- Fundamentals of Communities;
- Starting board from Nothing to Something
Forums and communities are being made everyday, how many you say? That is a rough estimate, but my guess is more then one to say the least. Communities have a wide and open range of possibilities that collaborate your sensitivity and structure to the way as you see fit. But its not all about the community, its about you and your dedication for this community, how you play out your cards, is completely up to you. Think of it as if you were in charge of maintaining a global stand out of your product and/or opinion that you know by heart that people can agree on.
Communities with forums is a open environment where people may express themselves or virtual selves with understanding of their own opinion as well as ideas. Conversations is also the main idea behind open forums, they are the key binding instrument that create the user atmosphere in any forum. Collaboration and planning of any known subject that is posted that goes beyond the parallel with the entire board. One meaning of something else entirely could be something different from the 'Main Subject' of the board. These other topics (as you would call them,) are a user made invention by the community, and not by you. To take action as the creator and/or administrator, you have the right to decide every involvement that your community makes. Though sometimes, you can simply keep it on one straight line instead of spreading it around to different subjects.
But what makes your community unique and different from others? This question has been asked and answered many times over, there isn't really a 'true' question or a 'true' answer to make your board unique. Its you, it always has been. Your questioning your self, but when you find the answer, that is when you make success. Take note here of what I just said. Think of what makes you different from anyone else. What will you do in order to stay way different from anyone?
Repeated websites get created all the time, when the webmaster finds out about other people crushing them down, the pressure of "giving up" will be a critical state on your end. Because not only are you destroying what you might think is good for yourself and your future community, but your minimizing the chances of everybody else from creating the next big thing. Giving up is not the way to go, if you have a dream or great idea, follow it. Is it wrong to go against other boards that might have little to similar set up as you do? Absolutely not! Making content out of your own words is something of personal talent that many people out there that they wish they had.
Always follow your heart, not your head.
Creating those First Categories and Forums
Ah yes, this is where the adventure truly begins. Your community is installed and fresher then ever (with that nice "new software smell" mmmhmmm... especially with IPB with that Mint Flavored smell...yummy), your administration panel is ready to go, yet you feel stomped and you don't know where to go from here. In fact, you have a HUGE dream to pursue to get that "ultimate big boards award." But again, your categories are showing with one default category, and with one forum inside of it waiting to be posted in. What should I do with it? Delete it? Rename it? Or leave it as it is?
A lot of people take the first step of opening their ACP and renaming it, which is actually really recommended. But whats my say in all of this? Its your board right? Whatever you decide, the main idea is to create your board and make it as stylish and unique looking as possible. Right now you could have three tabs open on your browser, your board, your ACP, and another tab showing another board with tons of active users with a great looking board that has perfect categories and forums that are set up. Am I right? I could be... but I am on the right track unfortunately, because you see, almost everybody starts going around and researching on what they did to start out their board and how they made a success out of it.
Step 1: Forget about them! Its about you, remember?
The first step is to investigate your boards, look at all of the pages, make sure everything works properly. Set up your General Configurations, and look at your user groups and see what you want for your member base. This has to come way before making your boards. Set up your modifications and plugins before creating boards as well so it wont affect or change anything major in the future. Then after all of that, believe it or not, make a back-up of your personalized settings.
Step 2: Organizing your dream into categories and forums.
Tough question, whats your site really about? And are people really going to be reading your latest site updates and announcements all the time? Focus, seriously, focus on what people really want to see first. Its either two options at this point, the subject at hand, or your personal updated rants about the site evolving. Some administrators put content before anything else, they usually put the board announcements in the middle of the Index, and put all of the main criteria on top, and usually its a good trick. But again you really need to be careful at this point, because if you think both are really important, make sure its really noticeable. Naming your categories and forums correctly and in order is also a crucial part of making your site a first look--first hit off site. The descriptions is all on you from that point on.
Creating the First Few Topics
As we set sail to success -- a storm washes through and your once again stomped. Those topics is either the death riders to kill your board in a instant, or those topics you posted could very well be your gate to the most successful forum ever. But remember not to get ahead of your self, too many topics leave you talking to your self like a maniac.SO plan your topics accordingly.
Do you really need to have over 100 rules to begin with? Not exactly. Unless your forum is under constant attack by trolls, the 100 board rules isn't necessary, a good start is having no rules, I know how this may sound a little vague, but its true. A good first topic is welcoming people to the community and what you have to entertain them with. The wording must almost be perfect enough to subliminally show two or three simple rules like respect others etc.
On the content side of things; you could start off with a statement rather then a question or opinion. For example:
Video Gaming Industry has been a really big part of my life, and I'd really love to show people out there about my experiences. I'd like to show the world on how the gaming industry is changing and evolving each day. Someday I wish myself to be a game programmer or designer, something along the lines of that subject would be really nice. If anyone would like to collaborate their dreams with me, I'd be most honored to help you.
Simple, short and sweet, as well as eye opening. In that statement, it shares a person who is inviting people to that subject (gaming in this matter,) and that they are willing to listen and responding with reason. That's how it really starts. Eye Candy is the main idea of your content if you want to get anywhere. This will be your standing Readers Digest for the first few weeks or months as your members grow. You'll notice the newest users signing up saw that and is now posting their dreams, opinions, and ideas of that subject.
From here on out, the decisions you make is vital for your community stability. its your heart at desire, so make good use of it. Its better knowing that your community is well under wraps of a great administrator like your self. So be your self, and be ready for challenges at all times. I wish you the best of luck, Admin, and hope everything goes as your Dream Intended.
I'd like to first acknowledge my spelling and grammar mistakes within the topic. There are probably many on here that is spotted easily. So I apologize up front if anyone has mistakenly misread or misinterpreted a word or sentence.
If for some reason that some of this content in the topic is copying other peoples tutorial by any slight similarities, then I acknowledge that it was not intended and was completely accidental.
I hope you enjoyed reading this tutorial as I did writing it. This is only the first edition of the tutorial and expect more updated version later words. Big thanks to the IPS Staff and its user base for your support. If you have any questions, feedback, suggestions, or concerns about this edition or later editions, please do not hesitate to send me a PM.
This tutorial was written in 4 hours.
Created by: Larry D. Thompson
User: The Guy / From IPS Community
I do not grant permission for anyone to copy and paste this tutorial on the web without my word of saying so. Please respect me by asking permission before coping and pasting. YOU MUST GIVE FULL CREDIT TO ME AND IPS IF YOU ARE TO SHARE THIS TO ANYONE OUTSIDE OF THIS LINK/COMMUNITY. Thanks!