Wanchope

  • Posts: 232
Surviving Your Competitor
« on May 4th, 2013, 12:59 AM »
This is very annoying or better put frustrating. Having a competitor who have been there for about 10 years. Membership running to over 1 million, post running to over 12 million. You are new, very few inactive members. Most posts are made by you. In such case, how do you survive? Suggestions are needed.
Thanks.

Arantor

  • As powerful as possible, as complex as necessary.
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Re: Surviving Your Competitor
« Reply #1, on May 4th, 2013, 01:01 AM »
I'd start by wondering why I entered such a niche.

I'd then start looking at what I could offer that the other sites aren't offering, because if I can't offer something unique to my site (that people want to come and see) there is no reason why they would come to my site rather than the well established site.
When we unite against a common enemy that attacks our ethos, it nurtures group solidarity. Trolls are sensational, yes, but we keep everyone honest. | Game Memorial

xrunner

  • Posts: 192
Re: Surviving Your Competitor
« Reply #2, on May 4th, 2013, 01:17 AM »
Quote from wanchope on May 4th, 2013, 12:59 AM
Most posts are made by you. In such case, how do you survive? Suggestions are needed.
Thanks.
It's gonna be hard. Really hard. I don't know what the subject of your forum is, but when I started my forum I was able to "steal" a large amount of members because the other forum we were all hanging out at was crashing a lot, and the admin was an idiot. Luckily I was able to keep a fair amount of members, but even then it's very hard to get new members. I've even tried ads and Facebook and other things. I shut it down for a year but brought it up again with no pie-in-the-sky dreams. I'm fine with that now. It's just a hobby.

The only thing that draws people is content. It might be debating a viewpoint (like my forum) or information that people really need, or entertainment they like to enjoy. Without knowing what your subject is I can't say much more. But I will say you have a tough row to hoe out there. It's a jungle.


Wanchope

  • Posts: 232
Re: Surviving Your Competitor
« Reply #3, on May 4th, 2013, 06:23 AM »
^^Lucky you, your Competitor is stupid enough to allow the crashing of his forum. Mine is not as he is running on dedicated server which he is managing himself.
I created a general purpose forum that will be flexible to be offering all topics. I started from sports angle it was getting some traffic from Google but that is it. My competitor offers it as well and it is very lively down there.
I added technology, there is am immediate impact, few members but fewer post. Some manages to ask questions but will not return to see the answer. Some just appreciate your efforts but thats it. Back in my competitor's house, he is banning as many members as possible, insulting and telling them he doesn't need them and yet they are there asking for forgiveness. Are they blind? Can't they see there is a 'better' option?

xrunner

  • Posts: 192
Re: Surviving Your Competitor
« Reply #4, on May 4th, 2013, 02:22 PM »
Quote from wanchope on May 4th, 2013, 06:23 AM
^^Lucky you, your Competitor is stupid enough to allow the crashing of his forum. Mine is not as he is running on dedicated server which he is managing himself.
Oh he's stupid alright. Not only is (was) the former Admin an idiot (not the guys running it now), the person that owns the domain and forum can't be gotten hold of. He doesn't use the forum at all nor care that it's operating. The forum has been stuck in a release candidate version for years because neither I nor the people who run it now can get him to answer emails. It's like it's stuck in the Twilight Zone forever.
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I created a general purpose forum that will be flexible to be offering all topics. I started from sports angle it was getting some traffic from Google but that is it. My competitor offers it as well and it is very lively down there.
General purpose forum? I just don't think that's going to get you very far wanchope. You really need a focus and content that others don't have, a take on a topic that nobody else is presenting. You mentioned sports and "all topics". I'm sorry to say, in my mind, that isn't going to get you anywhere, unless you just want a hobby to tinker with.
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I added technology, there is am immediate impact, few members but fewer post. Some manages to ask questions but will not return to see the answer. Some just appreciate your efforts but thats it. Back in my competitor's house, he is banning as many members as possible, insulting and telling them he doesn't need them and yet they are there asking for forgiveness. Are they blind? Can't they see there is a 'better' option?
Well that's the community aspect of the forum working. People form bonds with other members on forums. Bad things can happen and they still want to interact with the people they are friends with. In fact taking into account the bonds that forum, banning certain popular members can create even more drama on the forum that people like to watch, sorta like watching a massive car accident - ever notice all the people that stop and watch? You'll have a group that supports the ban, and another that supports the banned member, PMs will start flying ... Notice the tag line for this project - "Community Builder"? Well that's really true for forums.

I haven't been banned from too many forums but I was banned last year from a model train forum. Even though they had an off-topic area they didn't know how to moderate it very well. Since I have very strong forum personality and views :), I would get into politics and religion and before you knew it the longer term members (sort of old fogies) would call the Mod Squad in because they couldn't handle it. Instead of moderating things properly before things blew up, I got the blame for it and finally got the Ban Hammer. But the point is I still miss the interaction with some of the friends I made, that's why I put up with the poor staff there for a long time.

So the point is, you are not only trying to compete on content, you are trying to pull off members that have formed bonds at the other forum(s). It's tough to do. In order to do that your content is going to have to be above and beyond what they have.

