I go through everything here on IFB everyday because it’s my job (Community Manager) and I’m glad to do it. I get very inspired visiting blogs everyday for approvals one by one and I also go through the forums to see what everyone is talking about amongst other duties. But there is something I couldn’t help but notice…. the forums aren’t looking like they once did.
I’m not going to get into the official forum rules, I will leave it up to you to visit them here. However, I do think that the forums are such an important place on the IFB site and we should take advantage of them in the best way possible. Once upon a time, many moons ago, when I first joined IFB as I started my blog, I was blown away. I thought to myself “such a great resource!” The forums were full of insight and questions that many of us had and bloggers were answering each other. Not to sound corny, but it was a beautiful thing. Answers were genuine and sincere which led up to personal emails, new followers and creating legit friendships.
Nourish the forums and they will nourish you back.
As I mentioned prior, I’m not seeing much of that anymore. We are all eager to get followers on our blog. That’s completely understandable, believe me I get it. It’s exciting to know people are reading and you’re influencing individuals all over the the world, some would call it magical. But to have threads on the forum like “If you follow my blog I’ll follow back… drop link here” is not really what they’re there for, as a matter of fact it violates the forum rules (and will be removed). You are not helping yourself in the long run by not forming relationships and it isn’t helping IFB stay constructive either. On the other hand you can make a topic on the forum like “As a fashionista I need new inspiration, I would love to explore some new sites… any suggestions? Introduce yourself” That's more acceptable. It’s truthful and I’m sure if the person likes your content and what you have to offer they will become an avid follower and perhaps a potential friend. It hurts me to see spam threads get more responses than REAL questions sometimes.
“When IFB first shared the forums, I was in them daily. They were a constant resource for me– for both sharing and receiving information and building REAL relationships with other bloggers, who I may not have otherwise. There's so much to be learned from our fellow community members, and the forums are the most amazing place to use them.
Recently though, they've become so flooded with “Follow me! Fan my FB page! Join my Bloglovin!” that I haven't been in them in a very long time. The real information, the useful commentary and insight, is lost behind pages and pages of self-promotional threads. Those threads don't really help your blog, and they certainly don't help IFB stay the amazing resource that it is. I WANT to go back to the IFB forums, because I feel at this point in my blogging, I could use it more than ever…but the value is lost on everyone when we spam the hell out of them.”
With that said here are some ways to keep the forum healthy.
5 Ways To Keep The Forum Threads Healthy:
- Don’t spam.
- See if a post already exist before you create a new thread. If it’s very old create a new one.
- If you have a question don’t be afraid to ask! You will not be labeled as “dumb.” Everyone starts somewhere. I didn’t know everything and I still don’t!
- Engage. Treat others as you would like to be treated.
- If you don’t see a group that’s appropriate for your blog start one! A lot of people might feel the same way.
Those are just a few suggestions off the top of my head. We’ve tried to let some stuff slide but it’s become overwhelming. This post is meant in no way to be discouraging to anyone but it’s essential to keep IFB the creative, learning atmosphere it’s always been. It would make us truly happy for you to engage in the forum and use it as the resource it’s suppose to be.
Do you have any questions? Suggestions? I’m all ears.