Poaching members

Alvin63

Member
So I originally set up my forum because I had been on a forum that had died a death. There were a few old hardened members like myself left - no admin on the forum, it was full of spam and software broken (no new sign ups for about 18 months). I was a moderator on there with a couple of others. We managed to track down the owner and ask if he wanted to hand it over as it wasn't really working without any admin. At first he said he was happy to offload it. Didn't have time. But then changed his mind and wanted to sell it (for rather a lot of money).

So in the end I decided to set up my own (my xenforo forum). Which started off very slowly and has slowly but gradually been building up with its own new members, along with a few I had known on the old forum who I discreetly emailed and told them about the new one.

My forum has been going for about six months. The old forum is just sitting there filling up with spam! I quite liked the domain name and thought I'd try again to see again if the owner of the old forum wanted to offload it (or just sell the domain for a reasonable price) with thoughts of merging them. As by then one of the old mods had managed to fix new sign ups (although most of them were still spam). But the owner had already sold it on to someone some time ago. Apparently it was making quite an income annually, just sitting there, despite being like a graveyard with very old software.

So at the point I thought - what the heck - and I emailed the remaining moderator on there discreetly (again - he had decided to try and improve the old one initially, hoping the new owner would knock it into shape) and said - a lot of us have moved elsewhere - come and join. Which he did. Suddenly I was getting loads of sign ups every day. He said - ah that's because I put a sticky on every thread on the old forum telling everyone to come here.

So my point is - should I be concerned?!! That I am basically getting loads of traffic and new members to my forum, via members signing up to another forum and seeing the messages to come to my forum! I haven't done it myself so presumably am not liable and if he hadn't told me I wouldn't have known. I'm not particularly concerned that the spam people will sign up on my forum because they seem to just post rather than read stickies - and the spam filter on xenforo has weeded out the odd one that tried.

The old forum is so dead that nobody has even taken the stickies down or even seems to be involved with it. But just wondering if that kind of poaching is in any way illegal - or just bad form. It's more than poaching actually as it's basically using the old forum as a redirect.

It was one thing to tell existing members (who were as frustrated as me) about the new forum - but another thing to poach sign ups to the old forum.

The old forum - being old and well placed in google - picks up traffic very easily. But people signing up find they post and nobody answers! Because the only members there are new members in the same boat - plus masses of spam posts. So it's kind of doing them a favour - but ...
 
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Alvin63

Member
Just buying the domain name though doesn’t give you the right or access to the database though, so that would be another expense
Just wondering if I need the database - if the forum is basically dead with no-one posting, and the software is years out of date. I guess then it would be a case of owning the domain name and shutting down the forum. So it would either be removing the competition - or merging it with my forum to keep the old name. Except (trying to work this out) I think it must be all the articles and links in the old forum that keep it so high up in google and earning from clicks.

Sounds a bit too messy. Which is maybe why no-one has done anything with it. It's the SEO that would have been useful - but not if it's SEO to out of date information. Probably best just to work on better SEO myself.
 

Mr Lucky

Well-known member
Except (trying to work this out) I think it must be all the articles and links in the old forum that keep it so high up in google and earning from clicks.
I would say the old indexed content would have a lot of SEO value. Not just clicks but backlinks.

Probably best just to work on better SEO myself.

It could be very tough to do that from scratch if you lose all the old content. You'd also probably have dead external backlinks.
 
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Alvin63

Member
So back to my moderator issue. The other mod and I put together mod rules in a group conversation to see if everyone agreed. No response. I also took the advice to just be upfront and send him a message - not unfriendly but straight to the point and said I think as mods, we need to be approachable and not be too harsh with members or argue with them, but suggest things or ignore them if we don't like what they're saying. And said his presence on the forum is valuable and appreciated the members he's brought.

It went quite for a couple of days and thought he'd just decided to quit basically. And thought - probably for the best. But then had a message today just completely disagreeing with me and has now posted further negative things on the two posts I had referred to with an "attitude".

So unfortunately it looks like I may have to ban him. It's like talking to a brick wall. Can't keep deleting his posts! It has stopped other people posting on those threads.
 

Alpha1

Well-known member
Can't keep deleting his posts! It has stopped other people posting on those threads.
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Just wondering if I need the database - if the forum is basically dead with no-one posting, and the software is years out of date. I guess then it would be a case of owning the domain name and shutting down the forum. So it would either be removing the competition - or merging it with my forum to keep the old name. Except (trying to work this out) I think it must be all the articles and links in the old forum that keep it so high up in google and earning from clicks.

Sounds a bit too messy. Which is maybe why no-one has done anything with it. It's the SEO that would have been useful - but not if it's SEO to out of date information. Probably best just to work on better SEO myself.

Buying the domain name will get you just that, the domain name... nothing else, no content, no forum, nada.

Also check how long the domain name has to run, if it is about to expire wait out, and then when the grace period has passed, buy it through normal channels.

As for your troublesome mod, well I think you already know the answer - Based on what you have said I feel your only option is to ban them.
 

Alvin63

Member
Buying the domain name will get you just that, the domain name... nothing else, no content, no forum, nada.

Also check how long the domain name has to run, if it is about to expire wait out, and then when the grace period has passed, buy it through normal channels.

As for your troublesome mod, well I think you already know the answer - Based on what you have said I feel your only option is to ban them.
Thanks yes. So if it just buys me the domain name - what happens to the site? If it has no domain name? :)
 

Alpha1

Well-known member
Thanks yes. So if it just buys me the domain name - what happens to the site? If it has no domain name? :)
If you get the domain then you can still approach the site owner to purchase the database and files. IF the owner still has those AND you have the contact details.
Do mind that if the domain expires it is likely to be sold on aftermarket and domain sharks try to buy any domain of worth within seconds after it becomes available. Then they in turn offer it for sale for 10 times the price.
 
Thanks yes. So if it just buys me the domain name - what happens to the site? If it has no domain name? :)

Well if you have control of the domain name then you can point the DNS to your own hosting account and set up a re-direct so that if anyone goes to the old domain it will automatically redirect them to yours.

Once you have control of the domain name the old website content would then become inaccessible using that domain name
 

Alvin63

Member
Well if you have control of the domain name then you can point the DNS to your own hosting account and set up a re-direct so that if anyone goes to the old domain it will automatically redirect them to yours.

Once you have control of the domain name the old website content would then become inaccessible using that domain name
Thank you. That would be the best option I could hope for really. No doubt it would cost more for the database as well - I'm not sure I need the site and database anyway - everything is well out of date and site pretty dead - although the backlinks would be good. Using a broker to negotiate over whether the owner wants to sell the domain name but I'm not holding out much hope - they will probably want far too much money.
 

ak38

Active member
Why have moderators at all? I manage large forums without a single moderator. For every great mod there will be 6 who do more harm than good. Sack the lot and moderate it yourself.
Same here, we have no mods at all either. All members are equal and can use the report function if needed.
 

Brentnauer

Well-known member
Why have moderators at all? I manage large forums without a single moderator. For every great mod there will be 6 who do more harm than good. Sack the lot and moderate it yourself.
I've found this to be the best approach for our community. Had mods for a long time, all great people, but it's hard to get everyone on the same page. Solo can't work for all sites, but I like the way this was phrased.
 

aussiefooty

Well-known member
I'm in a similar boat.
The reason why i went with xenforo software was because a forum i used to post on didn't want me on there.
Now i'm getting not many members.
Would be great if we were allowed to sign up to each other's forums and actually be done with all of this but it seams not to be the case anymore.
You do get rudely told to move on even if you were only new to their forum and they decided that you're no good.
 
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