Monday, October 11, 2010

The Chicago Architecture Info Forum Launches

A couple of months ago, some people approached me about starting an online forum for people to talk about Chicago.  They told me they were frustrated by the quality of other internet fora, some of which are so large that it's like being lost in a crowd at Wrigley, and others that are so full of anger and hostility that people are afraid to express their opinions.  Some have elements of both.

I sat on the idea for a little while, and then two weeks ago asked the people in our Facebook and Twitter groups what they thought of the idea.  The response was overwhelmingly positive.  So the result is:

(CAIF for short)

To quote from the welcome message I just posted:

This forum was created to give people a place to talk about the city of Chicago. Its main focus is on the city's architecture, development, real estate, construction, and urban life; but discussions of any Chicago-related subject are welcome.
If you just want to read what other people write, that's fine. If you want to post messages, sign up for a free account. Don't be afraid to ask questions, or even just start your own thread to talk about your neighborhood. You can upload pictures to your own photo gallery, chat with other people, even start your own blog right here. And don't forget to check out the calendar of events. I'll keep that updated with community events that are of interest to like-minded people.
I know that several thousand people read this blog, and I encourage all of you to at least visit the new forum.  The primary truism of internet fora is that most people just read messages, a few reply to messages, and very few will start a new thread.

But I do encourage you to start your own messages.  Ask questions.  Seek opinions.  Share your thoughts.  Tell the rest of us what's happening where you live.

The forum also comes with a number of extra features for you to use.  You can start your own blog there, create photo galleries you can share with friends, even yak it up in an online chat room.

I think this will also be good for this blog.  The comment feature for articles here is a little limited.  I'm going to try to integrate it with the forum so that people can have a truly interactive experience when they want to post about things written here.

The address to click is

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You can write a comment about this article below, but that's kind of just a one-way street. For full whiz-bang interactivity, click here to comment on this article at the Chicago Architecture Info Forum.