Advice For Running An Internet Forum

Have you ever thought about running your own forum to make money with?

I like when new forums come out as long as the participants on the forum are knowledgeable about whatever topic the forum is about.  I am sure you agree.

One thing that absolutely drives me nuts about forums though, is their insistence upon allowing every single person who wants to participate in the forum to actually participate.

Here is what I mean…..

Let’s take internet marketing forums for instance.   Most internet marketing forums, I have visited, are made up of members from all over the world.  There is nothing wrong with that.  In fact, it improves the quality of information on the forum because it brings in different perspectives.

However, why do forum owners and forum admins feel obligated to allow people to post to an English speaking forum when a person can’t speak or write in English worth a damn?  Why?

You are not being mean to a person if you tell them they can’t participate in something they are not qualified to participate in.  They aren’t qualified.  That isn’t being mean.  There should be basic requirements.  Shouldn’t there?

impossible to have an intelligent conversation when you don't speak the same languageImagine a person who doesn’t know sign language being asked to give a speech at a seminar full of deaf people?  You wouldn’t do that right?  The deaf people would be pissed because a lot of them can’t read lips and therefore won’t be able to understand what that other person is saying.  The speaker would be wasting their time.  It would probably be infuriating to the audience.

That is how I feel when I am on an English speaking forum (you can tell they are English because they have an American TLD like .COM) and  I come across someone else’s nonsensical gibberish.  Why do admins allow those posts to stand?  Why not delete them?

It is not being rude to the poster.  It is being kind to your members who can actually communicate.

Are you really that hard up for visitors that you will take anything you can get even if those people don’t read and speak your language?  Really?  Why?

One of the things I learned in business long before there was internet marketing was that you need to have a target audience to market your product to.  And, the tighter and more well defined that target audience is, the better product you can serve them.   Do these forums even know who their target audience is?

If I am in their target audience, then how the hell can they allow that product to be polluted with crap that I will never be able to translate?    Am I in your target audience though?  Maybe I am not.  Maybe the forums I visit don’t want a typical American dude like me.

If you do want people like me to keep visiting your forum, then for God’s sake, stop letting people post gibberish to the forum.  If you have to really think about what the person is trying to say, then is that post even worth having on your forum?  I think not.

Just delete them.  Please.  Stop wasting my time or I’ll stop visiting the forum.  And I bet other people (who are in your target audience) will stop too.  The only reason they won’t tell you what I am telling you is because everyone is afraid to speak the truth when it might hurt someone else’s feelings.

Before long, you will be left with yet another struggling forum cluttered with useless information where you have to dig through countless worthless posts to find something useful.   And then your forum will be overrun with people who can’t communicate in English worth a damn.  If that is what you want, then so be it.

Do you hate reading a forum thread or skimming through blog comments and coming across a nonsense posting by someone who doesn’t speak your language?

2 Responses to Advice For Running An Internet Forum

  1. Fergal says:

    There are some great points in that post, areas that I need to improve upon myself. When a forum receives a huge number of posts every day, it can sometimes be difficult to find and identify the less helpful posts. Unfortunately, keeping the spammers out of any quality forum is a constant battle.

    • Ted says:

      Hello Fergal and thanks for stopping by.

      For anyone who reads this, Fergal has runs a business advice forum that has a lot of really good information on it. I am a member there too.

      I did run a Vbulletin forum once that ended up getting hacked. So I killed it. Yes it was a constant battle fighting against spam. I can only imagine how bad it must be for you considering how much PageRank your forum has and how popular it is.

      I belong to many forums actually, business forums, SEO forums, internet marketing forums, etc…. I love participating in them and love to offer my advice (for whatever it is worth) to other people who appreciate it. But my time is limited. So, I find myself rather annoyed when I visit a forum and there are off topic posts stuck in threads where they don’t belong or when I find some dude trying to speak Swahili to a bunch of people who speak English. I don’t blame the Swahili guy for trying to participate. I do blame the forum admins for allowing those kinds of posts to clutter up what would be an otherwise excellent and efficient way to share information.

      If forum owners and admins want higher quality threads and comments, then I think they need to be far more ruthless with trimming the fat.

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