Blog : Interacting with AR has certainly changed!

Keith Adams

AROnline on Facebook
AROnline on Facebook

As you might have figured, I’ve been spending lots of time importing legacy content from ‘AROnline Classic’ to the new system during the past few weeks, and it’s been a fascinating trip down memory lane. Especially when it came to doing the site blogs, which I’ve date stamped and you can find by trawling the AROnline archive (to your right and down).

I’ve always been a passionate believer that the best way to running a successful website is to get the reader involved, and it’s really interesting to see how that’s evolved over the years. First we had a Yahoo mailing list, which was extremely lively between 2002 and 2006. Then the forum was rolled out, and since then went through a massive period of growth, before quietening down…

In the meantime, I started adding reader’s comments directly to the website (hard-coding them on to the pages), before adding a JS-Kit commenting widget back in 2007. This was a bit clunky, but once again proved popular with people adding their opinions to the bottom of each story…

Now in 2011, things are different – WordPress has its own commenting system built-in (and like its Java based JS-kit predecessor, has proved unerringly popular). As for the forum, that would appear to have run its course now. That’s not to say it will be disappearing – it won’t – but it’s interesting to see how users have moved over the years, and we’re there to move with them. So where have all the forum people gone, I hear you ask?

Take a look at AROnline‘s Facebook page. We have well over 1000 members, and it’s proving just as lively as the forum (and mailing list before it) ever were. This shows just how users/readers/enthusiasts have migrated over the years, and it’s pleasing also to see that we’re going to be there offering a safe haven in whatever medium you like to use. It also makes a fascinating counterpoint to the ‘Facebook: what’s the point?‘ blog I penned in March 2008. Oh, how times have changed.

And yes, the Yahoo mailing list is still there… Wow!

AROnline forum still going...
AROnline forum still going...
Keith Adams


  1. Its pretty good, its like a mix of twitter and facebook, as to it becoming the next big thing well that has to be seen!

  2. I think the Facebook side has taken off as it’s just a click when you’re already there catching up with friends etc, it certainly seems to have more traffic than the forum these days. I don’t think you were far off the mark Keith when you said a while ago forums seem to have run their course, although I think there will always be a small place for them on the net.
    It will be interesting to see how Google+ plans out over the coming months, but I wonder how groups are going to fair on there with them insisting real names are used throughout, I can’t see how that’s going to work with organisations and groups.

  3. I think there will be a number of big forums that will always be around, but the small ones will fizzle out and fade away as the users find areas they’re happier going to.

    As I say, it’s all about offering choice.

    The forum won’t be closed by any means, and my next plan is to integrate it properly into the website, but like all these things, it takes time and skill…


  4. Has no one pointed out that this format of the website does not render well in Firefox?
    There is a lot of overlapping of black boarders with the back text making it impossible for me to read; unless i switch to the IE button.

    I use FF 3.6.18 and a screen resolution of 1280 x 1024.

    I have my long on stored in FF so Now i go back to IE to catch up with the postings…

  5. You have the same set-up as me, and I certainly haven’t found these issues…

    Could you send me ( a screengrab please, and I’ll have a poke around.


  6. aha- so i am not the only one. The website is useless for me in office and the effect seems to be the same. Keith, look through my mails from about two weeks ago and you will find a screenshot…

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