We have a website, which is the entry point to install our software product. The software is targeted to wide range of individuals.
My question is - should we put a forum on our website and allow people to conduct an open, unmoderated discussion about us, our product and related issues? If so, should be allow anonymous posts to keep the trolls out?
We see the following advantages of having an open discussion on our site:
- If we allow people to say what they think about the problem we are solving and our dedicated solution, we can learn a lot and use this knowledge for the advantage of us and our product.
- Even with a lot of negative feedback, it's better to have it on our forum, as we can easily solve the probems and address the issues. Negative voices will appear, if not on our site, for sure somewhere else, where we may even not know about them.
- A community of engaged forum users may help other users solve some issues, relieving our customer support from doing this.
However, we also have some concerns:
- Having forum on our site, we show the negative voices to all our potential customers. As in real, nondigital live, it's far easier to get criticism than praise. A dissatisfied user is more willing to put his opinion on our forum than the satisfied one.
- If we won't block the anonymous posts, we may get a lot of unobjective, rude comments, that we would have to moderate or allow them to litter our site.
- If we will block the anonymous posts, people may be less willing to say what they really think, knowning, that they are speaking publicly. How do you think? If that would be the case, we would lost the major advantage we are counting for - learning from the users discussion.
What technical solutions whould you use to manage such discussion?