Almost every community has a dedicated rules post, and most tend to be pretty similar. This is partly because some rules (Be nice to each other! Don’t spam the forum!) are pretty obvious, but it’s also because many community managers don’t spend the time to tailor their rules to the individual needs of the community. Depending on the community in question, this is something that it’s possible to get away with. Many communities don’t need anything particularly unusual or specific in their rules. However, I have a few, rarely-seen rules that I keep in my back pocket which most communities could benefit from adopting.
While it’s common for a community forum to be created to connect those with a shared interest or passion, more and more companies are using communities as a business tool to connect with suppliers or their internal distributed teams. Here’s more on how they are using them: Continue reading →
Launching a new forum community can be daunting. This is true even for those of us who have done it before, but increasingly communities are being launched by people with no prior experience of the medium. Forum communities are increasingly becoming a vital part of product marketing, and I find I’m more likely than ever to meet with people who know they need a forum but don’t know how to launch one successfully. Every community is different, but there are a few important things that need to be in place before a forum launches, and they’re often overlooked. Continue reading →
Dan Holohan is the owner of HeatingHelp.com, which has been a vibrant online community and a trusted resource for those seeking information about heating since 1997. Having a trusted partner for his community was very important, as it was at the core of his business. With cold temperatures and snow accumulating, this is the busy time of year for Dan and his team. We were glad to have a chance to sit down with him and learn about his experience using Vanilla Forums.
The reemergence of chat software as an employee collaboration tool confirms the notion that there is nothing new under the sun. This type of software has been ubiquitous since the dawn of the internet, and nothing lasts that long without being of some use. Chat programs can be a great way for internal teams to communicate, but they have some real shortcomings that prevent them being effective as a catch-all solution. Ideally, chat software should be used alongside longer form communication, which is where forums excel.