I am creating a network that will be a community where people in a specific profession will interact, network, and collaborate online. As I am planning for the early look and feel of my network, I find myself conflicted on how to strike a balance between complexity and simplicity.
On the one hand, I lean toward having a single forum or group that would be a general community discussion area. The advantage I see is that early on it will centralize interaction and create a high density of activity. As the network grows, new groups and forum categories would be created based on the interests of community members.
On the other hand, I lean toward starting with multiple groups tailored to different practice areas, work settings, etc. These groups would be the main areas of interaction and activity on the network. The advantage here is that individuals with specific experiences and interests will be able to jump into areas they feel are relevant to them and meet like-minded people which could heighten their interest in the network; however, it could also create a very fractured network early on, so much so that the conversation never really gets going.
Does anyone have any advice or experience to share on what approach seems to create the highest level of engagement and interest from network members early on? What approach did you take early on and would you go back and change it if you could?
That's really interesting. What made you decide to channel the conversation into groups initially after your early success with the forum? What has made you decide to promote the forum again?
i had been admin of 3 networks mine i started i had 28 forum categories and the wide range of topics generated instant activity as well as more searcy h traffic
the other 2 had 3-5 categories a d even though thsey had 3 times the members there was almost no activity at all
i had the creators of those add more forum categories and within a week activity went way uop
1 of the most acrtive forums i ever seen has 400+ categories
Thanks for sharing; it sounds like in your experience that having more categories early on was beneficial. Why do you think that is?
In my experience less is more, so, fewer categories and groups in your community will generate more interaction.
Thanks Thiago, how have you seen fewer categories spur more interaction? Have members of your community commented on this?
What about the forum settings itself ? Any ideas which ones work better for interaction ?
The replies on discussion pages are:
On the main Discussions page, show:
i hate hate hate this style cause after a certauin number of level,s of replies u no longer can reply i use flat yoiu can see the flat here www.dreadlockssite.com
i despise the threadesd they have ion creatoirs cause it only alows i think 5 leve,s of repliesmain page latest by time on main discussion page laTEST BY CATEGORY
WITH FLATits all scronological last post is always last and you quoute what your replying to (if its not direcr=tly under) with this style the latest reply couldld be on page 2 4 12 anywhere
and as you see u only get so many levels of replies
once you reply so many levels deep the conversation ends cause u no longer can reply to the thread
whgich i think this will be the last reply i can make in this thread...
with flat style it can go on and on for years