What makes a site worth checking out?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Online Community' started by Nick, Jun 18, 2009.

  1. Nick

    Nick Regular Member

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    There are so many websites nowadays on so many topics. Two specific topics I notice a lot are Admin tools/techniques or Macs/PCs/General computing. So, my question is, when running sites on either of these subjects, what are some things that can make it unique?
    Why not just go to one of the huge websites? What can make people come to yours?

    I know there really is no "right" answer to this because each site is different, but I mean, what are some things that make you stop when you see a site and read rather than hit the back button and click on the next Google link in line?
     
  2. Blackout

    Blackout Addict

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    Several things that make a site worth checking out are:

    - There's no massive wall or block of text that you have to waste fifteen minutes trying to decipher the message of.

    - They're helpful and have knowledgeable people who can help with troubleshooting.

    - The community is active.

    - Support topics are usually answered as soon as a member of the staff team is able to help.
     
  3. Soliloquy

    Soliloquy Regular Member

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    If I can see right away that my question will be answered in a timely fashion, I'd explore the site further.
     
  4. Chris

    Chris Regular Member

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    The Appearance

    As this is one of the first (if not the very first) aspects that visitors and/or members come across, having a visual appearance that is easy on the eyes and attractive is quite crucial. Furthermore, having a style that "flows" with the niche of your board is even more-so important. Let's say that Jimmy is the administrator of an audio equipment discussion community - one that specializes in discussion relating to Samsung home theater equipment. The logical thing to do would be to purchase and/or design a skin that not only incorporates the colors of such a corporation into it (i.e. black, dark red accents, etc), but to somehow relate it to the subject matter being discussed (rank images, forum status icons, etc).

    If I were to run across such a forum with a pink appearance, I would be turned off immediately... for a couple of reasons:

    • The color "pink" cannot be related or tied to Samsung home theater equipment.
    • When I think of "home theater equipment", I think of dark colors - not something overly light and "feminine".
    The Community "Feel"

    I like to be presented with a feeling of "friendliness" when joining a community - or in other words, an environment which is not only inviting, but easy-going and mellow. Upon creating an introduction, I'd very much prefer to be welcomed in a kind manner rather than being greeted with grumpy and demeaning responses (i.e. "He's new to the community, so it's clear that he knows nothing about the content we discuss.). Hell, if the administrator were to post something like that in my introduction thread, I'd immediately leave - while this has never happened to me, I've seen it happen to others. It's not fun... and it's very unattractive.

    Also, if I were to post in a thread with a subject that I know little to nothing about, would the members be understanding? If not, why should I even bother participating (at all)? These are questions that I ask myself when it comes to deciding whether or not a community is "attractive" in such a sense.

    The Staff Team:

    Having a dedicated and passionate staff team is, in my eyes, one of the most attractive aspects of a discussion community. If the members of this team are constantly active in assisting the community in growing, this is attractive to an extreme. Knowing that the forum is in good hands is a reassuring feeling - a crucial one at that.
     
    3 people like this.
  5. FullMetalBabe

    FullMetalBabe Zealot

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    I SOOO agree with Chris... Though I like pink! But I look for the appearance first, then the posts and such. If there are posts I see I might be able to contribute, I would join!
     

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