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  • Suggestions On How To Run A Private Sub-Forum On Traffic Planet Please?


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    #1 TerryKyle

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    Posted 20 March 2012 - 11:27 AM

    With our friends at Google paying closer attention to Traffic Planet these days, I am interested in setting up a private sub-forum here.

    However, there are a number of issues to overcome in doing that - particularly on the criteria for admission/exclusion to that private area and what effect the private area will have on the info sharing on the main forum.

    Your suggestions are greatly appreciated...

    #2 KevinA

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    Posted 20 March 2012 - 11:31 AM

    Great idea..

    What about limiting membership to that private area to those members who have a certain number of useful posts?

    Content - I am not sure how you would go about drawing a line here (could create a lot of confusion), so perhaps the admin/mods of this forum should be the sole arbitrators of what threads belong there.

    Edited by KevinA, 20 March 2012 - 11:36 AM.


    #3 spiritus

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    Posted 20 March 2012 - 11:33 AM

    I've been thinking the exact same thing after reading Matt Cutts' Tweet but not just with Traffic Planet but all other SEO forums.

    I don't think you can throw a blanket over this and hope that an automated selection criteria will solve the "issue".

    I'm afraid someone may have to manually review every member i.e. anyone with over 50/100/150 posts are invited to apply for membership of the inner circle. Their posts will have to be scrutinised to verify that they have taken an active, NOT passive, involvement in the forum.

    The easy way is for you to just make it payable membership but that would be easy for someone to infiltrate.

    #4 Nanny Rose

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    Posted 20 March 2012 - 11:38 AM

    I used to be the mod of the private forums on a huge public UK forum.

    From my experience i'd say in my opinion:

    1) You need to have clear rules of what type of info is shared privately and what belongs in the public forums. After all these are your forums, and although you want info to be private, you want the main forums to be alive and well.

    2) You need to keep the number reasonably small otherwise people wont see the value

    3) You need to invite a small initial seed number of members and the new members are invited by private members putting up a poll

    4) Members who don't contribute get kicked out (this is vital)

    5) You need to be sure you get the 'right' initial group invited in the first wave of invites.

    Hope that helps, and BTW - I hope my PM was all cool with you - It was meant to be totally above board! :)

    Regards

    NR

    Edited by Nanny Rose, 20 March 2012 - 11:42 AM.


    #5 TerryKyle

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    Posted 20 March 2012 - 11:50 AM

    Great suggestions - keep them coming please.

    #6 Ted

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    Posted 20 March 2012 - 12:34 PM

    Great suggestions - keep them coming please.


    I guess it boils down to what your goals are with TrafficPlanet.com. If you have a private forum, then you are going to diminish the higher level information sharing that is happening openly on this forum right now. The reason I came here in the first place was because a colleague of mine told me that there were some really good discussions over here. If those good discussions were in private, he and I would not have found them and would not be members here as a result.

    I am a member of other private forums. They tend to dwindle even after starting strong. Everyone in the private forums basically says what they have to say over a few months. Then things dwindle away because there is nobody sparking new ideas. The public forum however has a constant influx of new topics and constant regurgitation of old topics because of the influx of new people. Those new people ask new questions and repeat old questions. That forces the latest thoughts on the topic to surface and adds value to the experience here.

    If people really want a hardcore black hat forum just for sharing black hat ideas that they don't want Google to see, then I suggest you create a separate private invitation only forum on some other domain. Invite a seed set of people you like from this forum. Then let them invite people they know. You would have to be invited in order to join, kind of like how Google plus started out. Any new members would need to be vouched for by an existing member.

    By creating that other private forum, I think you would be discouraging some of the more experienced members here from openly contributing here as much as they are now. That would accelerate the process by which this site would turn into just another noob forum like Warrior Forum. The information value would be lower. Trying to keep the quality level high has to be one of the biggest challenges of a forum. Isn't it? Separating the really juicy information from the average stuff would mean new visitors here are only going to find the average stuff. Is that really what you want?

    If people really want to have high level private discussions about one topic like ALN de-indexing or something like that, then I suggest promoting scheduled Skype chats. Let the 10-15 people (if there are that many) who are really interested in that topic attend a group chat either on this blog in the chat room or else privately on skype at some pre-scheduled time or even via email.

    Edited by Ted, 20 March 2012 - 12:56 PM.

    Gimme fuel gimme fire gimme that which I desire..............


    #7 Nanny Rose

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    Posted 20 March 2012 - 12:42 PM

    Interesting thoughts, but I'd say it could go the opposite way too!

