Let’s Grow!

We’re a small family here. I like it, I think you do too. I think most of us are wondering how big we could grow this though. How cool would it be to be a tech community that gets along, even if artificially (because there are plenty of social situations where faking a smile is appropriate), without being politically motivated? It’s almost unheard of.

So friends, I ask you, what do you think would make this community more approachable?


I’m curious what’s the main topic of this community? You said it is tech community but all I see are hosting, server related topic.

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I’d like to angle toward something like /r/selfhosted. Kind of keeps the hosting industry in focus while honing in on use cases.

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As someone who prefers to self host stuff that’s a good route IMO.

In terms of making it more approachable, I have no idea. I would have thought it was quite approachable anyway to those who have come here?

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It depends from what are you looking for. As an idea open hostedtalk to a new dimension. I mean for the moment HT is mainly focused on servers. May be if you open it to another threads more people are going to sign up. More content more people diverisfying the forum somehow. In which sorts ? From PC pure related , some technology for streaming ,etc. I am not a tech person so i cannot give you exact topic but as a concept i think that is viable option for HT. At least it is my personal opinion. I could be wrong or people could have different opinions. Just sharing my point of view

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Changing the name to HostBalls


A man called Jon once told me that unbanning everyone who was previously banned is a good idea… :smirk:

No idea what the cost/effort factor would be but I think some sort of initial unique incentive would be cool. E.g. free web hosting for active members, or email hosting since you own an email business (super restricted so it doesn’t turn people away from your paid offerings ofc).

Obviously not suggesting the place turns into a “post to host” style thing, cos no one wants spamming. It just felt like a natural fit and discourse is really good for user ranks/levels so it seems like the groundwork is sort of there already.



I like small communities. One of my favourite forums was a small-ish (~15k members) forum called webdevRefinery. After helping a lot of people with their coding questions, I ended up becoming a moderator (https://web.archive.org/web/20170424034227/http://webdevrefinery.com/forums/user/3291-daniel15/) but it closed down in 2016 :frowning: I still haven’t really seen a developer community that was as friendly as that one.

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Taco Tuesday? And maybe also every other day?


I can think of a few places to help grow it. These are just based on observation and not a form of criticism on anyone or anything. The commentary here is based on what I see and what I think might be a good counter. Also, I recognize criticizing is easy (especially when you don’t know what’s going on the backend), but actually doing is much harder, so take these ideas as just a place to look at opportunities/ideas instead of requirements.

  1. Focus on a single topic and make it known at first glance

First time people coming to the site will see posts advertising hosting and then hosting-related posts. If the focus is on self-hosted solutions, then maybe (one idea), is to start by building a curated self-host solutions/idea post to get started. Similar to Awesome Selfhost. That’ll incentivize people to look into what they can do with a server and get them interested in this specific area. Also maybe actually talk about what methods you’re self-hosting instead of “X Provider is great!”.

  1. Advertising might be needed for growth

There’s a few different avenues you can take. Throwing advertising money at it is a cheap way to do it (Entire A/B testing and online marketing suite). Or using more organic ways. One really popular method that seems to be all the rage right now is referral systems. Maybe incentivizing others to refer a friend might not be a bad idea? The thing is though, I’m sure there’s really no budget for any of this. I know we all bellyache about it, but I’d say initially focus on SEO. Help get your topics and information higher up, giving more exposure, and potentially more users without spending money on advertising.

  1. Show more organic content

At the time of writing, 10 out of the first 20 posts on the front page are advertisements for hosting. It might be worth it experimenting a few different growth methods but I’m sure it goes without saying, you probably want more people to actually discuss on the topic than advertise services. VPSB also had similar problems throughout it’s lifetime and we never figured out a solution to it that wouldn’t upset either parties. Actually there’s a lot I learned while helping to run VPSB. I love the community but the staff work behind-the-scenes is actually a fair bit (while looks like nothing on the surface). PR definitely matters. Objectively looking at it, there are many points we could have improved and worked on that we (at the time) didn’t recognize as good avenues for growth or engagement.

It’s a bit harder running a forum than just opening the doors and telling people “have at it”. I believe WHT still gets a relatively fair amount of traffic due to how general and open that name is. Reddit’s /r/selfhosted has the entire/giant reddit community to pull new users from. LET (imho) is useful as they target a specific market and has a complementary blog (the more important side) offering regular content. HT doesn’t have enough mass yet to be at WHT level and doesn’t have a complementary blog generating regular content. So finding that uniqueness might be useful if you’re focusing on growth.

Best of luck!


Maybe some form of contest? TBH though, I still don’t know if this is a hosting forum or just a casual hangout spot or something else?

I for one come here because it is more chilled, more relaxed and less aggressive. My other hangout spots are either too energetic (GREEN) or too corporate (WHT).

Maybe some tutorials with self hosted stuff? We really don’t got much to talk about minus occasional banters here and there. If there were more discussion (which I guess would happen with more users), it would be more lively. But to get more users, we need more contents.

So the point being, what is this forum about? Since the name is Hosted talk, maybe some aggressive ad campaigns with on /r/selfhosted and other similar social media (YouTube?) that serves similar purpose.

Drive the traffic, keep them with content.

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This. I feel like this is the back-room of your local pub and you can sit back and chill :smiley: