I have received the following request:
The issue of creating additional forums has been one that I've put a bit of thought into. I see the main points as being:Hi Dave
Please could you create a financial services forum (medical aid, life cover, disability cover etc)
- Where a forum targets a specific topic, it certainly does improve the chances of increased discussion on that topic. This is a "which comes first, the chicken or the egg" dilemma.
- However the mere presence of a forum topic certainly doesn't guarantee its success. There are a few rather dead forums on this site already that probably should be archived.
- Where there is a forum on a specific topic, there is also an expectation created that there's some level of expertise around to help answer questions in that topic.
- It's unhealthy to have a slab of forums on the forum home page covering every topic under the sun - especially if the majority of them are near dormant.
When there is already a fair amount of discussion on a topic and I get some "subject matter expert support" commitment, the decision becomes easy. The classic example is the Accounting Forum which is only about 6 months old, and is growing from strength to strength. The steady flow in accounting related enquiries and the undertaking given by a few members to really pay attention to that subject was a recipe for success. (And I must thank those members for sticking to that commitment.)
The Electrical Contracting Industry Forum is another example of success. I really believe that forum is having a positive influence on that industry - really making a difference - and providing a much needed, free and easily accessible support mechanism to... pretty much everyone really. In this instance I see the success coming in no small part from the rather desperate and widespread need for such a "venue" in the first place.
In all honesty, I don't see the financial services industry as fitting either of the above success models - but I may be wrong.
Hence this post.
What are the specific topics that might warrant their own forum?
My personal top candidate is property where I see a lot of similarities to the electrical contracting industry situation. But there doesn't seem to be a pool of commited subject matter experts on board to help seed that critical support role at the moment.
Anyhow, over to you. I'd really appreciate your thoughts on the subject.