03 May 2008

Don’t count your forums before they’re hatched

If you are going to start a set of online discussion forums: Do not create a bunch of individual forums on various subtopics. Start with a single forum about your topic. As your membership and traffic grows, create subtopics based on what people are actually talking about.

In reality, you don’t want to only create subtopic forums based on traffic, but I see way too many people creating way too many subtopics with no traffic than I see people not making enough subtopic forums.


Jeff Rients said...

Glad to know that I'm not the only one seeing hordes of good forums spread too thin by an overabundance of subforums.

Robert Fisher said...

It’s a natural enough thing. You’re excited about trying to start a community. You have big dreams for it. Creating all those subforums—that match your dreams—looks so satisfying.

I just hate seeing people make mistakes that could be avoided with a little look into the past. The Usenet net-cops (the forum equivalent of rule-lawyers) may have been annoying, but at least they brought awareness to the lessons that had already been learned.