c'mon and pimp my board.
December 24, 2006 1:54 PM   Subscribe

I run a very dynamic web forum, but I need suggestions for how to make it really shine.

The forum I run is very active, populated by creative professionals, students, and random muckrakers. There is no shortage of action there, but sometimes I think it would be interesting if we could add some structure or shape to funnel the energy into something smarter than just chit-chat. I'm thinking very broadly, anywhere from a salon-like topical area, to collaborative projects, to - who knows.

Does anyone have any ideas, big or small, for projects we could initiate to kick things up a bit? Not to fix something that's not broken, but to engage and challenge the members and elevate the interaction for those who are interested in that kind of thing?

Please email me at mefiorama@gmail.com if you have questions.

posted by anonymous to Society & Culture (8 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
Yeah. One giant REVIEW board, containing criticism of anything under the sun. Review the news and related events. Review authors and productions. Review products and services. Review methods and teachings. Review anything that makes a claim, religious, philosophical, financial or otherwise. Organized by category of course.
posted by Brian B. at 2:16 PM on December 24, 2006

IMHO, Web forums are the 21st century analogue of the BYOB '50's "cocktail party." Everybody is there to schmooze, and maybe booze, and the occasional bon mot will fall out of someone's mouth, or the random brilliant insight will occur, but it's not like you can script that stuff. And the minute you try to organize the fun, the fun pick up their bottles and go elsewhere.

But if you are determined to "improve" your forum by concious design, I'd suggest you take your courage in hand, and ask the members of that forum how best to go about such. Because here in The Green, we've barely consensus about how best this place should operate.

Stats help any design effort, however. Start with collecting and publishing all kinds of stats. Maybe something will suggest itself from that effort.
posted by paulsc at 2:31 PM on December 24, 2006

Be careful. If the forum works pretty well now, take car not to make any changes that mess with that dynamic. For the "old timers" on your forum, change, especially changes that hamper their normal routine with that forum, will not necessarily be welcome. I myself have left and/or decreased contributions to a forum as a result of changes that were supposed to improve the forum but just made for more awkward navigation.
posted by Doohickie at 3:17 PM on December 24, 2006

posted by hardcode at 4:58 PM on December 24, 2006

Well, if the web forum we were talking about were some sort of "Filter" through which the "Meta" of the Internet passed, I would revert to the one-question-per-week policy....

But seriously... I second Brian B.'s idea of a MetaReview site. Often, it can be hard to find credible reviews of products/services, especially for brand new/really old products.
posted by fvox13 at 5:13 PM on December 24, 2006

It strikes me that you should be asking your participants that question.

posted by Steven C. Den Beste at 6:12 PM on December 24, 2006 [1 favorite]

Something like what we see here with Metafilter Jobs, but instead of jobs, charities can post requests for people to do volunteer work. This can be as simple as slopping soup to homeless people, to maybe having some computer experts set up their network server or accountants to do their books. Some of your more well to do members might even offer stuff like computers, cars or even office spcae for free.

The sky (and the generosity of your members) is the limit!
posted by Effigy2000 at 4:18 AM on December 25, 2006

I rarely go to fark but the one thing that occasionally draws my attention is their photoshop contests. You could try something similar?

Another idea is to add optional tagging into the system, so that you can create a clustered map of topics and posts. This way the chatter can be (sort of) organized without changing in any way the normal flow of things.
posted by Deathalicious at 8:33 PM on December 25, 2006

« Older Shit, still in Saigon.   |   Boy Meets Grill(guard) Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.