Forums – Bringing Out The Jack Of All Trades
The extensive use of online forums is making the average web user something similar to the age old “Jack of all trades”. Your grandfather likely was considered a ‘Jack of all trades’ if for no other reason than he had to know a lot about many things in order to survive. He would likely tinker with a failing piece of machinery and get it working again. He could patch or repair broken toys and home repairs were never subcontracted. In my sphere of influence I have an acquaintance whose grandfather was a farmer, railroad engineer, rancher, stagecoach driver and police officer. He had a broad range of skills, but couldn’t really claim any one career as the defining example of his life’s work.
He simply liked doing what he was doing – when he was doing it. Thus the old adage, “Jack of all trades – master of none.” Online forums make it possible for the curious or passionate to discover more about the things that have piqued their interest. This is actually an exciting component of the Internet. As families continue to migrate all over the place it is becoming harder to rely on an older family member to help you learn certain skills.
This is where forums can be helpful. If, for instance, an online user wanted information about installing a kitchen sink then he might find the information he needs on a home improvement forum. The exhilaration of finishing the project will likely find that individual back at the forum to find out how to install cabinets, flooring or an icemaker for the fridge. A forum opens up new possibilities for the world’s potential ‘Jack of all trades’. The ‘want to’ is combined with access to the ‘how to’. The end result is the satisfaction of a completed project and the cost-savings associated with do-it-yourself improvements. Forums are allowing the non-technical computer user access to certified computer geeks who can help them navigate their computers and the Internet more readily. Forums allow moms access to other moms who have ‘been there, done that, and have the stains and sleepless nights to show for it.” Forums allow car owners to learn more about repairs they can do at home while avoiding expensive repair bills at the mechanic. Forums allow bicyclists the opportunity to learn more about care and maintenance of their bikes as well as trails they may have never considered.
Indeed, forums can be fun, but they can also be informative. When you, as an online businesses, make a specialized forum available you are allowing the adventurous site user to gain the opportunity to take your product and the information they glean from the forum to maximize their purchase. In an online environment that is centered on the needs of the customer it is important to find ways to allow those customers the greatest opportunity to make use of your product. The exciting part is some of the advice your customer may desire can come directly from other customers. The ‘Jack of all trades’ mentality is a long-standing tradition and you can perpetuate the practice through an effective online forum.
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