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Community Interview #3 with The Raven


Staff member
Administrative Team
Oct 27, 2020
Username Colour - 1 Month
Hello, and welcome to the weekly member community interviews. This week, we are interviewing @The Raven who currently owns Gothic Hub. You can read more about the forum here. It was a pleasure interviewing you and asking tailored questions to help the community better understand you. If you are interested and would like to be interviewed, please raise a support ticket or email info@bizdustry.com for further information.

Our weekly member community interviews are to "recognize" the efforts of small website and business owners, who will not be afraid to help others. At Bizdustry, we believe in giving back so we hope you enjoy reading this series! Many thanks to @Shortie for answering my questions.

Can you tell us a bit about yourself, including your skills and what you do for a living? Hello, my name is Alexander and I am from Serbia. I am 30 years old male. My current profession is programming, to be exact Android development. I am into chess, gaming, music and forums, of course.
Is Serbia a good country to live in? I wouldn't say that. There are plenty of benefits if you have money, that's for sure. You don't do overtime, you have plenty of time for yourself during day and there are many great things to visit and food to eat. But, if you are poor, this can be a troublesome country to survive.
Can you sum up the purpose of your community in one sentence? The purpose of my community is to gather around all Goths or lovers of Gothic culture under one roof and share mutual interests, have fun and maybe find new life friends.
Who are your competitors & what makes you stand out? Honestly, I haven't found any so far. I have looked for gothic forums and none is active or just there isn't any. The only competition for me are Discord servers. What makes me stand out is the uniqueness of genre itself.
How is your online community unique? Well, goths are very unique in society and have their own weird, if I may say that, way of thinking and dressing, of course. It's a real sub-culture and if you ever wanted to meet a goth and you couldn't, my forum is the perfect place to do so.
What are the aims and goals for your community in the next week/month/year? My main goal is to increase the popularity / activity of the forum to make it much more alive and to make a community for young or older people to share their problems are things they love and figure it out together with others who understand them.
How do you deal with abusive posts/members? So far I don't have any, but if there is one, I would simply remove the post, warn the member who posted it and move on from there. If the incident repeats, the warning would repeat and eventually, 3rd one is ban.
How do you recruit valuable moderators and how will you retain them? At this moment, when people see future in my forum, they offer their services by themselves. They want to be part of my growing community which is awesome. I am always okay with people joining the team.
Is your online community fun? Absolutely. We are not one of the super serious one as if you are at the business meeting.
What proportion of your members are active and why? I would say, since forum is founded for less than a month, we have 5 active members and hoping more to come. Well, why are they active is probably the question for them for I can't really know other than providing a good content for them.
What are the most popular topics in your online community? Most popular ones are related to relationships and religion. After all, we are all involved in relationships wanted or not and surrounded by people who believe or not believe.
What subjects raise the most passion in your online community? Most definitely, as I mentioned previously, relationships and religion.
Who are your most important members? There is no most important member, we value all of them equally.
Who are your most influential members? I would say we have Draxion, TheCrow and of course our team member Unstoppable Mind.
Do your members feel welcome when they join?Sure they do. They are welcomed with joy and everyone is looking forward to getting to know them better.
Do your members feel valued? I am sure they do, but again, that's a good question for them.
Why did you choose to make the theme on your website darker? One of my member has an issue with eyesight, it's something related to light sensitivity and in order to help her out with the problem, I made new theme.
Do your members know how to contact you? That's of no issue. They can always content me via PM on the forum or by tagging me.
Do your members trust you? I am sure they do. I haven't done anything to lose their trust, for sure.
Will you ever consider paid web hosting and move away from free based? At what stage would you feel this is appropriate for your community? I am sure I will do that as soon as I get very much active community. When I say active, I talk about at least 100 people being active per day. The only downside of using Forumotion, for now, is being unable to transfer database to other hosting which will result in brand new opening but being forced to work like this is a bit hard for me. However, I am trying to find a solution as we speak and maybe make brand new forum on another hosting and by using another software.
