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You’ve got forums! Or, soon will have.

I’ve been wanting to find a way that the community aspect of this place can flourish and readers can talk to each other without adding to my own site administration plate. Fortunately, Carbonatedwit has created a site that includes forums. Carbonatedwit is looking for a) feedback & ideas and b) volunteers to manage & moderate the community. Their current plan:

“About the Forum

Right now, it’s got an empty forum. Why a forum, you ask? I’m thinking:

While CA will still host open threads periodically, we can have open threads there whenever we like.
When a comment thread has run its course, CA can close it on the site but discussion can continue in the forums.
Some of the hundreds of questions in the queue can be asked and answered on the forum instead of on CA proper, thus getting more people more help. To Clarify: People may post their questions to the forums directly. Captain Awkward will not be sharing emailed questions with the forums.
We can do persistent community building that doesn’t get lost behind “Wait which reader post was that again?”
When someone starts a project, like a more thorough index of the CA site (Jane’s idea), or the glossary (that thegirlfrommarz did) they can get help and share results.
Right now the forum has a bunch of broad categories, but I made them up one day. I would love feedback about whether they’re good, if there’s too many or not enough, etc.

The forum will stay open but with no user-only accounts approved until there’s a managing team in place.

What am I looking for?

I need admin and moderator help. I’ve never done this before. I’m not sure how many people we need, or how much work it will be. So the first thing to figure out is how many people do we need on board, and then get them. If you’re interested, please contact me directly (carbonatedwit@gmail.com) and let me know what experience you’ve got.

I could also use a graphic designer to poke at the header graphic of the forum, but that’s a low priority.

[I would especially welcome someone from CA’s current team to sign on as a contact person if not an actual admin/moderator, to smooth whatever coordination may come.]

Mailing Lists

I’ve set up some mailing lists, which you can get to from the front page (www.friendsofcaptainawkward.com). I invite anyone who is interested to join either or both lists. I especially invite the discuss list to talk about the forum categories and such and give me great feedback.

Other Important Stuff

A serious thing to know is that Jennifer is Not Involved TM, other than saying “Sounds good!” and posting this. I’ve marked the site as a fan site, to distinguish it from Captain Awkward proper.”


The blog will keep working as it always has, so there will still be questions and discussions here.  I won’t be reading or administering the forum site, but occasionally we might cross-post things like meet-ups to both places. Please let Carbonatedwit know your thoughts!

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20 comments
  1. What a lovely idea, Carbonatedwit!

  2. griffykate said:

    So much genius! I am very excited for this. ^_^

  3. wondering said:

    Wonderful!

    We always got by with just 2 admin/moderators on my old forums, but we never had more than a couple hundred people participating. A Captain Awkward forum is going to need quite a few more, especially if peeps can’t put in a lot of dedicated time.

    Also! To help you block spammers, check out Stop Forum Spam. It has a database of usernames, emails, and URLs that you can preemptively block to help keep the spam under control. I’ve found stuff like that VERY useful.

    And well, that’s all the advice I have. It’s been almost ten years since I ran a forum, so I’m sure there are many things that have changed.

    • Oh, handy tool! Wondering, that url is not a url. Is it supposed to be? Can you email it to me? I’ll google it but I suspect it will get me a billion and a half hits…

      • wondering said:

        Oh, sorry! I must have messed up the code. Here it is again: http://www.stopforumspam.com/

        And I will email it too.

  4. I will get back to lovely email volunteers probably Saturday! The discuss list can start talking whenever it wants although it should probably also wait a few days to get populated.

  5. Tim said:

    Great! I follow CA via RSS, and by the time I get here there’s usually a full comkent thread going already. With a forum, it’s a little easier to get in on the discussion.

    It would be even better if the forum supported a mobile tool like Tapatalk, which makes it easy to keep up with a forum via mobile. However, I don’t know what’s involved in installing the tapatalk plugin into the forum, and I’m only medium tech-savvy.

    • That looks possible, but I do not know the ramifications. Thanks for the reference!

  6. kanel said:

    Just gotta say: yay, looking forward to it!

  7. TinyT-Rex said:

    This sounds like fun! Thank you for organizing and creating this!

  8. Jetamors said:

    Looks really good! One thing that might need a bit of caution:

    Some of the hundreds of questions in the queue can be asked and answered on the forum instead of on CA proper, thus getting more people more help.

    IME, there will be some people who won’t want their questions being posted/answered on Place B when they submitted them to Place A. I think you should make sure that letter writers are aware that their letters might be put on the forums, and that they can opt out, or opt in, or choose not to write in if they feel uncomfortable with it, or whatever. Hopefully you’ve thought of this already, but I didn’t see anyone else bringing it up.

    • JenniferP said:

      I won’t be sending any letters that come to me to the forums, ever. The forums are a separate space from the blog. Posters can voluntarily post them there. I hope this clarifies things.

      • Jetamors said:

        Thanks, that’s good to know 🙂

  9. 51grayjay said:

    Am quite excited! This will be such a resource for the totally awkward, like me!! LOL

  10. Dane said:

    I’m very excited about this! Like Tim upthread, I am usually unfashionably late to the comment thread party.

  11. 51grayjay said:

    Any idea on when the forum will be accepting posts? YES!! I am that excited!!!

    • The best way to know is to join the announce list. I’m just putting people on mailing lists now, and I’m not sure how long it will take us to spin things up. But get on the announce list and you’ll know right away!

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