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Managing Online Forums: Everything You Need to Know to Create and Run Successful Community Discussion Boards Paperback – Bargain Price, April 10, 2008
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“I feel that Managing Online Forums is a worthwhile book to buy and absorb. There are TONS of great resources in there, and lots of real world examples for you to follow. This alone makes the book a great resource to have on the shelf.” —Chris Brogan
"If you are thinking of starting a community, or are newly involved in one, this book will help you in the human side of managing the site." --Online Magazine
“While Managing Online Forums is obviously aimed at forum hosts and moderators, it can also be used to educate a general audience about online forum activity.” —Book News, Inc./SciTech News
“In his book Managing Online Forums, Patrick O’Keefe provides thoughtful, detailed recommendations on developing and enforcing guidelines based on running several thriving communities.” —Lois Kelly, author of Beyond Buzz (http://blog.foghound.com/383/)
Every day, millions of users log on to their favorite online forums and interact with others to get advice and discuss everything from the latest news and trends to their hobbies, professions, and whatever else strikes their fancy. Administrators have to lead these communities, deal with difficult users, and choose moderators. Legal constraints, spammers, and technical issues can turn the excitement of running an online community into chaos. With the right guidance, however, running forums can be a pleasure. Patrick O’Keefe has spent years developing and managing online communities. Now, he shows readers how to make the right decisions about every aspect of their forums, including:
• choosing a name and domain name
• picking the right software
• deciding on user options like avatars and private messaging
• setting guidelines and dealing with violators
• ensuring that posts stay on topic
• settling online disputes among users
• involving users and keeping the site interesting
Managing Online Forums is the one book that shows site owners and administrators how to create a safe and entertaining community that users will return to again and again.
Top Customer Reviews
The book is definitely opinionated - these are Patrick's recommendations based on his experiences, and it shows. His voice is natural, and the wording is down to earth. This isn't some theoretical treatise, but a 'from the trenches' view of what works, what doesn't, and why.
The book includes many sample forms which have example language to use for welcoming members to your forum, working with moderators, dealing with abusive or disruptive visitors, and much more. They're all available on the book's website too, so you don't need to retype it all in, but can quickly customize them to fit your own needs .
The one thing lacking in this book is that it doesn't go in to much detail about the major forum packages out there, so the reader who is just starting out will have to do some more research as to what packages have which features discussed in the book. Having said that, this keeps the focus of the book more on the human/people side of internet forums, and doesn't devolve in to a technical manual. I would have preferred a small feature comparison of the big forum systems out there, but I'm more of a technically-inclined person to begin with. If you're not technically inclined, you likely won't even notice the information not there.Read more ›
Ultimately, if you are interested in starting and running your own online community, Managing Online Forums is a great place to start. However, its usefulness does not end once a forum is up and running. As your community grows you will once again be able to reference the knowledge that exists in this book to further develop your community.
As for the book itself, there are some parts that are limited by the author's experience working in a Unix/Linux environment with Apache and primarily PHP based systems. A Windows user with an ASP.NET solution, which are gaining popularity and maturity, can be easily confused in some sections of the book. Otherwise, most of the information is relevant and good advice.
If you're going to start a forum or community site, or if you already have and you would like advice on how to manage the human side of running a site, then I recommend that you read this. If you're not, then I think you would still enjoy reading this. You'll find out how hard it is to run a site and you might appreciate those who do a little more.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Covers some good information, but seems to repeat everything to stretch to book length.Published 20 months ago by Andrea Studebaker
This is an awesome resource and a must have for anyone running or moderating an online community.
Patrick has been managing online communities since 2000, and shares his... Read more
"Respond without thinking and you will damage your community. You are held to a higher standard than your users, and you should hold yourself to one, as well. Read morePublished on February 17, 2014 by Sherrie Rohde
I was given this book as a gift. I read through half of it in a day until I realized it was published in 2009. Some of the info is good but most is outdated by now. Read morePublished on January 14, 2014 by Donald Butcher
In my opinion any forum admin or moderator could benefit from reading this book. The author covers everything from setting up your forum, writing forum guidelines, promoting your... Read morePublished on October 15, 2013 by Fergal Crawley