eav discussion groupEmpire Avenue CEO, Dups, initiated a discussion in the [X]Bar Facebook group about Empire Avenue and discussion groups:

…it’s no secret we’ve been looking at good technology to host community discussions like what we’ve been doing here into Empire Avenue. The reality is that we all really like Facebook. And I suspect even if we did enable a forums discussion on Empire Avenue would you spend time there? Or would you come back here to discuss anyway?

So let me ask you, what would you enjoy: 1) An open Facebook Group that we integrate with Empire Avenue, 2) Forum/Discussion software that is comprehensive or 3) Other (please tell us)

My Take…

Empire Avenue has the opportunity to create some great features and real “stickiness” through their own discussion groups.

  1. Links to EAv profiles. As with the current EAv communities, when people post to the discussion groups, their name could link to their EAv profile. This is helpful as in FB groups, it’s sometimes difficult to figure that out.
  2. Increase users’ time on site.  Given the choice, wouldn’t EAv want users on its site rather than Facebook so it can engaged more with them?
  3. Email notifications.  I get lots of email notifications from Facebook about  new discussions and replies to discussions.  If EAv was sending these to its users it would increase branding and engagement on its site.
  4. Increase scores.  EAv could create a great incentive to participate in its discussion group by rewarding users with increased network scores and dividends.
  5. Technology for better communities. If EAv were to put in all the time and effort to realize this opportunity for its own discussion group, it could then leverage that technology by using it in its communities and make them sticky as well.

For these reasons, I think the ideal solution would be 2) Empire Avenue-based discussion groups.

However…

I have my doubts that the Empire Avenue team has the ability or will to develop a truly sticky, user-friendly, well integrated discussion group system.  At least not any time soon.

Personally, I’d rather have a good Facebook-based system than a clunky Empire Avenue based system, so I reluctantly cast my vote for 1.

What are your thoughts?