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:
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:
Shutdown, make it all stop!
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)
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…
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.
Keep it - don’t touch a thing…
Answers on a postcard please, but I’m thinking of better consolidating some things.
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.
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).
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.