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Questions posed to forum members on community participation

Posted: Thu Sep 04, 2008 10:56 pm
by imtim
Hi all

As you may know, at Intermorphic we are a force of 2 (me and Pete). Intermorphic is our 'life project' and is a the culmination of a long labour of love (now in 18th year, with many twists and turns!). Our enduring goal is to make tools/technologies/apps/solutions that can hopefully help others in their creative endeavours, and to make them as accessible as possible (meaning affordable, too).

We are lucky and proud to have a growing our community of users. You may be someone who participates/contributes to or reads the forum, or who purchases and uses our products. We greatly appreciate all the ways you help and participate, as it directly benefits the community of users. Whether you submit content, tips, quotes, give advice to others, correct typos, whatever!

I have read a few good books this summer, those of particular noteworthiness being 'Here Comes Everybody' by Clay Sharky (he is fabulous), and We-Think by Charles Leadbetter. These have lead me to try to think of ways we can open things up a bit in this new digital world of ours - but I would also _welcome_ your suggestions and feedback. I am sure there are many forum members that know a million time more about all this than I do. :)

Bearing in mind that I am not a wiz at jiggery-pokery forum mods (sorry!), I had the following thoughts:

1) Create/setup a Wiki so as to develop a repository of community knowledge on our products, but also for contributed files and templates etc
- e.g. Documentation: we would provide some intitial documentation, but hope that the community would add to, extend and refine it, perhaps with examples and 'how to's' etc. The Noatikl User Guide might be a good example here. What we have for Mixtikl would be another start point.
- the Wiki would likely be editable by customers, so we would need to rely on the community to help keep it 'clean'
- we had thought of PBWiki, which seems good, but this costs. However, as we are selling tools, then revenues from that help pay for it.
- maybe we could better use our Yahoo Groups list for files etc.

2) Open up our forum so that it allows more communication between participants.
- Maybe we allow personal messaging only in the customer forums for example?

3) We want to find ways where uploaded Mixtikl/Noatikl files, templates and recordings can be ranked/voted on (e.g like YouTube), but we don't know how to do that.
- we don't have the time or chops to do a 'YouTube' like service, nor do we want to control where our products are discussed etc.
- Maybe enough can be done between a forum and wiki and some other online storage solution?

4) How we prevent the uploading of, or allow the policing of uploaded copyright infringing files etc is one our our issues with opening things up, especially as we would not have the time to check files/recordings etc? Is there an easy solution here to start with? Maybe we restrict uploads to specific file formats etc (e.g. Noatikl and Mixtikl files)?. Could we rely, for example, on the community helping to weed out any offending material that might be posted?

Anyhow, it is early days, and we don't have a huge amount of excess time to embark on big projects here :) (esp as we are working hard on Mixtikl), but I thought I would throw this open a bit, and see what you knowledgeable folks might wish to suggest here! Whether we can do what it is you might want is another matter, but we would like to hear what you think!

Looking forward to hearing from you,