The Importance of the IFB Forums

 

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.

 

I always value Ashe Mischief’s opinion, so I asked for her thought on this:

 

“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.

 

 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

23 Responses

  1. Ashe

    “See if a post already exist before you create a new thread. If it’s very old create a new one.”

    I love this– I’d also add, you can always resuscitate the old one. There have been times I’ve seen a new thread created, but there may be an old one with 50 really useful comments, that I usually end up saying, “You should check out this thread too, it may have some answers!”

    Thank you for writing this, Nubia. I feel like IFB is the #1 Social Media tool for fashion bloggers, but they gotta bring their A game to the forums, too!

    Reply
  2. JB- Sunshine with everything

    When I first joined IFB I looked at the forums and I was immediately put off by all the ‘follow me and I’ll follow you’ kind of groups. That is not something that appeals to me so I never looked at them again. It would be nice if the forums became something more engaging and constructive.

    Reply
    • Nubia Mejia

      They once were extremely engaging which is why I posted about it. I hope every one will take it upon themselves to make them insightful again.

      Reply
  3. MJ

    And I thought it was just me! I remember visiting the forums all the time in the beginning but all those “follow me” threads definitely turned me off. I would love for it to go back to being a great blogger resource as well as a source of inspiration.

    I have an idea: Maybe you can invite those people who participate in the weekly twitter chats to continue the discussion in the forums, maybe like a IFBChat post chat party or something like that!

    Reply
  4. Allie

    When I was merging two blogs into one, I went to the forums to see if anyone else had written about it. I didn’t see anything so asked it and got nothing but spam in return. Haven’t these bloggers learned yet that spamming is NOT the way to gain traffic and fans?

    I love mentioning that there is another thread, we do that in another non-blogging forum for which I am a member. Add the link, so there’s a nice clean circle of information!

    Reply
    • Nubia Mejia

      I’m sorry you had to go through that. We are thinking of ways to improve the quality which is why I wrote this post. Spamming is NOT the way

      Reply
  5. Maycie

    I absolutely love MJ’s idea. I’ve only been blogging for a few months now and I feel like there is SO MUCH to learn.

    I really appreciate this article.

    Reply
  6. Slow Southern Style

    I can’t thank y’all enough for posting this! I’ve been blogging almost 2 years now and I used to read through the forums on a daily basis but now if I visit one every three months that is a lot. I’d love to see it get back on track with insightful, relevant posts vs. “oooh look at me” type stuff.

    Reply
  7. No Guilt Fashion

    I’m glad this is being addressed again. I’ve recently put more effort into my blog, and have seen great growth from my effort. However, I used to be really inspired by the boards. Now the are covered in follow for follow posts. Yuck!

    Reply
    • Nubia Mejia

      I agree and that’s about to turn around. I’m glad your blog has had great growth and you will be able to look at the threads again soon

      Reply
  8. Liz

    i almost feel like the old forum pages should be deleted and we should all start fresh. I don’t even go on the forums anymore because of all the spam- there isn’t anything useful.

    In a perfect world, “As a fashionista I need new inspiration…” would work, but I think it’s used as a loophole to spam. If people want to check out new blogs, create useful conversations and visit the blogs of those people who are answering you.

    Reply
  9. HauteWorld

    When I first joined IFB over two years ago, I remember visiting the forums daily. Back then there was one thread on link exchanges, and the rest was dedicated to marketing, links a la mode and tech tips – none of that following mess. I’ve stopped visiting the forums for over half a year (unless it’s for LALM), because 80% of the threads are of the ‘follow me’ variety. I really wish those who feel the need to post these requests would at least channel that into one thread, rather than starting a new one each time.

    I’ve had some advertising/sponsor questions recently, but feel discouraged to post those on the forums, because they’ll just be overshadowed by the spam threads.

    Reply
  10. Rae

    Dumb question. Where are the forums? I can’t seem to find them. Is that the actual title, “Forums”? Also, would that be where I would post about finding bloggers in my area?
    Thank you so much!

    Reply
  11. Emi Love

    It’s really wonderful to see this addressed. I definitely have some occasions where I feel I need some inspiration and though I really love the blog posts put up on IFB, I rarely go to the forums because I barely ever find anything of interest. As someone who has wandered the Internet for quite some time before I even started blogging, I know how important the forums are. They truly do become the heart and soul of a website, as it is what elicits connections and conversation, and isn’t that what we’re trying to accomplish in the first place with our blogs? I really hope that now that this post is up that we can work together to making that heart pump again and in turn, help each other out by getting that necessary blood flow for our own blogs.

    Reply
  12. Grace

    I wish this topic could be revisited as I find the “follow me I’ll follow you” topics in the forum really difficult to deal with. I love the articles that this site comes out with but trying to talk on the forum seems to be like talking to a wall. 🙁

    Reply
  13. Domenic Robert Bartlett-Roylance

    oh my god the people who have been messaging me as soon as I have signed up have been so extremely rude. Saying things like ATTENTION and basically pressuring me into following their stupid and honestly pretty crappy blog. It is so annoying and if IFB can’t clean up people like this, then obviously a new site will start… sorry but that’s the internet for you.

    stylehuntingclub.com

    Reply
    • Stephanie

      I completely agree with you in regards to the messages. I’ve been working on my Facebook lately and the amount of messages I’ve had IN OVER THE TOP CAPS LOCK asking me to like4like is astonishing. It’s almost no wonder Menkes’ made the Circus article. Anyone can be a blogger and now it seems that anyone can have the followers too, (whether they’re there for numbers or genuine interest). I miss the old IFB!

      Reply
  14. Nadia Dajani

    I have been trying to figure out how to even start a forum and I can’t find a “create” anywhere!

    Can anyone please help?

    Thanks 🙂

    Reply