End of this Forum

Moderation (aka censorship) of entries that aren't appropriate for this site.

End of this Forum

Postby admin on Wed Oct 22, 2008 9:35 pm

I'm putting this forum on hold as it has failed to serve its purpose and is not representative of the goals of the CampusActivism.org/ActivismNetwork.org project. Users will no longer be able to post messages, and I will archive the forum contents in a way that isn't so readily accessible from the homepage.

This forum failed to create a community of progressive activists. Thus instead of being used for discussion, it was used for announcements or news stories. These announcements and news items were probably read by very few people. Don't believe the inflated "view count" as the majority of the views might come from search engine bots.

Some of the successful discussion on the forum was very off-topic. For instance, we have a long thread on Cutco knives and their labor practices, and on how 13-16 year olds can find jobs. Both issues would have been more appropriate if someone was organizing a campaign around them - instead people were just complaining.

Building an successful forum requires some hard work. You need to specialize on a topic or geographical community, whereas this forum tried to take on all types of activism - way too broad! You also need to cultivate discussion by bringing in a group of people, getting them talking, and then training volunteers to moderate and lead parts of the forum (ex. on a specific issue). It would also help to have conversation not just among random people, but to have a good portion of experts to ensure an informative discussion (ex. have a discussion group that has 20 student environmental club leaders in it).

I think there is a massive niche to be filled - that the US needs a quality activist web forum (like http://www.rabble.ca/babble/ which has aproximately 1 million posts), however it is not one that I can fill. Perhaps a magazine or larger national organization would be able to start one.

A lot of this discussion is happening. Much of it is done in person. That which isn't done in person is being better done using email lists (often organizational sponsored email lists are more successful than issue based ones), and perhaps via web-forums (though frankly I see rather little activist discussion on web-forums). Blogs are also becoming increasingly popular. So if you want to have discussion - go find an email list or blog!

The downside of a unsuccessful forum is that it is populated by random threads and constantly harassed by spam. It is also prone to getting hacked.
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