How to start and run a successful Internet community site.

From Rob over at

  1. Brandon

    Brandon Regular Member

    Jun 1, 2009
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    Topeka, Kansas
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    How to start and run a successful Internet community site. - From Rob over at

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  2. CM30

    CM30 Regular Member

    Jul 1, 2012
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    It's a nice article, but there's some stuff I disagree with:

    This is one thing I disagree with. PhpBB may have been good back in the late 90s/early 00s, but ever since then it's just fallen more and more behind and doesn't offer all the features found in its (still free) competitors. I'd honestly recommend anyone use MyBB, SMF, or some other free forum script that's actually being kept up to date properly.

    I'd also be skeptical of using software installers like Fantastico simply because they're not kept up to date, hence it's likely the version it installs will be about 3 versions behind the latest one and an upgrade will therefore be needed right away.

    I would never recommend vBulletin now. Maybe in the 90s/00s, since vB 3 was good software and vB 4 was at least semi decent, but vBulletin 5 is a disaster and the product seems like it's got no real future ahead of it. Best to avoid it for forums you're not maintaining yourself on an old version with a team of expert programmers.

    Nice advice, but I wouldn't rely exclusively on Google News for this sort of thing. Why? Well here are a few major reasons:

    1. Google News requires news sites to have certain URLs for their articles, hence it kind of excludes a lot of sites that choose a more logical format. So it's best to do things like do a general Google search for news related to your topic on a regular basis to catch the sites that use different formats.

    2. Quite a lot of news is posted on blogs and forums now rather than news sites. You don't want to miss out on this rather crucial part of the market, especially given how some of the more 'unique' things posted in other communities are things that news sites won't find and hence post immediately, giving you an 'edge' of sorts.

    This is a nice point, but it's a lot harder said than done in some cases. Especially if your site isn't US based, since the different regional divisions of multi billion dollar companies can be quite strange in how they handle media relations (from what I can tell, the US divisions tend to be the most internet/tech savvy in general).

    I would heavily recommend against this point (hiring friends as admins). For one thing, you don't really need a big staff team for a new or less active site in the first place. And for another thing, adding people who you already know as friends for staff can lead to some pretty dire consequences. For example, what happens if you have a falling out for whatever reason? You've now got a situation where 'your' forum is pretty much in the hands of someone who might absolutely hate you complete with all the drama it could bring.

    It's like running a business with your beloved/spouse then getting divorced I guess (I wouldn't be surprised if business people online warned against this exact situation).

    Additionally, there's the issue that a lot of people won't have friends who particularly want to administrate a new forum. Heck, a lot of people might not even have many friends with the forum topic as a shared interest...

    I wouldn't recommend using Adwords for a new site. Heck, after some current situations I experienced with a client I don't think I'd recommend them to anyone at the moment.
    cpvr and Brandon like this.
  3. nightsparks

    nightsparks Regular Member

    May 25, 2013
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    I use Fantastico to manage a friend's website. It's just a WordPress install, but to keep things easy for him, I have him use Fantastico. It's rarely ever behind. I think it took a week to get the latest WordPress update through it. Maybe it differs with other software, but for WP at least, I've never seen that issue.

    I've tried this method before when I was younger and wanted to start my own forum community. It's a bad idea, most of the time :P Unless you have friends who know the software and know how to manage a community, you're basically hiring untrained monkeys!
    Brandon likes this.
  4. KneeHigh

    KneeHigh Regular Member

    Jul 1, 2013
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    ^^THIS! THIS RIGHT HERE!! Nightsparks speaks the absolute truth with this one. :). For the love of all things chocolate, if you value your friendship, DO NOT HIRE YOUR FRIENDS. I don't care how willing they are to do it for free. I don't care if they even offer to PAY YOU. --- Do. Not. Do. It.

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