One of the great things about the internet is that it allows people with the same passion to come together. A common place for like minded people who were previously alone on different sides of the earth to connect, communicate, and collaborate is online forums.
They help people to:
- learn about a new topic,
- find real-time discussions,
- connect over shared experiences
- produce social interactions,
- or just to fawn over their favourite things.
Nowadays, there are plenty of platforms available to gather a community into a forum. Whether that is using sites like Facebook, or using forum specific apps such as Reddit.
Another approach is to create a forum app yourself. This may seem like a big step that requires you to get familiar with programming and graphic design, but not anymore. Whether you’re a life coach, yoga teacher, charity, or just a person with a specific passion you can create a forum app.
Independent forum platforms like ourselves, enable anyone to build their own app, usually on iOS, and Android. They provide the services and features you need to create a forum that will engage and become a meeting place for your audience. Creating a custom forum is now easier than it has ever been.
1. Independence and full control
When building your forum on someone else’s platforms (like Reddit or Mumsnet) they’re in control. You have to adapt to fit into their approach. Using an independent platform to create a forum app where you decide the approach gives you much more freedom.
You can make the decisions to suit your forum’s subject or community. Whether that means different community guidelines to ensure people can express themselves freely or selecting moderation tools that ensures the forum is free from trolling. With your own forum app, you’re in control.
Another hot topic to consider when choosing the best forum app for you is the privacy of your data. In recent years, many tech platforms haven’t covered themselves in glory when it comes to data privacy. Make sure you choose a forum app that provides a secure GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) compliant platform. This puts the control of personal data into the hands of individuals, not corporations.
2. Customise for your niche
There is a basic list of requirements needed for a forum. Users have to be able to create posts, comment, and message each other. But beyond that most forums will want different functions and features.
Depending on the niche you’re operating in you can create a forum app tailored to provide the content you want. A forum around photography is going to want to focus on sharing high-quality images, a forum discussing music might want to focus on music files. Maybe you want to implement a customised achievement system for frequent users or allow people to individualise their profiles.
With a forum app created by you, you can customise at every stage to meet your needs.
3. Deeper Connections with Others
One of the most attractive things about a forum is the chance to connect with other like-minded people. This is especially true if you have a niche hobby, you live in a remote area, or you simply prefer to make connections online rather than face-to-face.
It’s much easier to share content, ideas, and even feelings online too, so the connections you form with people can be both intellectually and emotionally rich. Social and cultural barriers are broken down, so you may also find yourself in friendships with people you wouldn’t normally mix with in real-life. That’s one of the wonders of online forums.
4. Extra Security
Forum apps created on independent platforms usually have added security and protection. Make sure you use a forum app that encrypts content and data safely, and allows you full control over data.
Being able to create your own forum guidelines and moderate the forum how you see fit will help to ensure that you can prevent trolling. As your forum grows, you may need to enlist volunteer moderators, or hire some people to do it for you.
5. Insights from Data
With a custom forum app, you get access to analytics that work for you. Obtain the data required to find insights that allow you to better understand your forum and how people are using it. If you want to learn what’s popular on the forum, the demographics of members, or want to build the community by reaching new people. We provide you with the analytics you need, so you can ensure you’re building the best forum app out there.
6. Direct Monetisation
A forum app with direct monetisation features for a business or creator, allows you to connect with a passionate fan base and improve your ROI compared to traditional social media.
At Disciple, we call this the “passion economy” which refers to the fact that people are often willing to pay people that provide good content, ideas or resources in their field of interest or passion. For instance, a yoga teacher that can provide expert one-to-one online tuition or a musician can share a behind-the-scenes look into their life.
People will always seek out online forums to connect with people who share the same likes and passions. Now you can create a forum app that is customised and puts you in control.
The great thing about forums is that they can be as specific as you want. We’ve helped hundreds of people build thriving communities and we’re experts at building the best forum app to match the communities who want to use them.