Dedicated Community Forum
Introduction: Forums are ideal for building community spirit whilst simultaneously gathering free-form, emotionally charged opinions. Though hese are lightly moderated, the emphasis is on observing organically evolving community interactions that reveal insights which could not be found in guided or prompt based research activities.
Method: When creating a dedicated community forum, it's always best to start with your research plan. Divide your objectives into topics & sub-topics that you wish to gather more information on. These will become the basis for your forum threads and topics.
Start Discussions That Take on a Life of Their Own
Inside the research platform, navigate to the forum and begin creating topics based on your highest priority research objectives. A topic is best thought of as an umbrella which encompasses multiple threads that all relate to the same core idea. Within this topic, begin setting up individual threads (discussions) that ask participants to share details of specific behaviours, experiences or opinions.
When participants begin to interact with threads, it can be helpful to lightly moderate - prompting for more detail on particularly interesting posts either in public or private. Also remember that community members will be able to create their own threads, thus steering conversations towards concepts more relevant to them. These user-generated threads can still offer a wealth of untapped information and are always worth watching closely.
Benefit: Community forums provide a unique blend of moderator-led and community generated content that makes it a hub for member interaction and new ideas. It also helps build and maintain engagement through informal discussions that are independent of research projects.
Read how to personalise your community experience with individual, customisable profiles.