How Purposeful Design Increases Engagement

When Courtney Couch talks about design he isn’t referring to it in the traditional sense, he means, the holistic approach you take to your site. In order to have the most effective approach one must have at least three key factors: clear purpose/mission, detailed manifesto of how you will accomplish this, and the ability to use this manifesto to drive every decision you make without exception. Couch argues that you need to look at design differently in order to build more engaging communities, compete more effectively, and evangelize users. In order to be…Read more

The Future Discussion of the Web

The Future Discussion of the Web panel highlighted many of the themes that had been continuously recurring throughout the day, the main one being mobile. It became more and more clear from the start of the day to the end, if you aren’t optimizing your site for mobile, you are behind, and it is negatively effecting your user’s experience. Thomas Plunkett shared with the crowd that 25% of forum usage is mobile, and 65% of gawker readers access articles from their phones. The panel brought to light some of the current issues with…Read more

Using Proven Science to Create Highly Addictive Communities

Richard Millington gave a compelling speech starting off by informing the audience, “most forums fail to ever reach 100 members”. If  you’re looking to make sure this doesn’t happen to your online community, Millington outlined 5 guidelines to ensure a thriving site where users become dependent on visiting. The first out of the five is to base the concept of your site upon an existing motivation. He explains this in more depth by showing the ways people seek forums based on conflicting interests, and he breaks down the different motivational appeals by those that…Read more

ForumCon Tech Fest

This year’s ForumCon Tech Fest was highly competitive between vBulletin, Vanilla Forums, Tapatalk, and Panjo. Each had five minutes to make their pitch to a panel of experts as to why their company was the most innovative. After each presentation, the panel challenged them with difficult questions about their product. Watch and find out who came on on top here!  Read more

Conversations About Online Community

This ForumCon session was especially interesting because the wonderful audience members were the ones answering the questions asked by our group of moderators. The room broke into groups and answered the following questions: 1) When do you want to delete comments and how do you define abuse? Where do you draw the line to help monitor those things? 2) How do you take the first steps to identify your minimally viable community? 3) How do people deal with content curation when sifting through information? 4) How do you make a positively reinforcing moderator…Read more

Moderation and Management of Your Community

This panel of experts focused on how to build a team around your forum, the best ways to properly moderate your community, and the how insights can be derived from data. Greg Childs focused the core of his time on the panel to differentiating between staffing a forum and building a team, stressing that a team environment is of the utmost importance. With the team dynamic comes moderation that people willingly devote themselves to. He elaborates on the ways in which to achieve this through key aspects: buy-in, an open door policy, and…Read more

The Lean Community: Simple Tactics for Building Thriving Communities

David Spinks opened his keynote address stating, “communities are products and products are built to solve a problem for people”. Spinks asserts that there are three p’s of community: people, problem, and platform. These contain the necessary information to impact a forum’s ability to achieve a minimally viable community, defined as, the least expensive you can build a community that effectively solves a problem from the information you have about your user base. It’s important to understand what a minimally viable community is, because once you’ve successfully built one, you can assess key…Read more

The Top 5 Forum Insights that Changed Our Business

Crista Bailey’s talk focused on the 5 forum insights that completely revolutionized her business. She listed them as: stay true to the language of your user, give your audience tools to be creative outside of your forum, leverage community conversations to capture insights, identify rising stars, and lastly be open, social and collect stories. Clearly, Texture Media is doing something right with their site,, because they have 2.7 million unique visitors per month who spend over 1 billion dollars annually on hair products. Naturally Curly’s approach has been consistently one step ahead…Read more

ForumCon 2014: What does “Mobile-Optimized” Mean for Communities?

This panel on mobile kicked off ForumCon 2014 and acted as a severe wake up call to those in the audience who have yet to acknowledge the impact of mobile on forums and the new way the world is accessing content on the web. For example, the panel informed us that “January of 2014 was the first month that half of Usenet’s traffic was mobile”. For those who  aren’t doing a good job on mobile, you are already potentially losing half of your audience. Mobile needs to be an essential part of all…Read more

Tapatalk’s 5.8M Vote of Confidence

Seamlessly bringing together 100,000 online communities onto a single mobile app just earned Tapatalk a 5.8 million dollar vote of confidence. The seed funding is lead by Floodgate and IDG Accel Partners.  Tapatalk was originally founded in Shanghai by Winter Wong, but later moved to Los Angeles to join MuckerLab’s third accelerator class. What is Tapatalk? The goal of Tapatalk is to make online community forums accessible from mobile devices. Their website informs us they are the “world's leading social app for online forums”. Tapatalk allows users to monitor multiple forums, create posts,…Read more
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