    If people know there is a quality private forum where invitation is based on merit, then they may also try harder to take the time to write quality content...... and as we know, content is king! ;)

    Could go either way, and would depend how it was managed.

    #8 KevinA

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    Posted 20 March 2012 - 01:08 PM

    Valid points raised by Ted. You definately would not want the main forum to dwindle. Therefore it is important to have all new ideas and discussions and topics popping up all over the place in the main forum, otherwise there is no incentive for new members to join and remain active.

    Don't make this another WarriorForum wherein not every member gets access to the 'premium' ideas and discussions, that would take the fun out of it.

    Therefore in my opinion the private area of the forum should only contain a few select threads that are considered 'google sensitive' or whatever you would call it that makes some people paranoid.

    Edited by KevinA, 20 March 2012 - 01:10 PM.


    #9 Ted

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    Posted 20 March 2012 - 01:14 PM

    Interesting thoughts, but I'd say it could go the opposite way too!

    If people know there is a quality private forum where invitation is based on merit, then they may also try harder to take the time to write quality content...... and as we know, content is king! ;)

    Could go either way, and would depend how it was managed.


    Everyone is thinking along those lines when they decide to join a private forum. They think....discussions will be even jucier because it is private. People will share more openly. And people do share more openly for about 3 months. That is the point around which most worthwhile information has been shared by the people who wanted to share it. From then on it becomes a place where you wish there was something else interesting being talked about. But, there is not because with a limited number of people, there is a limited number of ideas. You need new people to spark those ideas just like a company needs new people to refresh itself over time. People here who have been part of private forums know what I am talking about. They start out great and then die. About the only thing they are good for is an initial high level idea dump. After that, those people will end up going on their merry way because the best value has been completely extracted from the forum. You then either have to open it to new members (which removes much of the privacy) or else watch it dwindle down to where there are a handful of participants left at best talking about things that have nothing to do with the original intent of the forum. That is what I have seen happen three times, each time in a different private forum. They sound good, but they aren't the perpetual information orgy you wish they would be. I would be interested in seeing a comment from someone who is a member of a private forum that has existed for more than a year that is still active and providing good information on a weekly or more frequent basis. I don't think we will see any.

    Edited by Ted, 20 March 2012 - 01:16 PM.

    Gimme fuel gimme fire gimme that which I desire..............


    #10 Nanny Rose

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    Posted 20 March 2012 - 01:18 PM

    I was and still am a member of a a private forum (non SEO) which went well for over 5 years with great info constantly being shared. My experience was different to yours.

    It is still going now, albeit with reduced activity, but that's due to their being less opportunities to do what we were doing as we pretty much milked it.

    I guess it's how its done that counts. We often used to kick out members as well as sometimes inviting new ones for new perspectives.

    Edited by Nanny Rose, 20 March 2012 - 01:20 PM.

    • Ted likes this

    #11 Richar Green

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    Posted 20 March 2012 - 01:21 PM

    Make it "Invitation Only" kind of setup, so you'll be sure those Google Spy aren't there!

    #12 Ted

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    Posted 20 March 2012 - 01:38 PM

    I was and still am a member of a a private forum (non SEO) which went well for over 5 years with great info constantly being shared. My experience was different to yours.

    It is still going now, albeit with reduced activity, but that's due to their being less opportunities to do what we were doing as we pretty much milked it.

    I guess it's how its done that counts. We often used to kick out members as well as sometimes inviting new ones for new perspectives.


    Cool..Your methods definitely worked better for keeping them alive.

    My private forum memberships were all SEO/internet marketing forums. All failures in my opinion. None ever opened up to new members due to privacy concerns. We only wanted to share our best strategies with small groups of better friends. Even doing that, a lot of the ideas talked about ended up getting leaked into the public anyway. You would have one guy in the private forum learn something new then right away run and share that with all his blog followers. His blog followers would think he was a genius for having all this high level information.

    After a while it became apparent that more than one person was doing that. So really, there were a few people who were ratting out ideas, techniques and information that would have been profitable long term had they not been shared publicly. So much for privacy. That really only happened on one forum to my knowledge. The other ones just died due to lack of fresh ideas. That is my reasoning behind keeping forums limited to discussing certain topics via a private channel like Skype or private chat room or email. They would serve a very limited purpose and then be killed off.

    Gimme fuel gimme fire gimme that which I desire..............


