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What Makes the Community Sites Different?

Back in the days, Web 2.0 was defined as a new medium that allows people to share things. Blogs and social sites were Web 2.0 and forums and personal sites were 1.0.

State of the Web and the forums

In a Cre8asite Forums thread, a question is raised about the state of the Web and where forums find themselves in it.

And while this is a very good question, it got me thinking. What makes a forum and what makes a social site?

While a forum is open two way communication (compared to one way blogging or social sites, where members can't write anything unless someone [blog or article author] has already written on the topic), surely there are other differences between forums and the social sites?

How are forums, blogs and social sites different?

In my opinion, the difference is the people and how people interact there.

The difference between Cre8asite Forums and Digital Point forums is the people. They make one forum the most populated and polluted one and the other the most tactful and thoughtful. And, ultimately, the people that post there give the newcomers a chance to make their choice, whether they want to stay there or not.

If we take social sites into account, people there can:

  • learn what other people think on the topic
  • discuss it with them
  • share things of common interests

While this relation isn't as strong as on the forum or via email, it still allows people to feel alive and useful and spend their time doing something more interesting, than staring at an empty ceiling (or working :) ).

How forums, blogs and social sites are different?

Often, a question is raised about the difference between forums, blogs and social sites. People start naming technologies, such as RSS, AJAX, comments, etc, but no one really mentions the people themselves.

Since all of the sites offer various kinds of communications, various types of people are attracted there (or at least for various reasons).

  • If you want to ask a question from a knowledgeable community, you go to a forum (or email a blogger, which is harder to do, though).
  • If you want to read an opinion on something, you go to your favorite blogs in your RSS reader or to Digg.
  • If you want to learn the latest news in your field, you go to your social site, or Digg, if you are into technology.

Alternatively, on any of them, you interact with different people in a different way, thus making your experience unique and uninterchangable.

Why Sphinn is the best of them all

All in all, I think that's why the launch of Sphinn for the Web building community means a lot (Slashdot tried, but isn't as close, IMHO). Sphinn (or "Spin") has it all:

  • plenty of knowledgeable people
  • a chance to start a discussion without an URL to link to
  • post comments and discuss the topic, either in a discussion or some post

Sadly, because the discussion isn't very actively encouraged there - or maybe because the people don't participate them eagerly, Sphinn hasn't yet become The place to go to discuss things. But it's getting there.

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Comments

Okay; so you list 3 things that you say makes "Spin" the best, right? Well hmm. I'd say there are quite a few forums out there with the exact same three things, and with "many" more knowledgeable people that would never do the spin thang. Some of us don't like to kiss-face with other so-called wannabe SEO's. :-)

I say Sphinn represents the mixture of a forum, a multi-author blog and a social site. Surely, it may not have the people you go'd like to party with, though.

Ok. So there are many forums, where people can vote and share links easily? What are they? I don't know them.

Are they in a different topic, than Sphinn?

Oh, right. What reminds of Sphinn is Threadwatch. But since it is no more, why talk about it? It's almost forgotten now.

If you talk about Slashdot, you still need to email/submit story for it to be included by the editor. You can't just open a thread on anything.

Eventhough you can up/down the story on the homepage and comment, this isn't as open as a site, where you can start a discussion on anything without an URL (which is how Sphinn is different from other social sites).

In a way, yes, I should have also pointed out Slashdot and I will probably will adjust the post. Thanks for making me think.

Did you have any other sites that encompass both authoring, sharing and commenting to mention?

Thanks for stopping by.

The difference between Cre8asite Forums and Digital Point forums is the people. They make one forum the most populated and polluted one and the other the most tactful and thoughtful. And, ultimately, the people that post there give the newcomers a chance to make their choice, whether they want to stay there or not.

Ok, but which is which? I've not really used either of them!

Advice network, for the sake of the point of the post, no clarification is required. The point in the quote you cited is pretty clear, IMHO.

But since you are curious, I prefer Cre8asite Forums for its thoughtful and respectful community.

"Share links"

What you mean to say is self-promotion and dropping links to blogs. I call that SEO spam myself. :-) Matter of fact; about all that goes on is link dropping. Heck; "any" forums out there could allow the same thing if they chose to do so, right?

Sphinn rocks because it has a small community of social media power users actively participating. Those people who are spit at everywhere else for being marketers and at the same time are the backbone of many social media. They convene and socialize at Sphinn.

Sharing links on the topics that interest the audience, Doug. It is like 'submitting quality content' or posting links to useful articles on your blog. Or starting a discussion on a forum by pointing to a really good article.

Surely, giving what you want isn't spam.

Tad: Well, partly, yes. But if plumbers had a social site, they could have said the same about it.

Nice post. I was actually going to Sphinn this after reading it but I missed that boat by a long shot.

Doug Heil, you should just start using Negative Nancy instead of your real name online. Self-promotion exists everywhere. It's hard to imagine a world where people don't believe in themselves and their own agenda. The difference between Sphinn and a lot of forums are the features that the Pligg software provides to establish a community--like voting (instead of all new topics being listed front and center) and accountability for actions (who sphunn this? and coming soon who desphunn this?)

To be fair to Doug, it is Danny, who used the features, not the software. I suspect that some were developed internally, too. So it is the man, who creates websites, and not the software :)

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