Not to derail, but what are the most important off-topic topics?
July 12, 2010 7:24 PM Subscribe
ForumFilter: What advice do you have for seeding a soon-to-launch professional forum with general
topics? What should we bake-in to help build community, serve as social release valves, encourage participation, etc?
posted by mumkin to Computers & Internet (5 answers total)
I'm going to be launching a vBulletin 4 install for a client soon. If it helps, let's say that these are the forums for The International Association of Underwater Project Managers, which has about 10K members worldwide. Their site has not had a forum before. We expect the membership to evolve the core of their forums organically — the stuff related to projects, managing them, being underwater and such. Someone with domain-knowledge will be seeding a few of these areas for launch, but that's not my lookout.
If you run a forum, I'm interested in hearing what, if any, general-purpose topics you believe help keep things running smoothly, encourage participation, and keep signal-to-noise high in the more official areas. "New Member Introductions"? "Book Reviews"? "Sports"? Is it worth trying to second-guess the ways in which users will derail, or beyond offering "General Discussion" as a place for that to happen, should we just let evolution take its course there too?
I am aware that there is a real risk of over-thinking this, and thus over-building it, but you do have to start somewhere, right?