The Open Mind August 29, 2008 Edition
By Donald Schwartz
What? You didn’t know that there are technology moderators? The shame of it! (I can almost hear the comedian Louis Black exclaiming “Who Knew?”)
There are actually three of us.
I’ve been requested to blog more regularly with the understanding that the good folks at FC
are going to re-double their efforts to implement some website features that I have been campaigning for since January.
Apparently I have developed a bit of a “reputation” at FC and I realize I can rant a bit when I view a problem and see a possible solution, but really, I come at it with the best of intentions. Maybe I should let it go, but since technology is at its best when it makes our lives easier, I feel that talking about technology-based solutions for the FC website is fair game.
BTW, I see my role as a catalyst to discussion on technology. I’m really more interested in your thinking than my own.
I love asking questions that stimulate conversation among people who know more than I do.
In order for me to be “happy” youse(plural of you) are going to need to contribute. Sure you can be a “lurker” but I’d prefer you didn’t. I don’t relish the prospect of talking to myself because I spend already too much time doing it.
Issue One – Good Discussions Should Be Easy To Follow
I have been howling from the roof tops for threaded bulletin boards which have been around for more than a decade. Compuserve, a small subset of AOL, used them in their Forums with great success; the threaded forums raise the level of group discussion to a whole new level. (You may ask what level did they start from?)
A threaded bulletin board lets you see who is to talking to whom, when they posted, blah, blah, blah. I’d put a picture of it within this text, but right now there’s no easy way to do it.
If you can imagine a tree structure similar to how your directory, sub-directory and files are presented, then you have a pretty good idea what I’m talking about.
Question: What do you think about this approach? Have you tried it? Does it work? Why or why not?
Issue Two – FC Navigation Starting With Terminology
It’s quite possible that I’m the only one that finds the FC website difficult to navigate. Have you ever complained about a faulty product and been told that you are the first person to experience it? Does that really matter to you?
A couple of weeks ago I requested an explanation of terms with an eye towards understanding the FC website from a big picture POV.
Here’s what I don’t get. Maybe you can help by providing your understanding of what is meant by the following:
- Fast Company Features - Is this selected from the mag? How?
- Fast Talk - Are these the questions asked of everyone who participates in the FC community? Where do the responses end up?
- Member Blogs- ?
- Expert Blogs – Who are these people? How did they get the title?
- Fast Company Blogs - Is this FC staff writers only?
- Member Comments - Are these blog-only comments and if so to what?
The End. C’est Fini for this week. BTW, am I the only one to appreciate when movies used to conclude with THE END before rolling the credits?