We have always prided ourselves in our fast and responsive support for our customers. Indeed – when you get a support query answered by a guy called Alex… that’s the same Alex that wrote all the original code and was made European Search Personality of the year. Sometimes we just can’t keep him away from the front line! So there will always be a one-on-one support platform, which we would encourage anyone with a specific issue to use because it is confidential and exactly addresses your issue.
On top of this, we have been thinking for some time about running a discussion forum for Majestic where users can share and hopefully develop ideas. There are several problems with a company trying to manage its own forum though:
- There is an immense danger of the forum being a cobwebbed corner of the Internet that nobody visits or listens to.
- If you forget to look in there as a company, then probably nobody will come to the aid of a forum poster… which turns advocates alienated fast.
- If you discuss things in public, not everyone will take your side.
All credit to our colleagues over at Moz for taking that last one on the chin and we decided it was time to man up as well. As we don’t have an instant community, though, we figured that we might still be in danger of running into problems with point 1. After all, only a special few people (like us) can talk about links ALL day and these may not always be the kinds of people you want to hang out with. Don’t get me wrong – you can’t know Majestic exists without having the “geek” label embedded on your forehead, but even geeks need to spread their wings and maybe talk about iPads vs Androids every now and then.
Then we had an idea. Way back in the day, there were these things called bulletin boards. We all used them… maybe we could talk to one of them and properly service part of the forum – being able to answer questions there. Using a larger forum would mean that the cobweb issues would no longer be an issue. If nobody wants to talk about Majestic, then there would not be some burning desire to post something just to make the room look occupied. It would also fix item two, because if you used a knowledgeable forum, then there would always be people on hand who knew most things and hopefully conversations would be engaging and meaningful.
Point three is a challenge. You want diversity of opinion – but you also need a degree of civility. So deciding on the right forum was definitely an important consideration.
Forums like Warrior Forum and BlackhatWorld really don’t suit our brand messaging and I doubt Rand and Jenita would appreciate us camping out on SEOMoz. (Although Jenita’s a treasure and a credit to the Mozzers.)
We therefore have a realistic choice between SEOChat and Webmasterworld. (Sorry to all the other forums I missed off the list there. It’s a blog post not an encyclopedia article.) We decided that we will officially engage with users on SEO Chat (Edit… We tried Webmasterworld… but that was a no-go). Especially in the Majestic SEO Review thread.
So if you have any views, thoughts or general issues which don’t really fit on a support ticket, head over to SEO Chat and ask them there. You’ll find a vibrant web community and we’ll be there too, trying to be all friendly and fluffy.