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What is the main attraction of a forum?



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What is the main attraction of a forum?

In one study of forums, I have read that the main attractionis the theme or the topics on the boards. But secondarly are the the design of
the forum, the members especially when there are good posters, the ranking of
the members and also the reward system. For me, the members is the main attraction. Regular posting ofmembers gives the impression of a dynamic forum particularly if the posts are interesting
and relevant to the theme. A banter on the boards is one indication of the
closeness of members in the community. And I really appreciate if the mod and
admin would join the fun. Whether there is a reward system or none, even if the
design is not that cool, a forum is good in my taste if the members are dynamic
in their activity.

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kgord

I think the main attraction of a forum is to share information. I think people who want to share information with each other participate in a forum to exchange information and to learn about a particular topic. You might also have the opportunity to give each other feedback and get information about the subject at hand.



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JoeMilford

This is one of my favorite reasons as well. I have gained a great deal of knowledge, on a myriad of subjects, while visiting the forums and engaging in conversations and discussions with the individuals who frequent them. It's almost, some days, like attending free classes in something or some specialized subject. This type of interaction and exchange can be invaluable to a person who is eager to learn and open-minded to the ideas and experiences of others.



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MidlifeFitness

Couldn't agree more. This is why when I'm looking for information, I typically will hunt out niche forums to see if I can find a place with a treasure trove of information on the subject I'm interested in. Then it becomes about the community and people. If they're welcoming, I'll typically remain and active member and contribute where I can.



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Krisleen

i agree that the main attraction of a forum is the information shared by dynamic people. When I want to know about something, I always look for facts and testimonies and forums are great sources of testimonies. I believe that facts tell but stories sell. I always balance both. Each time I read forums, I look at the similarities between what people have said and the facts I have researched. Another attraction I see in forums is the ability to communicate to people. You don't feel alone. Others even build friendships there.



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kgord

Yes, you get to know users after a while and listen to their point of view. I think a sense of community is a reason that forums are popular. It is just one of the ways you can participate in, and learn about a variety of subjects.



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Soulwatcher

The main purpose of a forum is to exchange and share thoughts and ideas. Sadly though most people have left forums and just stick to social media because it is instant gratification because responses are usually instant. And that is why forums are failing left and right.



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DarthHazard

I think the main attraction for a lot of people is the actual community. Things like theme and appearance of the forum also tend to play a bit of a part but the community is probably the most important aspect. There is no point in having a big forum or one that looks great if the community is dead and no one is posting around daily. The whole point of a forum is to discuss different things and if there are no active users in the community then there is no point in joining that forum.



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JoeMilford

I completely agree with you here, and I come to the forums to engage in and indulge in conversation about so many topics. Also, I like when I see a forum topic, and I think to myself that it is going to a simple discussion or a predictable one, but then the quality of the people and their imaginations and ideas turn the forum into an entirely surprising and organic experience which I never expected. For me, that is great fun, and I also have the opportunity to learn as well.



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Meg24

I agree with what others have said, it's mostly the community and the interaction with others. The main point of a forum is to bring together a group of individuals that share common interests and wish to discuss them. Of course, the design helps make the experience better. But people will stay in a community they feel comfortable in.



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augusta

I agree to an extent because if the contents on the board are not interesting there can't be any banters.I know without members contents would be a waste but it even the contents that would attracts the members.

So basically I think the content is the most important thing,just create useful,valuable and interesting topics on the board,you might not need to even advertise your forum,members would come on their own because of the value of the forum.



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JoeMilford

I like this question a lot, and I think that, for me, the attraction is being able to learn from others. That is the primary reason why I come to forums and contribute to them. There is such diversity in traversing through forums, and in just the last few months, I have grown as an intellect, a businessman, a writer, and a content contributor because of answering queries like yours. You can meet people in forums, of course, who would not meet in your everyday neighborhood and town, and because of this demographic and diversity, you can really expand your perspectives on so many different ideas, concepts, products, and thought processes.



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Tronia

I think that we will all answer differently because we all find different things as attractive - some will first look at the overall design, some will look at the theme, some will check out the sub forums and more. For me personally, I don't care so much about the design itself as long as I can easily navigate the forum, I care more about the members and what sort of community the forum has. Are the members active? Are there good topics going on? Can I gain anything from discussing there (I mean knowledge, not other benefits)?

Those are the main attraction factors for me. Even if the forum has an incredible design but lacks good members nobody will stay there for long.



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JoeMilford

Good points here, as usual, Tronia. I think a lot of people would not give a forum a chance just based on how they feel about the overall appearance and functionality of the forum in the first place. I've run into this myself recently. I was really interested in the content, but the forum itself, on the page, was o clunky that I had to walk away from it in frustration. Of course, for someone else, it might be just fine, but we all have our preferences, as you are saying here. I see a lot of the same people in many of the forums I frequent, and it feels as if I have "gotten to know" other members in this way over time, and I think that is really cool.



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MendasDigital

The community. I find the quality of information on forums is often poorer than that of personal blogs, or articles, but the advantage is that you are part of a community. You can make friends, get personalized assistance/advice, and learn about things you would never have thought to google.



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DarthHazard

Agreed. I also said that the community is the main attraction of a forum. No matter how nice looking your forum is, if there is no proper community that you can be a part of then people will not bother to join. I have to agree with you that most of the time, the quality of information is not as great when you compare it to blogs. But of course, the advantage is that it is much easier for people to discuss the content and feel like a community on the forum



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itommy

I agree with this opinion, anyways forums are different from blogs
and the main attraction of a forum is how it has useful information for readers there.



