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Topic is important as well. It seems to help if your site has a specific focus (and it's well documented in the FAQ or some other "policy" place), something for the users to associate your site with. You don't necessarily want too narrow a focus, but trying to be everything to everyone will drive you insane (and maybe drive contributors away).
I've also found that it takes a while to get a good viewership. I did a lot of posting for me, myself and I (and a few friends) before people started to contribute. I assume many people like to sniff around and check the place out before feeling comfortable enough to post. I guess the best advice is to not be easily discouraged.
Well, these are just tidbits from my (brief) experience. I've only had my slash site up for a few months, so I'm still relatively new to all this... ;)
-- Kill-HUP.com [kill-hup.com], proudly running Slash since 1/28/2002.
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