SEOClerks

Should I start a forum or a Community Discussion?



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Should I start a forum or a Community Discussion?

I've been dabbling with this for a while now, I don't know if I want to start up a forum for my website or do something similar to what SeoClerks did and have a Community Discussion.

I want that member feel that you get with a forum, but you get that with the Community Discussion too. One of the main things I've noticed with the Community Discussion is that there aren't any signatures, which I personally love lol Should I start a forum or a Community Discussion? I don't see a ton of ads that look annoying because people can customize them however they want with BB code and make your pages look odd. The Community Discussion is much cleaner than a forum and most websites are pushing towards cleaner designs to stay cutting edge I guess.

One thing I've noticed that the SeoClerks Community Discussion doesn't have is a feature that shows how many "like" your topic or posts have gotten. On a lot of forums there is a reputation system and it basically shows who is there posting often and how many times someone has came to give them a digital high five by liking their post lol. The downside of a reputation system is that it can be gamed fairly easy if the reputation amount is considered "rep power". I know that on a few forums I've been on there have been groups who just like and thank other group members posts to increase their rep power. There's no monetary gain to this, it's just a number that shows up on your profile. But what I have noticed is that people who see a high rep power from a service provider, they will buy more willingly because the seller is suppose to be one of the better people on the forum. I was never a rep power abuser, but I did have over 1,500 at one time (that's a good amount for people who don't know what I'm talking about). I would post and get thanks/upvotes/rep from users who liked what I posted.


In the end both a forum and a community discussion have their benefits, but which do you think I should go with?


Thanks,

Razzy

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Lynne

Hi Razzy

Call me dumb or something but I am struggling a little to understand exactly what the difference is between a forum and a community discussion.

I have been part of plenty forums before so I can see that they are set out slightly differently, but I still don't understand what makes one a forum and the other a community discussion?

I also like it when you can see how many votes a person has on their profile and you can see how active they are in the discussions.




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TommyCarey

There are slight differences, but they are there.

The main thing is that the statistics of the users profile shows up on each post they make. There is also a ranking system based on how much they've contributed and how many times a person has liked their posts.

Another thing about a forum is that you can post your services for sale, but that's not what I'd want on my forum or community discussion. That's not needed here since the main feature of SeoClerks is the marketplace where people sell their services Should I start a forum or a Community Discussion?




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Lynne

Thanks for clearing that up Razzy, sometimes things just look the same to me!

Yes I can see how a community discussion would suit SeoClerks more, I don't want to see people posting services here. Right now these discussions are really valuable and I have learned so much. If members are allowed to post their services here then it will change everything and most likely just become a spam fest.




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vinaya

I thought forums were community discussion board. I did not know there was a difference between forum and discussion board. I think the basic difference is with the script. Community discussion boards are also forums, but because they use different script, they sightly differ with forum.




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EliteWriter

Both have their pros and cons. I like the clean look of community discussions, but I do not think this would work well for any site. I think that it is great on SeoClerks because it is a big platform, but when it comes to a small site it might not work as well maybe. I personally prefer it if the user's statistics are visible, but when it comes to allowing advertising that's really something you should stay away from as much as possible.




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idealmike

Depending on your budget, you could go with something like XenForo which is a forum script but can be adapted to be just about anything you want it to be. It can be a full blown forum community with all the "bells n' whistles" that most good forums come with today. Or you can just have it as a very simple discussion board very similar to how the SEOClerks Community Discussions. I've used Vanilla forums in the past as well that's quite a good script if you just want a basic discussion forum without a lot of features that can cause it to run slow. It also comes with a lot of plugins that add extra functionality to it and a plethora of themes you can download and install as well which can be modified to your hearts content. Plus if you're looking for a forum where people are given rep for posting great posts and things I think there's a plugin for that too. To be honest, most good forums come with an addon or something along those lines so you can reward good posters. Should I start a forum or a Community Discussion?




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anwebservices

I guess both are good, forum and community discussions, but CD looks different then usual forum so it may be more attractive nowadays. Also in forum you can disable options for members to add their signatures, so you can't go wrong with that decision either.




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TommyCarey

That's true. I forgot about the option to take away signatures.




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Soulwatcher

Whatever you decide just know that online communities are extremely hard to get going and often fail after a few months because people are not getting the results that they desire. Sometimes it takes years to get a forum going and even after putting years into it still may never take off. When I made my new forum I promised myself that I would give it 3 years of effort and then decide what to do with it.




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Corzhens

I don't think I know what a community discussion is. I am only familiar with a forum. When it comes to communicating with a group of people, I go for the forum. Actually, I am a content provider for forums and I have been seeing forums with no life because the community is very small. In those cases, I suggest for them to hire a content provider that will perk up the boards to attract walk-in members.




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TimothyAlex

I have been considering the same thing and have been working on integrating my WordPress site with a forum. Even after the work, I am still debating if I want to launch.




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augusta

A forum and a community discussion are greatly interwoven and intertwined. You may hardly have one without the other. I feel that a forum precedes a community discussion. Before you can have a community discussion, you must have a forum which would serve as the umbrella body to house a community of discussants.
A forum is usually the business or investor aspect where the owner(s) have profit maximization in mind and the only way to achieve this objective is to drive traffic by having a community of discussants who are dedicated to the forum.

It is also noteworthy to point out that most forums like this one are making the relationship between the forum owners as well as the community of discussants a mutually beneficial one especially financial.

The choice as to whether to either have a forum or community discussion entirely rests on the individual depending on the interest and objective of the individual concerned.




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