discussion topics linked on pages

August 23, 2007

I’m working on new discussion forum software, that will be completely integrated into BookMooch. Anyone will be able to create a new discussion forum. Participation will be over the web and/or by email.

One idea I had, was for a newly created discussion forum to be associated with book topics. For example, you could have a “Science Fiction” discussion forum. Whenever the book topic “Science Fiction” appeared on a BookMooch page, a small icon indicates that a discussion group is available.

Here are a variety of different icons, all variations on speech bubbles, that I’ve been tinkering with:

Chat1

and here is how it might look in context:

Chat2

I’m leaning toward the icon to the right of “Science” above as my favorite, because it’s the least obtrusive.

Which icon do you like? Or something completely different (perhaps point me to a URL on the internet)

I will probably also enable these icons on authors and places, so that if a discussion for “San Francisco” exists, it would be so linked on the “books available in San Francisco” page. I’m also toying with the possibility of individual members being able to have their own discussion forums, sort of like a blog, where they can post whatever they like about the books in their life.

ps: I am still working on the volunteer-tech-support thing, but I realized this morning that the tech support idea, as it now stands, is really more like a specialized kind of discussion forum, so that I should do the discussion forum first and then see what needs to be done to it to make it work for tech support.

4 Responses to “discussion topics linked on pages”

  1. Kirk said

    You know, maybe making the tech support thing just an open “Ask a Question about BookMooch” forum makes a lot of sense…

    As for the icons, I’d rather one that stands out a bit more – I like the last one best.

    However, there’s one problem: what about forums that don’t jibe with actual topic names? Like your SF example; that’s not a topic. That would require manual tagging…

  2. Hope said

    I agree that the pair of speech bubbles displayed to the right of “science” are the least visually “noisy”. My only other thought is to use the simplest possible black line, white/no fill/no texture speech bubble that can be drawn – possibly a clearer, cleaner version of the one next to “fiction & fantasy”? The other speech bubbles are pretty, but I think may be rather overwhelming for books associated with a lot of topics.

  3. Sophie Kennedy said

    I’m with Hope. And I find the “Paperback” and “Romance” icons very noisy.

    Apart from that, it’s a great idea.

  4. Kat (zzzkatzzzz) said

    i like the icon next to science. it gives the allusion of people taking sice there are 2 bubbles.

    i like this idea very much.

    Kat
    zzzkatzzzz

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