Yep - another forum to manage. It’s called 3GN Media and it’s a site dealing with all things entertainment. Once again, this is one of Yaro’s sites which I’ll be managing. He bought it last week and I’ve been busy making changes and adding things to help improve the site.
Initially when he bought the site, we thought it’d have a bit more traffic than was advertised but nevertheless we’ve taken it as a challenge. After spending almost an entire week on this forum, I’ve come to some conclusions about becoming a forum’s Admin.
It seems there are three stages you go through when you take to a new forum.
Even though I’m not the one forking out the money to get these sites, it’s an amazing feeling when you have a new one to play with. In a way, it’s like a bit of a gamble, you don’t know what’s going through the other party’s head, or if someone else will come into the picture and snap the site up really cheap. Although I didn’t have to go through the purchase of the site, I reckon you’d need to keep your wits about you because it’d be pretty easy to get carried away with emotion.
I look forward to buying my own site one day.
By this stage, the deal has gone through and you have all the passwords and access to this monster of a site. You just have a small problem - Where the hell do you start?
I mean, you don’t know anyone. You probably don’t know a lot about the subject of the site. You most likely have to change a lot of code and software. Then to top it off, you have to make sure you don’t piss off the important people.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed and a little stressed, don’t worry - It won’t last too long and the following things will help out greatly:
- Dive in, and start to communicate with people on the forum - They have a right to know what’s going on with their community.
- Add a Chat Room and get talking with the regulars - even use it as a chance to gather opinions and ideas to steer the site. You can get some very interesting ideas and even gain some positive support throughout the transition.
- Read up on the website’s topic - That means things like finding out your direct competitors, what you should know about breakbeats or whatever. The members like the forum because they have a common topic to talk about so you might as well speak their language.
- Make Backups - When you’re changing the database, installing new software, deleting bits and pieces of code, anything can go wrong. I like to make a quick backup of the files on the site and the forum database, just in case.
- Balance the needs and wants of the site’s stakeholders - People can only take so much before they get pissed off - it’s called the zone of indifference. You don’t have to please everyone but you should at least take care when dealing with the major stakeholders for the site. In my case they are, Yaro, the users and advertisers.
- Get Stats up on the site - You’ll feel much better with the power of knowledge behind you and it’ll help you identify problems or issues on the site whilst you’re digging around behind the scenes.
- Not everything needs to be done all at once - If you feel a little unsure about something, hold back a bit in case you piss a lot of people off. You might want to make sure you have actionable steps you can take to achieve your longterm goals for the site, too.
After you’ve gone through the hard yards in doing up the site and meeting everyone, you’ll probably get that warm fuzzy feeling. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. I think this is emotion is where you should be steering the site from. Just don’t get too attached to any one stakeholder or you could push the others away.
That’s about it from me. On a side note, I’d just like to welcome my site’s first sponsor: www.conventions.net
Till next time…