What external links to your community bring you the most active members? At first it was from exchanging communities, where people simply promote their forums/websites. But there are few who joined because they were invited by others, and they liked it.
Is running a online community a hobby or a full time job? If it's a hobby, can you explain whether you have any intentions to monetize your content and if so, how do you plan on doing so? For me, it is a hobby. It consumes a lot of my time even now, can't imagine what will happen when we have much more active members. I don't have any intention to monetize forum. The project itself is made for people to enjoy talking with one another.
Do you have a good relationship with your competitors? As I mentioned earlier, there are no forum competitors for my genre, which makes things much easier for me. But, I am still not visiting discord servers. They are my true competitors.
How does social media affect your branding? I would say quite good. That's the only way to promote forum at the moment until it reaches enough members to spread i terms or referrals.
What is the most difficult decision you've made? So far, and I am assuming question is related to forum itself, there were none. It's still very young community and I am sure problems will occur as time passes by.
Do you plan on selling any merchandise, or otherwise developing any "partnerships"? For now, no. As I mentioned previously, I have no intentions to monetize anything.
How did you come up with your forum name?
Managing forum is always hard job to do. One must find good team, an active team who will not abandon forum because he/she is unhappy with a choice I made for the forum itself. Forgive me for being unable to answer the next question for my English skill is obviously not that good to use common phrases. And last, I came up with forum name simply by seeing it as a place where goth people would hangout, and what better than a pub?
Would you ever consider selling your forum or are you in it "for the marathon" Selling is not an option. I invested so much time and if having an active community, selling it would be a bad move because new owner may not share the same vision as I have and could make members go away.
Most forums are lacking activity due to social media evolving over the years. How are you overcoming this? That's the only issue I am having, to be perfectly honest with you. The only way to overcome this is by doing exchange packages on other forums, getting more posts/topics until the numbers are big enough to ask for partnerships with discord server owners. That's my current goal.
How do you market (advertise) your forum? Simply share links on other forums.
Anything else you'd like to mention? Well, thank you for the interview, Alex. It was lovely talking with you. I would only suggest people who are reading this to join forum in case they are Goths or love Goth culture. Thank you again.
Very interesting interview with my friend @The Raven , he has a growing forum and it really looks very nice, he knows he has my support and I hope for the best for his community since he is a fairly proactive person in his community, at least that's what I've noticed in the short time we met :)
Hello Raven, good to know you through this interview. I just checked your forum and I think it is a nice community. In my teen years, I was too much into gothic literature and culture, but as I grew older I gradually lost interest. I have limited knowledge on Serbia but I have watched NO Man's Land and it was a really good movie based on Serbian War.
Hello Raven, good to know you through this interview. I just checked your forum and I think it is a nice community. In my teen years, I was too much into gothic literature and culture, but as I grew older I gradually lost interest. I have limited knowledge on Serbia but I have watched NO Man's Land and it was a really good movie based on Serbian War.
Most of us lose interest in literary because most of us tend to scientific knowledge and don't want for example everything that is literary means normal.
Amazing interview guys! It's a really unique forum where Goths & Gothic culture enthusiasts can come together and share their thoughts like one big family. Wish you all the best @The Raven for all the goals you have set for the forum. 😊
I am a member @The Raven forum and I must commend the work that he has done within a short period of time in promoting the Gothic culture. I am enjoying my time on the forum and it feels good to know more about him through this interview. This is work in the right direction @AlexanderM and I look forward forward to reading more of the interviews involving other forums owners soon.
@The Raven I liked this interview! While I don't know you too well, I've been seeing you around the forums so am getting to know more & more about you. Then interviews like these help answer some extra questions people may have thought of.
A great interview! Like aerodynamic said, haven't seen you before and you've began to pop up on some communities! I wish you the best with your project. It's great to get to know new people around the foruming world as well. :)