Thursday, August 02, 2007

Return of Fora?

The most interesting presentation at the yesterdays London Wiki Wednesday was a talk by Alan Wood and it was not about a wiki - but something more like an interenet forum (or biulettin board system or ... whatever).

I was always of the opinion that there is much unrealized potential in this old software genre.
It is message based - like email or RSS - so in fact it fits better the conversational nature of most communication then document based wikis. But it is also centralized - and that means you can do many things you cannot with a decentralized system (like version control of attachments, uniform visualisation of the conversations - i.e. less need for quoting, moderation, statistics etc.). All the talk now is about Social Networking Sites - but in fact the networking part is so insignificant in all of them - and most of the interaction that happens there is exactly the same as you had on internet fora and BBSes.


phil jones said...

Hi Zbigniew,

great to finally meet up with you after these years.

Here's my wiki-wednesday piece :

phil jones said...

Oh, and definitely agree that there's still lots of unrealized potential in the discussion forum genre.

Al said...

Well I am really glad you enjoyed the talk, after all of the gremlins around equipment etc..

The Bulletin board likeness is natural given the conversational nature of the exchanges. I think one of the reasons this kind of 'Retro' communication is re-emerging comes down to a glut of information, we naturally parse smaller pieces more effectively particularly in times of great supply.

Looking forward to more of these conversations...