Managing Online Forums: Everything You Need to Know to Create and Run Successful Community Discussion Boards

ABOUT Patrick OKeefe

Patrick OKeefe
My name is Patrick O’Keefe. I’m a writer, web developer, entrepreneur and community administrator who has been professionally developing websites since 1998 and managing online communities since 2000. Beyond just being the administrator, however, I’ve spent substantial amounts of ti More...


Check out the book website for full details.

Every day, millions of users log on to their favorite online forums, communities and social spaces and interact with others to get advice and discuss everything from the latest news and trends to their hobbies and professions to whatever else strikes their fancy. Administrators have to lead these communities, deal with difficult users, manage staff members and make tough decisions.

Legal constraints, spammers and technical issues can turn the excitement of running an online community into chaos. With the right guidance, however, running forums can be an enjoyable and rewarding experience. My name is Patrick O’Keefe and I own the iFroggy Network. I’ve spent years developing and managing online communities. In this book, I share my experiences in a straight forward, honest fashion and show you how to make the right decisions about every aspect of your forums, including:

• Creating an organizational structure
• Designing and launching your community
• Deciding on user options like avatars and private messaging
• Promoting and attracting members
• Utilizing technology to your benefit
• Developing and enforcing guidelines
• Choosing and managing moderators
• Shutting down users who disrupt and harm the community
• Involving your users and keeping the site interesting and inviting
• Generating revenue

What is talked about in this book is not hypothetical - it consists of in use, battle-tested theories and solutions, making it so that when you must deal with these issues on your forums, you will be better equipped. Real life examples are cited throughout, including the actual user guidelines, staff member guidelines and more, from real communities.

This is a book for both new administrators and experienced ones. If you are new, it will give you a major boost as you grow your knowledge and build your community. If you are already an administrator that’s leading a successful community, the book can enhance your knowledge and give you more to think about and, with that, even more experience for you to pull from.

Managing Online Forums is the one book that shows site owners and administrators how to create a safe and entertaining community that users will return to again and again.

“O’Keefe provides an impressively insightful, comprehensive, and cogent blueprint for building a loyal and responsive community online.”

- Ryan Leslie, Founder, NextSelection Lifestyle Group, recording artist, producer, and online video pioneer

“… Managing Online Forums is a worthwhile book to buy and absorb. There are TONS of great resources in there, and lots of real world examples for you to follow. This alone makes the book a great resource to have on the shelf.”

- Chris Brogan

“Patrick is one of the true leaders in online community building, and his knowledge isn’t just theoretical, it is based on ‘in the trenches’ experience–and those experiences will prove invaluable as you look to leverage community in your endeavors.”

- Jeremy Wright, CEO, b5media, and author, Blog Marketing

“Online forums make up the very foundation of the social web. Unfortunately, there are few resources for the growing number of people who work behind the scenes to make them successful. In this comprehensive book, Patrick O’Keefe brings his real-world experiences to bear in the form of strategies, tactics, and ideas that fill a knowledge gap that has begged to be filled for too long.”

- Lee LeFever, Principal, Common Craft

“Patrick O’Keefe has been building online communities for nearly ten years. He’s got more expertise and experience than anyone else when it comes to leveraging the power of community. Read this book and you’ll save time and frustration. Best of all, you’ll get results.”

- Zack Urlocker, Executive Vice President, MySQL