contacts and I think that we will expand thru these contacts. Therefore I hope to get new club members and also new forum discussion members.
4. We changed our club perspective and we will concentrate to children and youngsters. Local fishing contests, maybe some learning stuff.
speaking of youngsters - I'm afraid that they don't use phpbb as we do (older people). They use social media only :/
-------
I wonder if you want to limit your forum just to your father's club, or if you might be better off making your father's club a specialist area within your forum (and aiming to pull in people that are in other fishing clubs).
This is a great Idea. I will think about this :!: :idea:
Last edited by gflex1 on Sat Mar 31, 2018 4:20 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Lumpy Burgertushie
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Re: How to ressurect a forum

Post by Lumpy Burgertushie » Sat Mar 31, 2018 3:25 pm

maybe it is time someone (you) teach those young people the error of their ways......
bring them to bulletin boards where they can have intelligent, easy to follow discussions about things that matter to them.


robert

gflex1
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Re: How to ressurect a forum

Post by gflex1 » Sun Apr 01, 2018 7:31 am

Lumpy Burgertushie wrote:
Sat Mar 31, 2018 3:25 pm
maybe it is time someone (you) teach those young people the error of their ways......
bring them to bulletin boards where they can have intelligent, easy to follow discussions about things that matter to them.

robert
Well, I would like to do that. Because i'am confident in phpbb.

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