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Sapp

My Own Personal Advice On How To Keep a Successful Forum

Well, I have nearly 2 years experience with being an MFF admin and I have learned some valuable lessons from it. I tried to mirror myself after other bigwig admins on huge message boards, who were strict and banned people just because they posted funny. I thought by being strict I'd be a successful admin with alot of behaved members. Well, I was very wrong. I have a couple of my own old forums, plus a forum I was a co-admin on die because of my dictatorship.
My old forums couldn't even get past 5,000 posts with barely any active members because of my leadership ways.
    When I finally started to create forums again and get back into the picture, I've decided to be a very easy going admin. I now have a site with 40 members and over 17K posts in 2 and a half months. That's 4 times as big as a forum of mine ever got, and I'm pretty darn proud of myself for reaching that success(along w/ my members lol). I continue to grow everyday because I am a nice admin, funny, easy going, somewhat strict to an extent(but not to where members hate me), etc. I just have this advice to all new admins out there who might model their rule enforcement off of dictators; turn your forum into a democracy, where people feel free to relax on your forum and get away from their problems in the real world. I like to make my forum somewhat of a getaway "Resort" to go to when they're feeling down.
myff admin

Admin/modding is a delicate balance, on some forums it will be different to others. For example on this forum we do aim for pretty strict as the forum is here for a purpose and there really is not much reason to tolerate people who detract from what we are trying to do. e.g. we don't need more members, we need to have an environment where those people who want help and are prepared to put a little effort into getting help, can get the help they need.

On another successful forum I run we are having a few problems currently because there is a lot of heated debate and a few of the more trollish members have perceived a double standard creep in, between what the moderators can get away with and what the members can

Said members are not entirely right about this, but neither are they totally wrong, and it is a reminder that even with a highly successful forum you cannot let standards slip.

For all of us the complex situations represent a learning curve, but the general rules for admins/mods do remain the same.

1) Admins/mods should set the standard for discussion.
2) Moderation should be firm, but fair and seen to be fair.
3) Don't abrogate your own authority. You cannot pass the hard modding decisions down to a membership debate.
chris101omg

and you dont need 10 mods for 1 member
Louise

Some Good Points here, I would also say, Don't place too much importance on Huge Member Counts and Post counts, For Me the atmosphere of the Community is far more Important.

I also agree on Staff not letting their "status" go to their heads.
chris101omg

i used to have 20  members and like 15 mods
Louise

Why so many mods for so few members?
chris101omg

dunno i didnt know how to run a good forum
Sapp

chris101omg wrote:
dunno i didnt know how to run a good forum

It happens to most of us when we're still rookies.
Learning from that mistake will only help you not to make it in the future and you'll be able to run a good forum.
orcikat

http://lancasteroh.myfreeforum.org/index.php?

Our forum has 372 members and we have 4 mods, 5 admins, and a forum board with 4 members.
We were 1 year old in March. It's running very smoothly, with occasional flaming. Most of the negative crap is shot down by the posters. The forum grows almost every day. I keep it updated, add smilies and themes, trivia questions,photo and writing contests constantly. If I read a post where a poster requests something, I try my best to provide it. We have had some rough spots, but we just keep plugging along! (I have to add, MFF, makes it very easy to give the posters what they want, and I appreciate it.)
myff admin

lancasteroh is a good example of a forum getting as close to destruction as it is possible to get (apologies if you don't see it that way, but that is how it looked to me) but a forum with admins prepared to take advice and learn and move on.
We get so called legal threats all the time, but this forum was genuinely threatened with action, and was also making an effort to be a "freedom of speech forum" or at least very light on the modding.
This is often a worthy objective but one which was incompatible with the serious headcase (now jailed) giving hassle on the forum.
orcikat

I totally agree with your post. Our forum came to the conclusion that there is a very fine line between, Freedom of Speech, and a posters right to privacy.
Spokesmann

Administration and moderation is all about fairness and balance as has been stated, basically they should set the tone for all to follow - lead by example.

We have a fair relaxed approach to my forum, we try to deal with issues as they happen, deal with them by PMs if necessary but always in a fair, impartial and even handed way. Clear boundaries set out in a non-complex set of rules/guides helps to provided a framework to which we all adhere. Above all let members have their say and listen to both sides (or more) of the story.

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