How to establish a successful forum based on discourse?

Continuing the discussion from 1,000,000 pageviews in 2 weeks...! Why? Because Discourse. 🚀 :

I establish a bitcoin forum based on discourse, but still get no visitors. So your pageviews may be related with the youtube channel.


I’ll correct this statement and say that our pageviews (at least initially) were DEFINITELY related with the YouTube channel. But, this was where we started and it has since begun to gain its own steam.


Gosh, looks very like:

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there are a bunch of similar forums now… but, the truth is that “Crypto Pub” copied “The Bitcoin Pub” almost word-for-word:

We were notified by our community of it when it first launched. It is what it is.


Just like the coins, it comes down to who’s got the traffic :wink:


Yes… and no. I’m actually not offended in the slightest. I joined the other forums because I believe that we all win when we collaborate instead of compete, especially in this specific space.

But, one thing that I know many folks here can attest to… if you’re not fully invested in building out your community and spending time growing it… it just won’t work.

Building a successful (i.e. consistently growing) forum community is really hard work… some of the hardest “work” that I’ve ever committed myself to! But, the results have been phenomenal.


Well, as they say: ‘Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery’

Good for you!

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Good to know. Thanks.:grinning:

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Establishing a successful community is very hard work spanning a few years – in case it’s not a complimentary (= support) forum to some existing product or service that you sell. In the latter case, you’re going to naturally have active community consisting of your customers.

It took us almost 3 years to make a forum with just 2600 registered users writing ~ 18k posts per month. We had to compete with 3 other forums in a very tiny niche, and we now outperform all of them. Nobody (except our team) believed we would reach this goal :slight_smile:

What we did:

  • contests and games for socialising
  • markets and maps
  • regular participation of our team members in discussions
  • a bit of journalism
  • a bit of translation from foreign languages
  • a bit of politics behind the scenes to talk key people into joining us
  • regular improvement to rules and following them
  • regular publication of guides and tutorials to help people achieve their goals
  • watching for dying topics and reviving them aggressively
  • curating content thoughtfully
  • stating our mission clearly and giving regular examples of how we accomplish it

If the only value you bring with your forum is the forum itself, you’ll have to do all that work. However, if it’s complimentary to some of your products, it will be much easier.

Also, Don't be fooled by activity metrics – they may vary greatly in different community types


Love this @meglio… and thanks for the tips! i’m going to borrow a few of them…

… also, what is the community site?

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I’m interested in this bit here.

First of all how do you define for your specific forum when a topic is “dying” (what metric do you use, no new post in x days for example).

How do you go about reviving a dead topic “aggressively”? By having members of your team make new posts in that topic, pinning the post, redirecting traffic to that post?

After a dead topic has been revived but dies again do you repeat the process to revive it again?


What if the topic owner posts a “do not revive” notice?


Hm never encountered such a case. Maybe in this case the topic should be closed? Or… what’s an example?

I was kidding.


Haha sorry I sometime cannot recognise joke tone in English.

Do not resuscitate (DNR), also known as no code or allow natural death, is a legal order written either in the hospital or on a legal form to withhold cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) or advanced cardiac life support (ACLS), in respect of the wishes of a patient in case their heart were to stop or they were to stop breathing.

I do believe though that reviving topics work — I do it regularly and some of such topics become “bestsellers”.


Thanks for your wise advices. In deed, good ux/ui of platform and content increase the success. But could you specify why did you choose this platform? Being UX researcher I am interested in the perception of users - what do they like / dislike the most and why from technical point of view :slight_smile: