ChoralNet Needs To Change
Date: November 4, 2010
I am grateful for all the work that was done to have this incredible compendium of information assembled. I have not looked into who created it or why but I know I need a place like this, only better. I have spent many hours over the last few weeks trying to figure out all the nooks and crannies of ChoralNet and no matter where I went on the site, I have a feeling that I am alone or accompanied by a handful of dedicated moderators. I don’t believe that is true or if it is, it could change.
I have been seeking out online communities over the past 7 months to learn what makes them tick. People join these communities for the same reason they join choir. They need a place to belong and feel valued. Here is what I think we need to do to bring this place to life:
#1. Your avatar should appear by posts you make. This could be a picture of you, a choir logo, or any picture that you choose to represent you to others.
#2. Below that should be a descriptor: Newbie, Editor, Master Poster, Publisher… these descriptors have nothing to do with you outside of ChoralNet, rather they describe how active you are here.
#3. Below that should be the number of posts you have made. This helps to further give a person a feeling of pride and value for the time they have spent reading and responding to their colleagues.
#4. When a post is listed in the menus, it should not only list the number of replies, but the number of views.
#5. Presently on the front page of ChoralNet it lists new things that have been posted. I would like to see categories for the most viewed post and the most replied to post. This helps direct people to things of a high amount of interest to members.
#6. Each post, want ad, classified ad and announcement should have a like/dislike button and that total should be displayed publically. This can be the source of further comments and just brings a human element to online life.
#7. People should earn badges for forum accomplishments. This can actually be a source of income for ChoralNet. I paid $15 US to join the Editors club on one forum. It gave me access to some special content which I never use, a bigger avatar and a special gold badge which made me feel all warm inside. Badges are awarded if you start a conversation that gets a lot of views or a lot of comments, when you make a profile, when you join a community or when you post in three or more forums. We could develop a list that is right for us. Click on the escapist link below to see how awesome this is.
#8. If it is possible, a share button to send the thing you like to your Facebook or other places.
I recently had a conversation with the people that run the Kenosha, Wisconsin Visitors and Conventions Bureau. They have two staff members, and one of them was hired specifically to handle social media. It was an eye opener to hear how they pretty much stalk people that are talking about their city on Twitter, Facebook and other sites. When they find a mention of their city, they tweet or comment to the person telling them about lodging or suggesting a restaurant. They and others I have listened to lately confirm the importance of the “just being human” factor. I was guilty on my Facebook account of only using it to promote my events. When I started sharing my life with my “friends” and took a less formal tone, I started getting better responses to my events. We need that human feeling for this website.
I have no idea the time or money it would take to do this. I don’t know if ChoralNet actually has a budget to deal with this sort of thing. But if you agree with me please comment below.
Thanks for reading and sharing. I thought I should lay this all out before I volunteer and get to know the people who’s feelings I may have just hurt.
Here are some places to look to see what I am talking about:
Reddit: This is the biggest online forum I know. They are actually a collection of forums much like what ChoralNet’s Communities could be. http://www.reddit.com/ Notice the points in front of each post. They are given for the number of up arrows (minus # of down arrows).
The Escapist Magazine: This is a video game forum that really gets it right. Click on one of the latest posts on the right side of the screen to see what I mean. http://www.escapistmagazine.com/
YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=02n2yYBwHXo This is the link to one of my choir’s videos. Notice the thumbs up/down button below the video and the little bar graphs, green for like, red for dislike. Also notice the green number and thumbs up next to comments that people like. Why do people take time to leave an anonymous mark on someone else’s comment? Because it is a very human thing to do.
Vocaloidotaku: This is a site for Vocaloid fans. Vocaloids are computer generated singing voices that come with manga pics. http://vocaloidotaku.net/index.php?/topic/63-anime-youve-recently-watched-are-currently-watching/ Notice the avatars, descriptor’s below,badges and other identifying info infront of each post.
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