Future of this discussion forum

Open Question - what do you think should be the future direction of this discussion forum?

Its been going a few years now and usage is quite light but main usage appears to be:

  • Politics
  • Business posts.

I first created this as I feel Facebook and Twitter are not a good place for discussion - that hasn’t changed. I likely committed a mistake by creating a facebook group to discuss local politics, which has taken some of the discussion away from here which I now regret a little. (Though I do think it was good at the time to improve local engagement and most users are on facebook).

Some feedback I’ve had:

  • its too complicated. (Oops, not much we can do about that!).
  • why is it all political? (Oops, thats likely my interest at the time swayed that).
  • I wish it covered x area too (Neighbouring Eastleigh).

Usage is definitely more read than write, with 181 unique visitors in the last week, ~500 in the last month. I think its a great way to get content published and findable by others…

My current thinking is current usage doesn’t justify keeping it going in its current form. I do think its useful though, particularly since local media outlets are dying a bit.

Options I see are:

  1. Shutdown, make it all stop! :rofl:
  2. Shutdown, replace with something that allows much more simplified no-faf community ‘blog’ style posts, to reduce the barrier of entry but also reduce the debate. (ie, @DazzaRPD and @jtonline
    political posts, @DaveK 's renovation interest posts)
  3. Migrate to cover a wider-area and focus on local politics eg - discuss.polly-tix.uk, as part of polly-tix.uk, with Eastleigh posts tagged as Eastleigh, Hampshire, or discuss.hampshire.something…
  4. Keep it - but rename to discuss.eastleigh.online, so the eastleigh.online landing page can become a more simplified overview / access point which people could better understand and link up relevant posts/info.
  5. Keep it - don’t touch a thing…

Answers on a postcard please, but I’m thinking of better consolidating some things. :slight_smile:

I’m definitely a fan of somewhere other than Facebook (or Nextdoor or etc etc) for local stuff but I agree this forum is a tad complicated. I guess that’s true of a lot of the alternatives though- there’s a reason Facebook is so dominant!

On a related topic the Eastleigh Handbook has been dormant for a long time, having failed to catch on. I still think it’s potentially useful but the service it runs on seems to be getting more unreliable, so maybe it’s time to turn it off or try something different.

1 Like

Thanks to @jtonline for making me aware this site.
Being new… I can’t say too much.

I do prefer an open system like this, rather than something closed like Facebook.

I would be interested in seeing something like https://pol.is/home as an idea.



Welcome aboard @LanceW!

Ooer - I hadn’t heard of pol.is, but really like it after a fairly brief read up! The difficulty is scale, most people are inundated anyway so getting them to engage with something new is difficult - and that’s after they’re aware of it (Facebook suppression, etc).

Here’s a test pol.is: https://pol.is/4zxx3n3nvb

Alas, I need 7 people to comment to see the visualisation! ;). Recommendation is you really need at least 100 people to engage to consider it worthwhile. Even that bar appears tricky unless you say bad things that have everyone up in arms.

tbh Eastleigh Handbook could migrate to be a wiki page here, since discourse has support for that. :slight_smile: Though i guess it depends on the future direction we choose!

We could simply rebrand/rename to be wider - Hampshire. That ticks @DazzaRPD 's box as I know he’s itching to cross the border and cover Winchester :slight_smile:

I would comment but it seems to want to connect to Facebook or Twitter :frowning:

We will not post to your timeline.


Ah that’s rubbish! I did notice it’s not quite so easy / nice to spin up your own instance, tends to prefer their cloud version. :slight_smile:

I did like the look for disqus too, so you can post a top level article then disqus underneath.

When I looked further it would be better rolling our own alternative.

The further I looked the more I thought it might be easier to just write a “simple” UI atop of discourse for those that prefer a simpler view and hide most of the functionality.

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I have no strong feeling either way - I like to read about what’s going on, but I must admit politics leaves me cold as action speaks louder than words and I have seen little action locally or nationally to make an impact on people’s lives.

Locally I keep photographing places/events etc to record the changes - sharing them on here is for the benefit of anyone would is interested, but as I also host them on Flickr, it’s not like I don’t have another place to put them.

Out of all the options, I think 4 seems more in line as to how I use the site.