Even the best forum software can’t create something out of nothing. A website with few visitors means a forum with even fewer visitors. This leads to the ‘empty restaurant problem’, where a forum languishes without activity, and this lack of activity makes the forum even more unappealing to others. No one wants to eat in an empty restaurant, and no one feels compelled to participate in an empty forum.
To address this problem, Mike Pascucci writes that Community Moderators must take a proactive stance:
Moderation services can assist with the seeding of content and active facilitation of interactions within a community to get it on track and moving forward. While some communities may need more than others, these services can be tailored to meet any companies needs.
That being said, even the most proactive moderators in the world will have trouble launching a forum community that doesn’t have any traffic. For any site owners considering a forum, they first must ensure their main site garners enough traffic to make a forum viable. We will discuss specifics in subsequent posts.