Indexing Power of Forums

When comparing a customer forum to a corporate blog, a forum is more of a closed community, where member discussion occurs inside the forum between members. Occasionally members refer to outside content and websites, but typically the discussion is within. Forums are best moderated not managed; a company with a forum can direct an occasional thread.

Members run the best forums, in that the editorial control of a forum is best left to the membership. There should be some restrictions such as reducing off-topic posts and sales pitches. But its best to give a forums membership the freedom to pose and answer questions freely. Companies can then gain from customer forums by observing customers. Much can be learned from observing customer questions and ideas posted in forum thread. The large number of posts means that a forum is often not the best way to quickly get information out to customers in an informal way.

Blogs on the other hand allow a company to control the editorial content of the website. Yet similar to email and forums a company can use an informal, conversational style of writing.

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