What processes need to be created for setting up and maintaining a forum?

We hosted a discussion on Forum Strategy and explored some answers to questions.

This one was: What processes need to be created for setting up and maintaining a forum?

  • What flywheels need to be created?
  • Shared acronyms/dictionary
  • Pick a platform
  • Process for removing/updating outdated discussions
  • Add categories/tags?
  • How do we promote it?
  • Rules and moderation
  • What goes into moderation?
  • Internal team staffing for moderation and participating in conversations
  • Code of Conduct
  • How will discussions happen?
  • Naming and branding
  • Guidance on how to ask a good question/write a good topic
  • Notification options/setup - how will people be notified if someone replies, likes, mentions?
  • Is there an emojis strategy :star_struck:
  • Platform maintenance
  • Messaging to existing community members explaining what they should do if they want to participate
  • What is not allowed? How do we agree on that?

This is a wiki post, feel free to edit this list directly or add a comment. :blush:

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That’s a pretty comprehensive list already.

If we think of “Creating” and “maintaining” as two different lists, then I think key areas are:

Creating

  • Picking a platform (with some input from members if already on a platform elsewhere)
  • Code of conduct (set those boundaries and non-negotiables early)
  • Branding and mission statement
  • Docs on how notifications work, how to create content, etc

Maintaining

  • Internal team management
  • Growth strategy
  • Promotion strategy
2 Likes

Great lists so far! Some things I would add depending on your organization’s size or the number of people involved in maintaining/taking care of the community. Some of these might be redundant. I’m looking through my Confluence docs :smiley: so this might be too specific.

  • Roles and Responsibilities. Our community is managed by a team of 1 under the support umbrella. We are built on insided (platform) and only have 5 admin seats. The amount to increase this is out of our budget so we created a support login (in case anyone besides myself needs to login: vacations, etc.). We also outlined our expectations for other teams on how often they need to check the community to answer questions that fall within their expertise.
  • Employee Engagement Guidelines. What’s ok and what’s not ok to post. General guidelines on how to answer questions.
  • How and When to Ban Community Members
  • How to Collect Member Feedback About Our Product. We use Productboard for this and set up an integration with Zapier.com.
  • Community Events and How to Run Them
  • How to Submit Events to Appear in the Community. This is for the marketing and success teams.
  • How to Push Conversations to Support. Not all conversations are meant for our community. Things like billing will be moved to our support channels.
  • Community Metrics Reporting: what are we reporting and where can we find those analytics within the community.
  • Terms and Conditions
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