Help! Need advice on running a forum!

by jswift
7 replies
I run a small stock trading forum. The idea is for members to discuss tips and opinions. However, in recent times I find that forum members are constantly bickering among themselves. I noticed that 'groups' start to form and they gang up to criticize each other's stock picks, and not necessarily in a constructive manner.

Can you share your experience please on how I should handle this? As the forum admin my stand has always been to remain neutral. But if this persists I feel that most of the good members will start leaving due to too many low-quality posts flooding the forum.

Please help. All ideas are welcome.
#advice #forum #running
  • Profile picture of the author JuryDuty
    I run an active forum and I think the thing you need to do first is set a clear policy of what you allow on the forum and what your role is.

    I've had contention arise and my response is this: If someone is responding in an active discussion, doing so in a civilized manner, I'm going to allow the free speech, even if I disagree with it. But if anything resorts to personal attacks, name-calling or belittling, that member receives ONE warning and then is banned. Furthermore, any threads that start going that direction, I just lock, explaining why in the final post.

    Some people will hate that, but most will appreciate it. No one wants to read trash on a forum. It won't always make you popular, but if clear guidelines are set, those who don't want to follow them will go elsewhere.

    Besides, this is supposed to be fun for you. Don't allow people you don't even know to make it stressful.
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  • Profile picture of the author VoodooMethods
    Start giving out temp bans for acts of immaturity. State in bold that your forum is a trading site and most people who do this type of thing are MATURE individuals. Set an example or 2 (or three) with some week long temp bans.

    Hire a few more moderators, make a point for everyone to read the rules.

    It should cut down on it but stopping it completely is unfortunately impossible as people tend to think they're tougher behind a screen.
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  • Profile picture of the author Danny Cutts
    I run a pretty big forum in the construction industry and as you can imagine you get a lot of neandathol blokes telling each other they got a bigger trowel ect ect!

    It started to get desperate and I a had a few members leave because of eh abuse they were getting so I sent a few pm's warning people and it didnt stop so I the banned a few members then it stopped.

    Just recently I had legal action taken against me with regards to a post that went out and as soon as I got on teh case I have had a zero tollerance and explained to people why I had to do it and when I suggested I shut the forum down every one has behaved.

    I have laid down the ground rules and tehre about 12 unknown moderators who dleet a lot of the crap that goes on. In teh general discussions on plastering it stays on topic or gets deleted!

    Nobody with less than 50 posts can post in teh talk about anything forum this means that I dont get spies on teh forum they have to post 50 plastering related posts before they see that forum then I have a private members section where anything goes this is where you have to have 750 posts and is locked this is where all teh banter goes on and is really a funny place to be. However I have told people that banter is two way and bullying is one way and they all seem to be happy with that!

    So my advice is break it up before it starts and a forum that stays on topic is generally more appealing to advertisers and so its a win win situation! You also dont need to trawl through the crap to find good valuable posts either.

    Sorry bit of a long post but I hoped it helped in some way!

    Good luck

    Danny
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  • Profile picture of the author HomeComputerGames
    When you have lemons make lemonade.....right?
    If they want to act like children then treat them as such.
    Turn the fuss into a game or some sort of competition.
    Make teams and create a contest. Give the winners a digital trophy and then do it again.
    There is nothing wrong with a little competition and people could learn from it if structured correctly. It may also draw more attention to your forum.....

    Good luck

    my 2 cents
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    • Profile picture of the author Danny Cutts
      Originally Posted by HomeComputerGames View Post

      When you have lemons make lemonade.....right?
      If they want to act like children then treat them as such.
      Turn the fuss into a game or some sort of competition.
      Make teams and create a contest. Give the winners a digital trophy and then do it again.
      There is nothing wrong with a little competition and people could learn from it if structured correctly. It may also draw more attention to your forum.....

      Good luck

      my 2 cents
      Now that is a good idea!! I dont know much aboiut trading but you could have teams as said above the winner gets a digital medal... that pretty cool!!

      My members got an arse on when I changed the post related ranking they like them gold stars!!

      Or you could ban them for a week then when they return they get a dunses hat...lol

      I might be acting childish now

      Danny
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  • Profile picture of the author zankee
    make it a game, let them associate and bicker with each other , the best picks and winners get recognition, Everyone loves talking about themselves!
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  • Profile picture of the author HomeComputerGames
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    yes, I am....

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