Your Forum Doesn’t Need Every Plugin

batman spraysI recently stirred some minor controversy by stating my dislike of profanity filters. This wasn’t intended to call out any particular company, but more to express a general dislike of the idea of the overuse of software solutions on forums. There’s a common feeling that the end goal of forum software should be almost totally automating the management of the boards. Let’s get a plugin to stop people posting big images, then a plugin to stop people swearing, then a plugin to make everyone think of flowers, then a plugin to hunt down Capricorns etc etc… It’s a nice thought, and I understand that companies need to make a living by finding software solutions and then selling them. Unfortunately, after over a decade of running forums I just… don’t buy it.
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Can a Customer Community Help Delight Your Customers?

meet expectations before exceed expectations

At a Salesforce.com event last week, one of the presenters quoted research by the Executive Board that suggests that you get better ROI from keeping a customer satisfied than by trying to delight or exceed a customer’s expectations. According to the research, an unhappy customer will tell 7 other people about a bad experience whereas a happy customer will only tell 3 others about a positive experience. Continue reading

Should You Use Profanity Filters?

no swearing profanityThe worst features in the world #1: Profanity filters.

Features are nice. Everyone likes features. If you look at a new piece of software, the first thing they’ll tell you about are the features. No matter which forum software you use, it’s going to have a ton of different plugins, addons, widgets, dongles. You know. Features. A word that sounds weird the more you say it. Features.

Talking about the features of your software that you like is super passe, so I’m going to buck the trend and talk about one that I don’t think anyone should use: profanity filters. You’ve probably seen or used one of these yourself; they take any naughty words from a specific list and either blank them out or replace them with something else. That seems good, right? I don’t think so. In fact I think it’s a manifestation of a larger problem within community management.
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