Feedback requested - Merging BandofOthers and Movie Forums

Kenadian

Staff member
Site Admin
#1
Hello all,

Currently I've 3 Web Communities I own/operate and I've let all slide due to time constraints. In truth, only one ever did well but I had to live there for about 8 years to make it happen.

The problem is I simply lack the time to run these Communities however fully shuttering them is not an option either. They must remain because I love them all and if the following works out they may once again prove viable.

One of the sites is Social Support, Lifesupporters.com which I'm keeping alive however shut the Forums down. I only plan on populating the Blog. There's at least 20 articles sitting in queue there equating to a ton of research at this point plus other musings I want published. This site will not be merged and will remain independent.

The other site I'm actually considering merging is called Movie Talk. I won't link it here because I think it was compromised recently and some of the links actually re-direct offsite which I did not do. Having said that, the forum has approx. 400'ish Members and some decent content.

This Movie Site is the one I'm considering merging with Band of Others but changes have to be made to accommodate this.

For starters, Band of Others Forums will no longer be Band of Ohers Forums, the same can be said for Movie Talk.

Instead, both Blogs will re-direct to a new url I've yet to choose as an example unsurewhattocallthisyet.com.

For the name we'll do our research to find a good name that links both mediums. This will be a serious challenge as we'll need to keep SEO in mind while keeping things sensical so people don't feel misplaced in whichever forum they prefer.

Now before you panic both will still accept the existing url's you're accustomed to except they will re-direct via .htaccess to the new site. I'll offer a temporary re-direct page for both BandofOthersGaming and Movie-Talk to the new site so you know what's happening.

This new larger site will retain a lot of the aesthetic and functionality you're accustomed to (minus errors hopefully) however the banner will change to whatever the new site name is.

Gaming will retain the same visual properties with movies having there own look and feel.

Lastly, Movie-Talk was a bit limiting given how many different forms of viewing entertainment there are such as TV Shows, Sports Entertainment, etc., however it was a targeted approach to driving traffic. Its category should open up when we agree on a new parent name for both Band of Others and Movie Talk.

...

Here's why I want this, Movie-Talk when properly maintained drives a ton of traffic. I created the site after weeks of researching search patterns and traffic stats in Google Analytics. When I published the site I performed all best practices for SEO and the site got hammered in traffic. It dwarfed the traffic Lifesupporters.com was generating which, at the time, drove enough revenue to completely cover Server costs.

In the space of a month we had so much traffic I was forced to upgrade our Webhost Package to handle the Server Load.

Unfortunately I wasn't truly prepared and had not considered DDOS and admin page brute force attacks so all sites were hacked in about 3 days.

Truthfully, we've never bounced back from this and I'd like to get headed back in the right direction.

...

Currently I spend close to $140/month to host these sites and my Customer Sites and I've been paying out this amount for about 12 years now. My Customer base has thinned as many have either sold or shut down their sites so I'm on the hook for most of the balance.

It's just not sustainable any longer and I need to turn this around without sacrificing my Websites.

Some cost savings will come in the form of a new Webhost (hopefully) with more potential savings down the road if I can cut down on Storage Size in the future.

...

My plan (full transparency):
  1. The main forum page will likely serve 2 Main Categories and collapsed sub-Categories
    • Gaming
    • Entertainment
  2. Attachment sizes will be dropped to help save disk space.
  3. We'll no longer support attachments of 4K imagery.
  4. Teamspeak will officially be dropped in favor of Discord so I can run Advertisements (see below).
  5. I hate doing it but advertisements will be re-enabled to help offset costs. Do not worry, I HATE ADS, and will not allow them to be intrusive. Previously ads were served above the fold (the webpage you're viewing prior to scrolling with mouse wheel), one likely in Sidebar and one buried in either post content or below.
  6. Teams will be created for Movie watch nights and Gaming events held bi-annually to start.
...

This may sound drastic to some of you but I assure you it really shouldn't represent a titanic shift in what you've become accustomed to.

The most obvious changes are the forums will be a it longer and there will be two distinct themes for both.

The Top Navigation will remain this width but offer more categories to look at.

There will be some ads but they should not get in your way.

... and last but not least more interesting discussion and new Membership (hopefully) to welcome.

Thank you for reading, please share your thoughts as I'd love to hear them.

Sincerely,

Ken
 

Kenadian

Staff member
Site Admin
#5
Thank you for the feedback folks, much appreciated.

The more I think about it the more I believe this will be a net positive for both Communities.

Plus, who doesn't like talking about movies?

Anyway, new thread soon to follow discussing potential Community Website Name.
 

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