Most people have tried it at some point in life and nearly all of them will have found it to be just too difficult. Balancing multiple projects is not easy, but it can be done online, with a lot of patience and discipline. When it comes to running forums the question remains, is it possible to run two successful forums at the same time? I don’t believe it is. A forum is only as successful and active as you as an admin are able to make it. The more activity you yourself are able to contribute, the more you are going to engage your members to post. Forums take a lot of time even when you aren’t staff, I spend a good 2-3 hours a day reading forums, answering posts and creating new discussions on 3 or 4 forums. In that time I haven’t done any administration, answered any private messages or dealt with any performance issues. So where does my time come to do that too?
When I get online I have a clear plan of what I want to do, but how often do we actually follow the plans we have? I spend 2 -3 hours a day posting on my own forum while I put 1-2 hours into administration and dealing with any issues that may arise. This is 5 hours work a day on one forum. Alongside this, I am a full-time student, have hobbies and sleep. So where am I going to get time to do this on more than one forum? Some people try, but none of their forums succeed. The explanation for this is clear, there is not enough time in a day.
If you have 3 forums and an online time of 6 hours a day this means (6/3=2) you have 2 hours per forum per day. Answering private messages and fixing issues, moderating posts etc. will easily take 45 mins-1 hour of that time from each forum. Reading discussions will easily take 5-10 mins per discussion. Suddenly those 2 hours have passed and you have made, 6-10 posts. 10 posts a day from you as an administrator is not going to help your forum very much, especially in early stages. You will also find that you don’t get to know the memberbase very well as you are hardly around. Time zones could mean that some members never see you online if you are only on for 2 hours a day, what could this result in you must ask yourself. It is important for members to know that their administrator cares about them, that they are active on the forum and that the community is alive. An administrator who they hardly see doesn’t give them these vibes and can easily cause them to leave.
I am not saying that you should limit yourself to one project online, but you ought to limit yourself to one forum. Running a blog alongside usually compliments well as it is a different kind of writing, takes less time to run and gives you as an administrator a valuable break from forum life. There are those with a lot more time on their hands that are able to balance two forums, but it is not an idea situation. It is worth taking everything mentioned here into account before you decide to open a second forum, or your first forum in fact. Forums do not run themselves, they do not thrive and grow by themselves. They are grown by a dedicated admin who has passion and drive and loves doing what they do. Is this you?