Comparing Issues Forums
Issues Forums are like blogs in that:
- An individual, the forum manager, provides leadership.
- Technically speaking, an Issues Forum is a massive multi-editor blog.
- Like blogs, our Issues Forums have "web feeds".
- A good Issues Forum, like a good blog can play a strong political agenda-setting role in a community.
- You can share links and comment on content from across the web.
- People who are not register can choose to view it on the web.
Issues Forums are not like most blogs in that:
- Issues Forums are many-to-many. Blogs tend to be one to many. You really need a blog to have standing in the blogosphere. Issues Forums are more democratically equitable by design.
- Most people receive the e-mail version making an Issues Forum more broadcast like.
- Any registered participant may start a new topic or add a comment via e-mail or the web.
- All comments must be signed with a participants real name.
- Anyone can start a new topic of conversation.
Issues Forums are like social networking sites (Facebook, MySpace, etc.) in that:
- Members have profile pages
- Participants may join groups and hold discussions.
- While you can share files, audio, video, pictures folks still mostly share text.
Issues Forums are not like geographic spaces on social networking sites in that:
- We require real names and civility
- MySpace is about mostly creating a virtual identity and building your personal private life around it. FaceBook is about reflecting your real world personal and business identity online by making what is private semi-public. Issues Forums are about creating open public spaces online that allow offline public life in a local community to exist online while challenging people to act as public citizens in that space using their real identity in a way that approximates the value of face to face public gatherings.\
Issues Forum Administrative Costs or Burdens - Since 1994
- We've never been sued for liable or had any content requested by a court.
- We do not pre-screen posts before instant distribution via e-mail/posting on web. Our Forum Managers may moderate new members from a technical perspective to prevent fly-by spammers. And with notification to the individual moderate a rule violating participant.
- We do not remove, post-moderate or edit posts. After hundreds of thousands of post over a dozen forums we taken extraordinary and extensively debated Board action to remove two off-topic posts from one thread, edit one subject line involving a false personal attack displaying a top a Google search, and adding a special annotation pointing out a later correction . That's it.