After the Seinfeldian Chain was Lifehacked, we received lots of e-mails, comments and suggestions from wonderful people who started chains of their own (thanks, peeps!). This got us thinking: hey, wouldn’t these discussions work really well in a forum?
Well, it’s been a while, but we’re finally getting around to making this idea a reality.
This got us thinking some more: What makes a successful forum?
I’ve been looking around at some top notch forums out there, and they seem to share a few fundamental qualities:
It’s that little flame
that light’s a fire
under your ass.
– Princeton, Avenue Q
All successful forums have a clear purpose. Our purpose is to create a community to discuss all things relating to SmarterFitter.com. Things like…
- User progress on the Seinfeldian Chain
- Responses to the blog
- Use of the Food Diary
- The pros and cons of BMI
- General health and fitness stuff
- Geeky stuff about smarterfitter.com web development
People join a forum because they can’t find the same community discussion elsewhere. It will be challenging to differentiate SmarterFitter’s forum from t he rest of the health and fitness forums out there. So what’s our niche?
We want to help people be fit and happy using their brains rather than diets. And we have a website of tools to help people along the way. My goal is for the forum to be frequented by smart lovely people who are also using other parts of the site. Then again, maybe we’ll make such a great forum that people will want to use it to discuss other things – that’s OK, toO!
It amazes me that there are so many high-traffic yet ugly forums out there. So I guess this isn’t a criteria of a successful forum, but it should be, and we’re gong to push that envelope. We will create a forum that’s easy to use and easy on the eyes (no flashing ads!). We’re going with bbPress for its simple interface and easy integration with WordPress.
We’re also going with bbPress for its wicked Akismet spam protection.
This is where Tim and I come in to post new topics, respond to existing topics, look out for trolls and spammers, and probably spend a lot of time talking to ourselves for a while.
The forum needs to be active enough that people keep coming back for more. We will achieve this by
- Posting a new topic daily
- Posting topics that are worth talking about
- Responding to posts quickly
- Making it interesting
I know it’s going to take a while to get there, but Tim and I are used to being the first people to show up at a party.