To me, the best thing about running this blog is the comments. I love the fact that over years I have managed to build a small community of regulars here. I like to see the familiar gravatars popping up in various discussion threats. I’m not great at community building, but I try.
In the past I have tried to establish a working message board adjacent to this blog but it was a compound failure. For one, the software was just bad. It was a WordPress plugin that required registration, and had a really, really shitty CAPTCHA that no one could ever read. Secondly, I failed to do anything interesting with it. I sort of put it up, and expected people to just contribute content. Few people did, but it never really went anywhere.
I guess one of the lessons I have learned over the years of watching online communities evolve is that the only strategy that can yield any kind of results is “seed it and lead it”. First you need to seed your forum/community/link board with interesting content. This is actually what reddit founders did in it’s heyday. But you can’t stop there. You actually have to actively lead, moderate and initiate discussions in said forum. Active communities usually coalesce around very small groups of active and vocal users – often merely one or two.
So I figured, why not try this again. Especially if it will give me a chance to hack FoFou Forum software a bit. I actually wrote about this project before, but the other day I actually broke down and forked it. The code is remarkably simple and offers just the bare bones functionality – giving me a lot of space to expand and extend it to fit my particular needs.
So without further willy whacking, and dilly dallying around I introduce you to the new Terminally Incoherent Forums. And experiment in bringing 90’s social media paradigms into 2012 user space.
For the time being I will use it to post various short form topics hoping to spur discussion. You know – blog post stubs that might be interesting but don’t have the makings of a full fledged 800+ word potential. What I would really like is to see people other than me post original content and/or links there – but I’m not holding my breath. I’m sort of expecting this distraction to fail miserably due to lack of content and participation. Or, if by some fluke it catches on, it will likely get spammed into oblivion. We shall see.
But yeah, check it out. I already pre-seeded it with bunch of discussion hooks. See if any of them strikes a chord with you, and join in. For now I have
four two (I decided to consolidate them) forums:
- /fun/ is for discussing TV, Movies, Games and etc..
/it/ is for IT horror stories and rants /future/ for futuristic musings and singularity/transhumanism stuff
- /code/ for software development and etc..
I will probably add one or two more, as soon as I come up with some logical categories and seed topics.
FoFou is very, very basic – bare bones and no frills. But I’ve been hacking and bug fixing the code and I am planning to add some tiny frills here and there. Especially if I notice people use the damn thing.
You don’t have to register to comment or post new topics. Contributing is as easy as posting comments on this blog. Just plug in a name and an email that looks valid (though it does not have to be your real email) in the box, and hit submit.
Let me know what you think.
Also – quick question: do you think breaking it up into 4 topic areas was a good idea? Or would it be easier to keep track of the forum if it was all on one page? I’m starting to think this might be the way to go.