I’ve been considering adding a discussion forum area to ProBlogger.net since I started this blog and have recently been lobbied increasingly by readers to consider doing so more and more (update: I’m not talking about replacing the blog – but adding forums as another way to discuss the topic – this blog would continue to operate as normal).
So this week I’m going to ask you for your opinion in our Poll of the Week.
You can vote ‘Yes’, ‘No’ or ‘I don’t Know’ in the sidebar.
I’d also love to hear your reasons for voting as you have in comments below.
Before you do let me outline a few of the Pros and Cons as I see them:
- Forums would give readers a place to post their own thoughts and experiences – I know that most bloggers don’t have a blog where it’s appropriate to share what they know about blogging for money (it would be off topic) and a forum might be a place where they could share what they are experiencing and know
- Increased reader participation – I love the community here and would love to find more ways to get us all interacting
- Questions could be answered better – I get a lot of questions from readers – some of which I am able to answer but many of which I don’t have time or expertise to respond adequately to. Forums might see answers found for more questions.
- Forums would give space for ongoing discussion on topics – one of the frustrations I have with blogging is that comment threads tend to die off when the post drops off the front page. As a result useful conversations can end prematurely
- My limited experience of forums is that they can be a lot of work to moderate
- There is a risk of inactive forums – there is nothing worse than going to a site’s forums to see inactivity. I suspect with current readership levels that ProBlogger forums would be reasonably active but there is always some risk
- Distraction from the Blog – Some of the people I’ve floated this idea with have suggested that it could detract from the blog itself. My own opinion is that this could happen but that it could also add to and supplement the blog really well depending upon how the forums were managed and integrated. Interested in your thoughts on this one.
I’m certain that there are many more Pros and Cons but I’m not going to exhaust the list here and now. I’d rather hear your opinion.
Are forums a good idea for ProBlogger? Why/Why Not? Would you use them? What areas would you like them to cover? Your ideas and thoughts will be greatly appreciated.
PS: I should say that I’d only go the forums route with help from key readers taking on roles as moderators. I’m envisaging a number of moderators taking on different sections which I think would be a good profile building exercise for them and obviously a massive help for me in terms of workload. I already have a copule of volunteers to take on a part of this.