    #13 richbell20

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    Posted 20 March 2012 - 03:22 PM

    I personally don't see any need for a new private forum. Let's be honest here, what fresh trickery can we come up with in a secret section that Google doesn't already know about (or will find out about). SEO isn't the stuff of magic, (unless you're trying to sell your service to noobs) it's about links - the power and volume and diversity of those links.

    It's what Google's Algorithm is based on, and probably always will be. I'd hazard a guess that Google knows every trick in the book already. The issue is and always has been with their algorithm.

    There really is nothing to hide. If I really want to share/learn something in greater detail, I approach people direct via PM, add them to skype etc. People are already sharing "advanced" stuff in private. I do agree with Ted that private Skype chats etc are a good thing, if only for sharing private link sources.

    #14 raven

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    Posted 20 March 2012 - 03:44 PM

    start with people you know and trust, well obviously that would be a given * smacks head* and invite them... then possibly let them use their judgement to bring in the people close to them. Not a free for all persay.

    oh and me since you and i had that 1hour skype session where i asked you every question that wasnt about backlinks about my site lol

    #15 matchoo77

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    Posted 20 March 2012 - 03:53 PM

    Polygraphs for everyone who wants in. Amazing that it has come to this....

    #16 adam

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    Posted 20 March 2012 - 03:56 PM

    The truth is, what ever conditions you make, Google could infiltrate.... So it then becomes about making it difficult..

    Something like 100+ posts & 3 months of active membership would be a good start.

    #17 richbell20

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    Posted 20 March 2012 - 04:04 PM

    You're missing the point. What's to infiltrate? We're playing in their playground, and they know they are being gamed left and right. I doubt they have to infiltrate a forum to deindex sites or discount backlinks.

    #18 a1b2

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    Posted 20 March 2012 - 04:06 PM

    In terms of who is involved, I don't think there should be any criteria in terms of registration length or post count.

    I think it should be solely at the discretion of TK and ARV or whoever he has help him.

    #19 SEO-EXPERT

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    Posted 20 March 2012 - 04:20 PM

    I guess it boils down to what your goals are with TrafficPlanet.com. If you have a private forum, then you are going to diminish the higher level information sharing that is happening openly on this forum right now. The reason I came here in the first place was because a colleague of mine told me that there were some really good discussions over here. If those good discussions were in private, he and I would not have found them and would not be members here as a result.

    I am a member of other private forums. They tend to dwindle even after starting strong. Everyone in the private forums basically says what they have to say over a few months. Then things dwindle away because there is nobody sparking new ideas. The public forum however has a constant influx of new topics and constant regurgitation of old topics because of the influx of new people. Those new people ask new questions and repeat old questions. That forces the latest thoughts on the topic to surface and adds value to the experience here.

    If people really want a hardcore black hat forum just for sharing black hat ideas that they don't want Google to see, then I suggest you create a separate private invitation only forum on some other domain. Invite a seed set of people you like from this forum. Then let them invite people they know. You would have to be invited in order to join, kind of like how Google plus started out. Any new members would need to be vouched for by an existing member.

    By creating that other private forum, I think you would be discouraging some of the more experienced members here from openly contributing here as much as they are now. That would accelerate the process by which this site would turn into just another noob forum like Warrior Forum. The information value would be lower. Trying to keep the quality level high has to be one of the biggest challenges of a forum. Isn't it? Separating the really juicy information from the average stuff would mean new visitors here are only going to find the average stuff. Is that really what you want?

    If people really want to have high level private discussions about one topic like ALN de-indexing or something like that, then I suggest promoting scheduled Skype chats. Let the 10-15 people (if there are that many) who are really interested in that topic attend a group chat either on this blog in the chat room or else privately on skype at some pre-scheduled time or even via email.


    Completely agree with you !

    #20 spiritus

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    Posted 20 March 2012 - 04:24 PM

    I think some people are reacting to the prospect of the forum going private and may be forgetting the motive for Terry suggesting it.

    Matt Cutt's Head AntiSpammer at Google mentioned Traffic Planet by name in a recent tweet. I'm sure Terry had an inkling that Google were well aware of all the black hat/seo forums on the web but to be name checked by Matt Cutts is nonetheless disconcerting.

    Taking the forum private isn't being discussed because Terry wants to create a small cabal of members-it's basically to try and keep Google out.

    If the main forum exists as a public forum then I'm afraid it would render the private forum useless if the same SEO techniques are discussed on both forums.

    Another option would be to take it offline completely and perhaps have a Skype conference call at designated times ?

    Matt, if you're reading this I think you are a wonderful human being. You're a good looking fella too !

    Edited by spiritus, 20 March 2012 - 04:25 PM.






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