Running a Game Forum

It is not easy!

Running a Game Forum

There are likely fewer things harder for a game site owner or webmaster than running a game forum.  Although it may look easy if you see a full game forum, nothing could be further from the truth. The problem is that managing a forum depends in large part to the community there. Substantial traffic and a popular topic  do not always translate into a successful forum due in large part to the unpredictable human element. A strong forum must have a strong community of forum members who continue to contribute on a regular basis. These members must enjoy the forum and be willing to hold lengthy discussions with each other. The more members who post good discussions will encourage that from other members. Then some members form friendships with each other and that also benefits the forum. That way when somebody wants to start something special or extra on the forum, more people will participate because they know that member.

However, and herein lies the problem, the flip side is also true and more common than just mentioned. Most people will not post in a forum or a topic if nobody else is posting or just barely posting. The less posting there means the less chance somebody new will post there. Some forum members will not even read a topic if it does not have any activity. You can have an amazing post with great ideas, but it will not get any traction if nobody bothers to read it. That means the poster will likely leave the site unless somebody recognizes what he or she wrote and subsequently discussed it with the original poster. This also means lack of participation in Events and chat in the forum. You can have great members and plans for Events, but lack of participation or negative attitudes from those who do participate will suck the life out of the experience.

Unfortunately, forums are based too much on momentum whether that momentum is negative or positive. Think of positive momentum like a snowball where members bond together to build a bigger and bigger community just as a snowball gets larger rolling down a hill. In contrast, think of negative momentum like a devastating forest fire where anything left standing is eventually burned down to a crisp as members eventually all funnel out of the forum since nothing is going on. Thus, forum are not something that you can start and then forget it. Instead, forums will take a great deal of your time, energy, and sometimes focus if you want a successful one.

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