Why A Private Forum Makes Sense For Many Organizations

Private forums appeal to many organizations because they provide an environment that is safe and secure from prying eyes but accessible to approved members from virtually any device. If your goal is to help employees connect with one another and create a persistent knowledgebase, a private forum makes perfect sense.

Although an email list can be limited to members-only and is relatively secure, mailing list content is not easy to browse, support for rich media is limited at best, and the content is difficult to categorize and search. On the other side of the spectrum, enterprise level social networks like Yammer and Jive tend to be overkill: their complexity can hinder adoption and their vast feature set only makes sense for a handful of the most gigantic corporations.

A private forum launched with Ninja Post strikes a good balance because it’s neither too simplistic nor too complicated. This balance encourages participation and, at the same time, preserves content for years to come. It creates a foundation for progress and improved camaraderie. For example, a private forum allows an organization to:

  • Improve sales. A sales team can quickly disseminate information to one another.
  • Improve company-wide communication. An entire organization—from CEO to front-line employees—can interact.
  • Improve on-boarding of new employees. New hires can get instant advice and feedback from company veterans.

These benefits are just the tip of the iceberg. Nevertheless, they demonstrate how powerful—and just how integral—a private forum can be for many organizations.

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Judging Forum Software Pound For Pound

Ninja Post forum software is fast, nimble, and powerful like Manny Pacquiao. Meanwhile, traditional forum software is bloated and slow like Butterbean. Yes, Butterbean-type software can get the job done, but not in the most elegant way. Feature bloat is ugly and an unfortunate trait inherent in most forum software packages.

We believe that, pound for pound, Ninja Post is the best forum software. Speed and power are combined within a lightweight framework. Threads update in real time, like a chat so the user does not need to constantly refresh the page to see if new items have been posted. Speed, elegance, and power trump an endless array of features. Ninja Post has the most essential features for users in your community to engage with one another.

A lightweight framework that is fast, nimble, and powerful

Can get the job done, but not in the most elegant way


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Interview With Ninja Post Founder On AdminFusion.com

I recently completed an interview about Ninja Post for the website AdminFusion.com. The interview covers a range of topics including the inspiration for Ninja Post, challenges inherent in launching new forums, and how Ninja Post works, among other things. In response to a question about the future of online forums. I offered:

There is a broader trend that web apps must be simple to use in order to succeed, and I think this trend should apply to forum software. There is a great opportunity for a forum solution that is simple, modern, and elegant and that’s what I’m striving to achieve with Ninja Post.

Read the full interview »

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The Melting Pot; Or, Why Sub-Forums Are So Passé

Most forums default to the classic “forum, sub-forum paradigm” whereby threads are divvied up by topics such as “News & Announcements”, “Tech Support”, “The Sports Zone”, “Off Topic Discussion”, etc. We believe this approach is flawed.

We’ve found that what determines a thread’s relevance is not it’s category but it’s title and content. That’s why Ninja Post forum software defaults to a “melting pot” approach whereby ALL threads are ranked based on a combination of their popularity (How many replies does the thread have?) and their decay (How old is the thread?). The more popular and more recent a thread is, the more likely it is to stay at the top of the board.

It’s not unusual for users to feel paralyzed when processing an array of sub-forums. Let’s say a user comes to your forum for the first time. Rather than going straight to a list of recent threads, he or she is presented with a list of sub-forums. Where should he or she begin if he or she wants to post a new thread? Should the thread go in the most popular sub-forum that everyone reads or should it go in another sub-forum that is less popular but more appropriate? This feeling of indecisiveness is one that Ninja Post prevents.

In another example, let’s say you run a forum dedicated to sports. You probably have really popular sub-forums dedicated to Football, Basketball, and Baseball, and less popular sub-forums dedicated to other sports like Golf, Bowling, and Ping Pong. Well, if a really sensational Bowling story came about it deserves attention and it should not be pigeonholed in a sub-forum that no one visits.

Ninja Post’s approach to sub-forums is similar to Google’s decision to avoid using folders in Gmail. Like Gmail, we too allow users to tag threads, which makes it possible to filter threads based on a given topic, should the need arise.

We believe that our ultra simple “relevance algorithm” which ranks threads based on popularity and decay, coupled with tags and a fast and effective search functionality is a better way to organize the community’s discussion in lieu of sub-forums. This approach fits snugly with our desire to simplify and improve the user experience.

The Melting Pot

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Ninja Post Forum Software: The Best Of Both Worlds

Ninja Post forum software combines the best of both worlds: the speed and simplicity of a chat room and the structure and stability of a forum.

Chat rooms are poorly organized and their content tends to be fleeting: if you’re not there in the moment, the conversation disappears. Meanwhile, traditional forums tend to dilute their conversations across too many sub forums.

Ninja Post provides just the right amount of organization so that users can quickly get up to speed on the latest topics of conversation.

Here is a handy Venn Diagram:

Venn Diagram for Ninja Post forum software

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