An Update Regarding TaekwondoForums

Discussion in 'Suggestions & Feedback' started by Kevin, Jun 1, 2012.

  1. Kevin

    Kevin Administrator Staff Member

    Hey all,

    I thought I would give you all an update regarding what I have been doing recently and my plans for TaekwondoForums. :)

    Since launching two months ago, TaekwondoForums has gained over 400 members. I've been really pleased with the the activity here already and the members that have joined. There are a lot of forums where everyone seems to be a wise ass and everyone fights over petty pointless things. So far everyone that has joined up has been great. There's a real community spirit developing with everyone trying to help others out (long may it continue).

    I want TaekwondoForums to be the number 1 Taekwondo community on the web. I see no reason why we can't have over 10,000 members here at the end of the year. I will be working hard to ensure that the forums continue to grow but let's face it, forums are nothing without their members, so I appreciate the contributions that everyone has made so far.

    MMA Forums & Black Belt Forums Launched

    You may have noticed that I have not been as active over the last few weeks. As you may have guessed, I work full time on the web. I sold my main business (website) the other month so that I had the time to work on other projects. Specifically, I am looking to develop martial arts based websites as that is what I am passionate about.

    The two other forums that I have recently launched are:
    • MMA Forums - I'm a huge MMA fan so this was a forum I was always keen on launching. It's a great forum for UFC, Strikeforce, Pride and Dream fans.
    • Black Belt Forums - Only launched yesterday, Black Belt Forums is a general martial arts discussion forum that was created for all martial arts fans (including Taekwondo). It will cover every martial art so it may have a different vibe from here since everyone is coming from a different background. I'm sure it will be a good place to interact with people from other styles.
    Initially, I had set up a script that allowed members of each forum to login to the other (i.e. without signing up). The script doesn't work exactly how I would like though. Currently, it simply copies members from one forum to the other. This isn't ideal or fair to the members i.e. what if I had to email everyone from MMA forums. It wouldn't be fair on people who hadn't signed up there and had no interest in signing up. It only takes a minute to sign up so I don't think this is a major problem anyway.

    Advertising

    Forums can be expensive to run due to the hosting costs (and time consuming too), therefore monetizing the forum is something that I was concious of from the very start. I initially showed ads here however I have had second thoughts on the issue.

    From now on, advertisements will not be shown to members. Ads will be continued to shown to guests. My hope is that the revenue from guests will be more than sufficient. I've spoke to some Taekwondo stores too who would like to advertise here. Rather than blast ads to members, I'd rather create a sponsors page for advertisers.

    I'm also considering adding a sponsor forum room. The discussions wouldn't be shown in the latest posts lists however it would allow advertisers to promote a great deal to members. Those who were interested in the deal could respond but it wouldn't annoy other members of the site.

    Above all, I want to create a good experience here. Members didn't seem to mind ads too much anyway however I'd like to keep the ads away from the main forum if possible. The site is still new and not making any money so time will tell if this setup will work.

    I'd love to hear your thoughts on this. Do you find ads obtrusive? Would you be inclined to post more if there weren't ads or does it not really matter to you?

    Competition

    In order to kickstart the forums, refer new members and get more people posting, I want to launch some great competitions for you all. Due to members being from around the world, I believe that a digital prize is perhaps more practical as the prize can be delivered automatically and we don't have to worry about things not arriving etc.

    I'm unsure as to what we could give away on TaekwondoForums. On MMA Forums I am planning on giving away access to the UFC online members. With Black Belt Forums I am planning on giving away gift certificates from the official Bruce Lee store (winners can then choose their own prize).

    What do you suggest we give away on TaekwondoForums? I'm sure everyone here is a Bruce Lee fan though it would be more appropriate to give out Taekwondo related prizes. I've had a look at some online Taekwondo stores though I couldn't find any that offered gift certificates and provided worldwide delivery.

    Would love to hear suggestions regarding a good competition prize. Do you know of any good Taekwondo stores that are reliable, provide worldwide delivery and offer gift certificates? Or would everyone prefer Amazon vouchers?

    Future of TaekwondoForums

    Pleased be assured that whilst I have launched another two forums, I will be doing my utmost to grow TaekwondoForums and help the community grow.

    As always, if you have any suggestions on how to improve the forum in some way, please start a thread in the suggestions and feedback room and I'll do my best to accommodate you (or explain why I can't).

    Thanks,
    Kevin
     
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  3. Brian

    Brian Member

    Re: ads - doesn't matter to me. I tend to ignore 'em most of the time. Go nuts! ;-)

    Re: prize - Amazon may be best, in that we know they offer gc's and they have martial arts stuff. I would have recommended awma, but they don't seem to offer the gc's.

    Hope that helps!
     
  4. Kevin

    Kevin Administrator Staff Member

    With regards to ads, I think many members would disregard ads. It's easy to get ad blind when you are visiting the same site every day.

    Once the site has been established more I could do a test with limited ads perhaps an ad at the top and bottom of every page. I could run it for a week to see if (a) income was significantly increased and (b) members were bothered about there being more ads. Ads could always be removed for high posters if they were re-introduced.

    If everyone is happy with Amazon, I can start arranging a competition shortly. Top poster competitions don't work as they just promote spammy pointless posts. A best post competition would be good, as would a referral competition for encouraging more members to join etc.

    Any ideas for a competition that everyone can participate in for fun? Perhaps a question and answer competition or something.
     
  5. Kevin

    Kevin Administrator Staff Member

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