8 Replies
Jerson  Campos

It really depends on how your website is setup. Some websites allow forums to be setup throught the CPanel. You can also add a forum like PhpBB (https://www.phpbb.com/). It takes some moderation, but I've heard it's pretty easy to implement. I would go to whoever built your site and see if they are familiar with forums and if they can add it to your site.

Daniel Brigham

Rebecca: Sounds like part of what you want to do is cultivate a community of practice. I agree: the Articulate community rocks, perhaps harder than a Marshall stack cranked to 11. But the technology is only a piece of the puzzle. A few questions you may want to consider:

  • What's the main purpose of the community you are creating?
  • What value are you offering? (people will come if you offer something valuable)
  • Whose is your audience? (most of Articulate's community members are those just looking for tips and tricks.)
  • How will you engage the different segments of your audience?

Anyway, I'm just getting my feet wet with this too. You may want to check out Etienne Wenger's Cultivating Communities of Practice. I'm actually interested in this stuff, so drop me a PM if you want. --Daniel

Phil Mayor

Daniel Brigham said:

Rebecca: Sounds like part of what you want to do is cultivate a community of practice. I agree: the Articulate community rocks, perhaps harder than a Marshall stack cranked to 11. But the technology is only a piece of the puzzle. A few questions you may want to consider:

  • What's the main purpose of the community you are creating?
  • What value are you offering? (people will come if you offer something valuable)
  • Whose is your audience? (most of Articulate's community members are those just looking for tips and tricks.)
  • How will you engage the different segments of your audience?

Anyway, I'm just getting my feet wet with this too. You may want to check out Etienne Wenger's Cultivating Communities of Practice. I'm actually interested in this stuff, so drop me a PM if you want. --Daniel


Agree with Daniel, creating a community is more difficult than it looks.  I once tried to do this for the NHS, you really need the user to get some sort of reward (here it would be getting an answer or inspiration.  Universities  try to do this within their LMs but often offer credit for posting on the forums.

Russ Sawchuk

I agree that it is much easier to set up forums than actually have people use them. I set up forums as a component of our professional development software system for about 6 different health professions. I ended up deleting all of them within a year due to lack of use. Over the years I have never had a successful forum website, except for one group of specialized farmers.

Best of success with your project.

Russ

Rebecca Shamblin

Thanks, everyone!  These are really helpful things to keep in mind.  I'm hoping that the adjoining Knowledge Base I plan to build out will help draw users to the site in general, and maybe they will check out the forums as well.  Right now, they are hungering for the KB.  For those of you who've done this, did you 'seed' the forums with fake posts to get things going at first?

 I will check out that Wenger book - any other book or article recommendations are welcomed!

Daniel Brigham

Hi, Rebecca:

Here's a link to a brief overview of COPs by Wenger himself. http://www.ewenger.com/theory/

And here is Tom Kuhlmann giving an ASTD chapter presentation on establishing COPs within a training context. Five parts or so, but I think you'll find it quite valuable. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WrxEgxlp7R4