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Managing Online Forums: Everything You Need to Know to Create and Run Successful Community Discussion Boards
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Managing Online Forums: Everything You Need to Know to Create and Run Successful Community Discussion Boards

3.78 of 5 stars 3.78  ·  rating details  ·  49 ratings  ·  7 reviews
Every day, millions of users log on to their favorite online forums, communities and social spaces and interact with others to get advice and discuss everything from the latest news and trends to their hobbies and professions to whatever else strikes their fancy. Administrators have to lead these communities, deal with difficult users, manage staff members and make tough d ...more
Paperback, 297 pages
Published April 28th 2008 by AMACOM (first published April 10th 2008)
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Trevor Owens
The book delivers what the title suggests. As someone who managed forums for an open source community software project I can say that I would have benefited from reading this earlier. The book focuses on examples from vBullitin and phpBB and might have benefited more from consideration of a range of other platforms (things like BBpress and or Vanilla forums). With that said, the focus of the book is not really on specific software as much as it is on general principles. The book does a particula ...more
Sep 12, 2008 Heidi rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommended to Heidi by: Patrick O'Keefe
Patrick does a great job of giving you all the details you need to create a successful online forum, from the why to the excruciatingly detailed how. Some chapters are good reference, but definitely read the first half before you create your own forums. I wish I had!
I didn't read this book from cover to cover. But I read what I needed to read. Even if one is using a different online discussion site/platform from the one in the book, one can always apply the general guidelines prescribed. Useful? Yes.
Apr 06, 2010 Malcolm rated it 1 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Anyone running an online forum
The title of this book accurately reflects what you will find in its covers. I'm sure it would be an excellent guide for anyone setting up an on line forum. I was reading it for another purpose.
I didn't learn a lot from this book as I have no intention of managing an online forum. In the absence of books on how to operate Blackboard online sites, I read this kind of book hoping to glean a few new ideas. Therefore I could afford to skip the sections in this book on managing staff and making money
At times this went too deep into the quibbles of forum denizens and the author seemed to be a bit obsessed with governance. Governance is important, but his suggestions came off a bit autocratic at times. Beyond those issues, this book is a practical guide to setting up an entire community, not just forums as the title suggests.
This is great book for anyone thinking of running an online forum. I read it all the way through but this book will constantly be skimmed back and forth as I build my community.
This is a great book if you are considering setting up an online forum. It provides pros/cons, etc.
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Video: SXSWi 2008 Book Reading: "Managing Online Forums" 1 11 Oct 13, 2008 07:34PM  
Patrick O'Keefe is the founder of the iFroggy Network, a publisher of websites. He has been managing online communities since 2000 and is the author of "Managing Online Forums," a practical guide to managing online communities and social spaces.

He has been responsible for the creation and cultivation of communities like, and He blogs about onlin
More about Patrick O'Keefe...
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“You'll notice that I said guidelines and not rules. Guidelines allow for some flexibility, some discretion. Rules are more likely to be enforced in a hard and fast manner, which can leave little room for interpretation and will probably lead to you having to deal with more nutcases who insist on reading them fifty times backward and forward in hopes of finding an angle where they think you are being inconsistent. Your user guidelines are a key communication tool for you. They are a type of vision statement for your community. By putting your expectations of users in writing, you are letting everyone know what your vision is for your community. By communicating this, people will know what they are in for and will either get behind you (and participate) or get away from you. Either way, they will at least know what your community is all about, and having this level of communication is vital to your success.” 0 likes
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