Build a vibrant online community
Maintaining the boards
By Mike Slocombe for Internet Magazine, May 2004
Keep your community lean, mean and backed up
1. Prune forums
Unless you're gifted with unlimited server space, you're going to have to have to keep your boards trim, neat and fighting fit by deleting older posts.
Most board software allows administrators to prune posts by forum, user name or date.
Don't get too carried away as you'll upset your regulars if you delete any of their valuable and interesting threads.
2. Backing it up
There's always the likelihood that something might go disastrously wrong with your boards, so always make copies of the more important threads and regularly back up the entire database (if possible).
Encourage regulars to keep copies of their favourite threads, just in case, and consider incorporating board 'highlights' onto your 'proper' site.
3. Electing moderators
If your site takes off, you'll find that looking after it takes up more and more of your time.
Help spread the load by inviting trusted regulars to become moderators.
Most forum software allows for the creation of different levels of administrators, with the ability to restrict their moderating powers.
It's usually best to try out potential new moderators on quieter forums, just in case they turn into raging megalomaniacs
Not everyone will have used bulletin board software before, so include a posting FAQ, along with links to help files, your privacy statement and an admin contact.