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Advice Wanted Please

geoffp0
Grafter
Posts: 185
Registered: 02-03-2011

Advice Wanted Please

I am trying to resurect my forum again, could some of you please advise me if I have to may boards, what should be removed or what I could add.
I really miss running  my forum, it allways gave me something to do, am now waiting your kind remarks, forum is at:-
http://www.harwich-forum.co.uk
Thanks in advance
Geoff
25 REPLIES
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Re: Advice Wanted Please

You have done a lot of work there and it looks very nicely set up indeed.  I too set up a forum nearly 18 months ago and while it is not exactly a frenzy of activity, it keeps ticking along.
I just have a few things to say.
Firstly, there are an awful lot of sections/sub-sections.  I am not sure if this is right or wrong as it is purely a matter of choice.  I tried to keep mine simple but that's just my mind set.
Secondly, the thing that stands out straight away when I look at yours in comparison to my own is that on mine it is very clear who the forum is for i.e. Cairn Terrier owners/enthusiasts.   In your guest announcement section it just says 'The great place to be' but nothing about the ethos of the forum.  I don't know who or where or what is Dovercourt so it would be good to be able to look there help me to decide if it would be something interesting and useful to join. I haven't traveled much in your part of the UK, hence my geography of the place is very limited.  Another example would be Sheffield Forum - Sheffield being a city and very well known it is quite clear that it is for folk who live in or have an affiliation to the place.  
Lastly there is only one graphic to brighten the place up.  I don't think that it is too much of an issue though and in any case there are some forum users who don't much care for such fripperies. I tend to put a banner in the guest and site announcement section when there is an occasion to celebrate such as the beginning of Spring, Easter or whatever.  I shall try and cobble something together for the Royal Wedding (Poppy runs for cover).
Possibly I know how you feel about running the forum.  When mine has been slow I have thought of closing it but then it picks up and for the few folk who are 'regulars' there is a nice camaraderie so I keep it going.  Also, we are building up a repository of advice and useful information. I too would miss it if it wasn't there. Anyway, good luck with it and I do hope that you manage to get it going - you just need a few more names there rather than 'Geoff' (I know how that feels just to see a list of your own name in red).
geoffp0
Grafter
Posts: 185
Registered: 02-03-2011

Re: Advice Wanted Please

Thanks for your advice poppy, I have taken it all on board and try and make the alterations that you suggest, as I do not go out much now due to my health, I thought getting the forum up and running will keep my old grey matter active Grin
Thanks again
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Re: Advice Wanted Please

Yes, you are exactly right - that is why I set mine up and it does keep the 'leetle grey cells' functioning (in a manner).  Roll eyes
Community Veteran
Posts: 16,866
Thanks: 1,141
Fixes: 13
Registered: 06-11-2007

Re: Advice Wanted Please

Agree with poppy.... too many sub-forums...... why not make the word "subforum" into .... "here is the place to chat about  ....... "  and do away with the subformums altogether...
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Re: Advice Wanted Please

What I found difficult is to get it known and for people to join it.  Am wondering if you have advertised the site and if so, how? I recall one of the Plusnet staff setting up a Barnsley forum.  IIRC it closed but reopened a while later.  I seem to remember someone on that later one mentioning that the previous one had been badly affected by spam. Not sure whether it is still up and running.  You need a nucleus of folk willing to participate regularly and to create a small community then it will gather momentum. 
geoffp0
Grafter
Posts: 185
Registered: 02-03-2011

Re: Advice Wanted Please

@ Poppy, no I  have not advertised it anywhere, was relying on people picking me up on the search engines, had no idea you could advertise a forum, yes things are very bare at the moment with only a couple of members. Cry
@ Poppy & Shutter, have done a bit of trimming on the main index and got rid of most of the sub forums Grin
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Re: Advice Wanted Please

We had pages of debate on here before the redesign and some were in favour of sub forums, some not.  I disliked them, preferring to be able to see all the list at once.
However, it is really up to the administrator.
With regards to advertising the site it is probably best to make some attempt as it is difficult to find things with all the websites out there.  I won't bore you with the details of  my own efforts but suffice it to say that on the whole interest from the breed clubs was largely zilch!  There is a link to my forum from only one of these and that is because I know the web mistress.  So we have got along without them and it has developed into a pet owners forum.  This is always what I wanted but would also have liked the others on board as they have so much knowledge and experience.  Membership has come by search, as you have pointed out and also from the American forum. 
A few  thoughts on spreading the word - local freebie newspapers, local radio, libraries.  It always helps to identify what folk are interested in primarily.  In my area it is whingeing about the council so I would imagine that if anyone set up a forum for us it would be full of complaints in a trice - how people just love to complain!  Grin
Community Veteran
Posts: 16,866
Thanks: 1,141
Fixes: 13
Registered: 06-11-2007

Re: Advice Wanted Please

Make a "banner" sunstrip for your car..... and repeat it in the back window.... you will be surprised at the number of people that stop behind you at traffic lights... and WILL notice it...
Plus.... whenever you park your car at the supermarket.... there is two or three hours of free advertising.!...
#
As for "search engine finds".... the search engine needs to be "pointed" to your url.... so.... add it on to your sig on here.... (you already have the harwich weather).... everytime it appears on your postings... it is "possibly" seen by a search engine bot ...
Others with more practical advice on  SEO will , no doubt, come on and advise...

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Re: Advice Wanted Please

That's good advice Shutter - the banner in the car idea being very useful.  My web design course tutor is a photographer and was talking of this very thing this morning.  He uses Vistaprint for business cards and he has also had a banner made by them for his car.  
I really hope that someone will be able to tell us a bit more about SEO as I don't know much at all and would like to get up the ratings a bit.  For instance, if I type Cairn Terrier into the Google search bar I am on about the 10th or 14th page. Would like to move up a bit.
Also, wonder if this would be better placed in the Web section?
Community Veteran
Posts: 16,866
Thanks: 1,141
Fixes: 13
Registered: 06-11-2007

Re: Advice Wanted Please

OK.... If you put  nemos photography  or  nemosphotography into the google search  then my website will come up as number one suggestion....
Part of the reason is because I have it on the PlusNet site in my sig.... so everytime I make a post... it is "seen" by the SEO and this gives it a "ranking"... now, I don`t think that is ALL there is to it, because I also have submitted it for inclusion with this site
http://searchsight.com/submit.htm
It takes a few weeks before it is "approved" and then the SEO`s get wind of it. and then it just seems to slowly increase the "hits" .... Every so often , they send me an email to see if my "home page" is still the same, and of course they want me to go "pro" and pay for their super duper SEO listing... For the past 3 or 4 years, I have had my listing FREE... and it will remain that way...
hope the linky will help you both...... Wink
geoffp0
Grafter
Posts: 185
Registered: 02-03-2011

Re: Advice Wanted Please

Many thanks shutter have just filledin and sent it off Cheesy
Midnight_Caller
Rising Star
Posts: 4,143
Thanks: 7
Fixes: 1
Registered: 15-04-2007

Re: Advice Wanted Please

@shutter, My main site is number 100, for "Dyslexia" on that Search Engine, not good.  Sad
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Re: Advice Wanted Please

Well, I don't know what I did but I'm 'moving up' the Google ladder!  Huh  Haven't checked for ages but I am now on page 4 and page 3 of UK only search of the term 'Cairn Terrier'.
That's much better than before when I was on about page 14.
Community Veteran
Posts: 16,866
Thanks: 1,141
Fixes: 13
Registered: 06-11-2007

Re: Advice Wanted Please

possibly because you have the linky in your sig....  but.... Have a go with that Search sight link.... too...