Genjiro Tenmakutsukuri writes:
My goals in implementing this forums are the following:
- Bring together our online communities: Much as the new website was redesigned to consolidate the many and varied blue feather "homepages" previously on the web into one central, easy to remember, place (http://www.bluefeather.org).
- The new forum is there to do the same with our discussions; bring together the varying discussions taking place in many smaller, fractured communities. Some of these communities have fallen into disuse, or have a scope so narrow that they are unknown.? With one centrally-located, well-organized forum, broad enough to cover all topics of discussion, we have a place where we can all gather online, and get a true sense of the scope and people of our community.
- Better organized online discussions:
Email lists and free groups such as Yahoo or Google have some inherent problems that can make browsing, searching for, and participating in discussions difficult. The biggest of these is that messages are organized chronologically, with no regard to the topics of each individual message. Our forum uses phpBB a popular forum software that organizes our discussions into easy to follow topics and threads. This way, you can easily browse all the discussions going on, but also follow specific ones and be notified of replies via email. More robust search options also make it easier to see if a discussion is already underway, and join in. Image and file attachments, polls, private messaging, automatic archiving, and member profiles are just some of the many features that hosting our own forum offers. If you have used webforums before, chances are you'll be familiar with ours.
- Encourage a living online presence:
A newcomer who happens upon a sparsely populated, outdated or rarely used blue-feather discussion board may wrongly assume that the Clan is dead. With one central forum my hope is that we can gather ALL of our members to discuss clan issues as broad as our yearly encampment planning, to historical research, to arts and sciences, to new events and more! (indeed, categories for the above topics have already been established) Not only can these discussions help generate content for the webpage (event announcements, images for our upcoming new galleries, etc.) more importantly it shows prospective members (and the world at large) that we as a Clan are alive and well.