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Techie, a male in Utah, owns the site TechGeeks. The site has a blog, a computer help forum, a reviews section, an SEO section, and all sorts of other goodies. Here is the interview:
What is the mission of your website?
I want TechGeeks to become a common place for people to visit to get tech support, and for others to discuss technical topics. I’d like it to be a place for large community discussions and a place where people will come back again and again when they need help with something.
Have you ever had any serious hiccups or issues with your site and how have you dealt with them?
Activity in the forum is the only main problem for me and I’m still trying to overcome it. I think it just takes time for a community to develop, but I feel that if we just had some members that would continue frequently posting we wouldn’t have this problem. When I was running the site on my own custom coded CMS I had lots of problems but I overcame them by migrating to precoded software.
How long have you been running your website and has it lived up to your expectations?
I’ve been running TechGeeks for over a year and a half but it still hasn’t lived up to my expectations. I’ll continue raising the bar for it because there’s always room for improvement and I want it to continue becoming better and better.
Why did you choose to make a website? For fun, for profit, etc?
I think I first decided to make the site for profit. I’ve changed my mind; the entire website is now ad-free because I’m trying to make it an enjoyable place. Now I’m running the site for fun, not for profit.
What do you like to do besides doing stuff on your website? What other hobbies do you have?
I’m still a student and I’m spending a lot of my time studying and thinking about possible research-type projects. In my free time I enjoy biking, hiking, watching new movies, and playing some video games.
What sort of education/skills do you have and what is your career?
I don’t have a career yet; I’m a candidate for the full International Baccalaureate diploma. I have 4 years of website administration experience. I’m very experienced with computer hardware and software optimization and I’m very knowledgeable about SEO. To sum it all up I’m advancing to get up there much faster than the general population – and I do believe that I’m a great administrator. (I’d love to have a discussion about that claim with anyone if they can tell me what I’m doing wrong; I’d love to learn!)
What forum software did you choose, why did you choose it, and do you like it?
The first software I used for my forum was phpBB because it’s free and I had used it before on other smaller forums I administered. I moved over to IP.Board because of their great licensing system which allows me to get cheap updates and because it’s so user-friendly. I love the administration panel and the software does everything I need it to.
What are some methods you have used to promote your site/forum and which do you find the most successful?
The most successful for me is organic traffic from Google. I’ve tried Google AdWords and I’ve used forum promotion sites but most of the site’s traffic still comes from Google searches.
Who are the other admins? Do you know them personally (friends/family), or are they from other places on the internet?
Chococrazy is the only other administrator for the forum. He was a great member in one of my earliest forums and he tagged along with my projects. I don’t know him personally.
Describe the way you think your ideal website would be.
Ideally we would be posting about one article per day on the blog. The forum would have great base of followers who would check it and post every day. A person would be able to come, post a question, and get an answer within an hour. The entries site would remain ad-free. The other administrator(s) would be very experienced with large groups of followers and would be very involved in the community discussions.
Is there anything else you would like to say?
I’d like to say that I think the site could be a lot more successful if I could get a huge spike in interest, with members discussions going just for one day. I think that one day would show people what TechGeeks can be like and they would like it. I think the site is ready to handle lots of people and discussions in an organized and professional way. I just think the member base and dedication isn’t large enough yet for the site to reach it’s full potential.
Do you think the site’s long name is hurting you?
I doubt it, but I am considering changing the name.
Well A. D. (Full name not revealed), thank you for your time and the opportunity for us to interview you!
And readers, feel free to leave some comments!