Managing Director at Free Rein Ltd
14 June 2009 10:00am
Has anyone else notice an apparante drop off in posts the the Econsultancy forums since the move to the new site.
Not sure if it is because of changes to the email alerts that go out of the structure of the site.
Or is it just me?
Usability Specialist at Freelance
15 June 2009 12:39pm
I wouldn't be surprised if that's true Tony. The design of the Forum has a few flaws that will stop people seeing all of the posts available.
The fact that email reply settings are broken (they may have been fixed since I was last here) can't help either.
Chief Architect at Econsultancy
16 June 2009 09:47am
We're not aware of any email settings being broken -- could you elaborate, please? Obviously if anything's not working right it needs to be fixed straight away.
We do plan to overhaul the forum in the near future, so if you have any specific suggestions about how the experience could be improved (what are the "few flaws" that prevent people seeing all of the posts?) we'll be sure to address them.
16 June 2009 09:50am
I uncheck the box to receive replies about this email yet I still get the email alerts about replies to this thread. Something I was told you were aware of months ago and was being looked in to.
Now I need to go into my profile in order to turn off replies from this thread.
CEO at Econsultancy
16 June 2009 13:13pm
Yes, you are right that there is slightly less forum activity than there used to be. A couple of possibilities:
- Perhaps splitting the forum into three areas (Best Practice, Supplier Selection, Other) just confuses people and we'd be better to lump it into one as it used to be.
- I don't think we do a very good job of showing *what's new* across the three forums at the moment so people are missing the activity that is actually going on e.g. replies to older threads.
- I think there has been a shift in our user base to doing more Twitter-type activity and slightly less forum stuff. If you look in our Blog there are loads of comments and Tweets so the activity is still there (and has increased) but in a different way. Perhaps we're all getting lazy...?
Any feedback welcome though!
Director at The Cogworks
28 June 2009 08:21am
I too have noticed a massive drop-off in forum activity.
You did use to automatically place forum entries into the email so there was probably a lot more visibility.
I think Twitter is useful for certain things,, but the forum allows more detailed answers to be given to people who have specific problems and I think it would benefit from having a little more prominence on the site. Especially for users who need advice and information from other professionals on here who may not necessarily be Twitter users yet. People are more used to using forum style message boards as a rule.
I find them easier to understand personally as the SMS style replies in Twitter are sometimes a little confusing and are dependant on the message style of the user sending the message.
Surely we can all find a little more time to try and write more than 140 character answers...Bring back the flowery English language skills :)
Freelance Web Consultant at architxt.net
09 July 2009 12:56pm
I wonder whether you should split the forums not by subject but user type and have one forum for the pros and one for those seeking advice.
A few years ago I came across a great bulletin board software that was a cross between your bog standard bulletin board and a system similar to Yahoo! Answers. Questions and their answers would be categorised into a useful knowledge base.
I think that experts now spend a lot of time reading and commenting blogs of their peers to exchange ideas and self-promote. People new to online marketing are less inclined to do so and would benefit from a newbie-friendly space. And it would be an opportunity for Econsultancy to promote their training products.
Oh, and another idea worth considering is to reward participation. On namepros.com, for example, they have their own currency. I'm not entirely sure how it works but one can earn NP$ and exchange them for advice provided by other members. I don't think that you necessarily need to establish an Econsultancy currency but you could reward those who participate more with a free report.
10 July 2009 11:07am
Some interesting ideas there. I'm not sure splitting out by expertise level would work because different people have different views on their own level of experience - sometime they're right, and sometime they're not!
However, we could perhaps split by the nature of the post e.g. you have a question vs. you want to contribute an article etc....?
But, on the whole, I suspect that any kind of splitting out is just an extra cognitive step (which one should I post to?) which most people can't be bothered to make.
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