Are There Too Many Sims Forums?

The question has been raised after the latest plug by LisaV913z for her struggling forum (membership less than 30, despite heavy plugging on several forums):


Retaf as per usual waved his pom-poms on demand:

We won't because we have lives outside of the Internet. Next stupid question?
We won’t because we have lives outside of the Internet, let alone Sims 3. Next stupid question?

Equally predictably, Lawertend came in to give a sideways moan at people daring to plug any other forum board other than Aarin’s Jazz-Hands:


Heaven forbid anyone should point out he was one of those moaning about too many modelling competitions on the EA Forum (translated: any not being run by a certified Aarin grovelling fandork) and that they should all be run from their own sites anyway, but then twice banned flame warrior Lawertend’s always put expediency before consistency.

It was left to Luckynicole659 to say what plenty have danced around in such threads without ever daring to say:

You know she's going to get banned for saying this, don't you?
You know she’s going to get banned for saying this, don’t you?

Sad, but true.

Considering the numbers that have bought the Sims and the numbers that visit the main forum, there is no reason why there cannot be dozens of successful web boards dedicated to the game all over the shop.

But whilst starting a web board is all very well, running one successfully is another matter, and unless you’re willing to put in the time putting in the content to keep it going and to keep the punters happy, then interest will swiftly wane in the face of longer, established boards with a guarantee of plenty of traffic – the biggest of course being the EA one.

Of course, incident notoriety can get the punters in, such as Aarin’s Jazz-Hands and Sims3Rich’s Insane Sims (but that can swiftly wear thin), and forums linked to the creators of custom content, whether it be on the scale of TSR or the micro-levels of Jazz-Hands have a natural advantage in that respect, because there’s a tangible benefit for users in getting into the habit of making regular checks on what’s going on – ie. potentially a new download appearing.

But make no mistake, as those on Simaroo and Simaniacs have found to their cost, once the posts start to tail off, it is an uphill struggle to get people back into the habit. You have to be prepared to put in the time to create content to allow for those days when your participants are all dried out of new things to say.

If you can’t – or won’t – then help out on someone else’s board instead and do yourself a favour as much as them. Running a forum no one visits or posts in is depressing and humiliating; being a valued regular contributor to a particular forum by contrast is as rewarding (for you and those reading your posts) as running the damn thing yourself.

We at The Mare’s Nest run this blog primarily for our own amusement. It serves as a permanent record of interesting posts from across the Sims world that may in time otherwise be lost thanks to boards folding, the vagaries of Admin censorship, and so forth.

That however is a by-product to the main course of recording anything raising a smile with us for whatever reason – and if it raises a smile in turn with those reading it, then that’s a bonus and hopefully the world is a nicer place for it. The reason we will not allow comments – nor respond to comments about this blog on other sites – is to avoid the trap too many blogs do of pandering to the whims of its readership.

But a blog is an exercise of ego (singular or collective) enjoyable in its own right from the process of creation (the sharper of our readers will have already guessed where our interests outside of Sims 3 lie when we choose to host this blog here at WordPress), whereas a forum by its nature is reliant on outside participation for its very existence. And someone running a forum no-one can be bothered with needs to raise their game considerably, or have the sense to cease dissipating their energies fruitlessly when a blog or participation on another’s forum may give them the creative outlet they seek.

It’s a point that perhaps young Lisa Victoria might take time to consider.