Posted On: 2006-03-28Length: 60:00
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Well hello. Welcome to the show. I'm Anita Campbell your host of Small Business Trends Radio. Today's show is about building a successful online forum. And we're going to do a case study. Our guest is Lee Dodd, president of ViDecca Media Group, and Lee is going to tell us about his experiences building successful forums online, or discussion boards, as they're sometimes called, from scratch. He's built them from the ground up. And he's been able to turn running them into a business. So Lee going to walk us through how to do that, how to start a forum, how to get visitors, steps to promote a forum, how to make it big and popular, and then how to make sure it can make money, if that's your goal. Lee has a lot of facts and figures for us, so it should be well worth your time.
But first we do our Today's Trend segment. Today's Trend is the renewed business importance of community on the web. Back in the days of the dot com boom when we partying like it was 1999, the strategy du jour was that of the three Cs. And the three Cs were content, community and commerce. Commerce of course is having products or services for sale online. Content means material to read, and these days increasingly it means material to listen to, as in audio, or watch, as in video. And community means the involvement of visitors to the site, and the sense that they feel they belong at a site. Now if you had all the three Cs back in the dot com boom, it was thought you had the perfect kind of web site. Something to draw visitors in the first place, something to keep them coming back and engaged, and something to sell them when they did come to visit.
With the dot com bust of 2001, the importance of community seemed to fall out of favor. We went through a period where businesses placed more emphasis on the commerce piece. Anything that wasn't directly related to making money was associated with the worst of the dot com era, when back in that era is was all about tracking eyeballs, but sustainable business models were rare. Fast forward to today, to 2006. Things have changed. People are increasingly online. The Internet we've come to understand helps us stay in touch with existing...