An off-topic forum

Discussion in 'General off-topic Chat' started by Chris, Sep 13, 2015.

  1. #1 Chris, Sep 13, 2015
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2015
    Recently I've been having a bit of think, I have an extra spare forum license that isn't being used after Standing Start ended up being very dead, despite the grand efforts of @Martyn & @Gareth J.

    So now I'm thinking about what to do with it. The server I run this site on is only taking up about 10% of the processing power, so I can easily add another forum to the server without taking a performance hit.

    I'm thinking of having an off-topic forum, these aren't new to any stretch of the imagination but I'd like to have another board that uses a little advertising like this one to keep the servers running and be able to spend more money on adverting & marketing for them.

    What is an off-topic forum?
    Well, they basically have general discussions on everything. Love advice, cars, video games, movies, the arts, sports, personal training etc etc

    I'd also be happy to have a podcast section and would be happy for people like @Johnus Maximus and Ben from Asiamania to post their stuff there.

    Like Pixelated the forum will not be go down unless it's due to a server issue, hardware failure or I'm dead, in which case I don't think there is anything anyone can do haha.

    I think the forum will be simple as conversation is the most important thing. Keeping it simple will also mean it takes less time to manage and I'd prefer to keep my main concentration here.

    If anyone has any ideas, or just to tell me it's a stupid idea please feel free. I'm looking for honest opinions.
     
  2. #2 Ade, Sep 13, 2015
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2015
    Is that an off topic forum branded as PP.Com or something else entirely? If we can do it within the same brand it could easily increase our pull. The classic example is Pistonheads which does this with huge numbers of people.
     
  3. I don't know to be honest, probably be difficult to wrangle the name into it but having a 'network' is a good thing.

    Examples are
    Avforums.com
    http://forums.offtopic.com (I don't know how they get hits as their content is hidden if not subscribed - so no google indexing.

    Lots of people are saying forums are dead and starting one now with Facebook and Twitter taking up most people's time is the reason I've never done it.
     
  4. I like forums. They give you a chance to write longer form messages and have deeper conversations. And you can pick up old threads as well. Can we create an umbrella name? It's all the rage at Google this month.
     
    Chris likes this.
  5. More traffic can only be a good thing.
     
    Chris likes this.
  6. Yeah I think traffic between two sites is good. I don't think Google will rank it highly as the links are on the same server but I think for users this could be a good thing.

    I think an umbrella name would be good, don't know how it would be named though, I once had a network called Klusterphuckers. I won't repeat that again. Lol

    I'd love to have a large network of these sites but to push traffic around but I don't know quite how to do that properly.
    I remember @Adam old podcast and website was part 'the unified gamers network' but I don't know how well that did in terms of moving traffic around. I've got some thinking time today so I'll brainstorm some ideas
     
  7. Could you invite people to add their own websites to live under some sort of PP umbrella? Just as links, obviously, but as some kind of reciprocal arrangement where we have prominent links to our websites in return for linking back to PP, so hopefully any traffic any one of us gets on our websites is then bounced to here?
     
  8. My business brain keeps asking "what are you trying to achieve?" Assuming for a moment that the aim is to boost traffic to PP.com then links in could drive that but we need content too.
     
  9. Two things I'm trying to achieve:
    • Make A high-post count forum to further push ad rates up and allow us to spend money on both sites on advertising, which should, hopefully also raise ad rates and user sign up. Which will also assist with post count to assist with conversations here
    • Have some sort of link system to push traffic from there to here and vice versa (our off-topic forum for example).

    I like the idea of a network or umbrella company to oversee all of this stuff but I'm not sure how this would be achieved properly.
    This is what I'm now researching and also trying to work how to cross process links without being downgraded by Google as a link sharing system. Google knows when all outbound links hit one place and will lower your seo ranking.
    I like a website called tokyocheapo.com they are now having several sites call londoncheapo and barcelonacheapo. It's kinda obvious they are the same group of people. It would be cool to do something like that here and build a network of these sites
     
  10. Actually Tokyo cheapo has a very simple system to move people around they have a drop down menu in the header to push users around. That's a little bit of HTML and CSS that even I can achieve and put it into <head> of the website
     
  11. So what do photographers also like that is high traffic...

    • Looking at lots of photos - maybe we could curate something?
    • Criticising stuff - not critiquing, just criticising. Maybe we could have a sister site for photo criticism :)
    • Beer - everyone (almost) loves beer - we could build a beer appreciation site called BlurredPhotographer
    • Gaming (computers not dice)
    • Cars (or is that just me)
    • Gadgets - phones, computers, drones
    • Traditional crafts? Possibly for the film lovers and real artists amongst us
    • Meetups - we are trying this now
     
  12. Boobs, you forgot Boobs. But alas that would be against many of googles code of conduct lol
    let me think...
     
  13. You're right, I did forget boobs. How about c-list celebrities? That way we get high traffic through gossip.

    I still think as well that a collaborative project would be interesting. Can we create a more blog -like platform and use it for a project that others can contribute to. We could push that very strongly on the socials and draw in traffic here that way. If we had 3-5 people posting photos all/most days it would be high volume.
     
  14. My two cents would be to keep each subject separate... photography here and whatever elsewhere... obviously with some cross traffic but I think having photo stuff (or anything) spread out it would hurt everything overall... As far as something new to do you could probably guess my vote would be Gaming... Mostly because it is my next favorite interest..

    After that I would say cooking... Cuz while it might be a huge shock to y'all.. my fat ass is an amazing cook... lol In fact we are looking into a restaurant or a big food truck right now... But I am just tossing stuff out that is of interest to me so take it all with a grain of salt...

    Adam
     
  15. I know, we could send a film camera around each of us and take say 3 shots each before getting the film developed?
     
  16. Film could work. Or for Digital simply a theme to explore over time - sort of like a long assignment. Maybe @Adam is right though that we should keep all the photography stuff together.
     
  17. So I had a bit of a think about this over the holidays. I think I've come to the conclusion of having a website that discusses hobbies. The photographic side of that can push traffic here I think. I may even be able to tether the data base to connect to each one using a single sign on system.
     
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