And now, some discussion for the gearheads among us…

Ever since I wrote Grow Your Band’s Audience, I’ve offered readers "members-only" access to a special part of our website that offers downloads and discussions related to each book in the series. I’m using Moodle software right now, which is easy to administer but, I fear, is really confusing to folks. So I am thinking of moving to some other platform, and those of you who spend lots of time on these here internets should give me some guidance about moving forward:

  • I might create a memberBlog for each book, which allows me to push updates and revisions more easily but could stifle conversation if folks can’t post their own topics.
  • I might create a memberWiki for each book, which would not only allow me to make the text of the books searchable by members but would also allow folks to comment on specific chapters. (That, to me, sounds fun.)
  • I might just go back to the old way where folks get a static page with bonus downloads.

With the design/edit process for the new book in full swing, I’d love your thoughts. If I built a Wiki around "More Gigs Now," would you guys play? Or am I just in gearhead deck-chair-shuffling mode?

Your thoughts, please? (Scott — I know I can count on you!!)


One response

  1. Scott Andrew reporting for duty, SIR! 🙂

    I love the wiki idea myself, but my biggest fear is that people just won’t use it. Wikis are still firmly in the realm of geekdom, IMO. You’d have to invest some time in designing it to encourage participation, and I doubt your target audience cares to learn wiki text markup.

    If your goal is to solicit feedback, annotations and “this worked for me” types of comments, I’d say go with a basic blog with one book chapter per post, with member-only comments turned on. IMO, “post a comment” or “share your thoughts” is a lot easier to grasp (and enticing) than “edit this page.” A modified version of WordPress or MT will do fine for this, and both have built-in search capabilities so you can still lock down the content away from the Googlebot.

    Personally though, I like straight-up discussion boards and lists. I really like JPF because of the collective knowledge and wisdom of the board members there, something I don’t get from blogs, which tend to be one-voiced. Not that blogs can’t build community, but on a board participants are on more equal footing. Moderation is always a concern, but if you’re planning on restricting access to people who purchase your books, that might not be as big an issue.

    So, if the goal is to build a community around the books, you should IMO focus on encouraging the participants to share knowledge and choose whatever software you think is going to help lower that barrier. Give ’em that “I rule!” experience that Kathy always talks about*.

    Otherwise, yeah, it’s probably deck-chair rearranging. 🙂