Well, what do we say about the forum? 136 people signed up to the forum, with several encouraged to sign up, and comment, after a competition was posted on Facebook/Twitter (timed to ensure a build up/that people would get the materials in time for Lent). The original plan was to use something that was based upon social media, but our original developer became ill and was unable to finish the job. A forum seemed to be the best way forward, and more accessible to those we are keen to reach, who are not yet on social media, but would like to converse… but we did have doubts as to whether this was old wine into new bottles . Not wishing to replicate other fora, the focus was placed upon questions related to the housegroup, and the question of digital discipleship.
Users needed to sign up, and acceptance was usually within 24 hours, the lack of a social media login was felt. Only one user had to be removed for posting (Russian) spam. We are now returning to our original definition of ‘bigger conversations’, encouraging Christian individuals and churches to live Biblically based lives online as much as offline (so having conversations where they are… does the church monitor where all its conversations are happening), and providing tools to enable people to participate online.
The original plan had been to complete the housegroup materials before Christmas, then work at promoting them via social media, and building up the forum, including appointing a number of co-moderators. The materials were delayed, only a couple of co-moderators appointed (and very quiet). It’s impossible for one 0.5 worker to manage a forum alongside the other workload, and combined with being ill, the forum quietly died off, and around week 5 we said let’s concentrate our energy on other things. We are now awaiting the opportunity to remove reference to the forum (although it would be good to save the bits of information we did get).