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Forum Management 3 Ways to Get a Big Board

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Articles about managing forums, members and staff, policy creation, and general moderation.

3 Ways to Get a Big Board​

Have you ever heard of a Big Board?

Back in the old days, there was a Link Directory called Big Boards. It only allowed the submission of forums with at least 500,000 posts. They defined that amount as a big forum. That link directory has since closed down, but big boards still exist.

Even though it’s much more complicated today, having a big board is still possible.

And here are the three main ways you could have one of your own.

Get a Big Board buy Buying a Big Board​

You can have a Big Board by buying an already existing big forum.

You could use this option if you have the capital to do this. Or if you have a partner or multiple partners willing to share the investment. The best part about this option is that a forum and community already exists. You can buy it out and keep it going as it was for the best results. Not many people like significant changes on forums, so the important thing is to keep it as close to what it was before you bought it as possible.

The only primary concern here is Return on Investment. Is the ROI worth it? What will you use to gain the money back (and profit) from what you spent on the forum? Will it be ads? Premium membership? Investments? There has to be an ROI, or you will spend money with no return.

Get a Big Board by Buying and Merging Small Forums​

Another option for forming a Big Board is to buy out smaller forums.

The idea is to buy as many small forums as you can. Then you merge each forum into the main one to create a big one using the members and contents of the forums you purchased. You can usually spend less money on smaller forums. You could do this over time to ensure you gain the funds needed to buy each forum.

You also need a good ROI, like buying an already established big board. How will you earn your money back and also gain a profit? Another challenge will be communities and how they react to being bought out and merged into another forum. Will they accept it, or will they leave the forum? And lastly, you need to make sure you’re buying forums that will easily merge into the software of your choice. Is it going to be easy to merge all these communities together?

Get a Big Board by Building it Yourself​

Or you can work to build your own Big Board on your own forum.

It might take a long time to get there, but it's possible if you create a strategy to get you there. Your strategy should have short-term objectives that lead to larger goals. Instead of focusing on 500,000 posts or whatever you define as a Big Board, focus on getting 1,000 posts by a specific date. After that, focus on 1,000 members by a particular date. Break up larger goals into smaller ones so you don’t overthink them and make growing a forum into a big board an overwhelming task.

The most important thing you need to do is stay focused and active. Getting a Big Board from a small forum isn’t going to happen overnight. It takes work. It’ll take hard work. But you can do it if you are determined to do it.

Which would you instead do? Buy an already established board? Buy several smaller forums to combine into one more extensive forum. Or create a big board yourself with your existing smaller community?
Some good tips there! Buying out a smaller forum is actually a good idea though the amount of times I've seen people just end up leaving the forum because they're not happy the admin sold the forum is crazy. It's a big risk!
“Back in the old days?” Those days have long since gone. The vast majority of forums are now lucky if they have six long-term active posters. Unless you have sought after specialist knowledge that people are willing to pay to read, turning your community forum into a business venture isn’t going to happen. It’s an out-of-date day dream.
I remember locked sections only accessible to big board owners. I think such features are no longer available on forums anymore. Haven't seen a big board forum section recently.