Featured Forum – Bicycle Tutor

Two weekends ago I took a 2 day bike trip and encountered some bike problems along the way.  When I came back from the trip I went to Bicycle Tutor for tips on how to keep my bicycle well maintained.   With all the useful help I received,  I just needed to interview the creator of the community.  So this month we are interviewing Alex Ramon from bicycletutor.com.  Alex’s site is primarily a video tutorial site but he showcases his forum section heavily.

*Threads: 850

*Posts: 3,189

*Members: 790

*Software: MyBB

How long have you been running bicycle tutor as well as the forums section?

I started Bicycle Tutor in December 2007, and launched the forums the following year to cope with all the email questions I was getting. The first year the forums were online I used bbPress, but recently upgraded to MyBB for the added features and functionality.

Where do most of your visitors come from? How do they first hear about your site?

Half of our visitors learn about the site when searching for answers on search engines. The other half come from other websites, blogs, bookmarks, facebook, and forums. Word of mouth has been the biggest source of traffic since the beginning. People really like the videos and are happy to tell others about the site.

Do you have 3 simple tips you could share with other forum admins to run a fun and active forum?

1. Always be helpful and friendly.
2. Avoid making too many rules and restrictions. Make it easy for people to register and begin posting.
3. Make it easy for visitors to change their profile settings and subscribe to threads by email and RSS.
4. Always be helpful and friendly.

Have you had problems with trolls or inappropriate members on your forum? If so, how did you manage their behavior?

I’ve had a few severe hack attacks on the main site, but luckily not much trouble on the forums. A few times someone has set up an account and posted spam threads, but they are easy to spot and delete. I can’t recall any members being rude or inappropriate. I think it’s because cyclists are just awesome by default.

How have you promoted your forum, and are you still continuing to promote or does it grow on it’s own?

It seems to grow on it’s own now, but I also put links around the main site wherever appropriate. I use the forum category feeds to post the latest related discussions below each video. I also announced it on my facebook fan page and recently sent out a newsletter letting subscribers know about the upgrades. I will continue tweaking to make sure people find answers to their questions easily when they visit the site.

Being the bicycle tutor and forum admin, how often do you chime in and answer questions on your forum?

At first I was doing my best to answer every question, but soon found it difficult to keep up. Luckily other people started joining and offering their answers and advice. I want to encourage that because there are so many people that know things I don’t. I’ve gradually scaled back my presence, but I still post whenever I have something helpful to say. I also keep an eye on threads to make sure no questions go unanswered for too long.

Author’s Comments:  Alex’s forum has really utilized the main part of his site, video tutorials, in building a great community of bicycle maintenance experts.  He’s also done a great job in using other social media sites in promoting his forum to the point it’s growing on its own.  Thanks for your time Alex!


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10 Responses to “Featured Forum – Bicycle Tutor”


  1. 1 Alex Ramon January 19, 2010 at 6:42 pm

    Thanks so much for the interview and kind words Dan, I’m honored to be listed on your site. Looks like a great service you’ve got going here, I can’t wait to try it out on future projects. Take care!

    Alex

  2. 2 Dan January 20, 2010 at 9:27 am

    Just to be clear, this is a MyBB forum. If only a Lefora forum could look like this, cause this is a very nice layout and I wish we could do the same with Lefora.

  3. 3 danbragiel January 20, 2010 at 11:15 am

    There’s a new theme in beta now, you can see it at support.lefora.com. Let us know what you think.

  4. 4 Dan January 22, 2010 at 9:06 pm

    I guess I didn’t mean the look, but the usability. The bike forum has his own site navigation menu instead of being limited to just the forum tabs. Also the way the categories are set up doesn’t allow for confusion as lefora’s category descriptions can be clicked on. Hard to explain, I guess, but definitely more easily usable. I assume it’s just the architecture of lefora and nothing can be done about it. Otherwise good.

  5. 5 Андрей January 26, 2010 at 5:39 pm

    Создай свой бизнес, приносящий доход 24 часа в сутки, подробнее подпишитесь на рассылку писем на сайте: http://denegmnogo.ru/
    Подписка бесплатна до 28 февраля.

  6. 6 stahanovetzzz March 4, 2010 at 12:17 am

    Недавно слушал радио Максимум и наткнулся на песню парнишки, который,
    как я потом узнал, творит под псевдонимом Decorator.
    Нашел его страничку в интернете. Там лежат 10 его песен.
    Прослушал всё. Сказать, что впечатлило, значит ничего не сказать… очень необычно!!!
    Музыка отличная, мелодии прямо с первого прослушивания поселяются в мозгу,
    тексты – правда жизни и образец хорошего русского языка!

    Про стиль этой музыки даже сказать ничего не могу, поскольку сталкиваюсь с таким впервые..

    Вот адрес его странички: http://www.myspace.com/alvikpet

    Заходите, слушайте песни! Не пожалеете! И уж точно никто не останется равнодушным…

  7. 7 Three Wheel Bicycle March 7, 2010 at 10:35 am

    I love going out to ride my bicycle and feel the sun and the wind in my face. That is the perfect life.

  8. 8 Emery March 9, 2010 at 7:43 am

    And this is why I love infinity.atkeforum.com. Insightful post.

  9. 9 Rhoda March 9, 2010 at 8:01 am

    Nice post. bddc22.lefora.com is my favorite site.

  10. 10 thaft March 14, 2010 at 7:49 am

    Hi winterwow.lefora.com!

    An infrared space telescope has spotted several very dark asteroids that have been lurking unseen near Earth’s orbit. Their obscurity have kept them hidden from surveys designed to detect things that might hit our planet…
    http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn18616-dark-dangerous-asteroids-found-lurking-near-earth.html

    That do you think about it?


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