You’ve probably heard me talk about this on my podcast:
Episode #69 - Facebook Group or Forum? (listen below)
I’ve moved away from using a Facebook Group for my own community. And you’re now a part of that move - as you’re now reading this in my (kinda) new forum.
I’ve been using Slack with my Private Coaching Clients, and I’ve been studying a few other Slack groups that are trying to use Slack like a forum. But I see them mostly failing at creating the right kind of forum-like, “community” environment.
Slack is really a chat app at its core - it’s meant for quick interactions, and the emphasis is on the main “Feed”, which is a scrolling list of messages (similar to the Facebook feed) and once it’s gone, it’s usually not searched for, or missed. This works for both small and medium sized teams, and even a team of 2 (like with my coaching clients - me, and them).
With Slack, you’re able to use channels and threaded conversations for keeping things a bit more organized than a typical Facebook group. But at the end of the day, they’re all still chat messages, and not long-standing pieces of content that need to be easily searchable, archived, organized and categorized and quick and easy to sort through and access.
That’s where, when it comes to creating an actual online community, an actual Online Forum platform - like this one - totally kicks-the-behinds of both Facebook- and Slack groups.
I’ve already had this forum for a while - just haven’t been promoting it. And this whole time, it’s been open for anyone to register, because I figured the SEO benefits of a bunch of of people creating a bunch of content would be worth keeping it open to the outside world.
After a recent surge in private coaching clients and Academy members, I’ve finally decided that scarcity, urgency and exclusivity (by being a closed group only accessible by a select few) is way more important to me than the occasional long-tail search benefit from SEO, and way more powerful than having a huge forum where most members simply lurk and never participate anyway.
So I have now shut doors to new members to this forum and making it a completely private, closed forum.
Access to this private forum is available for free only to the following groups…
- My Private Coaching Clients
- Digital Creators Academy Members
- DigitalAccessPass.com (DAP) Platinum Members
- Certain friends, peers & personal favorites
- My 1,000 true fans (shout-out to Kevin Kelly for coining that word, but I’m about to take it to an entirely new level in my upcoming book in mid 2019).
You now have free access because you’re in one of the groups above.
And I appreciate you for that.
One of the biggest issues with many online forums, is that they’re usually so niched-down, that they don’t appreciate “off-topic” posts, even if they’re very related. For eg., you can’t go into a podcasting group and ask about building a list. Or go into a YouTube group and ask about Alexa Flash Briefings or podcasts. Or you can’t go into a group about WordPress and ask about Facebook advertising.
But because I’ve had the good fortune and blessed life to be able to have worked in all areas of running an online business, almost no business-, tech-, mind- and marketing- related topics are off-topic here.
Which is why, with your help, I’m hoping to build one of the greatest communities for digital marketers and creators.
In this forum, there will be…
NO politics, religion, spam, time-pass, pet videos, photos of food or vacation
NO junk- or like-bait posts that simply create noise - like asking people to post Gifs, or “8th photo from your camera roll”, or guessing about concerts, posting links to their podcast episodes or YouTube channels, etc
You may post about yourself in the “Introduction” post
I allow you to do something that NO OTHER Facebook group will ever let you do. Which is, to post ONE LINK - whatever link you want - under your name, when you sign off every post. So you can get some exposure every time you add value to the community.
It’s all about providing value to each other by answering questions, asking questions, solving problems, and offering your knowledge, perspective and opinion
Topics are going to revolve around solving business, entrepreneurship, tech, digital marketing, audio, video, membership sites, online courses, personal development, mindset, and pretty much anything closely related.
There is even a section for for SERVICES OFFERED and SERVICES WANTED where you can post about your service.
Problem Solving, Focus and Execution - all business, all the time.
Don’t forget: This is not yet-another-Facebook-group. It will be built and moderated differently.
Think of everything negative and annoying about a Facebook group - this is the exact OPPOSITE of that - from the content, to the structure, to the actual discussions, and the kind of folks who are in the community.
So, if you’re new here, welcome to the family!!
Only two rules of Fight Club, I mean, this Forum
- Try to Give more than (and before) you Ask.
- See Rule #1.
So I will be continuing to use Slack with my private coaching clients (just me and them in a Slack group). And this community for my online forum. WordPress for my website. And other plugins which I will separately post about.
– Ravi Jayagopal
ForFather (you know, Forum + Father) lol!