Let's make forums great again!

So, I put this out on Twitter and I want to make it happen.

Chat spaces, like Slack and Discord, have been on the rise for communities. They are easy to set up and get going. However, community growth can stall if we don't look beyond them.

These chat tools are often overwhelming and serve a select few. Members often struggle to participate and keep up, as a result if they join there's a high percentage of people that never participate or come back.

That's not to say chat tools are bad, they are not. They serve a different purpose. They are great for immediate answers and the ability to converse. Or perhaps the ability for people to form small groups. Chat spaces are actually a great starting point, but building community doesn't have to stop there.

The reality is that many people do not want or need this. When we are under pressure to scale community we have to look at other strategies to serve value to our people.

This is where forums come into play

The sad state of community affairs is that they are often dismissed as a strategy, not given enough love or simply not given the time they need evolve and grow.

There are so many benefits for forums, including:

  • the SEO can be magical
  • no algorithm
  • content ownership
  • less overwhelm and need to be always on (we should respect time, for the community team and the members)
  • slower and deeper conversations
  • better and built in moderation tools
  • they scale better
  • they can be designed to help members solve problems

Infact, you can read what others have to say about the benefit of forums:

Come join us on a year-long quest to make your forum great (again)

At Rosieland we are starting a one year cohort for people that want to learn about making better forums.

Ideally, you can bring your own forum to work on, but fear not if you don't have one. At Rosieland we have one that needs some extra love! ❀️

This cohort is mostly focused on doing to learn. Whilst there will likely be content and talks produced at some point, the value comes in the showing up and discussions we have together. The content produced will be based on what you bring to the room.

This is how we envision it working:

  • monthly accountability and sharing sessions
  • we'll use Slack, our Rosieland forum and any other useful tools along the way.
  • collaborative community research
  • asking of questions, which we answer and explore together
  • sharing of progress, tactics, and ideas that have worked
  • being intentional with sharing our findings together
  • taking a starting and ending snapshot of your community

The kind of things I think we'll end up covering:

  • the tools!
  • how to kickstart discussions
  • creating real value
  • how to create a community flywheel
  • growth strategies
  • SEO tactics
  • structuring forums
  • learning from existing forums
  • ...and whatever the community suggests!

But one year is so long? Yeah, but forums take time to build, so one year is probably a good time frame to get the foundations. It's all about forming the habits of showing up and finding ways to invest and nurture you forum.

But can't you just create a guide or course about forums? Probably, one day, but after this cohort is done! I'll be learning along with y'all.

Will there be recordings? πŸ˜… We will endeavour to record, take notes and document our findings (hopefully as much of it as possible in our Rosieland forum!)

When will it start? Officially in Sept 2022. We can start to hang out from now.

How do I sign up?

This is being offered as part of our Rosieland membership which is currently priced at $30 p/m or $150 per year. So not only do you get access to this cohort, but you get access to everything else the membership offers.

After you sign up join our Slack and look for this message in our main channel.

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