It looks as though Microsoft is dancing around the fact that they need a forum – a place where people can go to post their tips and questions for anything Microsoft related whether it be Windows or the Zune. They just relaunched Windowslive.com as a community site which we see as a step in the right direction, but they aren’t quite there yet. Speaking to Read Write Web, the Windows Live senior marketing manager Marty Collins explained that their goal behind the redesign was “to better explain to users how they can use these services together, as well as fostering an active user community.
Microsoft is also currently in the process of rolling out Windows Live Clubhouse. The clubhouse, currently available by invite only, is a forum of sorts for Windows Live users. When we first saw and read about it, it reminded us of a more abstract forum. People can post help and tips about Windows Live products, but it’s not quite as organized and open as it should be.
Here’s how the Clubhouse will work (from what we understand). Someone can post something “Live” related on their Live Spaces account and tag it with “Clubhouse” followed by the name of at least one Live application that they wrote about. Those posts will then appear for others to read and rate. The stories rated the highest whether it be a how-to tip or a story about using a Live product will then be featured on WindowsLive.com. Authors receive “club points” for contributing.
Now getting back to the idea of Microsoft introducing a forum, we think it would help them out tremendously. Like we said, the Clubhouse is a forum of sorts, but it doesn’t allow for open communication as much as a typical forum would. They’d certainly have to spend a good amount of time designing a forum, and then hire a team of people to moderate it, but think about all of the questions people have regarding Vista that could very simply be asked and answered in a Microsoft forum. They have so many different products and services, and each could have it’s own dedicated section.
Should Microsoft just create a forum?