Attract Surfers Through Web Forums

March 2004
by Reid Goldsborough

« Back to Independent Articles

The one feature that most distinguishes the Internet from any previous communications medium is its interactivity. The ’Net is two-way. You give, and you receive.

Savvy organizations and individuals have long recognized this, making it easy for people to contact them and diligently responding to e-mail. Organizations on the vanguard have set up discussion forums where customers, clients, interested observers, critics, and even competitors could air their views and share their experiences.

The main benefits: repeat traffic and referrals, with the expectation that some visitors will become customers, and customers will be more likely to remain customers.

In contrast to the almost-anything-goes atmosphere of independent discussion groups such as Usenet newsgroups, organizations typically exercise control by moderating discussions at their sites. Moderation varies from merely responding to complaints about particular posts to reviewing all posts before allowing them to appear.

Still, said Alan Webb, CEO of Abakus Internet Marketing (, many organizations are wary. “There is a worry in creating a forum that disgruntled customers or anybody with a chip on his shoulder might log in and badmouth the organization,” he said in an e-mail interview.

Profiling the Good Moderator

The trick is skillful moderation. “You need an active, friendly, knowledgeable, and level-headed moderat…IBPA Members – Click here to view the full article (login required).

Join Today!

« Back to Independent Articles

How to Get Involved!
Marketing Opportunities

From mailings to exhibits, see how IBPA's marketing programs help you grow your sales.

Educational Opportunities

Attend a seminar, ask an expert, and get more free advice with our educational programs.

Become a member

Access exclusive members-only benefits starting at just $10.