When you are in the process of creating a Yuku community, you will find plenty of help.
But once the community has been created, the forums are in place, you have applied a nice skin, etc.. your task as a board owner is only just beginning. If you want a board that runs smoothly, it will need your attention at regular times. Especially new board owners could run into unexpected problems. In order to reduce those problems to a minimum, I would like to offer you the board owner's manual.
Many board owners prefer to have at least one administrator on their board. Administrators have the same tools available to them as the board owner. They have access to the controls of a board They can add and delete forums, see invisible forums, access private forums, ban users, etc.. Obviously you do not want to put those tools in the hands of someone you don't know well. Choose your administrators carefully. Promises are easily made, but don't base your decision on a promise or an offer to help. Consider the history of your potential administrators. Do they have experience? Do they have a habit of going AWOL? How do they react to specific problems such as arguments, flaming, etc...?
Advantages of having an administrator.
Some board owners might not be able to check in on the board regularly. An administrator who is on the board frequently can help keep an eye on things and make decisions should problems arise.
Computers and internet connections are not always as reliable as we want them to be. Should something happen to your computer and you would be off line for an extended period of time, your administrator could run the board and keep things in order.
Your administrator might be good at things you don't feel comfortable with, such as design and editing css, to have that extra helping hand can make a difference.
Disadvantages of having an administrator.
Opinions differ, minds clash and friendships fade. Sadly, it does happen. Should an argument develop between you and your administrator, things could get ugly, forums could get deleted, etc.. I'm sure that most arguments would end in a civil manner, but there is the possibility of loss to your board in situations like this.
Miscommunication (or lack of communication) can happen easily. Make sure you're on the same page with your administrator(s).
Having multiple administrators on your board is not a good idea. When you do, make sure there is sufficient communication. Put down some ground rules. Let your administrators know exactly what you expect of them. It doesn't make you 'bossy', it merely makes you a responsible board owner.
If you do not feel comfortable putting the administrator tools in someone's hands, then please don't do it. It might be difficult to refuse an offer made by a friend, but keep the best interest of your board in mind.
Losing control of your board.
Your administrators add forums, change forum descriptions, ban users and make important decisions without asking for your opinion first. You feel as if you have lost control of your own board. What to do?
It is easier to make someone an administrator than to take the admin privileges away. That's why it is very important to make sure your administrators know where the line needs to be drawn. Much of this is common sense, but what makes sense to you might not make sense to them and vice versa. Again, rules are not an indication of dictatorship, they are necessary in most cases.
If you have rules you can fall back on them. If you don't have rules, establish some and give the administrators a chance to stick to them. Most of the time their actions might have been taken in good faith and they might be completely unaware of the fact that you don't like the changes they made to your board Communicate. Convey. Use a voting system where changes to the board must be voted upon.
Choosing your administrators.
If you want an administrator and you have a good moderator on your board who has been with you for some time and checks in regularly, that would be a good person to ask to become an administrator.
Many board owners prefer other board owners as administrators. It's a bit of an exchange, you admin my board and I'll admin yours. This is also a good solution.
No matter how you choose your administrator, make sure that (s)he is a person you know and trust.
Occasional admins are people a board owner gives admin status to for a limited period of time, usually to have them help with something in the board controls. We strongly urge you not to do this. Yuku staff members are fully qualified to help you with any issue you might have. Never give admin tools in the hands of anyone you hardly know.
Moderators do not have access to the controls of a board However, here again, choose your moderators wisely. Having good moderators can make all the difference on a board.
Choosing your moderators.
Some board owners post a topic on their board asking for moderators to step up. Should you do this, it would be wise to give new moderators a trial period. If they work out that's great. If they don't, you will have a way out.
You can also ask one of your long time members to become a moderator. You will see who posts on the board regularly, who is familiar with the topics on hand, etc.. Pay attention to the members who use tact and kindness. When you have regular or long time members who like to argue, those are not usually the ones you'd want to moderate your board.
If your forums handle specific subjects such as religion, books, games, poetry, etc.. make sure to choose a moderator who is familiar with the subject.
When a moderator goes AWOL
A moderator needs to be visible on the board When (s)he disappears for long periods of time, it is better to choose a different moderator. Members like to see the moderators around . Someone who only stops in every once in a blue moon is not of much help. Send your absent moderators a PM. Ask if they are still interested in the mod position. If the answer is yes, explain what is expected of them.
Creating an administrator/moderator forum.
If you have a small board with perhaps one administrator and one moderator, it is not really necessary to create an administrator/moderator forum. You can coordinate via email or private messaging. But if you have multiple moderators, having a forum where you can coordinate is a great idea. Make sure the forum is private and located below your public forums. Nobody wants to see a forum they are denied access to in the middle of the board. You can also make the forum invisible. If the forum is invisible, you can put it anywhere, even as a subforum of your main discussion forum.
Attracting and accumulating members.
Once you have created a board fact is that there won't be 200 people waiting by the door to start posting. Getting members is something you need to work on.
First of all, make sure you are visible on the board If you only stop in every once in a while, chances are that the board will die.
Make your members feel welcome. Reply to their posts, let them know you appreciate them stopping in, invite them to come back. Beware of board cliques, new members pick up on that easily.
Don't keep it a secret that you own a board, promote it.
"Promote" is a good place to start.
Many Yuku communities have a promotion forum where you can leave a link to your board Be nice, thank the board owner. Leave your link.
Don't spam. If you don't see a place to leave your link, then don't do it without permission of the board owner.
Browse around and say hello on different board. Board owners often return the favour.
Use tags, it will be easier for people to find your board in a search.
Participate in board hops, you could even organise one.
Make sure to have a link to your board in your profile.
Promote your site on the web, not just on Yuku.
MBA or public?
If your board handles delicate subjects or is of a delicate nature, then MBA is the way to go.
If you have a chit chat board, there is no reason to make it MBA unless you and your members want privacy.
Dealing with spammers.
Be firm. Don't consider a spammer an addition to your member list. They have no intention to contribute to your board they are only interested in getting their spam messages across. If you are not sure whether they are actually spamming or not, don't ban them. But once you're certain that they are spamming, get rid of them. Please report all spammers here at the help desk so that we can also deal with them at a global level.
Deal with fights firmly. A few mouthy members can bring a board down in a hurry. Don't allow this on your board Quality of posts should always be preferred over quantity. It might take longer to build up your community, but it will be beneficial in the long run. You really don't need the ugliness of foul language and name calling, it is a disgrace to any board.
We all have our moments. We all wonder at times.. why am I doing this? Why not just close the board The decision to close a board should not be taken lightly. Give it some time. Perhaps add a different skin, change the forums around a bit and see how you feel in a week. It takes a lot of effort to start up a board to get members and to keep them. Should you decide to close your board and then later have a change of heart, you will have lost members and you will need to start from scratch.
Your members might be afraid that you'll close the board again and become unwilling to put energy in posting on a board that could close once more.
Why choose Yuku?
Because we're all nice here.
Seriously, Yuku has everything you need. The boards on Yuku are not like little dots in cyber space that can't be connected. Tags, search functions, the promotion boards board hops, recent posts in people's profiles, the community spirit, all those things contribute to finding your way to different boards and to make the community spirit what it is today.
Yuku has many features you will not find on other systems. The staff members have proven their expertise in building this system while the long time members have proven their willingness to help you when you need help.