Dragging your community site into a Web 3.0 world

Tags:
  1. computerology

    computerology Participant

    96
    65
    +33
    computerology submitted a new Article:

    Dragging your community site into a Web 3.0 world

    Read more about this article here...
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 17, 2016
    • Like Like x 4
  2. rusty105

    rusty105 Habitué

    1,612
    747
    +46
    Bravo... Bravo...:banana:



    I hope this sinks deep into new forum admins. I am trying desperately to change my thinking on this. As I mentioned in the other thread, I am doing something similar. I am using Drupal 6 and phpBB3 with a bridge mod. What modules are you using to interact with Facebook and Twitter.

    On the topic of Social Media, what else, besides those two mentioned, would you recommend? I keep seeing linkedin popping up more and more.

    Rusty
     
  3. computerology

    computerology Participant

    96
    65
    +33
    The Drupal modules I am using are Janrain Engage with Social Widget plus a Facebok App connected to Janrain, as well as RSS Feeds, and RSS Comment Feeds coupled with twitterfeed.com. Each RSS feed your site generates can be melded together with twitterfeed, in my case each forum generates an RSS, comments on topics or content of any type generates another, the homepage generates another, and all user blog content generates another. So I have about 9 feeds in total plugged into twitterfeed to capture all the content.

    As for other social media I guess it depends on your audience. If your site was about jobs or angel financing you would definitely want LinkedIn and Janrain does engage with it, although I dont think that LinkedIn handles any sort of feeds like Facebook or Twitter. Delicio seems quite popular but I have barely ever seen it used by my userbase so for now, I ignore it.

    Its tricky with Drupal because the mods all seem to have other prerequisite mods so its difficult to list every mod that I use, I can hardly remember all the crap I have had to install to make the stuff I wanted to install work. I did use Advanced Forum layered on top of Drupal in order to make sure that all the container types and editors were consistent across the board. You mention using a bridge; I looked at a Drupal <> SMF bridge as well as the phpBB bridge but then decided against it as I wanted a single unified database that could handle serious updgrades to the Drupal core. I never want to get caught twisting in the wind with lack of support ever again if at all possible like I did with e-xoops/runcms. E-xoops was beautiful and lightweight, but the dev community dwindled away after they had drifted too far from XOOPS to be able to swap back into that engine. XOOPS couldnt do all the social/mobile functionality I needed anyway, it's like a juiced up version of vB with a bunch of cart plugins for commerce that are just pummelled by OSC.
     
  4. The7thSage

    The7thSage Adherent

    298
    65
    +23
    This is something that scares me these days. There are people now who just won't let you succeed. Just the other day I banned 2 members for breaking the rules of my community, guess what I get? A 25 GB UDP Hit DDOS attack on the face, knocking us down for 2 days straight. The web is taking a very ugly turn in my opinion at least for people who are willing to start forums or interactive sites.

    1) Good domains (or you can say keyword friendly domains) aren't available.(unlike 2004 - 2006)

    2) Attitude of the people has changed.

    3) Like you said theres always sites like Google, Facebook and Twitter competing. Any website you want to develop, Google or Facebook does most of the job, rendering your new ideas useless.

    4) Most niches have hundreds of websites, making it difficult to survive in the market.

    I fail to see anything good coming from "web 3.0" other than social interactive websites.
     
  5. forumscripts

    forumscripts Content Writer/Dev

    342
    90
    +24
    I like this thread, but I don't understand.. Web 3.0?

    I think more like Web 2.0, I do not understand this 3.0 stuff. I think it will be Web 3.0 when you see people posting video updates on Facebook and everyone has 100 MB/S connections on their internet.
     
  6. T3chn0

    T3chn0 Fan

    591
    220
    +22
    Excellent post, I see the trend of members friending/following/subscribing (Facebook, Twitter, YT etc.) to each other outside the site becoming more and more common which as you said, is doing the work for the bigger sites and we need to prepare ourselves to stay in the loop.
     
  7. Gec

    Gec Enthusiast

    164
    33
    +10
    Excellent post. Thank you!

    You've just written the spec for the forum (rather, community) software upgrade / update / facelift that forum admins have been waiting for.

    If someone could build a forum software support everything you mentioned out of the box, I think they would have a very successful business.
     
  8. computerology

    computerology Participant

    96
    65
    +33
    Yeah, totally. Community software is so far behind, nothing comes with everything you need out-of-the-box (well at least nothing reputable, anyways).

    Making use of mobile apps with push technology is core. Users need to be able to get hooked on following your site via their phone, via some sort of a subscription system where they can click to get updates pushed to their phone via the software's app when they select a particular thread.
     