Nao

  • Dadman with a boy
  • Posts: 16,063
Re: Surviving Your Competitor
« Reply #5, on May 4th, 2013, 03:05 PM »
I had a very niche forum back in 2003. It was an instant success because I was the authority on that particular niche subject. But managing it was a real chore... After a few years, I voluntarily made it harder for people to post; as a result, about 90% of my users left, leaving me with way more time for my other interests, ah ah... Well, after that I turned my forum into a generalist one (noisen.com), and gathered about 5 to 10 new users in the last 6 years.  The rest are my long-time buddies who're there because they like me and they like what we talk about.

Conclusion:
- don't start a forum just because you want to compete with someone else; it has to be there to FILL a need, OR to help you get to grips with managing a website or market it; it's all about the journey, not the destination.
- don't start a forum if you're not prepared to deal with its success;
- don't start a forum if you're not using Wedge. Obviously.

Wanchope

  • Posts: 232
Re: Surviving Your Competitor
« Reply #6, on May 4th, 2013, 04:47 PM »
Thanks @xrunner
I have an intention of making the forum a digital(virtual) nation, a role playing forum a sort of. A virtual country must have every aspect of real life just like a real country, the only difference here is that my forum will be a virtual one **hope am not confusing anybody**. My intention of creating the community is not to compete but to succeed with it but the fact still remains, our competitors remains a big problem to road to our success (especially if they are far better than us). I started from sports, traffic but no participation, I added technology and there is a bit improvement, maybe I have to forget how successful my 'enemy' is and mind my own business.
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- don't start a forum if you're not prepared to deal with its success
Yes I agree, but how do you deal with it if it seems you are heading to failure?
Quote
- don't start a forum if you're not using Wedge. Obviously.
Yes!!!!!!! :D

Nao

  • Dadman with a boy
  • Posts: 16,063
Re: Surviving Your Competitor
« Reply #7, on May 4th, 2013, 06:30 PM »
If it fails -- live with it, otherwise do something else with your life...
For instance, I spent many months building a website dedicated to prog rock reviews, with samples and all, and opened a forum next to it... Well, I wasn't expecting a smashing success, but I got less than that... Still, I made that website because I felt I had something to say. I stopped updating it years ago, but there are still a few pages of it that attract guests who post to ask for more info about the music. Not much -- but I'm satisfied with it. And, more importantly, I don't feel like it was a waste of time...

xrunner

  • Posts: 192
Re: Surviving Your Competitor
« Reply #8, on May 5th, 2013, 04:11 AM »
Quote from Wanchope on May 4th, 2013, 04:47 PM
Thanks @xrunner
You're welcome. :)
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I started from sports, traffic but no participation, I added technology and there is a bit improvement, maybe I have to forget how successful my 'enemy' is and mind my own business.
Well I've had a few glasses of wine so I'm free-thinking here ...

Use a little politics. :)

Are you a member of the other forum you are competing with? If so, you must have some friends there. Try to build a group that agrees with your ideas. Tell them you are going to start another forum and ask them to help out. If you play your cards right, you can get some good helpers to assist you. Don't go it alone. I'd never have had any success going it alone. I had people who agreed with me and helped me in the beginning. Not with the technical aspect but with the social/political aspect. :cool:

These people will bring along other people you don't know. Work it all from both ends. :)

Wanchope

  • Posts: 232
Re: Surviving Your Competitor
« Reply #9, on May 5th, 2013, 05:44 AM »
I have account in the other forum but not active, just a few posts there, making friends or drawing followers are quite hard as the admin discouraged it from day 1, he calls it –avoiding revolution. Pm is disabled and other communication line between users cut.

xrunner

  • Posts: 192
Re: Surviving Your Competitor
« Reply #10, on May 5th, 2013, 02:40 PM »
Quote from Wanchope on May 5th, 2013, 05:44 AM
I have account in the other forum but not active, just a few posts there, making friends or drawing followers are quite hard as the admin discouraged it from day 1, he calls it –avoiding revolution. Pm is disabled and other communication line between users cut.
Well that guy sounds like a real ass. Can you make a signature with a link to your forum? Surely members don't like those restrictions. You could try advertising your forum like "We have PMs enabled and love revolution here! --> xxxxxxxx"

Oh but I suppose the idiot would remove it.

Wanchope

  • Posts: 232
Re: Surviving Your Competitor
« Reply #11, on May 5th, 2013, 03:02 PM »
^^ Remove it? That's understatement, he will ban me instantly. I will try to start a topic of that but I have seen many of them before. Just thinking I don't have to draw my traffic from his forum.

xrunner

  • Posts: 192
Re: Surviving Your Competitor
« Reply #12, on May 5th, 2013, 06:04 PM »
Quote from Wanchope on May 5th, 2013, 03:02 PM
^^ Remove it? That's understatement, he will ban me instantly. I will try to start a topic of that but I have seen many of them before. Just thinking I don't have to draw my traffic from his forum.
OK, I gotta check out this place. Can you post the link to it?

Wanchope

  • Posts: 232
Re: Surviving Your Competitor
« Reply #13, on May 5th, 2013, 06:10 PM »
Sure, he was using SMF but he recently hired programmers who designed a pyton custom script him, his link
nairaland.com.

Nao

  • Dadman with a boy
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