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August 26, 2011

5 Responsibilities You Have as a Community Admin

Image of CommunityAs a blogger, you are more than just an author and content creator, you are also a community administrator, managing and encouraging interaction between your readers and visitors.

Though much of this community interaction you can’t control, namely all of the conversation that happens off your site (Twitter, Facebook, email, etc.), a lot of it does take place directly under your purview, including comments on your site, conversation on your Facebook page and so forth.

To be a successful blogger, you need a good community to survive and thrive. However, running a community also comes with a series of responsibilities, both ethical and legal, that you need to be aware of.

Simply put, being a community admin is far more than having a comment box open on your site and letting others post. There’s actually a great deal more to it, especially if you want to have a community that is both productive and on the right side of the law. read more

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November 30, 2009

The Blurring Line Between Blogs and Forums

What separates a blog and a forum? It’s not as simple of an answer as it was just a few years ago.

Forums have long been making use of RSS feeds and some have even adopted more blog-like layouts. Now many forum applications have begun sending pingbacks and trackbacks to articles linked in posts, an activity that began and, previously was limited to, blogs.

However, blogs have also begun to become more and more forum-like. Though comments have always been a major part of blogging, many are also encouraging original submissions. They are also placing a heavier emphasis on comments and services such as Disqus and Intense Debate provide greater commenter identity and cross-site accounts.

In short, where forums have been pulling from the playbook of blogs in their newest features, blogs have been gradually becoming more community-oriented, turning away from the author-oriented approach they are often associated with.

This has had the effect of blurring the lines between the two and confusing many who are building new sites.

To help make sense of it, I decided to turn to my long-time friend, podcast co-host and all-around community expert Patrick O’Keefe in hopes he could provide some insights into their similarities and differences as well as help sites decide which format is right for them. read more

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October 16, 2009

Gawker Media Opens Publishing Rights to… Anyone

Gawker MediaIn what is probably his boldest move so far, Nick Denton, Gawker Media Guru, has opened the rights to publish on the Gawker media properties to everyone. Just like on any other blog, readers could send Gawker editors tips via a submission form or via email, but now tips send via the new submission form will be published immediately on the tag pages.

A small redesign across the board introduced the new submission form on all 9 Gawker blogs.

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User submissions will have to include a tag, using the Hashtag format, popularised on Twitter. Submissions with tags will then be published on the blogs’ appropriate tag pages. The new move is reminiscent of the once so popular community portals with forums and Denton appropriately called the new asset ‘Gawker Open Forums’.
From the internal memo sent to editors: read more

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April 30, 2009

TalkPress: The Forum Revisited and Revitalized

Recently, Sam Bauer announced TalkPress, the of .

With the power of the WordPress Community behind it, could TalkPress ignite the fire under forums?

WordPress.com has been an incredible success with millions of bloggers registering millions of blogs and having their chance to blog free, or for a small fee for some services. Blog topics range from personal and private to politics and raising social consciousness. Some WordPress.com blogs have become popular and even famous, such as Robert Scoble and icanhascheezburger.

As a hosting company, WordPress.com hosts some of the largest websites and blogs in the world including icanhascheezburger, CNN news sites including Political Ticker, the Dow Jones’ All Things D, GretaWire, Time’s The Page, People Magazine’s Style Watch, and more. These companies provide the revenue to keep the free blog hosting services rocking and prove that WordPress has the strength and capabilities to support serious demands from users and servers. read more

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January 26, 2009

Movable Type Monday: Switching Forums, Multiple Columns, Ajax

Happy Monday, folks! Probably the biggest thing to happen for the Movable Type community this week was the shutting down of the old forums to move everyone over to the MT-based forums. The forums on MovableType.org have been up for a while in something of a beta status. It was finally decided that it didn’t make sense to have two forums, and it was better to stick with something built on the MT platform. The MT forums look great, but still have some bugs and lack some features common to forums. A wiki page was started to address some of these issues, so be sure to check it out if you run into problems on the forums. read more

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January 12, 2009

Movable Type Monday: Benchmarks, Importing, Forums, and More

Filed as Features with 3 comments

Happy Monday, folks! For this week’s Movable Type news, let’s start out with some benchmarking. Alwyn Botha tested 2,200 websites to compare load times of various CMS applications. There’s a lot of data to sift through there, but overall Movable Type did very well, averaging the fastest load time of the systems tested. Alwyn attributes this to the static publishing system that is commonly used by MT sites.

Does fast page loading convince you to switch over to MT? If so, check out the blog conversion tools found by Technology Bites. They provide conversion between several popular blogging applications. You can download these open source tools, or use them from one of the Google App Engine sites that host them. read more

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October 7, 2008

Movable Type Tuesday: Custom Fields, Documentation, Virtual Servers

Hello, folks! I’m Billy Mabray, and I’ll be providing this week’s Movable Type update. I hope no one minds, but I went back a bit farther then a week — there’s been some really interesting things going on in the community that I wanted to share.

On with the show!

Plugins

Linked Entry Custom Fields: This is a deceptively named plugin from Six Apart. Yes, it does extend Custom Fields with a type of field that links entries together. But more than that, it will migrate your data from the popular Right Fields plugin to the Custom Fields that’s built into MT. This is huge, because although there have been various tutorials published on how to migrate, there’s never been an official, recommended way before now. read more

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April 13, 2008

How an online forum helped a car dealer recover a stolen car…

Filed as News with 7 comments

We’ve all heard of services like Lojack, a service that allows police (and the rightful owner) to track down a vehicle after it has been stolen – but many have probably never seen a story where an online forum of car enthusiasts uses the internet, cell phones, text messaging, video cameras, and other tools to help other car enthusiasts recover their vehicles once they are stolen.

Today’s New York Times profiles how online collaboration through services like online forums enabled one car enthusiast/dealer was able to recover a rare & valuable stolen car:

One of the men had been to the dealership a week earlier for a ride, but he and Mr. Ironside didn’t get far. The car, with an engine modified for extra horsepower, began to act up. When the man returned with a friend for another try, Mr. Ironside was juggling two customers, so he just handed them the keys, explaining that there was only enough gas in the tank for a drive around the block.

But 15 minutes later Mr. Ironside noticed that the Skyline still hadn’t returned — and that the car that the two men had arrived in was gone. A bad feeling swelled in his gut; still, he reasoned, sometimes a buyer will take a car to have it inspected.

“It’s kind of hard to report a vehicle stolen 15 minutes after it’s not come back from a test drive,” he said in a telephone interview last Sunday.

The car never returned. That night, after reporting its disappearance to the police, Mr. Ironside posted a message on Beyond.ca, a Web site for Canadian auto enthusiasts, to spread the word.

Auto theft isn’t a crime that you see police spending much time on nowadays – though from time to time we hear of a prominent case – perhaps this is a more efficient manner of getting the job done?

Other coverage: Wired & Slashdot.

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