A weird week

Its been a weird week. I’ve experienced unfairness on a high level on the Entrecard system which I loved so much, and worse ; seeing good fellow bloggers getting tougher unfair treatment. Everyone who knows me knows me as a kind and quiet person. Not utterly silent but you know – I am not the one who is the loud one. But – when it comes to unfairness I go from quiet to something that even I can’t describe – I burst into weird reactions that I don’t know what was, maybe not until a few days later.

I’ve participated in a trial at our local court as an assisting judge, lets just say that the trial were tough to be a part of – out world we live in can be sick. Somehow the trial helped me to put things in perspective and that day I forgot all about the Entrecard incidents.

I’m not going into details because leaders of Entrecard manage to put what they stand for on display by its actions themselves these days. I hope they will eventually get it and correct it.

If I were to start a forum, I would search for tips and documentation on how to run a forum. Not necessary technology wise but how to interact with the users of the system. Without users there is no point running a forum is it?

I am not a forum guru but after a bit research (1 hour) – something every forum admin should do I came up with this starting list.

– First ; do you really want to do this or should you outsource it? Its a lot of work the first few weeks.
– Do you need a forum?
– Treat people with respect from day 1, this will decrease noise.
– Remember that you have members from the whole planet, not only your city.
– Having members from the whole world means you have all types of humans, cultures, understandings, religions. Remember this.
– Help new members, create a welcome-routine with FAQ and links to rules
– Make rules before you install your forum.
– Send rules to buddies and ask them if they would join a forum with such rules
– Don’t leave a question stand unanswered. If impossible answer the post and explain why.
– Make them feel welcome, so welcome that they want to live in your forum.
– If you need to update the rules – do so but inform the users and why it was neccesary.
– Be objective
– Take part in discussions
– Respect users privacy
– Use an antispam system
– Start with as few groups as possible. Let users vote for expanding.
– Start with a few moderators who know and understand the rules you’ve set.
– Write clear rules, no confusion.
– Enjoy your users
– Don’t edit users posts
– Don’t read users PM inbox
– Don’t make fun of your users

Have fun and solve intregues at once, don’t create secret campaigns against the users.

Øyvind Lasse Høysæter

Born in 1971, fell in love with computing in 1983 because of Sinclair's masterpieces. Continued on the magic surrounding the C64, Amiga and moved to the PC world in 1990. Loves science fiction, programming, astronomy, my family and my job. (developer) :)

6 Responses

  1. Beamer says:

    Sound like a pretty good list to me. Every one thinking of starting or possibly needing a forum should read this. It’s too bad there is some great collective on the Net for such good stable thought processes.

    Beamer

  2. glam says:

    OBlog, really excellent post! I think that the tips for starting a forum are really great, and just in case I ever decide to start one, I have bookmarked it! 🙂

  3. jesse says:

    A well balanced list.I am so sad to know that Entrecard has upset some off its members…as a newbie,I was liking it so much…didnt know there was unfairness.. 🙁
    Hope your day is going great, the court trial must have been so unsettling for you

  4. CyberCelt says:

    This is why I lurk and do not even display my online status. I used to enjoy forums and even moderated some, but there must be rules from the beginning and they must be applied fairly.

    Good luck to you!

  5. nicole says:

    I guess I missed something, or maybe not.
    I stay away from forums for the better time of my Life. I used to be in some and usually, sooner or later crap happens….
    Hope that doesn’t spoil the fun of entrecard for you.
    🙂

  6. Mark says:

    A very well written post. Entrecard is growing rapidly but unfortunately the forums have been poorly managed and moderated, I refuse to use them after they shut firestorm down. If they had
    set them up along the lines you have suggested then none of the problems would have occured. Instead they chop and change things as they go along.

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