I just posted this on my [revived] forums:
Few people will know (or care) that this is my second attempt to start a forum. My first ended last week with very few messages entered. What really caused me to end that effort was a chronic reliability problem my host, Network Solutions, had with serving my email. Since I’m the self-reliant sort, I figured I might as well set up my own servers and be done with it. Now all I have to pay others for is my domain registration and dynamic IP nameserving. The rest falls squarely to me.
Of course, that still leaves the question of why I choose to continue running my own forum. After all, there are numerous others, and I am a member of several very popular forums. Maybe part of why I run a forum is because I’ve always run a Bulletin Board System, and forums are really just the modern-day equivalent of the BBS. But, I think it goes much further than that. Elsewhere on www.conchbbs.com is a list of things I’m interested in. I’d be happy to host a busy forum board on each of them. Moreover, Web 2.0 is really about social networking–as much as its proponents try to say otherwise, and social networking is what forums are all about. Depending on how many topics a forum wants to try covering, it could cover your whole life. I’ve never wanted to go that far, but I do want to cultivate a group of people with similar interests.
Another reason for running a forum is to offer an effective vehicle for providing product support for Xpress-It. That is the method preferred by big boys like Motorola. It might not give customers a warm and fuzzy feeling, but it lets one support person cover a lot of issues.
I do have a blog, but blogging works more as a pulpit. I have plenty of opportunity to voice my views, but not much feedback. Forums are designed to be more bi-directional by their nature.
What’s on your mind?