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Thread: No forum posting companies!

  1. #1
    Registered aj8's Avatar
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    No forum posting companies!

    Hi,

    I've now tried to contact three different forum posting companies with no luck, in order to get some sensible amounts of users, threads and posts on www.eeecommunity.com.... So far I've had some response, albeit in the negative ("we can't do it, it's too specialised").. So ...

    The site is doing a measurable amount of traffic now (almost totally from search engines).. So I think the topic is a good one to have picked, but it's not going to grow unless I give it a bit of a kick to get it going....

    Does anybody have any bright ideas?

    alex
    Instant PR Email Marketing.
    Manages mailing lists and sends newsletters.
    EEE PC Support

  2. #2
    Registered deathshadow's Avatar
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    The moment you don't have an 'off topic' area, "posting companies" are an instant /FAIL/ - in general posting companies are a really bad idea because you do NOT want your board filled up with irrellevant meaningless posts, or mirror content of general user banter from other sites.

    Building a popular forums is tricky, especially with such a narrow audience - but not impossible.

    First, have an ACTUAL WEBSITE and not just a forums. There's nothing for people to discuss if all you have is a forums. With http://www.eeecommunity.com redirecting to /forums NOBODY is going to take the site seriously. Product based sites are the easiest to fill out, you just grab a bunch of photos and slap up mirrors of the system specifications.

    POST NEWS about the EEPC, even if it's just links to other sites. You set yourself up as a 'catch all' repository for news items about the EEPC or other ultra-mobiles, and people will come to you first just to avoid visiting 20+ sites or digging through search engine results. Repeat business is the name of the game. Take the time of at least an hour every day running a search for new news about the product and post up links to those articles. This is how sites like Slashdot, OSNews, and even Digg got to where they are today.

    Add a marketplace. Posts by people selling them or companies trying to sell them should be kept separate from normal posts. Users going for information about modding or getting 'fill in the blank' OS up and running is not going to be all that interested in buying another one - since they'd already HAVE one.

    Expand your focus - There are other ultra-mobiles out there... The EEPC isn't exactly revolutionary when you look at things like the old Toshiba Libretto. Toss in a section about it's competitor for example - The Everex CloudPC.

    Have an off topic area - Building a 'community' means giving the owners of said products a chance to "chew the fat" with other owners.

    Moderation - once you hit about 50 frequent users, offer one of your more responsable yet frequent posters a moderator position.

    Improve your accessability - Right now that forum skin BLOWS because it's all fixed metric fonts and inlined presentation. I have to zoom in 25-50% on my large font/120dpi setup to even make the text legible here. Anything less than 12px as a fixed sized font is a miserable /FAIL/. At LEAST switch to pt so it obeys the system metric in all browsers, or use %/em so it obeys the system metric in Opera/IE and is more open to being resized in IE. (gecko based browsers like FF and webkit based browsers like Safari don't scale %/em to the system metric - thankfully anyone that cares about accessability doesn't give a hoot in hell about gecko based browsers...)

    Content, Content, Content - search around for various people who mod these things. There are plenty of pages with people modding them. Ask them to come post their works on your forum - Ask thier permission to mirror their mods or offer to host blog-type pages about what they are doing. Look at other sites for other highly moddable devices and mimick what's worked for them. While the product may still be virgin territory, the methodology for building sites about specific electronic devices is "known"... In the biblical sense.

    One of the things to remember about 'building a site' is that it's a bit like a baseball diamond. "If you build it, they will come." - you haven't built anything there yet. The forums are like the stands - You don't have a scoreboard, plates, bats, balls, heck - you don't even have grass down yet... all you have right now is seating.

    Trust me on the above, I've got a forums seeing 2K+ posts a day that now is pretty much hands off for me. Getting over the hurdle of driving traffic to the site AND keeping people coming back is the tricky part. As I said in another post, the trick is repeat business - you need something of value that people will want to come back and check every day. Fail in that, /FAIL/ in building a community.
    Last edited by deathshadow; 04-22-2008 at 09:10 AM.

  3. #3
    Not that blue at all Blue Cat Buxton's Avatar
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    I agree. Even though most people who come to your site would know what eee is, there is nothing for those who don't, so I can quite see why forum posting compaines would shy away from a relatively narrow and specilist area. Add some articles, information etc, for those who know only a little, and then encourage them to participate via those articles.

  4. #4
    Administrator Chris's Avatar
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    When hiring a forum posting company I always restrict general chat posts.
    Chris Beasley - My Guide to Building a Successful Website[size=1]
    Content Sites: ABCDFGHIJKLMNOP|Forums: ABCD EF|Ecommerce: Swords Knives

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