Today, it’s easy to create a new blog in seconds with WordPress.com, Tumblr, or Posterous. You can start publishing and get your content online quickly, and many software firms today consist of little more than a website and apps in an App Store. But what if you want an easy way to discuss what you’re creating? Group chat can be very difficult to setup, and forums are even more frustrating. Should you just resort to @replies on Twitter for communicating with your customers?
We were excited to recently discover Convore, which is a new webapp that’s designed to take away the the friction with creating a private forum. In seconds, you can start a new realtime discussion page for your group. Private or Public discussions, PC or mobile, Convore works the way you want. Let’s take a deeper look so you’ll see exactly how to create a new Convore discussion.
Convore is one of the simplest ways to start a live discussion with others around the world. With a simple and clean interface, it runs fast on any browser, even without Flash. Even signup is easy; just sign in with your existing Twitter or Facebook account to create a new account in seconds.
Now, just enter an email and password to finish registering your account. The only odd thing is that you do still have to add a password even if you signed in with your social network account. Convore will use your social network info, though, to help you find friends and topics that you’ll enjoy discussing.
As soon as your account is created, you can add more info to your profile. If you did sign in with a social network, Convore will import your picture by default, though you can change it later if you wish.
Join in Existing Groups
Want to quickly join on existing groups? Click the Discover button to find popular groups that your friends have already joined. Alternately, you can search for a group you’ll find interesting. Most groups listed are public, so you can join in without doing anything else. Once you create your own groups, others can join in just as easily. This is a great way for new users to find out about your content and join in on the conversation, and makes Convore similar to a social network mixed with a real-time forum.
Each group can have an unlimited number of topics they’re discussing. These are similar to threads on a standard forum. You can see the most recent topics, how many replies each have, and how many members are online right now. Additionally, you can subscribe to the group if you want to keep up with what’s going on. There’s groups for everything from websites to school, so if there’s a forum related to a group you’re already in, you can join right in and keep up with what’s going on. Best thing is, you can try out these groups first to get a feel for using Convore before setting up your own groups.
Creating Your Own Group
Most importantly, though, you can create your own groups to get your business or team discussing the most important things. Just click the Create New Group button on the front dashboard, or from the Groups menu, then enter a name, description, and category for your group. You can also select the privacy level you need for your group. Public groups can be joined by anyone with a Convore account, while private accounts will be accessable only by users you’ve invited or approve. This way, you can use Convore for any type of group you want.
Next, you can invite friends from your social network that are already on Convore, or share the link via Facebook, Twitter, or email. Alternately, just click Skip on the bottom if you don’t want to invite others to your Convore discussion page right now.
Now that your new group is started, you can add new topics to let others discuss. You can create new topics for each thing that’s important for your group, or create general topics that could cover a wide range of ideas.
Over time, your Convore page should become alive with people discussing the topics you and other add. Just enter messages on the bottom box as you would in a standard comment form or chat page, or click the reply button to reply directly to what someone else has said. It’s very similar to a group chat mixed with a forum or Twitter, and works great for discussing anything you need. As the group moderator, you can also remove posts that are offensive if you need.
Design and Usability
If there’s two major problems with most hosted forums and chats, it’s that they’re often ugly with cluttered, old-style interfaces. Convore has focused on making their app beautiful and easy to use. This care shows throughout the app, with modern textures and shadows combined with plenty of whitespace and a generally clean layout. Finally, a real-time discussion system that’s not ugly! Overall, Convore is very simple to use as well; almost anyone should be able to figure it out quickly. It’s always important to reduce friction if you want users to start using a new forum to communicate, so Convore is a great choice for adding discussion to your site or group.
From bloggers to app developers, many of us want better ways to communicate with our customers. Or, you may just want an easy way to get your ball team or friends discussing your favorite topics. Either way, Convore is one of the easiest ways you can bring everyone together to talk easily online. Convore brings the best of chat and forums together, and makes it really easy to get a discussion started about anything you want. And, with private discussions, you might even find it a good substitute for Campfire or internal discussion boards. If you’ve used Convore to get discussions going, let us know how you’ve liked it in the comments below!