• The Entrepreneur Forum | Startups | Entrepreneurship | Starting a Business | Motivation | Success
  1. Join 40,000+ entrepreneurs
    who are kicking butt and
    winning their dream life.

    Unscripted™ Entrepreneurship:
    A Business That Pays More Than Money, It Pays Time.

    "Fastlane" is an entrepreneur discussion forum based on The Unscripted Entrepreneurial Framework (TUNEF) outlined in the two best-selling books by MJ DeMarco (The Millionaire Fastlane and UNSCRIPTED™). From multimillionaires to digital nomads, the forum features real entrepreneurs creating real businesses.

    Download (Unscripted) Download (Millionaire Fastlane)  Register
    Registering for the forum removes this block!

FORUM SEARCH

Get answers about starting a business from real entrepreneurs. Powered by Google.

Drive-By why is it so hard to build local disucassion forum/message board?

Discussion in 'Ideas, Needs, Concept Feedback' started by MichaelCash, Feb 12, 2018.

  1. MichaelCash
    Offline

    MichaelCash New Contributor

    Messages:
    34
    Likes Received:
    9
    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2013
    Rep Bank:
    $71
    Just wanted to see if someone else faced a similar issue and what could be the reason
    I was trying to build a local discussion forum for a quite large city where people can discuss local things. It was a forum for tech people, which includes job talks, tech business, looking for a business partner, startups, etc, etc. What I found is that it is extremely difficult to do this. It looks like local tech folks are interested in communications in real life, e.g. at meetups, conferences, etc. but nobody wants to do this online. I am wondering why? Would it be great to have a discussion forum where local tech folks can talk? I think, not everyone has energy and willingness to go to meetups, some people may want to chat online with other local people. So why it doesn't work in practice? I know only one active local discussion group in a kinda difference domain, which is nextblock social network which is getting momentum now. But there are no technology discussion forums for New York or LA or SF Bay area. Any ideas why?

    Thanks,
    M
     
  2. MJ DeMarco
    Offline

    MJ DeMarco Raving Lunatic Staff Member Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass LEGENDARY CONTRIBUTOR Summit Attendee

    Messages:
    25,528
    Likes Received:
    74,370
    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2007
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ
    Rep Bank:
    $301,199
    Admin Post
    Doesn't NextDoor.com do this?
     
    AgainstAllOdds likes this.
  3. SinisterLex
    Offline

    SinisterLex The moments that define you have already happened. Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass LEGENDARY CONTRIBUTOR

    Messages:
    2,057
    Likes Received:
    13,203
    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2013
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    The cave.
    Rep Bank:
    $29,802

    Don't mean to sound mean, but your spelling and grammar sucks and if it was like that on your forum, there's 0 chance I'd join. It's hard because nobody had a reason to care. You have to give them reasons to care. When you do that, they'll come to you. Then they'll tell their friends. Then you'll have a community.

    Here's some questions that come to mind:

    1) What did you actually try to get this going?
    2) How long did you keep at it and when did you quit?
    3) How did you add value for other people (value they would care about)
    4) How did you try to get the word out about your discussion?
    5) How many people total did you talk to about this?
     
    ZF Lee and AgainstAllOdds like this.
  4. Azure
    Offline

    Azure Perpetual Motion Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED Speedway Pass

    Messages:
    341
    Likes Received:
    591
    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2016
    Gender:
    Male
    Rep Bank:
    $3,216
    What makes you think your local community wants/needs this venue?

    Also, there are tons of discussion mediums for local discussion. What do you do that a FB group or subreddit cannot?

    I for one, love local discussion forums. Particularly ones that are specific/niche.
     
  5. Xavier X
    Offline

    Xavier X Bronze Contributor Speedway Pass

    Messages:
    141
    Likes Received:
    337
    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2016
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    USA
    Rep Bank:
    $2,528
    I think the primary question he is trying to communicate and discuss is - "why aren't there any active tech forums for specific localities?"

    Not necessarily "Y u no join my local tech forum?" That's just premise for the above question.
     
    MichaelCash likes this.
  6. SinisterLex
    Offline

    SinisterLex The moments that define you have already happened. Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass LEGENDARY CONTRIBUTOR

    Messages:
    2,057
    Likes Received:
    13,203
    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2013
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    The cave.
    Rep Bank:
    $29,802
    So why did he say this...?

     
    cmor16 likes this.
  7. MiguelHammond10
    Offline

    MiguelHammond10 Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED

    Messages:
    92
    Likes Received:
    63
    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2017
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Seattle
    Rep Bank:
    $323
    we have a lot of platforms who do this and is working fine like fb group chat,dextdoor etc.. there is something you not doing right that is why your is not working.
     
