New Anthrocon Forum Software Suggestion

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Glelin's picture
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Joined: 2010-05-22 11:54:33 pm
Posts: 1116

It's been almost a year since this post that announced the decline of the Anthrocon forums as we know them (but hopefully not forever).

As a member of these forums for over 8 years (and some of you blow that out of the water), I've grown quite attached to the type of discourse that is had in the culture we've developed here. I'd be very sad to see this style of conversation come to an end.

In the post I linked to above, Giza said the following, "I am interested in seeing what alternatives are available.  I am open to suggestions--if anyone has paritcular forum software that they feel comfortable with, or even a forum service, leave a comment here and let us know!".

That is exactly what I'm here to do. There were many great talking points in the "New con year, new website!" post. Here are some of the highlights:

Tyrrlin

"Sites like Twitter or Facebook are okay for quick, casual communication, but with so many people on each site, important questions can get lost in the flood of posts unless someone is constantly watching the feed.  Also, with the forums, the posts with replies stay refreshed at the top of the page, so you don't have to wade through old or un-replied-to posts to get to a hot topic." (source)

Pegasus

"Also speaking for myself, I think the forums are pretty important and offer functionality (most important search) you don't find on social media sites. (Good luck searching for an old post in the AC newsfeed on Facebook)." (source)

Blackjack

"...the forums are a voice for even the newcomer, a chance to connect and open communications, a place to pose questions, a place to discuss, to communicate. Some of those roles may be used LESS casually now than before, but their need is no less great." (source)

Yours Truly

"Hopefully it's replaced by something suitable for good discourse." (source)

------

Those are just the highlights of the whole conversation, and I suggest reading all of it. Notice that I emphasized the word "discourse" a few times. I did it, because I've been introduced to a free and open-source forum software that I feel is not only a great replacement for these dinosaurs of forums, but are in fact an improvement.

Discourse

Here is something I said before, and some of the quotes above touch some of the following points. Facebook, Twitter, and other social media sites are great for immediate and quickly irrelevant discussion topics. But modern social media is terrible for long-term evolving topics where preservation and searchability is preferred. I've heard facebook groups referred to as "the facebook bubble" where people who aren't members of the group miss out on active conversations. Then those conversations disappear from the first page after a few days. And searching is difficult.

Giza said, "I am interested in seeing what alternatives are available.  I am open to suggestions--if anyone has paritcular forum software that they feel comfortable with, or even a forum service, leave a comment here and let us know!" (source)

Discourse is my suggestion and recommentation. As an open-source project, it's in the web-leopard's wheelhouse. And I'll personally donate $99 to Anthrocon in order to cover the one-time fee to have a professional install Discourse onto a private Ubuntu 16.04 cloud server.

Let's keep substantial conversation alive.

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Eric's picture
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Joined: 2009-11-23 10:40:09 pm
Posts: 162

I don't post terribly often but since i don't follow social media sites at all i am all for something that will keep this forum alive.

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