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Why I try and avoid the F word in public

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I've had this similar conversation dozens of times in the recent past when someone has taken an interest in what I do.

Person: So what does Invision Community do?
Me: We develop and sell an independent community platform.
Person: Oh. Neat.

I used to say the F word. But this used to cause some confusion.

'We develop and sell a forum system'.

This used to elicit a response similar to this:

"Forums? They're still going?"

This line of thinking is quite prevalent among those who frequent Facebook, or use Facebook Groups to manage their micro communities. Even though they probably use forums regularly, or end up on forum topics when searching for things like "Why is my iPhone not charging", they don't realise this.

I recently guested on a podcast, where we spoke about "Facebook or Forums?", and I received this comment.

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It appears, then, that the word "forums" has a lot of legacy connotations attached to it. It conjures up images of the past when Netscape Navigator was the world's favourite browser, and AOL was still mailing out CDs.

That is all ancient history now, and we've moved with the times. The product we have now has roots in the product from the early 2000s but it is wildly different and much more capable.

When you explain that you can segment discussions into separate areas (aka forums), and even set up independent micro-communities (clubs), you can see lightbulbs going off.

"That's amazing! I had no idea! So you mean I don't have to have my community in a single stream struggling for attention among adverts?"

Nope, there is another way.

Why not try an independent community platform?

I'd love to hear your thoughts. Do you avoid the F word too?

 

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