Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Shifting Mediums, Part 2

Did you know we have a web forum and calendar? It's one of those "legacy" applications that was supposed to provide social networking for our gaming community. The calendar is helpful, but the forums have suffered the fate of forums everywhere, they've lost readership. Those with critical mass still exist, but smaller ones are better off moving to other places, like Facebook. In fact, we're thoroughly discussing this issue there now.

On top of this, our forum is on a private server and is difficult to maintain. Widespread spamming has required an authentication method that doesn't work well. Technically, it's a butt pain. There are also costs associated with the software and maintaining the server. Our volunteer admin has spent much time keeping it going as well.

About three quarters of our forum posts are about events, so if we can move to a calendar system that includes some commenting, it should be a good fix. Google Calendar seems a winner. It does what our old calendar does and so much more, including filtering by your interests and lots of mobility options, such as phone versions. I'm also eying Google Groups as an add on to that. Facebook is still my chosen medium for most communications. We advertise there now, post sales and specials and generally find it an ideal medium for the store. As I've mentioned before, it's not what I'm recommending or saying everyone should move to, it's what works best for us.