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vinaya

When I am joining a forum, the main thing that I consider is the reward system. When I find a forum, I will check whether there is any kind of cash or other rewards. I want a value of my money for the time I spend on the forum. I cannot spend one hour interacting on a forum if I am not getting anything in return. Rewards could be cash or benefits like free promotion and marketing.
The second thing that I consider in a forum is the topic I will stay on the forum that has interesting topics.



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Tronia

Haha, I think that is how many people nowadays view forums. They automatically expect some sort of rewards or perks of being a member.

I remember years ago when forums began being popular, literally no forum had a reward system. Nobody cared about rewards, we all just wanted to be part of a community and we enjoyed posting even if we didn't receive things in return.



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SimplyD

I agree. The interaction that a post gets is an indication that the forum is good or something that the members can relate to. I also believe that a title which is self-explanatory can also be an attraction to a forum.
If the title is something that I can relate to, I would read it. But if I find the content not something relatable to me, I skip it and go to see some other posts.



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overcast

I think the forums need to be lively. And the content being shared on the forum needs to add some value. So the person other than the thread starter needs to like it. So that's something I always look in every forum as well. I have noticed that most of the forums these days have that sort of the problem. And one has to consider the forum development right in order to fix this type of the issues.

You can see that forums are attractive compared to social network only because of the content reason. If the content is taken out and more casual talks happen. Then the forums are pretty much like the social media. That's what I have noticed with the forums as well.



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JoeMilford

Basically, you are saying that there needs to be some energy here from the participants regarding worthwhile topics, and I think that is what would keep me coming back to a forum. The forum, as you mentioned, seems to keep things more disciplined and on topic; otherwise, you can end up in these chats where everything goes haywire and all over the place. I like that forums monitor and focus their users and content. This makes them like mini-classrooms, if you ask me.



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overcast

Yes the human aspect of the forum needs to be maintained to have attraction. I mean if we just want directions and the FAQ stuff. Then we can have that with most of the knowledge base articles. And that's something people can get it lot harder for interacting with. So on that basis, I'd say not a lot of forums are working good. They need good moderators who are acting like human. And they may not always fix that the problem.

I have seen that it takes year to make money from forums. And also retaining the people is a bit harder too. So it takes time for establishing forum from what I have learned.



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JoeMilford

I like that you bring up the human aspect of this. I think that is an important to remember and consider. It's the idea of being "colleagues", in a way, I guess. We are people with like concerns and like minds, and so there should be an organic and human exchange. We are becoming more and more impersonal and anti-social with our handheld devices, so if forums can be another place where the human factor emerges, then that is an extra-added bonus.



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overcast

Yes human aspect is important. That's why moderator and the admin has to have human side. And they should look at the members and content with that outlook. This way they'd have less issues to deal with. I think for many of us we can see that forums literally have those ups and down. Forum has it's set of issues and for this reason many people these days are hiring friendly moderators to communicate with members.



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Pixie06

I think that the quality of the articles is what attracts people to a forum. There are some forums that I visit regularly because of the content. Nowadays I have also started posting quality articles with good titles on my forum. To be honest I found out that ever since I started doing this traffic to my forum has increased. Interaction is also important. I try my best to respond to the comments that I receive on my forum.



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JoeMilford

Pixie06,
Same for me as well. I look at forums as an educational experience; there are things at forums that I want to know about, and I can find individuals who have had tons of invaluable experience to offer to me if they are friendly enough to do so. Not only is community important, but if you are going to spend your time online at a portal, it should be an experience which improves or enriches you in some way, in my opinion. I am glad that traffic is increasing for you at your own forum--that's awesome.



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wiseagent

I would say that the main attraction of a forum is the kind of niche it aims to achieve because that will decide considerably the percentage of potential members who will decide whether or not to participate in it. Of course other factors can also be regarded as major attractions, but I think the most important would really be the niche.



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Authord

Yeah, you're actually not far from the truth, the real attraction is the sophistication of the forum, which can only be achieved by the members, hence the niche factor coming into play. If you look at it, you will discover that it's the niche that depends on the people that can be converted as members.



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wiseagent

That's right.

It's only possible to create a community (which will stay alive and naturally updated) with people who have the same types of interests... If it's too broad, the risk of niche distortion will happen easily until the blog / website dies.



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Baburra

I like learning from forums a lot more than I do in social media because I find that a lot of the time, people in social media would only post information that they think will bring up their rank or make them look good, whereas in most forums, the content alone is what is given importance and not the identity of the person sharing it. This way, I think the information shared remains more pure and useful because there is no ego attached to it. This is really one of the main reasons why even until today I still favor communicating over forums rather than social media when possible.



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Judas2018

I think the big attraction sometimes is the software. People visit to see what software forums are using and how it handles. They might then think about investing in that brand or type of software for their website or blog's forum. Forum design is very important because obnoxious colors or terrible scheme and layout will surely drive people away.

Your forum skin or design doesn't have to be perfect. Someone will always find SOMETHING to knock or complain about. But it should at least look like you worked tirelessly on it. Also can't forget conversation and activity. An inactive forum isn't necessarily a deal breaker, but it can't be quiet as a mouse either for long periods of time. Conversation is important as a matter of quality and decorum. The convos should be informative and fun, and as short on personal insults, attacks and meanness as possible.



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mildredtabitha

I also prefer communicating on forums more than sites like Facebook and Twitter. The niche is always something that attracts me to a forum. Other factors have little or no contribution at all. The second after the niche will be members and how friendly they are.



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Corzhens

I have been learning SEO methods from this forum. When I first came here, I was just observing although I was already posting and making comments but I was avoiding the topics of SEO because it was alien to me. Later on I was sort cornered in one discussion that I had to read the first post about SEO and here I am. My reason for being in this forum is to learn SEO methods that can help me get traffic to my site.



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