Thoughts on content ownership and long, meaningful discussions

Moved NodeBB Blog
  • Occasionally, a potential client will come to us and ask why they need a forum. Besides the usual reasons, one point that often comes up is the concept of "content ownership", or "steering the conversation". It goes hand in hand with the other benefits of localised discussions – mainly a significant SEO boost in the form of actual organic content from your users – and goes hand in hand with fears of a conversation rapidly spinning out of the control of a company, often to their detriment.

    Click here to see the full blog post

  • @julian

    Excellent and very well composed, Julian. I have been out of managing community spaces for a while and took a pass on social engineering, errr.. I mean networking, sites in general. Hence a bit out of the modern loop, so to speak. Your blog post was timely - elaborates and illuminates a related discussion I was having on irc just last night (private chan, not nodebb).

    Good stuff, particularly w.r.t. the ephemeral. Another fall out I am noticing that I ascribe to sites like NitWit and Facebark is that folks no longer seem capable and/or willing to even post up actual sentences, much less string them together into coherent thoughts. Serial "post whoring" seems to be more the order of the day. I don't think these people realize such, but has actual coherent conversation and discussion become a lost "art", displaced by what essentially amount to click bait posts?

    This forum obviously attracts a more technical audience so, no, I am not dissing anybody here. 😉

    Deserves a Hooray! 👍

  • Interesting post @julian the topic is something my colleagues and I have been discussing for a while now. We feel that online communication is at a pivotal stage in its evolution. It's now obviously clear social media is not the one-size solution that everyone hoped it would be, email has its issues and instant messaging wasn't designed for deep long lasting conversations.

  • Now, that is interesting...

  • @attis yes, indeed! 😁

  • @julian Amazing idea indeed. I believe node bb is a powerful forum software and I only feel what is missing are those features which can be found in top forum sites like Stackoverflow, Quora, and reddit. All these sites have below features which node bb is missing and it would be great to see these in node bb too.

    1. Unable to make numeric list while answering a topic. I had to manually write 1. to start my points. This can be added to node bb composer by default. Users love creating content while giving points.

    2. SEO is crucial to success of the top 3 sites, node bb is lacking in following:

    a. No support for Google AMP for topic pages, this is very simple to implement but once dont, you guys will see 90 times SEO traffic improvement from Google. We have tried and tested this ourselves and it works. Implementation guide
    any ideas when r u guys releasing this?

    b. missing Google Structure data , this is behind the Google search snippet that we usually see from wikipedia and top sites like dictionaries etc. More info here

    c. Ability for users to create their own blogs or spaces (like in quora) , or subreddits in (reddit). Currently users have no way of creating their own discussion categories.

    d. In Ability to follow tags , like if we follow a topic on quora, we see all posts tagged with that topic in our news feed. Would love to have this.

    e. missing the personalized newsfeed, fb, quora and reddit front page, all have personalized newsfeeds.

    f. User profile pages seems empty, ability for users to create their blogs, diaries , photo gallery, show their most viewed topics, most voted topics, topics with most posts, etc etc, have a look at quora profile pages

    g. Ability to create monetizable ad widgets by default to monetize with ads that look like content , look at quora in article ads , they are so clean they dont even look like ads.

    h. ability to have fixed side bar widgets, so that they stay on top even if page posts r being scrolled. so that some content remains above the fold, like quora does it.

    I. encouragement for users to create quality content and do meaningful discussions, we can do this by introducing(nested) comments on each question and on each post like all 3 big sites above do it. This will hugely increase topics retention rate, look at YouTube comments section , it is itself a full social forum on videos. Ability to upvote comments would also be bonus.

    j. Turning node bb into a question answer site like SO , quora or ask reddit, introducing things like best reply, best answer, etc etc

    k. A way for users to create links to their posted content. Backlinks are hugely imp for long term organic growth for any SEO forum. How can we do this in node bb?

    l. inability for users to mention or share another topic link directly from composer when replying or posting a topic . We should have a way to mention other topics while replying in other topics, this will create internal linking, again crucial for SEO success. Need this for both mobile and desktop.

    m. Missing auto suggest while searching for topics from mobile, please enable this. it only works on desktop.

    n. ability to copy a link to clipboard for each post on topic page, this is to share a specific reply for any. and paste it anywhere else. users should be able to share links to specific sections of a single topic directly, with no scrolling needed.

    I have a strong belief that if you guys implement these features it will be a sky rocket node bb growth. Otherwise users will still choose other robust forums like discourse who might have these already. we can learn and clone their features too.

  • @gotwf said in Thoughts on content ownership and long, meaningful discussions:

    and Facebark is that folks no longer seem capable and/or willing to even post up actual sentences, much less string them together into coherent thoughts

    A timely observation and in today's context, this may be more fully explained by bots afterall vis-a-vis Twitter.

    GPT-3 doesn't stop at chat-bots either!

  • @faizanzahid said in Thoughts on content ownership and long, meaningful discussions:

    d. In Ability to follow tags , like if we follow a topic on quora, we see all posts tagged with that topic in our news feed. Would love to have this.

    I agree with this in part, but always with caveats.

    The moment you put in a "feed" of sorts, you're embarking down a path of curated content, and that is the antithesis of what forums are about.

    The really great thing about forum software (and web 1.0 as a whole) is the act of content discovery. We make that easier with things like /recent and /unread, but I draw the line at having some sort of "recommended" list of what one should read.

    It's none of my business what you like, and beyond the scope of NodeBB to try to determine what you should read.

  • Imagine, you walk into library, you hardly have both feet in the door when all of a sudden twenty people run at you holding books aloft crying, “we thought you’d like to read this!”

    Terrible bums rush and puts the book angel out of a job.

    Caveat: Extroverts might enjoy the attention 🤠

  • julianJ julian moved this topic from Announcements on

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    @pramariena What would you like to know? What they've shared is what's in the blog post, but I am happy to answer questions.

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    @gotwf You are absolutely right. I certainly agree with you a dedicated tool instead of built-in with NodeBB will be better.

    What I argue is that the platform software community like NodeBB comes up with customization or a collection of recommendation of existing tool-sets that will get the deployment security to the certain level. For example, common mistakes of new admins of NodeBB: if you've uses NodeBB default password for the admin password, or turned on Sandbox feature that's not meant for production.

    And thank you for your list of tools. That's very helpful.