january 21, 2005

The one thing that I am learning about a website that has a forum, is that the more people there are signed up, the worse the problem of ego gets. SolaraGuy is the most popular website (or creation) that I have ever done. Over the last five years it has gone from somewhere less than 100 users to over 2500 users. As the popularity of the site grows, so do the conflicting egos. I am lucky that there is a great volunteer staff of moderators and a great admin (Mike) who take care of the day-to-day issues on the site now. But, there are times when people issues get so bad that I have to be called in. Today was one of them. It is strange to see the things that people end up fighting about. Location (SoCal vs. NorCal) was one of them. A person being deemed "annoying" was another. Small things like this should not even be registering on most of our radars, but when egos flare, it seems that even small things drive people to act in unimaginable ways. It gets worse when people are faceless and feel some certain power from being almost anonymous on the boards. I wish people would just come to realize that there are bigger and better things than themselves. The world is a big place and there are big issues out there other than if someone is deemed "annoying". If you ever decide that you want to run a forums based website, answer these two questions for yourself first: 1) Will the subject of my forum be popular enough to get over critical mass when people actually get good conversations going and 2) Will I be strong enough to deal with the politics and people issues that will certainly arise from running a board. The first question is a bit harder to answer, but if you do a Google search and it turns up that there are no big websites about your subject, then you an safely answer "yes". The second question is all up to you. In the early days of the boards it will not be a problem, but as the boards grow you'll get help from others. But you will eventually still have to step in and take care of issues (of course that is if you don't sell off your website). Anyways, that's just my rant of the day.