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What to do when you realize your idea isn't working?

Discussion in 'Forum Management' started by Rambro, Aug 28, 2013.

  1. Rambro

    Rambro Well-Known Member

    I've come to an impasse with my forum. I think I could strike out and chip away at the base of the major players in this niche, but the domain name I've chosen is not working and I need to start anew. I'm VERY happy with the Xenforo software and everyone who's seen it has complimented me on it. Sadly though, almost all of the support that I had counted on has evaporated and I'm pretty much flying blind into the storm and piloting the helicopter all by myself. Its been 4 months now and I've lost all of my momentum, taken some hits on twitter, and been cast out by the former community that I sought to break away from. Enrollment has come to a complete standstill, and so too has member participation. Someone even told me that it was "boring". So at this stage, I have two choices: Figure out a new domain and just rebrand my forum, or give up. I'm not a quitter by nature and I want to keep fighting, I just really have no idea where to go from here. Thought I would give you guys a try. Any suggestions?
  2. The Forum Heroes

    The Forum Heroes Well-Known Member

    I would rebrand before throwing in the towel, you seem to feel re-branding would allow you to dominate your niche, so I say go for it.
  3. Sheldon

    Sheldon Well-Known Member

    That sums it up.

    I always do whatever interests me first. Outside opinion is about a 2% deciding factor on what I want to do.

    I don't care about if anyone joins, ever joins, bashes my site, hates my work, etc. I personally like it. I have had more fun with Family Guy Fans and that theme UI.X than anything else I have done recently. I don't hardly have any members. I certainly don't have any active members. Most join just to look at something. In the end though, I have fun with it. If it is something you enjoy, keep at it. Eventually they will come. If it is labor some and you get no enjoyment, step out of it. Do something else. I get bored quickly, give me one to two months with a site, that is usually my length of time... after that, the fun of creating for me is gone.

    tl/dr version ---> If you enjoy it, keep at it. If you don't, close up shop, move on.
    D.O.A., Dan, 0xym0r0n and 1 other person like this.
  4. DRE

    DRE Well-Known Member

    Hey this has happened to me too. I've been through periods where there was only me online. But because I don't give up (some be like: wtf this is still here? *shrugs, posts*) eventually it will all work out. I will keep trying regardless. You gotta be persistent. It may seem like it's annoying people at first but whatever keep trying. Think about show business for example. It takes some actors and musicians years before they finally get to shine, you gotta put in work man.
    0xym0r0n likes this.
  5. 0xym0r0n

    0xym0r0n Well-Known Member

    I enjoy what I do and the only time I've considered shutting down shop is when money is an issue :p There was this other time when I was having some hardcore real life issues that prevented me from being active, but that passed after a few months and I was back to normal!

    If money is not an issue then I'm more than happy to continue my hobby sites.

    If I were to shutdown my sites I'd offer it to a staff member first, then a member, and if that fails I'd offer it to a competitor for a merger. I don't want my hard work to disappear that easily ;)
    D.O.A., The Forum Heroes and DRE like this.
  6. 0xym0r0n

    0xym0r0n Well-Known Member

  7. Rambro

    Rambro Well-Known Member

    How could you go wrong with advice from Galaxy Quest?
    Adam Howard and 0xym0r0n like this.
  8. EQnoble

    EQnoble Well-Known Member

    What to do when you realize your idea isn't working?

    Two choices:

    1. Wet the puzzle pieces and jam them into place (or stuff the round peg in the square hole, whatever you fancy saying)...aka. modify your idea. Start by addressing the problems at hand and come up with a solution that makes the problems null or minimized.

    2. Go back to what you were doing before you had an idea.

    Either way...make a choice and go with it. Life only get's shorter.
    Shelley likes this.
  9. Rambro

    Rambro Well-Known Member

    Ah, if it were only that easy. If I could just come up with a magic name.
    0xym0r0n likes this.
  10. Tracy Perry

    Tracy Perry Well-Known Member

    Pretty much my outlook. I have 3 active forums now (will probably add a fourth soon). Very few users - but I do this as a hobby for me. If I get users - great. If not - that's fine also. :D
  11. BoostN

    BoostN Active Member

    Are you buying software each time or starting off with something free and converting later if it becomes successful?
  12. Tracy Perry

    Tracy Perry Well-Known Member

    Purchasing a license each time. I'm retired and it's a hobby. I spent more a month on cigars than I do this and my wife doesn't gripe about the "smell". ;)
    I figure after a year or so if it doesn't take off then I'll try something else.
  13. Honestly, from what you're describing, it's a number of things. Most people don't simply get up and leave due to a domain name or your branding, sure it's a contributing factor to a number of things and can get you members but I'd take a look at anything else you can.
    If you really need to, try sending out some emails to the most active members of the site that have left and ask them what's wrong. If it's boring chances are there's a lack of discussion, nothing new coming around, better competition, no news or it's all simply general discussion posts.
    Have you tried digging up new content and news related to your niche, possibly introducing some contests, random prizes, new features or getting other friends that are known in the field to post with you?
    If you're concerned about your branding and domain name, switch, it's that simple but I'd really try other things first, see if you can do some free content (wallpapers, banners, gifs, cheat sheets, designs, info graphics) for members or simply give them away to websites and guest posting on other forums and blogs related to your niche!

    I'd take a look at your keywords as well, see if there's an opening in your niche to hit it in google, if not go for the tail and snap up those loose ends!
    Hope I helped you or gave you some thoughts on the matter!

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