Why the urge of going back to a forum?

A few people in our Belgian community asked why we would ‘go back’ to a forum like discuss.okfn.org. As the mailing list was become a one-way communication street we thought it might be interesting to setup a separate local group for Belgium on the okfn discuss forum. For us, this has a few major improvements:

  • We’re embedded in the international open knowledge discussion. You can follow the conversation on a national level as well as on an international, thematic or other local level. This way you get to meet like minded people with similar issues or challenges.
  • It puts a face on the people your talking to, whilst is not being restrictive as to who is asking and who is answering. There is still a lot of power for our community to take matter into their own hands, answer questions and collaborate. Never less we try to be active as well and be part of the conversation at hand.
  • Old topics die harder. There is a better search function for those who want to talk about a certain topic. Something we definitely missed with the mailing lists.

Do you think this is a good approach to meet and discuss with the Belgium community? Are there other channels we should look at to create engagement with out community group? Feel free to let us know.

For now we’re still most active on Twitter as it is a short and concise way to communicate with the outside world: https://twitter.com/openknowledgebe. For more in depth discussions we will push the conversation to this forum.