Some random links…

Two very handy resources when choosing forum software: opensourcecms.com lets you try out various installations – you can create test forums and play with the settings and forummatrix.org helps you compares applications on a variety of facets, and there’s a wizard to help you narrow the choices.

Andy Powell makes the excellent point that social software-style tags function as virtual venues:

if you are holding an event, or thinking about holding an event… decide what tag you are going to use as soon as possible. … In fact, in a sense, the tag becomes the virtual venue for the event’s digital legacy.

In other news, Intel get into Mashups for the Masses – “an extension to your existing web browser that allows you to easily augment the page that you are currently browsing with information from other websites. As you browse the web, the Mash Maker toolbar suggests Mashups that it can apply to the current page in order to make it more useful for you” and the BBC reports on Metaplace, a “free tool that allows anyone to create a [3D] virtual world” and incorporates lots of social web tools.

Interesting BBC article on the philosophy behind Craig’s List:

Initially it was mostly coming in via email which we would reply to, but we’ve grown so much that now the more common thing is you set up a series of discussion forums in which users bring up various things that they think are important to change or modify in some way.

Users talk amongst themselves about things we’re doing poorly or could be doing better, and then we’re able to observe that interaction. It proves to be a very kind of efficient and interesting and useful way, nowadays, of digesting that feedback.

The other important aspect that you might not imagine initially is that all of the feedback is coming in as ‘voting with their feet’. We just watch how people are using particular categories.

If we see that, ‘oh users want to do this and we’re not currently enabling this’, then we try to code up some changes to better enable them to do whatever that is.