Having launched an online computer magazine just a few days ago, I've been deluged with requests from readers who want to be able to leave feedback (to be honest, I hadn't expected so many people to visit so soon and I wasn't prepared to deal with this).

What are my options? In the long term I shall probably open a forum but I don't want to rush into that. I think ideally something with a blog-like interface but with the facility to allow any reader to post might be useful. In essence, I want to have some way for readers to leave a 'letter to the editor'. I realise they can do that by email (it's what they are doing at the moment). But is there some slicker way of providing this feature (which also avoids clogging up my email in tray ;) )?

best wishes

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I really think it's time to open a forum. You'll be happier in the long run if you do. Blogs aren't so great as a back and forth channel of communication, and it seems you'll end up wanting to convert blog comments to a forum down the line anyways. Remember, you can always start with just one or two forums and then expand as the site grows. Forum software will also allow you to put together a nice growing memberlist right off the bat.

The only thing that I would be careful of right now is liability. You want to make sure that no slanderous comments are being posted about hosting companies. You also want to make sure that one host isn't going to post negative feedback about a competitor.

While I do think it's time to open a forum - especially if your visitors are already expressing that they want to share with other visitors - I think you should take a little bit of time to plan out exactly how you want to set up the forum to ensure it remains a pleasant, spam-free, slander-free place.

There's no time like the present! Good luck.

Thanks. This is what I had planned to do over time. However, as I said, I wasn't ready to deal with such an influx of visitors quite so soon after going online and I'm concerned that if I jump in and put a forum online too quickly, I may end up causing more problems than I solve!

I have run one very small board before and moderated another (both phpBB) so I know the basics of getting one up and running. I also realise a) how much time it takes (when I have plenty of other things to do at the present time) and b) that if I get the structure of the forums wrong, it's going to be difficult to fix after people have already been posting for a while.

As this board is obviously quite big now, I'm sure you must have made a few mistakes along the way. Maybe you could make a lits of the pitfalls to avoid when setting one up....? ;)

best wishes

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