Thoughts on how to assess/choose a discussion tool
From: Eva Parker Passalacqua (
Date: Wed, 16 Jun 2021 12:42:22 -0700 (PDT)
Writing from my perspective as a web developer — this conversation is very 
familiar to me….

A discussion tool like this one exists at the intersection of humans, content, 
and software tools. In my experience, the best way to design any digital 
experience is to start with the the various people who would use the tool, and 
their needs and goals. 

- Who uses this community discussion tool? how do they use it? what are they 
looking for? 
- Who are the potential audiences who are not using it? How can we engage them?
- What is working right now? What is not working?
- What are Coho-US’s goals for a community discussion tool? 
- How does the discussion tool integrate with Coho-US’s site and larger goals?
- What are the needs of the maintainers/moderators? 
- What is the organization’s capacity for maintenance/moderation?

Once you have a clear picture of the users and goals, then it’s easier to 
assess the available tools/solutions and see which ones meet those goals. Or to 
change how you present your content to make it more responsive to the needs 
you’ve identified. Or to realize that your current tool, albeit flawed, may 
still be a good solution.

(And you’ll NEVER find/build something that everyone will like!)

Eva Parker Passalacqua
Rocky Hill Cohousing 
Grateful and appreciative Cohousing-L reader for almost 20 years

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