Making the forum more valuable

After the discussion we’ve had on forum vs Mastodon instance, I’ve been thinking about what we could do to make the forum more valuable. If we are going to keep it, then maybe the solution is investing more time and effort into making it a place that people want to be.

I’ll definitely keep the Radar posts going, but is there anything else you’d expect/want from a forum like this?

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I’d expect this to be a place to discuss any and all stuff: blog posts, progress on products, talks etc. etc.

One option is to set it up to auto-populate a discussion topic for each blog post and so on…

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Hi @laura, even though i’m certainly not the most active person here on the forum I have to say this place has brought to my attention a tremendous amount of info, ideas and alternatives over the past few years. It has also been a safe place for me to question on privacy issues and new techs.

To me, this has been truly invaluable and I’d hate to see it go away :wink:

I understand the upkeep can be hard to sustain and I didn’t quite know what to answer to that other post “vs mastodon”. A few months ago, following Aral’s mastodon I went ahead and opened an account there and found it to be very twitter-like except without the twitter. I already struggle to feed twitter so I didn’t pursue much on mastodon. That didn’t feel like adding much to the debate so I didn’t post it but here you go, that’s my two cents :smirk:

As for your question

this might sound stupid but I find this forum great as is. Open place for discussion, anyone can post, with fair warnings against trolling, flooding, and search-before-you-ask. I don’t really expect anything more :slight_smile:

I’ve no ideas to help you out, but here’s an encouraging thought :+1:.

(EDIT : I just went back to to check back on why it differs from twitter and Mastodon really is interesting. It’s just I’m such a bad social media user… It’s really worth checking out)


Couldn’t agree more. This is what makes this forum a great to be and I also think that keeping up this direction is what should be done with this forum in the future.

As mentioned by someone else earlier on, maybe you could post more about what you’re currently doing at And maybe we could think about how to organize and encourage discussions about alternative software and services that people use, like, or just find interesting. Learning from other people is one of the most valuable things in any forum / social media sites.

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Hey Laura,

as others have said, I think the forum is quite valuable already.

If I could wish for even more this might be some Ideas:

  • I’d like to keep updated on talks and such (interviews, articles…) you and Aral give; up front (maybe I have a chance to attend that event, too), as well as in retrospect (if there is a recording available).

  • also (of course, only if you’re comfortable with that), maybe if you travel around, and there’s a chance to meet and “say hello” in person, that might be nice, too.
    (“On [Date] I’ll be in [City] (doing [stuff] ) - if you’re around meet me at [place] and we can have a [drink]!” )


I need to do this on my own site again. We used to do this for the blog. We’re heading towards making the blog links to mine and Aral’s own (relevant) blog posts. Because we want to make it clear that is really two people, not a lofty corporate :wink:


If you’re managing to stay away from the addictive qualities of social media, keep it up! I just wish I was equally impermeable…

Ok. I will endeavour to do this! This is something that I’m getting my head around with posting to blogs vs social media too. I think I will start another topic on this…

I’ll try to do these too! We’re trying to do this with the site (bit slow on this) and social media (bit intermittent on this) too.

Events-wise, it can be tricky to organise meeting up with folks because

  1. we’re often not in a location for long enough, as we try to minimise our time away from home/the office so it doesn’t impact other work too much.
  2. events are tiring. I mostly speak for myself here, as @aral is much more naturally extroverted, but particularly after speaking, I am not the best company!

But I’d love to be able to meet more of you in person, and will always try to make it work if we can!


I completely understand that meeting up with you guys while you move around Europe for speaks can be that difficult. And, it really depends on good souls with funds to bring you to speak at events.

So why not look at it the other way around ?

Is there anything around’s project that would be worth organizing a (small) event in your hometown where followers from around Europe could fly to just for the week-end to attend to ?

Of course, it would represent a tidy bit of work simply to organize so there really has to be a (big) interest in it for you two. (three :dog2: :wink: )

Attendees could help fund the hosting costs and i’m pretty sure a whole lot of your followers would be glad of such an occasion to come meet Aral and you, get to pace with your great ideas and get involved in with whatever we can bring to your project.

Oh, and we’d get to taste irish beer :beers:

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