Adobe Robohelp

Get new posts delivered straight to your inbox.

Subscriber count: 4,039

Stitcher radio

follow us in feedly

Want more tech comm blogs to follow? See my Tech Comm Collection of Blogs on Feedly.

Adobe FrameMaker

Recommended Podcast: Boagworld > Community Websites, by Paul Boag

Jan 23, 2007 • general

A couple of weeks ago, Rhonda recommended Boagworld as a good podcast to listen to. If you're into web design, I also recommend this podcast, particularly the episode on Community Websites. This episode has two parts:


Paul mentioned a few interesting points about communities:

  • Users who can participate and contribute to your site feel more loyalty and belonging to your site.
  • The comments and information they add can also function as keywords to increase your site's rank.
  • You can nurture a community by asking questions. People like to answer questions because it makes them feel important; their responses give them their 15 seconds of fame.

Asking more questions is a technique I plan to do just with my regular blog posts.

Also, Paul talked about the varying degrees of participation that sites allow, from simply allowing comments to allowing users to entirely control the content. He relates an experience of how he implemented a forum for one group, and it didn't have much participation. He then changed the medium to an email list, and it took off. He said you have to know your audience and the way they prefer to communicate.

He's got a cool English accent too, and says things like CONtribute instead of conTRIbute. (He sounds a little like the Geico Gecko, actually.) (In looking for an image of the gecko, I realized the gecko has his own blog!)

There's a bit of fluff at the beginning of the shows, but if you skip past it you soon sink into good content. You get the sense that he really knows what he's talking about.

follow us in feedly

Get new posts delivered straight to your inbox.

Subscriber count: 4,039

About Tom Johnson

Tom Johnson

I'm a technical writer based in the California San Francisco Bay area. Topics I write about on this blog include technical writing, authoring and publishing tools, API documentation, tech comm trends, visual communication, technical writing career advice, information architecture and findability, developer documentation, and more. If you're a professional or aspiring technical writer, be sure to subscribe to email updates using the form above. You can learn more about me here.