Hi, I’m curious about the decision to have these conversations be indexed and viewable in Google search. What’s the rationale for making the FeverBee community a public one? I wonder if the SEO benefits outweigh the costs of reducing privacy (and therefore trust) within the community? Thanks for your input!
Anonymous mode – would that lower the barrier to posting?
We began the community as communitygeek. This was a private, exclusive, site based on Drupal. While some people liked the ‘private’ nature of it, it really was a minority of people. Even when we opened the site up to the public, we kept a big section private. And, again, given the choice most discussions were still posted in the public area.
I find that it benefits members more to have the discussions indexable by Google. More people can reply, more people can find it, and if you’re searching for an answer to a question - you’re more likely to see it. To me the benefits of that are really huge to us and members here.
I’m surprised about the ‘reducing trust’ comment though. Are there any discussions you would like to post it that won’t because the content gets indexed by Google? I’d love to know more about that. Most of the discussions we have are benign in that perspective. It could be awkward perhaps if your boss sees it or members see something negative posted about them, but that’s why we don’t enforce people use their real names (we encourage it, but don’t enforce it). @forumsentinel could be anyone as far as we’re concerned
I think it’s probably fair to say that most CoPs of this nature are public so I’m curious as to why you ask (and glad you did, it’s a fascinating discussion). Are you considering this for a community of your own?
Private communities generally cost members to join. Do you see that as more or less of a barrier to entry than posting publicly?
Rich also raises an interesting point around anonymity and safety. @ForumSentinel chooses not to use his/her real name for security reasons (s/he’s CM of a large community with a few potentially hostile members) but were this community private, that might not be necessary.
As far as important business topics, I feel I can be more candid in a private forum.
I don’t think anyone could expect a free flowing, insiders tips, water cooler / peers sharing 100% vibe when a big door to the street next to the water cooler is left open.
Shareing everything with everyone sometimes isn’t appropriate. I remember at school if you ever set one foot into the staff room or popped your head around the door during lunch or break time, you got dagger looks from pretty much everyone in the room.
I feel that here is a case for private, amongst career peers only discussion - without the never forget, big brother Google watching and sharing everything said.
I was surprised and concerned when this place pivoted to become non private - I wondered if private areas I had posted in were made public as my comments in them definitely weren’t for public (or competitor) consumption they were just for the paying subscribed community (btw has the charging stopped?)
I remember having a conversation with you at the time. Interestingly you were the only person that expressed concern – I’m not sure whether that means it wasn’t widespread or that you are more frank than others.
It would be an incredible betrayal of trust to publicise information that was shared in private. Very occasionally I move a private post into the public forums if it is relevant, but never before seeking permission from everyone that participated in the topic.
Yes, back when we closed the private forums.
I agree that people are likely to share less for fear of repercussions from employers or competitors and as Rich mentioned, we had to weigh that up against the benefits of opening things up. I think it’s been a good thing for this community, but I’m definitely open to hearing feedback if you feel otherwise.
Thanks for clarification!
Well the origional poster refers to “the costs of reducing privacy”
In plain English that means - the risk of people disliking it being public and contributing less freely as a result.
I am not flouncing - but that’s how I do feel about it.
- The OP Carson cited it as a potential risk (but hasn’t stated thier position on it)
- I have confirmed it is an issue for me
I think one of the useful things here is we tried private only, we tried private/public concurrently, and we tried public only.
Public only was by far the best option for us.
There might be some items of content which a competitor could use, but those examples really are quite small. And there would be nothing to stop that competitor joining the private community site anyway.
The negatives for me are more about ‘will i look bad?’ and ‘will my boss see something critical i’ve written’. But I think most people here are smart enough to avoid that.
One issue is my real name as my user name
I think I was automatically joined to the forum as part of attending a Feverbee event, (perhaps not?). Either way it’s not a user name I would ever want in a public forum, (in a private forum I cared little about it.)
So I will contact @HAWK to ask her if she can change it to something that would make my content have less “Google juice” attribution to myself.
I would be happier about that
Easy. Let me know what you’d like it changed to and I can do it immediately.
Sorry, I just HAD to post this, first thing that came to mind I am a dude, will confirm that much.
I actually knew that, but I was being inclusive.
Does my new user name look big in this?
Hi, interesting input. I think that a public forum will by its nature have more anonymous contributors and less specific discussions. However, I still think it can be an invaluable resource. Though I would prefer a private forum, I think the current level of dialogue here is very encouraging and is a great place to learn and contribute. Thank you!