We get to speak to lots of people who use SharePoint. Whenever we bring up the topic of discussion lists and forums they quite often say they do not use the out of the box SharePoint Discussion list because:
– user interface is not attractive
– they are clunky
– do not look and feel like forums on the internet.
These are some of the reasons why we built our own forum web parts:
It is great speaking to our customers who have bought our web parts to find out how they are being used.
A large multinational company has replaced their email newsletter with the Social Squared forum web part on SharePoint. Rather than the email newsletter being a ‘push’ broadcast, it is published on the forums and allows discussions to start around the newsletter topics.
A different company was going through a take over, which obviously had staff worried. By using forums on SharePoint they were able to find out what people were worried about and address them by keeping them informed of what was happening.
Finally a company had various research projects occurring in many different locations deploy the Lightning Storm Forums. Rather than team X finding the solution and team Y sneering at them, team Y felt as much part of the discussions and applauded team X. This led to social meet ups and when Team X had to meet team Y, they felt like they already knew each other.
So what do you think of the SharePoint Discussion Boards out of the box, and if you aren’t using them how come?