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Thread: Why do you join forums?

  1. #1
    Silver Member Vincent's Avatar
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    Why do you join forums?

    Why do people join forums?

    Is it to:-
    1. grow your business by selling your product/service
    2. buy products/services from people that you 'feel that you can trust'
    3. find information to help you or your business
    4. grow your social networking contacts

    Perhaps there are other reasons why people join forums.

    I'll go first.
    I've joined this forum and a few other forums to grow my business, but I've come to believe that this is not the case. Everyone is trying to sell their service/product but no one is buying. Sometimes too much emphasis is placed on the building of relationships, getting to know your fellow businessperson, building trust and ultimately doing business. There needs to be balance between these factors, otherwise it can end up as another social networking forum.

    What interests me about this forum is the volume of information that can be found amongst it pages - very helpful and informative.

    Will it help grow my business - perseverance and time will tell!!
    Shortly I will be contacting a few members to assist me in growing my business - on and off-line.
    Vincent Marino
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  2. #2
    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
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    My expectation in joining forums has always been to learn more about the forum topic, rather than networking to gain business. It's still my "purpose." Perhaps that is why I don't understand Facebook.

    I have learnt a lot from hanging around folks and in so-called idle discussion. At the very least it is a testing board for our paradigms, and our paradigms are critical to our level of success. Even when something comes up where I'm doing the helping, quite often the question or issue itself is something that I'd long forgotten about - a reminder of sorts for important things that have not been top-of-mind for a while.

    Every now and then this internet life has produced direct business, but for me that has alway been a windfall, not the intention. It is the knowledge and paradigm adjustments gained that enable me to do better, in this instance, in business. And for me that is the value.
    The trouble with opportunity is it normally comes dressed up as work.

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    Combination of factors.

    1. Sounding board
    2. Venting board
    3. Information board
    4. Social platform
    5. Business growth
    6. Google rankings

    Having said that I will not spend time where people behave like lunatics (unless I am the lunatic) and where I feel that I cannot learn more....so I guess INFORMATION BOARD should be at number one on my list!
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    Debbie
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  4. #4
    Silver Member Vincent's Avatar
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    I'm a newie to forums, but one thing that gets bantered frequently is, "If you want to grow your business then join a forum," that's why I joined, but it appears that I will have to change the way I think about forums. It seems that an internet forum is a discussion group for participants with common interests - not necessarily about growing your business, unlike face-to-face networking.

    Currently another forum, which I'm a member of, is running a survey that asks:
    You need a breakthrough in your business...
    a) Pretty badly....................40%
    b) That would be nice...........31%
    c) I can see one coming........23%
    d) Thanks, I'm flying.............6%
    (hope I'm not going to be rapped over the knuckles for this.)

    It's interesting to note that most of the respondents are looking for business. And yet very few try and promote their business.

    It would be informative and enlightening to understand the dynamics of this forum. Is The Forum SA similar, or are the members of The Forum SA different in terms of their expected outcome.
    Vincent Marino
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    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
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    I can sense a poll or more coming.

    By the way, Vincent, I'm pretty open to other sites being mentioned or even being linked to. I've got this theory that we're better off cross-pollinating, rather than "hoarding" members. Let's not try to pretend there aren't other options out there. There are and that's OK.

    At the end of the day, people will hang around where they want to anyway.

    I call it the food mall system - although very few forum admins seem to have got the concept yet.
    The trouble with opportunity is it normally comes dressed up as work.

  6. #6
    Silver Member Vincent's Avatar
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    Thanks Dave, appreciate your candour.
    The 'food mall system', love it. Many years ago the furniture stores did the same thing. If you remember they were all in close proximity (walking distance) to each other.
    Vincent Marino
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  7. #7
    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vincent View Post
    Many years ago the furniture stores did the same thing. If you remember they were all in close proximity (walking distance) to each other.
    If you're talking about near the dead centre of Durban, that was because most of them were owned by the Beares Group or affiliated company anyway

    Yeah. It's one of those more recent business concepts that really does work.
    The trouble with opportunity is it normally comes dressed up as work.

  8. #8
    Silver Member Vincent's Avatar
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    JHB in the 50s, 60s and 70s had stores like OK Bazaars, Geen & Richards, Morkels, and an odd Beares store, which were all independents , yet were all very close to each other. The theory was that shoppers 'hated' walking distances for similar products, so by putting similar stores close to each other, you had a concentration of stores and a concentration of potential buyers, similar to the food courts.

    This in time gave way to shopping centre and the decentralisation of city centres. JHB today is being urbanised, with many of the old buildings been renovated and sold off as apartments. - Is this happening in Durban?
    Vincent Marino
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  9. #9
    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
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    Much the same pattern here, I think. Just a different scale. Our CBD didn't crash quite as dramatically as JHB's did.
    The trouble with opportunity is it normally comes dressed up as work.

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    Platinum Member Chatmaster's Avatar
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    Forums gave me an opportunity to test my knowledge and skill as well as learn more. This has always been my agenda. You will note that I do not crave social talk and are much more frequent in areas where I have an interest in. Maybe I am just a serious person or maybe just passionate about what I do, but I am pretty much open with advice and my own agendas. I feel I have learned much more by being open for criticism than by being completely selfish and keeping my opinions to myself. I do not like arguments and completely get put of of forums where there are "wise ass" argumentative people. I speak my mind and say what I feel and that is it. The rest of time I will learn from other people that just like me have a valuable opinion and in many cases know allot more than me. I have learned allot on this forum and that is why I like it. The source of information available here makes it a gold mine and great to be a part of. Guess that is my core motivation for being here...

    I joined my first forum in 1998 and since then got banned several times for being to... serious? The fact is though that I have learned from others what I know today, and most of that I learned on forums. Forums is like one huge brain digging tool, where you can feast in your ideas being perfected.

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