Okay so, over the years I’ve written several articles on Internet topics, and to do this I have to do a lot of research. I’ve read countless books from the best of breed in the industry. Not just those who are doing it, but also the research papers from the computer sciences putting forth their philosophical theories and math. One thing that I do not see enough of is articles that help website designers and developers integrate everything. Let’s spend a few moments talking about this.
If you have some background in building websites or web development, there is a specific topic that I can’t find a whole lot of information on, although I do recall going to an Internet business seminar in Las Vegas once and one of the symposium breakout sessions had to do with the best ways to manage Internet forums on Internet portal websites. Although I was busy and couldn’t attend that particular session because it conflicted with another one, now I wish I had. You see there’s a lot to know about the psychology of keeping a community together and preventing catfights.
Perhaps you’ve experienced this where you write something on an online Internet forum, and immediately someone comes by and calls you something terrible, rather than discussing the topic or debating the point. When this happens, feelings are hurt, people’s reputations are flamed, and it creates a negative user experience. It causes people to no longer value the website, or wish to participate. This ruins the chances for solid interactivity, the building of community, and increasing traffic. Whereas a little bit of controversy does indeed build traffic, the wrong type of bickering and bantering on Internet forums destroys all that and more.
It quickly becomes an issue with the brand name of the website, and sometimes people get so upset that they hunt down the Internet forum organizer and start in on them, or start complaining about the other party to them, and demanding that various posts get deleted. That’s unfortunate because as soon as you start deleting posts, everyone realizes what’s going on, and everyone claims their free speech has been violated. No matter that a portal website does not necessarily guarantee free speech, especially personal attacks.
No matter how much you put in your user agreements that people must get along, they will always push the limits and beg for forgiveness, next thing you know you spend all your time dealing with various personalities and conflicts as they drag you into their drama. There is a right way and wrong way to handle all this, and we need more online quality content and carefully constructed and authored articles to help website developers with these issues.
If you know anything about this topic or you have a degree in psychology, there are plenty of Internet readers who would love to read what you have to say. Please consider all this and think about it.