Earlier this week it dawned on me: running an unpopular forum requires more effort than running a popular forum. This seems counterintuitive because a popular forum requires lots of effort so it follows that an unpopular forum would require less effort. But hang on. Let me explain why an unpopular forum requires so much effort. Here are three reasons:
- Content generation by large crowds is easier than content generation by a single individual or a small group.
- A forum that is unmonitored is a haven for spammers and bots.
- It is difficult to attract new users to an unpopular forum.
This list reflects the importance of making sure your site has sufficient traffic to support a forum community. It also underscores the importance of staying vigilant to keep the forum protected from spammers. And it demonstrates the empty restaurant problem which is that it’s difficult to attract people to a place that seems deserted.