Friday, December 24, 2010

Embed A Discussion Board On Your Site Using Nabble


Yesterday, while writing "Build Your Community Using The New Google Groups," I fell upon a free embeddable discussion board called Nabble. It seems that I was not the only person interested in the feature, in fact, other Blogspot users inquired as well.

After further research on Nabble, I decided to give the embed a try. To check out the new community, click here.

How Does It Work?
One thing that makes Nabble attractive to Blogspot (Blogger) users is the simple embed code. There is no need to install any software, build databases, or administer back end server settings. Nabble is quick, easy, and quite painless.

To offer a discussion board on your site, do the following:

  • Visit Nabble.com.
  • Click Start a Free Forum. You have the option to create a mailing list, photo gallery, newspaper, or blog. I stuck with the forum.
  • Complete the short form, which includes your username, password, e-mail, forum name, and description.
  • Check your e-mail to activate the account.
  • Once activated, you can now visit the newly created forum.
  • Click on Options.
  • Click on Embedding Options.
  • Copy the embed code and paste it on a blank HTML file. For those using Blogger, you will need to create a new Static Page, first. 
Once embedded, you have the option to change the template, invite users, or start creating topics for discussion.

Benefits Of Embedded Forums
Based upon my experiences with community forums, the benefits include:

  • Metrics: Embedding the forum to function on your site means you can track visitors' behavior. Where do they go? How long do they stay? Does the forum encourage repeat business?
  • Local Community: Connecting with friends, family, business partners, or customers within a social network is wonderful; however, building a community on your web site means you get the honor of hosting people in your space.
  • Exposure: One of the perks of a lively community is the return visit. Visitors that return often are exposed to new content, your new content. 
  • Lower Bounce Rates: Visitors who are attracted to a particular blog post or service offering, may end up sticking around to engage with other visitors. This increases your staying power, which results in fewer bounces.
  • Fun: Ultimately, having interesting conversations with people is a fun activity. Provide an enjoyable experience by helping visitors connect with one another.
Feedback
What do you think about embedding a discussion board on the site? Do you have a positive experience? As a site owner, did it help build community? If so, how? For visitors, what benefits do you receive? Leave me a comment in the section below.

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Damond L. Nollan, M.B.A.

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