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Registered: 07-2005
Location: Texas
Posts: 15102
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RDS - 2005 - Gallery

In December 2005 the very first Board of the Month contest was held in The Runboard Directory. The winner (which could also be called the first Board of the Year winner) was chosen from a field of nine entries. Back then TRD sent a questionaire to the board owners and the winner was announced when the questionaire was returned. In this post I have quoted that very first "winner's questionaire" with my only edit being the change to the url links and screenshot image. (original topic post)

Firlefanz wrote:

The Board of the Month for December 2005 is:

Freelance Writers United




Kev2012 has been so kind as to answer a few questions about his board and about his function as owner:

 ~~1. What made you decide to start a board?~~

Well to be honest I didn't suddenly think "hay, I'm going to start a message board" it was more of a gradual process. I was a member of another writing forum for a long time, and I always got the impression that they were somewhat "elitist", something I dislike, I also knew that many writers across the world felt like me, that writing should be for all, not just those who are fortunate enough to be published regularly. So me and a few friends got together and decided that we could create a community that welcomes all ages and abilities, and that’s what we done. Things spiralled from there really.

~~2. What made you choose Runboard?~~

A simple google search, viewing some wonderful boards, eye catching layout with lots of freedom and easy to get started. It was as simple as that, Runboard seemed convenient, welcoming and offered the ability to make the board "unique".

~~3. What's your target audience?~~

Our target audience is primarily writers, any age, any ability, but many people enjoy the board yet don't participate in the writing forums, they mainly post in the general forums. Basically I thought it important to have a specific target group but welcome all.

~~4. How did you get people to join? How did you advertise your board?~~

Well to start off with, for the first 1/2 months I didn't really advertise, I wasn't sure what it involved. I got a core group of family and friends through word of mouth and E-mails to people I knew from other boards. The board started to grow at a steady pace. Then I found the advert, which is ideal; again people came from there. Basically I got as many links as possible (and legal) to the board all over the web.

~~5. What's the central theme of your board?~~

Writing. All genres. That theme is what the board is primarily all about. It terms of looks, I wanted something catching, yet simple. At the end of the day people are going to be reading a lot from the board, stories and poems, so bold bright colours tend to deter this. I wanted a simple white background, something very important, and a set of three or four core colours that were mellow and fitted well with each other and the white background.

~~6. What are the board rules and how important are they?~~

The board has a series of rules that new members are advised to read. We follow the Runboard T.O.S very strictly, and have several of our own rules added to this. We are very liberal, and only ask a few things. We like our topics to be kept on track of what they were started for. We ask members to respect others opinions and not be offensive, as i said we are pretty liberal.

~~7. How important is the look and feel of the board? Or, is content and member involvement more important?~~

Both are equal if I'm honest. It's good to have member involvement, but also the board has to look and feel right or you will get stuck in a rut. You need new members to feel just as at home with the board as experienced members. That way the member involvement should increase accordingly.

~~8. How do you keep interest up?~~

I like to start new attention grabbing topics on a wide range of issues as often as I can. Sport, News, Writing, Competitions, Awards, Polls, Games, many things, all members like different toipcs and you need to ensure a broad spectrum of diverse topics are created regularly.

~~9. What's the best feature of your board?~~

CCWF has created a great "quick reply" feature, which is ideal for the games and quick discussions with members who are online at the same time as you. I also think the way Avatars are kept tidy using a clever trick found on Tips and Tricks makes the board nice on the eye. Basically the board has many cool little features combined making FWU very unique, it's hard to pick a best.

~~10. What are your plans for the future, boardwise?~~

To keep growing, to keep making members happy, and to one day have a board member get published in the mainstream and that is something that might come sooner rather than later.

~~11. What would be your advice to a new Board owner? ~~

One key word. Patience. And this word should be used many times. You need to be patient when building your board and even more patient when changing and perfecting it. Runboard can be tinkered beyond belief, you need to try and you will make mistakes, but keep plugging away and one day you'll see how good your board looks. But never rest, always add new things and features and keep it fresh.

When it comes to members, again you have to be patient, as your board gets more topics more people will come visit and join. It takes many months to get a coherent core group of posters which is vital to a boards survival. New topics and new posts whenever you can.

Answer all questions from new members, don't leave them hanging.


Thanks, Kev, and congrats again. emoticon

This board is still open and still has some activity.


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