Saturday, June 06, 2009


For those of who don't know, there are several great reasons to use online internet forums:

- Get help from the online forum community, the forum chats can be very educational
- Give back help to others via an internet discussion forum
- Find contacts. It's easy to tell from their posts on the forum whether they are knowledgeable, good spirits, or total jerks
- Marketing  through discrete signature references and appropriate not-too-intrusive inclusion of key features and brand names within the flow of the discussion on the forum
- Get instant support directly from other users.

Beware, many forum managers are really zealous in banning people for being commercial. Forum managers know about "forum puppet shows" and other such tricks. A "forum puppet show" is when a person, under one ID, asks a question. Then the same person, under a different name, answers the question. The forum software often sorts posts, with just a click, by IP address or part of the country which makes it simple to detect a person switching identifies.  Even if there are really two different people with different IP addresses and parts of  the country, forum moderators still seem able to distinguish made-up discussions from real ones.  Mostly, they know the real players and a vigorous conversation between a bunch of newbies...probably a "puppet show".

And there are forums on every topics:
Parenting homeschool forums , Non religious homeschooling forums  martial arts blog and forum, etc etc

BTW, if you are thinking of how to create a forum, here's a few thoughts.

If you have a community already, it's likely to be an easier task to create a forum. You still need to decide whether to use a Facebook page, Facebook private groups, Facebook secret Group, LinkedIn Group,, Google group, Facebook page, Ning group, Twitter Hashtag or chats, classic online forum (vbulletin or phpforum), or, if you are using Wordpress, maybe Buddypress.

If you don't already have a community and you are both looking to create a community and the mechanism for their communication, you're likely to have a harder task creating the forum.

Once you have a forum, you need to moderate it by banning the forum trolls and other miscreants and spammers.  This requires judgement and some technical sophistication with forum tools and programs.

In this day and age (updated Nov 2014), many people want to login to forums with a single sign on such as Google ID, wordpress ID, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Discus, and others. This can require a little technical sophistication since while it's easy to set up registration with Google ID, most forums still require the user to add a username somehow and you need to be careful not to expose anyone's actual email address.  Any wisdom on this forum strategy question from the readers in the form of comments would be much appreciated.

Here's another post on the blog where you can read more about online discussion forums for education.

Thursday, June 04, 2009

California Cancelled Summer School

California Cancelled Summer School!

Gov. Schwarzenegger told a joint session of the state legislature Tuesday that if the $24 billion budget deficit isn't closed, the state won't have enough money to pay its bills next month. Because the budget has to be cut more, L.A. Unified School District has canceled most of summer school.


'Kung Fu' Actor David Carradine Dies

'Kung Fu' Actor David Carradine Died today. I heard a long discussion of it on NPR. It touched me since I had LOVED that show. I also wondered how I could play in the SEO game of breaking news. Obviously, I am half a day late to participate in that game but I've put it up on my martial arts blog. And here I'm building links to the article about the Kung Fu hero dying. I wonder if I'll get hits and traffic?

Actually, I care a lot more about links but that's another question.