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Thread: Your views on The Forum SA.

  1. #1
    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
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    Your views on The Forum SA.

    If there is one thing that keeps me motivated about this site, it's feedback. Whether it is airing your views as a post on one of the many subjects already discussed on The Forum SA, or a suggestion of something new to be looking at.

    Please take a moment to add a post here on your personal view of The Forum SA.

    What do you like?
    What don't you like?
    What can we do to make the site better?
    The trouble with opportunity is it normally comes dressed up as work.

  2. #2
    Silver Member Vincent's Avatar
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    Hi Dave,
    Just finished reading you monthly newsletter and found it interesting. You do pose some engaging questions, but what I would like to discuss is, why so few people post comments.

    I'm a member on two other forums and what I have found is that people are "afraid" to post. It's fear that grips us - you're exposing yourself. I think they may worry about people's responses or they feel there writing will intimidate someone, their topic isn't relevant or professional. I'm sure there are other reasons as well, such as grammar, syntax and spelling. (I'm one of those, can't spell to save my life - thank Microsoft for spell check and Wordweb a fantastic thesaurus )

    With three published books and a moderate degree of success, I still find it intimidating to post replies, topical subject or just 'shoot the breeze' as some people do. The one forum I'm on is very intimidating, although this is a very personal viewpoint. There are people on this forum who are on the other site as well and may disagree with me. The intimidation is in the way the blog, forum is written. If you do this or say this or write this we will 'name and shame you." If you can't spell correctly, how can we do business with someone like you, etcetera, etcetera, etcetera. If you PM me you're spamming and so the attacks continue.

    Before anyone starts posting, they generally read what has been written, and this may determine their level of confidence in the site. This sets the 'guidelines', tone and mood of the site.

    So is there an answer to get people to post articles. I believe there is and this would be my guideline:
    1. Understand why you have joined the forum - is it to grow your business, network, find information or you may just want to build an on-line relationship.
    2. Use the meet and greet - introduce yourself, but try and use a snappy title - you want to know that people have read you first entry.
    3. Post a few jokes - it's not your own work.
    4. Post something that's not too personal and keep it short
    5. Comment on a few posts, even if it's, "Nice one - agree"
    6. If you're here to expand your business - post something relating to what you do
    7. Start posting comments on other people's forum - agree, disagree on the topic, but never attack the individual.

    And lastly to paraphrase Mervyn Nieland, originator of Flight Hand Cleaner, "just post it, then start posting it right, then strive for excellence."

    Finally I would like to say that I enjoy your site, its content and newsletter. It stick to what the forum was intended for - business, and not a social chat site where I have to read about one's cats, dogs, holidays, etc. We have plenty of those -facebook, MySpace, etc.

    Well that's my R2 worth.(inflation)
    Vincent Marino
    Maximising the sales value of your business!

    Business 24-Seven |MyBlog Twitter |facebook |Phat feesh & chips






  3. #3
    just me duncan drennan's Avatar
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    Thanks Vincent - nice one
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  4. #4
    just me duncan drennan's Avatar
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    Just to add something useful....

    I think that one of the barriers to posting is that we have managed to create a strong community that posts on topic (in general). As Vincent mentioned, this helps build the apprehension to posting.

    Maybe a (bad) analogy would be like trying to butt in on a conversation between those people making up The Elders - sitting down at a table with them would be quite intimidating! The internet, being what it is, makes it a bit more difficult to put people at ease in a situation like that.

    I suppose that having a reason to post (i.e. oh bugger, I need to know how to handle....) is the biggest motivator. As long as you can find the answers, there is no real need to post.

    Do you think another "post whore" evening would help?
    Last edited by duncan drennan; 08-Nov-07 at 09:10 AM.
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  5. #5
    Silver Member Vincent's Avatar
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    Had to go look up what post whore meant. Didn't know such a word existed. So maybe point 5 should read ...and don't become a post whore by posting "meaningless messages consisting of one word or just emoticons."

    So no to post whore evenings, I see enuf of it on the other site.
    Vincent Marino
    Maximising the sales value of your business!

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  6. #6
    just me duncan drennan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vincent View Post
    So maybe point 5 should read ...and don't become a post whore by posting "meaningless messages consisting of one word or just emoticons."
    Not quite what I meant, but point taken. I was referring to something we tried out quite a while ago to offer people a more relaxed environment to post their first post in. Find out about it here. I'm unsure as to whether it had any lasting impact.
    [SIGPIC]Engineer Simplicity[/SIGPIC]
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  7. #7
    Platinum Member Chatmaster's Avatar
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    Vincent, great post!

    Something I believe that can be intimidating on this forum is the high quality of posts. Most of the frequent posters normally contribute with meaningful top quality posts that can be intimidating to newbies. So in a sense the forum's high standard can scare people away from posting. This is normally indicated by your visitor stats. You have alot of visitors compared to contributions. Between the frequent members here, posts are normally of the highest standard and many newcomers might feel "out classed" and are scared to make a "stupid" comment amongst the professionals. I do not say that this is the case with Theforumsa, only that it might be the case. By providing a little bit more relaxed discussions people might tend to open up and feel more at home. I guess there needs to be a balance?

    One thing is for sure. If I want real facts and good, strong opinions this is the forum I would go to, the standards here are top notch!

  8. #8
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    The main benefit of Forumsa is that people are willing to help.

    I find that having a relaxed area helps alot with postings as people will tend to post there easier then on the main sections that are very informative for fear of sounding stupid.

    I ran a example on the forum here where i asked a question that i believe alot of people want to ask but are to scared/have to much pride to ask it. The topic is still the highest replied to topic on the forum.

    Goes to show you that people want to interact but suffer from to much pride sometimes. Making the topic in laments terms can also achieve results. The idea i would suggest is have a couple of high level posts and some in the joke/general section then have lament term posts. Something easy that the everyday person can chip in about and not feel silly.

    My opinion.

    Snoopy_inc
    Wellinformed.co.za - Networking Forums SA partner site. Let's support each other for a better South Africa.

  9. #9
    Silver Member Vincent's Avatar
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    Couldn't agree more - first rate site.

    Duncan, read the post "Find out about it here" and understand the intention.

    Posting reminds me of my days back at school.
    At school I failed english dismally, not because I couldn't write, but because my english teacher and I didn't get along. An incident that always stuck with me was the topic of euthanasia. I researched, wrote and presented the essay, and failed with 35% - you can imagine how I felt. A year later I was in college, and our english teacher asked us to write about euthanasia. I copied the work from the previous year, spelling mistakes 'n all and passed with 95%.

    Posting is the same - someone will judge and 'fail' you, while some else will approve and 'pass' you.

    Well thanks guys, even writing this has made me relax a bit more.
    Vincent Marino
    Maximising the sales value of your business!

    Business 24-Seven |MyBlog Twitter |facebook |Phat feesh & chips






  10. #10
    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
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    I just tend to be too damn analytical of late Well - I'm willing to work on it.

    I've got to say that this thread now is pretty much the tone I hope we can establish all over the site in time. A community discussion, still meaningful and interesting, and anyone is free to jump in with their thoughts.
    The trouble with opportunity is it normally comes dressed up as work.

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