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Have you ever started a forum on a whim and found out that your impulse was wrong? What about times when you started a forum impulsively and actually ended up with a winner? Did this ever happen?
I would never start a real forum on a whim, not even on a free hosting site as forums require too much work to take so lightly.
Assuming there was no cost to start the forum, you could just experiment with the idea to see if your audience was really interested in a forum of that type.
My first forum was started in a while. I got this domain just for 88 cents. My hosting package allowed one more hosting. I already had websites and blogs, and I wanted to try my hands. I thought forums could be something to watch. I created a forum. I used mybb script. Once the forum was live, I did not know what to do with it. I could not invite members and there was no discussion. Then after a month, I deleted my forum.
I think starting a forum because your gut tells you so or because you are too excited and can't wait is okay as long as you asked for advice about it and you have enough people to write on it for you. Personally, I would follow my gut but expect anything to happen. You only get disappointed if you expect a specific thing to happen and it ends up not happening.
Sometime in 2008, one forum had breakaway members and 3 more forums were launched as a result. All the 3 new forums looked like a copycat of the original forum and the admin sure looked amateurish with obvious ignorance of running a forum. What’s funny was after in existence of 1 month and gathering about 20 members, one forum had their so called eyeball where members meet personally. And as expected, those 3 new forums didn’t last for a year.