  8. robodale
    Offline

    robodale Contributor I've Read UNSCRIPTED

    Messages:
    15
    Likes Received:
    41
    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2017
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Sioux Falls, SD
    Rep Bank:
    $234
    There's your problem. You created a solution (forum), then went looking for the problem (big city tech people). You had your process reversed. You could have validated that with a simple landing page to a signup, then FB or Google ads to test the waters. You could have that idea validated/invalidated within a week.
     
  9. Xavier X
    Offline

    Xavier X Bronze Contributor Speedway Pass

    Messages:
    141
    Likes Received:
    337
    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2016
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    USA
    Rep Bank:
    $2,528
    I am not speaking for the OP, just my understanding of his post.

    As I said, sharing his own attempt and failure is the premise/background for his bigger question.

    This doesn't negate any of what you've pointed out, but stacks the two things as primary and secondary.
     
    SinisterLex likes this.
  10. MichaelCash
    Offline

    MichaelCash New Contributor

    Messages:
    34
    Likes Received:
    9
    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2013
    Rep Bank:
    $71
    SinisterLex, thanks, for your answer. But I guess I wasn't asking to check my grammar. It doesn't make sense to give abstract answers like this, if you don't have anything to add, then you better use your energy in a different way instead of stating obvious things, unless you want to pump your rating here. Please don't answer questions if you don't have expertise or experience in the subject.
     
  11. SinisterLex
    Offline

    SinisterLex The moments that define you have already happened. Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass LEGENDARY CONTRIBUTOR

    Messages:
    2,057
    Likes Received:
    13,203
    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2013
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    The cave.
    Rep Bank:
    $29,802
    It's not an abstract answer. I gave you a clear, direct reason why people might not join your shitty discussion forum that adds no value. Sorry if I hurt your wittle feewings because I didn't sugarcoat my response for padded ratings.

    If you want to respond to the questions I asked to help you get clear about why you failed, so we can start to figure out how to solve the problem, go for it. Otherwise let me know so I can block you for being another zero scrub who doesn't actually want to do anything but complain about how the world "should" be...

    By the way, I've done what you're trying to do on both a local and international level. So at the very least, I have experience. That's why I have a group with new people joining daily, and you don't.
     
  12. MichaelCash
    Offline

    MichaelCash New Contributor

    Messages:
    34
    Likes Received:
    9
    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2013
    Rep Bank:
    $71
    This is exactly what I did. I created a simple inexpensive forum using a cheap hosting and tried , asked my friends to create a few forums and started promoting it. The whole idea was to test the water and see if there is a demand. The reason why I came up with this idea because I would use it myself. Also, I validated it with a few community leaders who said that it would be nice to have a resource like this. Now, after my idea/prototyoe measurably failed, I am trying to analyze the reasons.
     
  13. MJ DeMarco
    Offline

    MJ DeMarco Raving Lunatic Staff Member Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass LEGENDARY CONTRIBUTOR Summit Attendee

    Messages:
    25,528
    Likes Received:
    74,370
    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2007
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ
    Rep Bank:
    $301,199
    Admin Post
    Apparently you didn't validate it, if you did, your "community leaders" would be using it.

    Once you get a core group of users who contribute, then it becomes easier to attract new users.

    Did you work to get a core group? Did you comment on every thread? Start discussions yourself?
     
    Kid, robodale, ZF Lee and 3 others like this.
  14. MichaelCash
    Offline

    MichaelCash New Contributor

    Messages:
    34
    Likes Received:
    9
    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2013
    Rep Bank:
    $71
    Just to add to this, not everyone here is an english native speaker, and it might be not very nice to point out like this to my mistakes in this way and saying "shitty discussion forum". My question does have some value and it is not just complaining - you can see some other replies here including MJ, which by the way have much more sense compared to yours. Anyway, I am not going to waist my time on arguing with you here.
     
  15. MichaelCash
    Offline

    MichaelCash New Contributor

    Messages:
    34
    Likes Received:
    9
    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2013
    Rep Bank:
    $71
    MJ, Thank you for your answer. I was struggling to build a core group of users. Yes, there was a few friends of mine that I asked to submit a bunch of posts to create some initial content. There was some activity on the forum. But it was like 1 post per week or so. So it was taking to much effort to attract every new user. The community leaders said that it would be nice to have a resource like this but I didn't have enough weight to ask them help me promote this forum offline.
     
  16. MichaelCash
    Offline

    MichaelCash New Contributor

    Messages:
    34
    Likes Received:
    9
    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2013
    Rep Bank:
    $71
    Yes, you got the point. I tried to analyze my failure and I was trying to see if similar forums exist. What I found is that there are no local tech discussion groups. LinkedIn groups are not good example either because people mostly share articles there. So I was thinking why local tech folks don't want to chat online while there are a lot of offline communities, e.g. meetups?
     
    Xavier X likes this.
  17. Andy Black
    Online

    Andy Black Any colour, as long as it's red. Staff Member Read Millionaire Fastlane FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass LEGENDARY CONTRIBUTOR

    Messages:
    6,107
    Likes Received:
    25,785
    Joined:
    May 20, 2014
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Ireland
    Rep Bank:
    $147,429
    Curious why you’re trying to do this.


    # Are you niching down too much?

    Me personally, if I was trying to create a discussion forum then I’d go narrow by location and broad by subject, or broad by location and narrow by subject.

    Oracle Database Administrators, worldwide.

    or

    Business owners, Dublin.


    # What’s in it for them?

    Why would I do the above? Because I think it would help the members of these groups more to:
    • Network with lots of people doing the same thing worldwide.
    • Network with lots of people doing different things in the same city.


    # Numbers:

    Volume wise, you’ll probably find the top 4% of members produce 64% of the content. Maybe it’s even more skewed (all I did was square the 80/20 rule).

    So you’re going to need a lot of members for it to be busy.

    And seed with a few prolific posters.

    What’s in it for the prolific posters? Do you reward them somehow for producing more?
     
    MichaelCash and ZF Lee like this.
  18. Xavier X
    Offline

    Xavier X Bronze Contributor Speedway Pass

    Messages:
    141
    Likes Received:
    337
    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2016
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    USA
    Rep Bank:
    $2,528
    Regardless of subject matter or geo-targeting, getting a forum to the point of active organic discussions/contributions is no easy feat.

    In 2008-2009, I launched a travel forum, which failed. I posted every day, created new threads daily, engaged people in non-spammy ways on sites I was already a regular etc.
    A few members joined, but all said and done, it never gained enough traction to justify the effort.
    Plus, I wasn't offering anything refreshingly different from other travel forums.

    Same for a filmmaker forum I attempted around 2011. This one was really narrow, so I wasn't surprised at the low response.

    By 2015 I was the Admin of a cryptocurrency forum I joined when it launched in 2014.
    I arrived the forum in its first week of launch (same day as the cryptocurrency), asked the Admin if I could be a mod and he was cool with it.

    The forum gained incredible traction starting that week, and for about 17 months till we shut it down.
    I took over as Admin in the second leg of its existence.
    We shut it down because the cryptocurrency it was based on was facing major technology challenges, with no remedy in sight.

    I mention this, because with the difficulty level of discussion forums, you have to think outside the box.

    The original Admin got thousands of people to come register within the first week by doing this:

    1. He set up an account on the new crypto site with the full forum name (forumname.com).
    2. He went to the public ledger of the cryptocurrency, and sent 1 coin to everyone on it.
    3. Since people were still excited about this brand new cryptocurreny, they were elated to find someone sent them 1 coin out of the blue.
    4. They check the sender and see it was from forumname.com
    5. Naturally, they look up the forum, register and sincerely say "thanks, nice forum, I think I'll hang around."

    All the coins he sent were gotten for free, as a "sign up bonus" being run by the crypto site. So, this had no financial cost.

    Now, the results would be very different if you just email a bunch of people to inform them about the forum. That would be good ol' spamming, and treated as such.

    Ouch fact: The amount of this particular crypto I had in 2015 (worth about $1k or less then) was worth about $1 mil in December, 2017.
     
  19. MichaelCash
    Offline

    MichaelCash New Contributor

    Messages:
    34
    Likes Received:
    9
    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2013
    Rep Bank:
    $71

    Thank you for the useful info! It does make sense. Unfortunately i didn't have any rewards for posters at the moment when I started. Yes, it was a kind of prof of concept to test the water. It looks like if you want to make it work you do need to invest time and money into it for real, so this famous lean/MVP approach doesn't work here.

    Just to clarify, I intentionally wanted to have a local forum after a few conversations with local people who also mentioned that they would need a local resource like this. I understand that local means much smaller audience, but I hoped that it would be easier to spread the words using offline meetups, etc. There is some value in doing it locally because I want to talk online with people that I can potentially meet, let's say if we decide to write some code together or launch another new cryptocurrency LOL. There are a bunch of local news resources with tech news like builtinnyc, etc. How come they are so successful and local?
     
  20. MichaelCash
    Offline

    MichaelCash New Contributor

    Messages:
    34
    Likes Received:
    9
    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2013
    Rep Bank:
    $71
    Thanks for sharing your experience! So I am not alone :) Interesting, how come that some local resources are so popular even without people posting something, for example builtinnyc, builtinla, etc.
     
    Xavier X likes this.

Share This Page