Joel does NYC forum
Monday, March 3rd, 2003
Having studied the forums he runs for his own CMS software, Joel Spolsky has just started a forum focused on on New York. It be interesting to watch this grow, since Joel has a passionate readership and forum usership.
And in his latest “JoelonSoftware,” Joel shares all sorts of interesting theories about what makes forums work.
Talking about why his forums are so simplistic, Joel writes: “In the early days of the Joel on Software forum, achieving a critical mass to get the conversation off the ground was important to prevent the empty restaurant phenomenon (nobody goes into an empty restaurant, they’ll always go into the full one next door even if it’s totally rubbish.) Thus a design goal was to eliminate impediments to posting. That’s why there’s no registration and there are literally no features, so there’s nothing to learn.”
He adds, that registration, “so easy to implement and thus so tempting to programmers, is the best way to kill dead any young forum. Implement this feature and you may never get to critical mass. Philip Greenspun’s LUSENET has this feature and you can watch it sapping the life out of young discussion groups.”