Paekākāriki.NZ Forums is an inclusive online forum for discussion, helping Paekākāriki residents share local events, news, photos and gossip.
Say what?! But we already have Paekākāriki Tauhokohoko, why don’t we just use that?
Well, for a start, PT is not inclusive. You need to be on Facebook, which lots of people don’t want to be on for reasons which are starting to be generally accepted as not completely insane after all.
But there are lots of other very good reasons for using this (Discourse Forum). E.g.
Search works really well in Discourse. The search feature in Facebook groups is badly crippled. It seems Facebook wants to steer users away from discovering old threads and instead get them to start new ones. This breaks up interesting discussions in ways that are very bad for exchanging ideas, including as many users as possible, having long-running discussions etc.
The Discourse model for threads, replies, quoting etc is a far superior way of structuring conversations. This really comes down to Discourse having a very good and thought-through model whereas Facebook optimizes for entirely different things than serious discussions. It took some time for people to get used to quoting but by now discussions are much easier to follow.
The category system in Discourse makes it a lot easier to create a customized structure, it can be changed easily later on if we change our thinking about it etc. In practice, the forum feels much more like our own which creates an atmosphere of familiarity and trust. Along the same lines, all the detailed customization options makes it feel much more like a true home for our project, rather than some space we borrowed from someone.
People do not need to have Facebook accounts to be active in the community (but they can log in with their Facebook accounts).
Mail notifications are way better, from customizable levels of following/watching to summary emails.
And that’s just the tip of the iceberg!