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I'm about to launch a discussion forum about Taiwan. I'm really trying to figure out how to deal with the first visitors.

I've thought about the following so far:

  1. Invite few friends to start some discussions and give some replies.
  2. Create discussions myself and reply them myself (with another account).

I don't want the first visitors to feel like the site is empty.

Maybe I'm missing something. Any suggestions?

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up vote 5 down vote accepted

"Seeding" your forums is definitely a good idea. In fact, the two ideas you have are how most sites go about it. I'd say start a few topics and have your friends participate. If you find that isn't quite working to your level of expectations then you can create a couple of alter egos and add create some good discussions. I'd only do the latter if really necessary and stop once you get some momentum going.

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Phew, I was starting to think that talking to myself was a crazy idea. Thanks for the advice. – janoChen Jun 18 '11 at 15:59

Creating fake accounts to post from sounds very dodgy to me. You could post something saying "Welcome to our new forum". It would be better to get friends / selected people to seed it with genuine discussions.

Perhaps have a closed beta and tell people they have to e-mail you to get on it. People who join a closed beta will understand that the forum is supposed to be empty. People who haven't joined won't see that it is empty until you end the beta period.

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