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Is it Worth Reopening An Inactive Forum?

After reading a discussion on a popular promotion and webmaster forum about the worth of reopening a forum that has been dead for years, I decided to look into some answers and share with you the positives and negatives of reopening the old forum to come to a conclusion whether or not it is actually worth it. Enjoy the article!

Positives of reopening an inactive forum

There are many positives of reopening an inactive forum that will surely make you jump at an option if it presents itself to you. Lets cover them in detail right now so you can know why you would even bother revisiting that old Pokemon forum you owned 3 years ago.

  • There is already a member base and many posts on the forum. This is a huge benefit to anyone who would want to reopen an old forum. The content, which really drives a forum, is already there – this cuts down the amount of work you need to do by a big amount. If you look at this as a positive you really need to make sure that the content is still actually relevant. For example, a gaming forum from a year ago would not have relevant posts for now, so you would most likely not see this as a positive or a good idea to do.
  • The branding has already been done. The planning stages of a project is (in my opinion) the hardest and most stressful stages in the entire project. With a project that has already reached success, you do not need to do as much planning because you already have: the domain; the site sections; rule topics and maybe even a rough idea in terms of designs.
  • Emails! You already have a handful of people that have signed up to your community before and at least a few of those members will come back and support you (could include staff) with a email stating that you are reviving a community.

Negatives of reopening an inactive forum

  • Why did it get inactive? This is something you really need to consider. If the forum got inactive for a negative reason then that bad reputation will be attached to the name of the forum and will not leave simply because of a revival. This will most likely mean your forum will result in failure and will not pick up activity like you may wish.
  • Your content is now irrelevant! For some forums like gaming, TV, music forums you will face the issue of dated content which will not really get any discussion anymore. If this is the case: you might as well start a new forum altogether.
  • Members will wonder why there is a big chunk of time without any posts. This may scare them around and the graveyard atmosphere may still loom over the members heads who will not want to invest their time in a project that was inactive before and could face that issue again.

Is it worth it?

Well this is the main point of the article and quite frankly something that is pretty impossible to answer unless it is done more specifically. I would suggest that if you have a forum that has a decent reputation, has only been inactive for less than a year and the content is still relevant then it may be best to go and revive the forum.

If the forum has been inactive for more than a year I would really think that starting new content and getting replies to those threads will be very hard. Hopefully I helped and I would love to know in the comments if you have ever revived a forum that has been inactive for any period of time – if so, what were the outcomes?

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