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Thread: Running a forum

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    Running a forum

    Long story short I have been helping to run a forum for a couple of years on and off, I started a Yahoo group about 7 years ago and this became a proper forum about 2.5 years ago, I took a break from it about 2 years ago for 6 months and then came back as a assistant admin about a year ago. Due to a clash of ideas and views on how things should be done between me and the forum owner I have now been told it is now my forum

    I am looking for some advice on the issues below:

    I just checked and if we were to block all members who have not posted in 60 days we would be blocking 221 members.
    If we look at members who have not been online in 60 days we have 192 members to block.

    Looking at it I feel we have 3 main groups of members:
    - Around 30 members which have posted in the last 60 days.

    - Around another 30 which have been online in the past 60 days but have not posted, these people are using our information but putting nothing back in to the forum.

    - The rest which clearly don't want to be active members so as far as I can see these could be blocked.

    Does what I am suggesting sound fair?

    Paul

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    Member ozwebfx's Avatar
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    Dunno about blocking, maybe too harsh. You could copy what this forum does ... I've been lurking for ages here & read a lot of posts in Google Reader, however when I clicked through to the site access was denied to some areas until I posted something.

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    Most forums have a small core of members who are regularly active. You can't make everybody become an active member.

    Why do you want to block inactive members? What harm are they doing?

    I have run a Yahoo! group for almost 10 years and only a very small percentage of members at any point in time are active. They come and go but I don't care. Those that are inactive may become active again. It's up to them when they wish to participate.

    There are over 7200 members here but nowhere near that number are regularly active. But I don't see that as a major problem. I would like to hear what Rick has to say on this issue.

    Is there something special about your forum that demands that everyone is active?
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    Quote Originally Posted by yarnella View Post

    Is there something special about your forum that demands that everyone is active?
    Thanks for the replies, the subject matter of our forum sometimes means that some people don't post what they would like as they can not be sure who else is a member and if they will repeat what is said.

    My biggest issue with these members are the ones that read and get our information but never put anything back in to the forum

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    It's all about the Light!
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    We don't block per se. We make people go into the Inactive group if they don't post for 90 days.
    Once inactive you cant see the gallery, see member photos, enter comps, or vote.

    The goal is to have active members not lurkers per the description at the bottom of every page.
    Lurkers are not fully blocked, just reduced access.
    It is to get re-instated - post!

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    Re: Running a forum

    I reckon ban anyone that comes onto A forum who's first post is to ask a question


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    Quote Originally Posted by pgbphotographytas View Post
    Thanks for the replies, the subject matter of our forum sometimes means that some people don't post what they would like as they can not be sure who else is a member and if they will repeat what is said.

    My biggest issue with these members are the ones that read and get our information but never put anything back in to the forum
    I'm a member on another forum that has a "Distinguished Members Area"
    Access to content in that section is by admin approval only.
    It runs on phpBB
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    and ban anyone who comes to a forum and creates lots of polls/votes

    but being serious, i really like the way AP encourages and rewards participation - reduced functionality for lurkers, not outright banning.

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    I have been running a forum for about 1.5 years, and what I have done to help withthese issues, is set up two levels. One for long time or active members, and one for everyone who is signed up. That way ppl who have been active get rewarded with a place where they can say things in a trusted environment. Also instead of blocking ppl who have not posted in 6 day, I would either email them a warning that unless they become more active they will be removed ( some ppl join up and forget to come back) or just delete them instead of block, so if they decide later they want to be apart of things they can. I would also email the lurkers with a warning that if they do not become an active part of the forum they will be removed.

    Hope that that helps.
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    Administrator ricktas's Avatar
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    Ausphotography's system

    Registered Users (zero posts), cannot view members photos forums, cannot send PM's to anyone other than mods/admin, Cannot enter competitions or vote on any polls on the site. Can create threads and reply to threads in forums they can access.

    New Member (between 1 and 50 posts, and less than 30 days membership). Can see members photos, enter competitions, vote on polls.

    General Member (over 50 post and 30 days membership). Can access site Gallery and Classifieds.

    If a member stops posting, they get a reminder email 30 days after their last post.
    At the 90 day mark their access is returned to that equal to a Registered User (above), they need to start posting again to regain access to the areas of the site that are blocked.

    We also have another restriction in place, that members with under 5 posts can only send private messages to admin and mods. This was done due to spammers using the PM system to distribute spam, when they realised we were getting onto them extremely fast if they posted them to the forums.
    Last edited by ricktas; 07-04-2010 at 5:44pm.
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    I've been running a family history forum and website for about 10 years now, only about 10% of forum members contribute regularly and I do not cull membership if those members do not post regularly, I am relaxed about how the forum is used and see members come back after years if they have an interest in a family being discussed at any time. I guess as the forum has been going for so long I must be doing something right and membership is still growing daily.
    Cheers,
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    Thanks everybody for the replies, I have posted some of my thoughts to the other mods on this forum so I am hoping they might have some ideas. Either way I think an email to all our members might get a few more active and posting which is what I want.

    Paul

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    I'd probably put myself in the lurker class. I think blocking/reduced functionality is harsh. I'm of the mind that I don't spam forums. I'll only post if I have something useful to add to a thread, and unfortunately, being new to photography, I can't really add a lot - so I sit back and learn more than anything.

    So just another case you may want to consider. Yes, I may be considered leaching without returning anything, but anyone can spam forums without actually giving anything worthwhile back to the community.

    Anyway, my $0.02

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    It's all about the Light!
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    @Jazz to NOT be a lurker you need 1 post per 90 days - you are easily meeting that


    Bottom line (literally at the bottom of each page)
    www.ausphotography.net.au is a photography forum where members share their photography, photo editing skills and techniques
    That's why we exist. I'm not sure what it is about the work share that some people don't get.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kiwi
    I reckon ban anyone that comes onto A forum who's first post is to ask a question
    I was directed here from another forum to get the answer to a question; I got my answer & stuck around. I give back whatever I can & I reckon most people contribute at whatever level they are capable.

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