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Nathan: 2010-05-12 05:05:39 pm
Nathan: 2010-05-12 05:05:23 pm
45 posts
Web forums are a great way to interact, converse, build community, promote products and ideas, and generate content and relationships online. Even though forums have existed since before the web, there are many people who still do not use forums, who do not know about them, or who think that web forums are more limited than they are. This five part series offers a basic introduction to web forums by answering seven basic but important questions; addresses one of the negative aspects of forums--haters--and how to keep a healthy forum; discusses the basics of running a forum; is frank about common pests and problems which often infest forums; and finally provides five useful reminders about forums.

Part V: Five Important Points to Remember About Forums

This five part series has presented some of the basics about web forums, how to participate in and operate a forum, and problems with forums to be aware of. Hopefully the series has encouraged you to become more involved in online forum communities.

As you move on, here are five useful points to remember:

    [li]Forums are communities: they represent what the various members have built together. No single person makes or breaks a forum. This means that if you think a forum sucks, you can either stay to build it up or move on to a new one. Complaining about it won't get much done.[li]Because forums are communities, this means that you should contribute to the community. Lurking all the time means that you're feeding off the community. Try and give something back now and then. Some forums will even delete users who are not active within a certain number of days or months.[li]You are the one who joins a forum. This means you can leave just as easily. Don't feel committed to go back to a forum just because you joined it to check it out. It's better to have a community of committed and interested folks than just a bunch of folks who don't really care about much of anything. Unless that's the theme of the forum, "we don't care about anything," and in that case, they'll be writing about how much they don't care about anything.[li]Try to not be overly sensitive. Remember, forums are online. Rarely can you see someone's face. Sometimes people are brief and they don't mean to offend. Other times they do mean to offend. And many times, it is really hard to know the difference. If you have thin skin, you may get upset regularly. This is not worth it.[li]Don't be a parasite or jerk. It sounds easy enough, but lots of people like to rip down others' work for no reason other than that they have nothing to do. Other folks like to take and not give. These kinds of people suck in real life, and they suck in forums. Communities need people who actually care about what's going on. If you don't care, why not watch stupid & funny videos at YouTube or the TV? There are enough trolls out there. We don't need any more.
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