Forum manager resources
We've set this page up as an archive of resources for Forum Managers. In particular, we'll try to archive a library of sample messages that Forum Managers might want to copy or modify when replying to common problems or questions.
Opening a new forum
After you've gone through the Start A Forum process, worked with E-Democracy.Org staff to technically create your forum, and started recruitment efforts (using our example forum invitations, you can now prepare to open and manage your community's new Issues Forum.
- The first few messages to the forum ought to accomplish the following goals:
- Introduce the purpose and rules of the forum
- Make sure that participants understand how the forum works, or that they will be getting lots of email, unless they change their delivery setting
- Make sure that they understand the "digest" and "web only" options and how to sign up for them
- Ask them to invite others to become "charter" members (provide a sample invitations for participants to pass along to others
- We highly recommend starting with an initial round of "Introductions" - You may do this with 50 or more members to help you build "who's who" momentum to attract the next 50 your need to open. Getting 25 of the 100 to introduce themselves publicly is a good start.
- Introduce an opening topic or simply ask participants what issues they think need to be discussed in the community. You can use the list generated down the road when forum traffic is light or when you want to direct attention away from a topic that is less civil than you'd like
Examples to Copy and Edit for Your Forum
- Welcome message
- Messages to help get a new forum off to a good start, these are samples we used when launching the Roseville Issues Forum in July 2006 - feel free to use them as is, or modify them to fit your circumstances:
- Start-up advice/sample messages to be integrated into this wiki section
- What is a Forum Manager
- Definition of Local Issues
- How to: Start A Discussion - A list of tips, directed at forum participants, on how to start a discussion in their forum.
- Subject Lines - Advice on how and when to change them
- Forum Guidelines Reminder
- Email Management
- File Upload Suggestions - Groupserver
- Official Warning - Example of warning message to forum member.
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