A site user indirectly suggests a new feature

By Steve Outing

Whoa! That was a long time between blog posts. Y’know, sometimes you get so busy that it’s hard to keep the old blog going. … OK, I’m back at it. (Not that I’m any less busy, but I really do miss blogging when I take a too-busy-to-blog break.) Anyway, here’s something interesting from my company’s YourMTB.com site.

It’s fascinating, in a citizen media based site like YourMTB.com, to watch how people use it. After all, as publisher of the site, I don’t really have control over how it’s used — other than to reject stuff that crosses over a line (that is, violates our terms of service).

So, one of YourMTB’s users, Fugie, has used the Buy & Sell forum on the site to post notices about coupon codes that he’s run across that can be used by fellow mountain bikers. Here’s an example, where Fugie alerts fellow bikers that they can shop at Nashbar.com (a major online biking retailer) and use a code to get free shipping.

Cool! I hadn’t thought of or expected that sort of use for the site’s forums, but that’s great. I’m sure other users appreciate Fugie’s thoughtfulness in sharing that information.

Something I’ve thought ever since this project’s inception was that I want the users of our websites to guide future development. Sometimes that will be in the form of direct feedback sent to us (“Why don’t you add this feature?”); other times it will be in observation by us of how our members use the site (as in this case). Perhaps we should add a Forum area specifically for this kind of coupon information sharing.

Author: Steve Outing Steve Outing is a Boulder, Colorado-based media futurist, digital-news innovator, consultant, journalist, and educator. ... Need assistance with media-company future strategy? Get in touch with Steve!