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Revision as of 20:59, 4 January 2011 by Admin (Talk | contribs)

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This page provides our mostly volunteer Forum Managers helpful management guides and samples of messages for common situations in forum management. All of the material is copyright free and can be copied/amended to address your specific situation. Please keep in mind that these samples have been tested and refined by Forum Managers for many situations, consequently they should need only minor modifications.

Most of these resources were drafted before our large expansion into neighborhood Issues Forums, but are still relevant.

First Step to 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:
  1. 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.
  2. Ask them to invite others to become "charter" members (provide a sample invitation for participants to pass along to others)
  3. Introduce the purpose and rules of the forum
  4. Make sure that participants understand how the forum works, or that they will be getting lots of email, unless they change their delivery setting
  5. Make sure that they understand the different ways to read and post (One message per post, "digest", and "web only")
  6. How to sign up for other forums
  7. 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 of Messages for Common Situations of Your Forum

Startup Messages


Examples Messages for Other Situtations

Administering Your Forum - Drafting

Facilitating Your Forum - Drafting

  • Encouraging introductions
  • Welcoming new members
  • Rules education and enforcement
  • Information seeking - Monitoring local websites (gov, media, orgs, etc.) for items of interest - Note, if you use Firefox, check out the Update Scanner plug-in to track things like new documents on your local government or neighbourhood/neighborhood website
  • Discussion starting

Other Resources


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