Reaction to competitors

Discussion in 'Managing Your Online Community' started by Nick, Apr 7, 2010.

  1. Nick

    Nick Regular Member

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    Consider the following: You launch a new forum in a niche that certainly isn't competitor-free, but could use a bit of "spicing up" or something new. Your forum takes of fantastically and seems to hold the number-one position in terms of short-term activity and popularity for about five months. Then another competitor arises and it's like the spotlight immediately shifts to them. Your forum is not dead, but sometimes it seems like it. The new competitor is now the one boasting with activity.

    What do you see in the long term? How do you react to this new competition? How do you keep your forum afloat?

    Have you ever been in a situation like this? How did it turn out?
     
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  2. Abomination

    Abomination Zealot

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    Step away from the keyboard and drink heavily.

    Then go back to first principals and ask "why" it happened and try to figure out how to correct any mistakes I might have made, or mentally re-confirm the indeed the correct decision was made.

    Then I would visit dozens of forums unrelated to what my forum is about and compare those to their competitors for ideas. Every forum can be improved on, and it is not always about technology, it could be content related. Or even peoples habits changing such as the mass abandonment of vb users has resulted in fewer people visiting vb.com. I really don't think I'll be making many posts over there in the future.

    Please keep in mind that similar forums may not hugely successful ether, they could be discussing the same old topics. No sense in repeating the conversations. At least not for me.
     
  3. kev

    kev Regular Member

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    What is your competitor doing that makes them so great? Take that, improve it, and move forward.
     
  4. Mopar1973Man

    Mopar1973Man Novice

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    In my case its time to bring in more HTML write ups. So everytime I create one and then notify my members of the new information then...

    BOOM! Instant crowd...

    Then after a short period of time that fades and then time to pull another great tidbit of information out for others. It also seems to effect the new membership too so everytime I post a really good HTML write up they pour in...
     
  5. 2dub

    2dub Regular Member

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    Well you should never become complacent in your site/forum. Continue to find ways to distinguish yourself from your competitors and then promote those. Get direct user feedback find a few of your regular members from different walks of life and ask them some direct questions about both yourself and your competitors. Possibly create a private forum with those selected users to give you your feedback, but not open to everybody.

    Look at your competitors and see what are they doing well. Take those things you like about your competitors and mold them into your site - But do not copy, that is a kiss of death.

    Also like others have said look at successful forums outside of your niche as well, see what might be transferable to your site.

    If you make any changes promote the heck out of them, on your twitter, facebook ...

    Most of all don't be afraid to try. I once had a chat room on my site which was a failure, and a blog which was also not too popular. I'm getting ready to do a web radio talk show on my site through Blog Talk Radio. feedback when I bounced this off the members was mixed, but I figured it wouldn't hurt to try.

    I also plan on offering some video tutorials as soon as I can afford a decent video camera.
     
  6. Abomination

    Abomination Zealot

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    I certainly agree with everything being said.


    In addition, video can be a *huge* feature. Reading typed words can only convey so much information.
     
  7. Mopar1973Man

    Mopar1973Man Novice

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    So very true... Pictures and video say a thousand or more words! :D
     
  8. 50calray

    50calray Grand Master

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    Ban everyone of your members who joins the competitors site!!!!!


    Seriously, I joined two related forums last week and had my account limited based solely on being a member of a competitors forum :eek: This forum owner flipped out and started banning members who joined the competitors forum and then changed it to limited access to his forum. And get this, 90% of the people this guy banned was paid members and members who posted technical info! It's the craziest thing I've ever seen.


    Sorry, I just had to share that as an example of what NOT to do.
     
  9. Abomination

    Abomination Zealot

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    :eek:
     
  10. Mopar1973Man

    Mopar1973Man Novice

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    I remember long ago I joined a forum and was helping the members out quite a bit. I was confronted by the staff to join the ranks and be a moderator. Well shortly after that I got booted out temporarily because I was on a competitors site. (Fear of leaking information?) But after things got cleared up I got a explaination for why... So to make things right and keep things rolling without hurt feeling they at least gave me premium membership for life.

    Another one...

    I helped create a forum from the ground up and was good friends with the owner and staff. Had monthly get together meetings but come find out one of the staff didn't like the idea I was creating my own site and the fact I was member of other like forums. So once again stories of me leaking information and such started again... Needless to say after this all panned out the owner got dupped and lost entire site. (Sad but true)...

    So it depends on how you handle the problem to how the out come might be...
     
  11. BananaQueen

    BananaQueen Grand Master

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    not telling anyone ;)
    one of my competitors did that, but she was just jealous cause shes permanently banned from our forum-she was the ex admin who deleted everything
     
  12. BananaQueen

    BananaQueen Grand Master

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    not telling anyone ;)
    my competitor, the one whos admin deleted our old forum and banned members of our new one from joining theirs, is no more, her forum got deleted! maybe she banned everyone.

    now my new forum is having a competitor problem.....shortly after i made mine, they opened theirs to the public (which has been invite only for 3 years and has nearly 100000 posts), and now their link is everywhere on the main forum that i advertise on. still confident that i can grow with them around, even if they are pretty persistent at getting their link around
     
  13. Trip

    Trip Novice

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    I don't give competition a second thought. I run my forum the same way I ride my bike, who cares what everybody else is doing...I just enjoy the ride. What matters to me is how I feel about it at the end of the day. :cool:

    Hopefully that annoying message will disappear now.
     
  14. MordyT

    MordyT Grand Master

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    ROFL.

    Lets see, Im a admin on a competing site. I used to be staff on the first one, but ever since I joined the second one, lets just say the first one has kinda shoved me aside. Think I am going to make my final post, let them know what a jerk move they are pulling and never return...
     
  15. Vekseid

    Vekseid Regular Member

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    If there's a round robin of darlings, that sounds suspiciously like someone is one-upping you in some manner over a relatively fickle and mobile audience, and that you did much the same to the previous top spot.

    The simple solution would be to repeat whatever you did the first time, maybe on a larger and grander scale : )
     

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