The Newbie's Guide to Message Board Networking: Part 1

Ask any of the major players in this industry how they got to where they are today and I am sure they will say that networking has played a major role.  Networking is critical for success and a very cost-effective way to market your product or service to your peers.  So, how in an industry such as this that is made up of people spread all over the world, spending countless hours locked to their computers, can networking take place?  We are all aware that there are several major events each year such as webmaster conventions and trade shows that bring the community together as a whole for a binge of drinking and networking.  But, what about those people who cannot afford the large expense that these shows incur or the people that live on the other side of the ocean?  The number one arena for networking in the online adult world is the message board (a.k.a. bbs, forums).  Message boards provide a free, easy, and effective way to network with others in the industry and to grant exposure to your product, program, or service.

Message Boards are in fact communities that are made up of like-minded people who share a common interest.  In this case, that interest is working in the online adult entertainment business.  Each board has it’s own unique personality and flair; therefore, you want to try to find boards that suit your style.  If you are a newbie in the industry, and are looking for tips, inspiration and guidance, you would want to head towards the boards that are geared towards newcomers.  If you are a gay Webmaster then it would be wise to gravitate to some of the gay Webmaster boards.  If you are already somewhat established in the industry and you can dish it as well as you can take it, then I would suggest hanging out at one of the very entertaining “bitchfest” boards.

When you join a board, lurk around and observe for a while before posting.  This will give you a sense for what the board is all about, who the frequent posters are, and how much action there is.  Once you feel comfortable enough and familiar with the board, post an introduction.  Tell everyone a little bit about yourself and what you do.  Whatever you do, do not make your introduction a blatant SPAM, as that is no way to get a warm welcome from the rest of the board members.  Check your post frequently to see who responds and add your own comments in to keep the dialogue going.  Once you introduce yourself, you can also contribute to other conversations and threads.  Do not be afraid to post your opinions or comments, ask questions, answer somebody else’s questions, or even tell a story.

Now it is time for you to quickly become a known name or character on the board.  The biggest mistake that some newbies make is that they disappear or go back to lurking after they post their introductions.  It is extremely difficult to network if you just hang back and observe the action.  The only way for your name or program to get known is to become active in the daily activities of the board.  It may take a while for you to build up your status, but once you do, it will be well worth it.  Remember that everyone started somewhere.

When it comes to posting on message boards, there is a certain code of conduct or rules that need to be followed to ensure that you maintain a productive and positive relationship with the other board members.

1.       Do not SPAM.  Spamming is despised by all and will usually result in your termination from the board.  Use your signature space to promote yourself and your product or service.  Some boards even allow you to add graphics to your signature.  This will prove much more effective for promotion than spamming will.

2.       Do not FLAME others.  Flaming means to bad mouth another person, program or sponsor.  The boards are not the place to get revenge on those that you feel have committed a wrongdoing.  Nor are they a place to air out someone else’s dirty laundry.  As I mentioned before, there are boards out there that webmasters can go to if they are looking for a hostile and abusive environment.

3.       Do not post in all capital letters.  This means that you are yelling and the other board members are likely to take offense to it.

4.       Racism and prejudice are not tolerated on most boards and can most likely lead to getting you banned from the board.

5.       Do not try to pretend to be something that you are not.  There was once a girl (I will not name names) who went crazy posting to the boards promoting her program along with sexy pictures of herself and she got a lot of attention from many of the male webmasters out there.  After about three months of doing so and gaining a lot of business in the mean time, she was exposed: she was actually a guy.  Well, needless to say when all the male webmasters found out they were very pissed and it ended up turning out very badly for this person.  The stunt pretty much put them out of business.

Basically, my words of wisdom are: be yourself.  Contribute to the threads, especially the ones in which you feel that you can give some sound advice or an expert opinion.  A very good board for those of you who are looking for a board in which they can learn as well as educate others and have fun at the same time is our very own Underwear Lounge.

Stay tuned for part 2 of the Newbie’s Guide to Message Board Networking in which I will share some more secrets to success, spill some dirt, and tell some amusing stories.

Reader Comments: (1 posts)

Trish says:
Well put, sir, well put. I'll cetrialny make note of that.
October 26th, 2012
at 12:57am EST
Rating StarRating Star


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