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My Experience with Forums

8

On two of my more heavily trafficked websites (Burbank.com and TropicalBirds.com), I added forums for people to chat and have discussions. Since the domain names were fairly targeted, I assumed that people would be happy to join and begin interacting, which would help build brand awareness and recognition. I was wrong.

On TropicalBirds.com, I added the forum and paid a company to seed the forum with posts. I also added links to the forum on the sidebar of every page, and in some of the text as well. While the comment seeding initially spurred a bit of discussion on TropicalBirds.com, that didn't last long. There were heavy periods of quiet, with the occasional sign-up. Not a very good result.

Likewise with Burbank.com, I added links on the home page and side navigation. I also added a "discuss" icon and link on news articles, after I created a topic in the forum. Although there is more traffic to the Burbank.com forum than TropicalBirds.com, there is little discussion.

I had heard spam could be a big issue with a forum, but → Read More