  9. TVDinner

    TVDinner Enthusiast

    119
    83
    +9
    Very nice post and great read. Thanks
     
  10. computerology

    computerology Participant

    96
    65
    +33
    update on my project

    Just a 6-month interim update on my web 3.0 reconstruction of my community site.

    Things picked up quite slowly as users were confused thinking that the loss of their UIDs meant they had been banned or something. Eventually they tried the facebook single sign on and started trickling back onto the site. Back to about 180 users, from 600 before, although a large number of those 600 were inactive users and trolls due to expire (I used to delete all users inactive for more than 4 months on a regular basis).

    The new content engine is interesting. It is luring users to submit content much more than the previous engine as actual articles with tags. Periodically people get it mixed up and make what should be a forum post in articles but with a few menu tweaks to make it easier to understand its minimized.

    The forum community is picking up - a lot busier than all of the competitors in my niche. There are still some jaggernaut sites that are not specific to a particular physical region that are busier than we are, but most sites based in my country are much, much slower - a lot of them are closing up shop. Since my rebuild I can count now 6 sites that have simply folded and gone offline due to slow traffic. Really painful to see posts from 2010 and 2009 in the first page when 2012 is just around the corner for an admin I guess; a bunch of these sites were "me too" sites that were created by some cleaved section of my users to try to siphon off my traffic albeit under new leadership. Guess their plan didn't work. lol.

    New posts are coming along on a regular basis. Once I fixed the view counts which are showing some really nice view rates they have started to move along even quicker. (A bug caused all my view counts to show as zero, even if there were 40 replies).

    Facebook activity in our group is really unchanged. Still about the same number of followers; I am thinking this is because some inactive people are delisting themselves and new users coming on the site are joining.

    Twitter is having some interesting results, some people that I have never heard of have added us to their follow feeds. Certain topics that have subjects friendly to twitter feeds have had some incredible view numbers, like 200 views within an hour. Hasnt translated much into contributing users, but eyeballs are eyeballs and I am sure as things pick it up will.

    The drupal upgrade path waiting grind continues. Still waiting on a variety of mods that I desperately want to implement that are not yet ported to D7, even as D8 is released and the latest version of D7 is D7.9. The core team moves way too fast for the developers. Some are getting close but I very much wish that they would move along faster, especially mobile tools and a variety of stuff to do with user role badges and ranks and acheivement ribbons. Having a difficult time choosing what method to credit users with for referring people to the site; there are several options but I want to make sure I choose the option that will be the most useful down the road.

    Overall:

    6 months in after smashing down my web 2.0 forum site and building a web 3.0 community site I am looking at it as a success so far. Mostly as I watch my competitors traffic grinding to a near halt and shutting down all over the place and I am seeing my traffic trending upwards. Compared to our traffic before, I see a dismal picture; but relative to competitors we're doing fantastic.

    Another update in another 6 months after a year has passed. :)
     
  11. Supermighty

    Supermighty Adherent

    348
    130
    +30
    This makes me thing of the scene in Glengarry Glen Ross where Alec Baldwin says mockingly "yeah, I was a salesmen once. It's a hard racket.."
     
  12. mdamirhamza

    mdamirhamza Neophyte

    2
    1
    +0
    Yeah! I think so.
    Thanks for sharing.
     
  13. computerology

    computerology Participant

    96
    65
    +33
    update 10 months in

    Well, 10 months in, up to 300 users now, traffic is picking up.

    The ability to reorganize content in new and different ways is opening up very interesting possibilities that were never there before, such as facebook-like groups of users and very interesting ways to offer merits to users.

    The merit system has all but eliminated drama that used to be rampant on my old forum-centric site. The old system was the standard per-post which in a way rewarded users for drama or flamewars, since under the new system those points are repealed the users try to keep their noses cleaner.

    Organically re-growing my site from the ground up has been a harrowing experience, at several times throughout the process I have feared that I have killed the site, but it keeps growing quite nicely.

    The twitter and facebook integration has been resulting in some astounding numbers. I have posts that have over 2,000 views and 60 responses, likely because the system autogenerated feeds have come out looking attractive to click on social media. I have not manually tinkered with these submissions, it was all automatic.

    The switch is still not without it's pains. That "rank" icon that everyone running a forum board takes for granted beside users posts I still can't get operational because nearly a year after D7 was released the module (why on earth does that require a whole module!?) has not been ported over.. Theres a curious "feature" in the auto-promotion module that while adding or removing ranks gives users all the ranks up to the one they have acheived simultaneously. Due to the feature set, the software is anything but lightweight and I am having difficulties with pageload times, despite making extensive use of pre-caching.

