What is your name:
How long have you been running a forum / What inspired you to start?:
I have been in the forum world for about 14 to 15 years. I do not currently own or run any forums at the moment, but I have a couple offers from others which I am still thinking over.
I think the main reason I got into running/owning forums was mainly out of boredom. It was something new to me at the time and allowed me a place to interact with friends. Then, after I began to make revenue through them, I was hooked for life.
It is one of the best platforms in my opinion to make money. And the workload is minimal once it has taken off and other people are proving content. The first software I ever used was this basic bulletin board software. I do not even know if it had a name. I hosted it on my free hosting space from ATT.
What's your Forum Software of choice & why?:
These days I would have to say I have fallen in love with Xenforo. I used to be the most hardcore fanboy of Vbulletin there was, but the company has really gone downhill. I still think that Vbulletin 3.8 is the best forum software ever though.
Where are you located?:
I was born and raised in the South. Location unknown , USA I have lived here all of my life and I probably will die here, which is not a bad thing.
Where do you see your websites in 5 years?:
As I said, I no longer run/own any forums or sites at the moment. But, I do plan on getting back into it once I find the right fit for me. I am more of a revenue driven person. When I make sites, I make them to make money. And I would like to have a nice site up and running 5 years from now that generates a steady stream of revenue. It is just very hard to start something new when everything has already been done.
How often do you work on your forum?:
I am on staff on 6 sites at the moment. And I spend a relatively large amount of my free time bouncing from site to site helping out as much as I can. It keeps me active on the sites and allows me to lay back being I do not own or run them. I probably spend about 35 to 40 hours a week on them when my workload is light. I try to spend as much as I can because it gives me a sense of peace having something to do.
Of all the projects you’ve ever been involved in, which did you enjoy the most?:
I have to say one of my most favorite sites was EpicOpinion.com. It was the one sites out of all these years where money did not matter. I made nothing off of it and in the end I lost the database and it sadly died. It was a fun place to be a part of and I did so much custom coding for that site. It was one of those ones where you regret not keeping it open. But, alas that happens in life. Though, one of my more proud moments about the site was the fact it was once ranked #1 on all 3 major search engines for the keyword Epic. It was an Epic project
What are your biggest strengths as a forum admin? Weaknesses?:
I think my personality has always been my biggest asset. I am a pretty chill, happy go lucky, type of guy. You know the kind of guy who smiles and shrugs as the nuclear bomb goes off LOL Plus, I think it makes it easier for me to interact with the masses. I rarely have ever had problems dealing with people on sites.
My biggest weakness is probably my lack of time. I do tend to spread myself thin over many projects due to my lack of being able to say no.
I am also a very skilled coder when I can find the motivation. That seems to be the hardest thing for me at times is motivation. I really suck at graphics LOL
How do you define the ideal Forum Administrator?:
I think the best possible admin would be someone with tons of patience, lots of free time, and willing to take criticism. You have to be able to listen to your members and take something positive from it , even when it is negative. They are the people who keep your site going, so you need to make sure they are happy. Willingness to listen is a huge key IMO
You also have to love what you do. I mean if you are not happy yourself it spreads throughout the community like a bad virus. So, you also have to be a good leader. Never show weakness, and make sure every time you do make a decision that its something you have thought a long time on and are sure is the right one. Indecisiveness kills forums. And you can not play favorites. It splinters your community. You have to be fair.
Would you ever consider yourself an expert in the field of running a forum?:
I think I have run enough successful forums to be worthy of calling myself an expert. Though, I am not foolish to believe I know everything. You have to always learn or looking to learn. You are never going to know everything and you have to be willing to change at times. And I think I for the most part am capable of changing when needed. So, yes I like to think I know enough to help others.
What are your top five technology MUST-HAVE’s in running a forum?:
Tough question. I think you have to have a decent FTP program. I myself like FileZilla. I think you also need some type of program to keep track of things. I use Edit Plus. It is also good to have some type of mobile device that allows you to check on your site when you are away from your computer. A browser with spell check is always a plus, so you do not look like a moron LOL Finally, I would say good hosting. I have seen a lot of great sites die because of bad choices in hosting. I think that is five.. Oh yeah you need a decent brain.. And I will have you know mine is a pretty nice piece of Tech
What site would you like to promote with this interview?: