So I've done some initial investigations in to this, but before we dive headlong in to having a Forum in addition to the blog, let me first of all layout as I see it, the the upside and the downside of having a discussion forum attached to the blog.
- It is possible that the discussion forum would dilute the comments we get on posts on the blog.
- The Philofaxy discussion forum would possibly duplicate the discussion group already in place on the Flickr Group.
- The Philofaxy discussion forum would be yet another site to visit, maintain, read etc to keep up to date with all the latest news.
- The Philofaxy discussion forum would be separated in to different categories which would focus the discussion on particular topics (see picture below)
- Before you could post on the Philofaxy discussion forum you would have to register with a Username and Password, although 'Guests' would be able to read the Forum. There would not be an easy way of tying the log in to say OpenID or your Google account, it would be completely separate, just as your Skype Account is separate.
- There is a risk of spam associated with the Forum, that we currently don't see with the comments. The Philofaxy discussion forum would therefore need some form of moderation and moderators would need to be appointed.
- There would occasionally be duplication on the blog and the forum, for instance announcements about Sales Offers, Roundtable events, Meet ups etc. But the normal blog posts about using your Filofax, or reviews etc should remain on the blog as they are now.
I am also cautious about forcing something on you the readers that might upset the excellent community spirit that we have built up over the last couple of years or more. I'm not predicting that would change, but in a way I'm seeking your approval/support before we add this extra facility.
So here is what it might look like:
Click on the picture to see a full size version of it. The photos section would in fact be just a redirection link to the Philofaxy Flickr Group, I see no point in reinventing that site when it's already working very well.
All the Categories/Sections can be renamed/amended/reordered and descriptions added, although I think it's fairly straight forward?
Depending on the response to this idea, if people are mixed in their views I would be happy to put it to a vote on the site to decide on the addition. Or may be a trial of a discussion forum for say a couple of months to see how well it is received, what problems or benefits we gain etc?