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Steve
02-08-2007, 04:30 PM
Is controversy good or bad for forums? Have you ever found forums to actually drive members away due to too much drama?


Lessons Iíve Learned About Managing an Online Forum (http://www.seorefugee.com/seoblog/2007/02/06/top-ten-lessons-ive-learned-about-managing-an-online-forum/)
9. Controversy is good.

Thereís nothing like a good argument to inspire interest among members and to attract attention (and even links) from people with similar interests.

8. Controversy is bad.

As much as people enjoy a good fight, they hate a bad one even more. If you want to drive people away, let an argument fester. Here are some bad controversies:

1. Any argument unrelated to your site topic. Politics and religion can be particularly nasty (although unavoidable if you run a religious or political forum). An exception might be made for arguments about sports, music or other general interest topics as long as they are segregated in their own category so members can easily choose to avoid them.
2. Personal attacks. Even if a person you like is attacking someone you canít stand, donít allow it.
3. Libel, slander and unsubstantiated accusations.
4. A discussion dominated by one person simply restating his opinion over and over.

At SEOR we started out trying to run things wide open but soon realized the need for rules. By eliminating the noise you allow more of the conversation to be heard.

tiedeman
02-08-2007, 09:11 PM
Yes, I personally feel that forums do drive people away with too much drama. People want to be able to relax and learn, not worry about someone looking over their shoulder ready to critcize them.

Steve
02-08-2007, 10:54 PM
Do you have thoughts and suggestions on how it is best to regulate such situations so as not to turn off members?

tiedeman
02-09-2007, 09:15 AM
The administrators or moderators need to step in and tell them to cool down. If they don't want to cool down, then whoever is causing the problem needs to banned immediately.

It's good to have an argument every now and then, but when it gets personal and out of hand, that is when someone needs to step in

tiedeman
02-09-2007, 09:16 AM
Another thing is that the administrators and moderators need to set their personal feelings aside when running a forum. They can not be mad towards somone that does not like one of their sponsers, political preferences, or sports teams. It can not be an ego driven site.

KimKriel
02-13-2007, 05:20 PM
I have to tell that personally I have been to other forums and this is the ONLY one I have joined because there has not been any bad mouthing that I have found. I would never post on their forum for fear of being told I have stupid ?s.

tiedeman
02-13-2007, 05:57 PM
I agree with you Kim. I admit that I post at other forums because I have other friends there, but yes, they can get out of hand. They can unfortunately constantly call someone "stupid" for just simple questions that they want honest answers about

Steve
02-13-2007, 05:57 PM
Well thank you!

We do try to keep everything educational and make it a learning and growing experience http://www.gophergraphics.com/forum/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/smile.gif

We all learn from each other.

Jim Adams
02-14-2007, 06:40 AM
When I first got online, six or eight years ago, I joined lots of forums (organic gardening, fishing, woodworking) and posted lots of stuff. Even wrote an ebook for one of them. But I got sick of all the strife and contention. Maybe I'm just getting old, but these days I'm content to read what others have to say. I post very little, if at all.

Jim

Steve
02-14-2007, 12:26 PM
Moderating a board by deleting spam is an easy thing to do. Moderating human behavior and cooling arguements seems to be tougher and possibly more of an art form in diplomacy.

When you think back to forums you did like, were they ore diplomatic in the way they moderated or did they all fail at this?

tiedeman
02-14-2007, 01:08 PM
My biggest thing that I feel that what takes boards on their downward direction is the off topic area. Too many times heated debates begin in the off topic area, about politics, religion, or others, that members carry over into other areas.

Yes, I think that off topic areas can be good, as long as they are controlled properly

Steve
02-14-2007, 03:04 PM
It seems when forum members visit a forum, they tend to want to talk about other issues beyond the core forum issues.

How do you feel it is best to handle this?

Should there even be forum areas where you can talk off-topic? Should a forum stick to its core?

tiedeman
02-14-2007, 03:37 PM
somtimes I think off topic areas are good, while other times I think the forum should stick to what it was created for