    However, traffic is trending upwards rather than downwards, which was the problem I was trying to solve.

    In leaving my little silo to promote another project, I had the opportunity to hit a bunch of other forum boards. I have noticed the fear amongst forum board admins. Some sites have banned posting links to facebook. Others have severely restricted the buy and sell forum areas, requiring all these rep / karma points and a minimum number of posts (which I think is ludicrous because I have had an account on some of these boards for four years and been active but even I am barred from selling something on their forum). These are even quite busy sites, so they too much be noticing their traffic dwindling.

    The search engine indexing of the new engine is incredible. It auto generates my sitemaps and I can set the priority per content type. In under a day stuff is showing up in the first page on Google which exceeds any expectations I may have had.

    Peak season is coming up, so I will give one more update during the summer.
     
  14. Guerrera

    Guerrera Participant

    74
    13
    +10
    What exactly is web 3.0? What.. web 2.0 pull a 'Windows Vista' on us?

    With regards to your post, I definitely agree with a lot of what you're saying except I don't the believe the answer lies in embracing social media. It's the same principle that all the SEO heads had when they relied purely upon Google to generate leads (and revenue). They built their entire concept around the infallibility of a much much larger company.

    The company changed their protocol... they lost their viewers, they lost their livelihoods.
     
  15. Kamahl

    Kamahl Developer

    72
    13
    +4
    I believe web 3.0 is coming and I also agree with embracing social media into our website. Webmasters have to quickly addapt to what is popular right now and when it changes, they have to update their website too, and now social media are popular.

    What do you think about adding a Social Network features (such as this http://phpbbsocialnetwork.com/) to a board? I think it can really help too but others dont agree.
     
  16. 010081

    010081 Enthusiast

    142
    33
    +1
    Damn that was a good read.. Thanks for posting i loved it..

     
  17. srinu

    srinu Neophyte

    1
    1
    +0
    which software process model is suitable for online chat??
     
  18. Dyonis

    Dyonis Real Sugar Certified

    150
    0
    +6
    I don't think I'm going to read that big wall of text to give my response. Most of it seems to point about Internet history, of which I'm already familiar. That said, my response:

    I think forums now use linking and embedding of Youtube videos, but we don't talk about forums on Youtube for some reason. I think that is part of the problem. Social networking and social media sites exist outside of the forum infrastructure; there is no unified backing of forums, they are just a software medium used by a loose niche of individuals wanting to build a forum driven community.

    The better question is, can a forum integrate itself into social networking. I just can't see it unless the forum itself was centered around social networking - which most forums don't want, they are selfish and want their own membership base. Forums wish to exist outside of social networking, and rightly so - they always have. Social networking is the dreaded virus that infects the Internet and took over. Now forums are an interest driven niche. Forums are booming more than ever, but that doesn't stop people from noticing the mainstream and wanting the mainstream.

    Do you really want the mainstream effect to hit you forum? Your community of veterans will not be happy.
     
  19. darnoldy

    darnoldy Curmudgeon

    1,525
    782
    +306
    I have just become involved with a group who is trying to build a Drupal site. This conversation is very relevant to the discussions we're having there.

    To me, the "social media" sites (Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, etc.) are like some vast on-going, on-line passeggiata—a place to see and be seen. Like the streets of Rome—a nod, a wave, some friendly banter, then move on. It is possible to have an earnest conversation, but the environment is not conducive to it.

    This, I think, is the value that forums can add. They can be a quiet place that like-minded people can have earnest conversations about their common interests. They can be the Algonquin Hotel where the roundtable met, or the cafe where the impressionists gathered in Paris, or the sports bar across from the local football stadium.

    What does this mean? I think it means that we will all have to find a niche—the large, general chat forums are more vulnerable than those of us with tight focus; that we have to attract and nurture a core community of people who are smart about our chosen topic; that we have to focus even more on the quality of discussion, rather than the volume of posts.

    Given that, while I would like to be able to feed out into the boulevard, I don't know how much of the street noise I want to let in to the forum—for the sake of activity. Do I really want ever cute cat video everyone of my members reposts, every vacation photo they share on Facebook, to create a new thread in my forum?

    I do believe that forums need to become more smart-phone-friendly. Responsive design seems to be the answer to that problem—but its not quite soup yet.

    --don
     
  20. Nando de mo

    Nando de mo Adherent

    253
    65
    +8
    Embrace social media? Be mobile friendly? Forums are going to be like what you see on the comments section of stuff like Facebook, Twitter, Youtube etc.

    Is that what people want?