So this is definitely the hardest and most unpopular decision I’ve had to make so far. As of today the forum is closed. Here’s a bit more about the decision.
I had already made my decision last week after giving the forum a thorough month long assessment. The simple fact is that the forum is simply not adding value for the majority of members. As an admin I can clearly see this from the % of members that visit or post there.
When we analyse the % of members who access other products such as WP Supervisor or the theme library then we see much higher uptake figures – this means these are the areas that are adding real, tangible value for the majority of members. This is where the focus lies.
I apologise to the vocal minority who where finding value from the forum, all I can say is that in a world of finite resources sometimes tough and unpopular decisions have to be made.
Could I have made the forum a success? Sure I could, if I’d spent time each day finding, reading and responding to posts I’m sure it would have been a much busier resource. But then what about the products? Who’s developing products if I’m in the forum chatting to members.
The majority of our members want quality products that are going to accelerate their online profits. They want value. There are myriads of other resources out there for discussing Internet Marketing tactics and strategies.
Our forum runs on Invision Power Board. It is no better or worse than any of the other major forum tools in terms of security. They provide security updates when they identify problems and we patch them into our installation as quickly as possible. This takes time, a developer has to stop work on product and apply and test the forum update. Recently the forum had started to experience more spam comments which the moderators had been staying on top of. We also see more hack attempts on our forum URL than an on any other area of Profit Marketer.
For now, nothing has happened. With constant vigilance it probably never would but there is a cost again. That cost is some focus taken away from core products and put into a back-end resource that the majority of members don’t use.
The forum is increasingly becoming a liability we are no longer prepared to divert our support into.
Having reviewed the forum extensively there is undoubtedly some valuable information in there. Once we have the time we will either re-open the forum in either read-only mode or move some of the most valuable content where it can be accessed.
Product and account support will, of course, continue to be provided via our support site at http://support.profitmarketer.com.
I’m sure there is going to be a lot of strong feeling about this, as there was when I first proposed the closure in February. I can only apologise and move forward by adding more ‘real’ value to profit marketer as was the original plan.