In my spare time , I setup and help groups starting out that want a website/forum to get going.
You know the type of thing. Say a group of enthusiasts on car wheels (example only!). They have no resources and need somewhere they can make as a home. So I provide a website and domain and the technical knowhow to build it up.
I do this free of charge from my acount where my domains are hosted. This is all within the AUP (acceptable use policy) of the host as no money changes hands.
95% of those groups die. Why? well it basically comes down to the attitude of members:
'I have joined this group (no fees), I want to be entertained'.
They never want to do any work themselves. No that requires them to get out of their comfort zone!
Making a good looking website/forum is easy. Its getting content thats the hard bit.
Oh yes the first 'flurry', but then after the 'honeymoon period, nothing. It all dries up!
This week alone I have shut down two such groups because of lack of interest.
what about Yahoo groups and such like?
Well they have their place, but sometimes thay just can't/don't provide the capabilities that a groups might need.
Also would you want to advertise that you are a member of a group like 'the car wheel enthusiastst'?
Ah well such is life. I always was a soft touch., but I am getting fed up of doing all the donkey work for other people to be lazy.
Time to change I think!