Webmaster forums are something special. They’re a good training ground for new webmaster and a great networking tool for veteran webmasters. In fact, webmasters of any level and experience can gain something from a good forum. But there have to be some rules in place and safeguards against the bad critters of the Internet, or no one gets anything out of them.
So how do you know what makes for a good webmaster forum? What constitutes a good webmaster forum?
There are actually several ways to tell a good forum from a bad one. Here are some ways that you can evaluate webmaster forums to see if they are worth joining or not.
- Participation. A good forum will have a fairly good number of participants. That’s participants, not members. And I say this because many forums can get people to join but have difficulty getting them to post. Make sure any forum you join actually has participation.
- Diversity of rooms and threads. Another way to judge a webmaster forum is the number and diversity of rooms and threads offered. If a forum only has one or two rooms or topics about which it offers for discussion, then it likely won’t get people to participate. But if it offers a variety of topics for discussion including some fun rooms, then it will be a much better forum and more fun and engaging.
- Spam and abuse control. Every forum will eventually run into two things: Spam and Bullying. Annoying behavior can rear its ugly head in a number of ways. Bullying is an extreme example. Trolling is perhaps the most popular. A good webmaster forum will have measures in place to take care of people who use the forum for annoying purposes. And it will be able to control spam. If you get involved in a forum that is full of spam, it won’t be fun for anyone.
- Ease of navigation. Webmaster forums have to have the basics down or they’re just not worth considering. Navigation is one of those basics, the fundamentals of the Internet. Make sure the forum is easy to enter and move around in.
- Frequency of posts. Good webmaster forums will have people who respond quickly to urgent needs and questions posed to the community. Moderators are there to keep the forum civil. But if you have an emergency, then the moderators must understand that a prompt answer may be necessary. Frequency of posts and responses is critical to running a good webmaster forum.
Not all webmaster forums are created equal. Some are great. Some are bad. But most are somewhere in between. Judge a webmaster forum by these criteria and join only the very best.
By Allen Taylor
Contributing Editor for http://websitestars.com