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Re: Removing Groups From Forums

@alanchrishughes; What we’ve done – and it’s making sense to a few testers so far – is to ditch the forums and just use groups. So people know, for example, that they can create a cycling group, or a business group, or a flower arranging group. They understand that they can post messages in their group, and invite others to join in, accept new members, etc., and also that if they want things in the group to remain only there then they can make it private.

Apart from the varying negative reactions I see from people regarding forums and blogs, one of the things which puts people off with forums is the layout style. They don’t want to ‘go into’ a new area and then have to sub-navigate, as they frequently become lost and end up hitting the Home button and starting again. Or worse still, the browser’s Close button, because it’s just another minor stress in life they can do without. Seeing an activity stream, and then entering a group knowing that it’s much the same thing, but either publicly displayed or kept private, they can handle. (Funnily enough, one tester said today when looking at the activity stream, “This is a really great idea‚Ķa local forum”).

Personally, I’m very much pulling away from all the “Oh how cool is this?!” side of technology, as you may notice from other posts I’ve made. It’s not because I’m ready for pipe and slippers yet, nor because I don’t like it all, but simply because those who are or become site and software developers are usually far removed from those they’re developing for, yet they don’t realise it. ‘Screen blindness’, perhaps. Developers are producing highly complex helicopters, while what most people really want are bog-standard 4-gear cars. Some are even happy with a horse and cart! (Afterthought; I guess the trick is to produce the complex helicopter, but make it so simple to fly that all you need is a steering wheel and 4 gears. I know; the analogy falls down hard if stretched further!)

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