I'm friggin' jealous! How did you make it take off like that?! I see that you posted a lot in it, but did you advertise as well? What else did you do?
Also, I should clarify that perhaps for me, that would be a little too much success
as I couldn't keep up with all that activity. Mine has been running since June 2021 in a different form. In its current form, launched just before Christmas, it has currently taken off recently with just a small handful of enthusiastic members and I'm having a great time there. There's no trolling or spamming, just fun posts and conversations with great members. I count that a successs for my hobby forum project.
Finally, are you ok to share a link to your forum as I'd like to have a look around?
I had a bit of a perfect storm. The biggest and most popular forum on the topic was created by a YouTuber who is an expert / influencer. He suddenly and inexplicably shut his whole operation down. To my knowledge there were very few other existing forums dedicated to this specific subject that were active. Most were fairly dormant.
So, when the forum owner shut it all down, there was a scramble to replace it. A scramble to create a "meeting place" for the active members. Some of the forum admins and mods put up forums fairly quickly. They were on free platforms (like phpBB), which are rather rudimentary in their functionality and flexibility. And, they just weren't taking off (for a number of reasons, IMO). One of them was having a modicum of success. We'll call that, "the other forum."
In fact, when the original forum shut down, I immediately thought "I can do this." But, then I found the other forum
and briefly thought I was "off the hook." I even mentioned this after joining the other forum
: "Glad I found this! I thought about building one, but I guess I'm off the hook!"
They said, "You should build one anyway."
OK... hold my beer!
So, you might say I also have a "rival site," now.
I had never built a forum. I've built websites (a long time ago) for my own business - circa FrontPage 2000. I've been a member of many forums going back to before Algore invented the interwebz.
Then, I thought... I can do it. I can do it better. Faster. Stronger. (Let's see who gets that pop culture reference!) But, it will take a bit of an investment in time and $$$. I did a lot of preliminary homework on platform software and hosting. LOTS of hours. Then lots MORE hours in putting it all together. Days and days. But, then it was time to publish and go live, even though it wasn't yet "perfect." Git'er done!
I've done a TON of tweaking since it's been live.
One advantage I had was that there were some members who were not happy with the principals of the other forum. So, they were looking for an alternative. Hold my beer!
I put the word out to a few of them. And they put the word out further. I'm also an active member of multiple forums that are related in subject. So, I put the word out there, and a link in my signature.
Then I went to work on the SEO (search engine optimization). The forum shows up well in Google searches now.
I have waffled on whether to reveal my forum here, honestly. This (xenforo forum) is an international forum, and even within the U.S., it's a controversial subject. I hate to bring it up and end up with a political "furball
." On the other hand, I'm pretty proud of it, and am tempted to share! LOL!