Under The Microscope

Building A Community

In October of last year, we updated our forum software, which gave us some nice new features. From private forums used for testing to better spam blocking via CAPTCHA (for anonymous users only), the new forums are very nice.

However, what we don’t have is a sense of community in our forums. One issue may be that our forums lack a coherent purpose. I fervently attempt to keep all support issues off the forums. We’ve created one optimal method of getting support from us, and so we work to keep support out of the forums.

So then, what’s the purpose of the forums? We want users to share fun uses of the software. We want to hear ideas about the software in general, such as feature suggestions. We want users to ask questions of other users about the software. Basically, anything that doesn’t require a direct reply from us and relates to our apps is fair game.

We do alright, as far as posts go, and have some good interactions. A few users help out with However, I’m hoping to keep more people around, talking more regularly.

In that spirit, we’ve made a few changes:

Change #1
We’re doing more to encourage registration. Anonymous posting on our forums now requires answer a CAPTCHA (That’s Completely Automatic Public Turing Test to Tell Computers and Humans Apart), in our case typing a few characters shown in an image. This is designed to prevent spam, but it should also have the side-benefit of encouraging registration.

As well, to access our Tester Forum, you must first register. Hopefully having an account will lead to more posting and more of a sense of personality for each user.

Change #2
We added an Off-Topic Talk forum, for all things not directly related to our products. Apple, software, monster truck rallies – whatever.

Change #3
We’re working to provide more Information on our products via the forums. Way back in 2003, when we were first working on Audio Hijack 2 (which become Audio Hijack Pro 1), we posted weekly updates on our progress. Somewhere along the way, this changed, and now we’re looking at changing it back.

Our strategy is to under promise and over deliver, so we won’t be hyping our future releases many months before they’re available or talking about features that aren’t implemented. However, we’ve made a couple threads about the upcoming releases of Audio Hijack Pro 3 and Fission 1.5. In these threads we’re posting information and screenshots on what’s been completed and will be released shortly.

We hope to release Fission 1.5 by the beginning of May, and Audio Hijack Pro 3 not too long after, so you won’t have to wait long to get them. That said, if you’re not interested, just skip these threads. But if you are, they’re a great way to get a sneak peek at what’s coming in the near future.

So there it is, the changes we’re taking to try and build more of a community. We’ll have to see if these changes have any noticeable effect in how the forums run. Won’t you join us in the Rogue Amoeba forums?

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