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Thread: Additional forums

  1. #1
    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
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    Additional forums

    I have received the following request:

    Hi Dave

    Please could you create a financial services forum (medical aid, life cover, disability cover etc)

    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:

    • 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.
    Seeing opportunity changes nothing. Seizing opportunity and running with it changes lives.

  2. #2
    Moderator IanF's Avatar
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    I would only create a new forum when there was a critical mass. I can't see it for financial services yet. Also you need more than 1 expert.
    For a property forum I could put myself forward as an expert for "I despise my landlord".
    You will know when the time is ripe.
    Only stress when you can change the outcome!

  3. Thanks given for this post:

    Dave A (10-Feb-12)

  4. #3
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    I also dont think there are enough people to justify a dedicated new forum. Why dont they just use the nearest business related thread and make a new topic ? I think there are enough topics at the mo with a lot of them not being used.

  5. Thanks given for this post:

    Dave A (10-Feb-12)

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