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When faced with the sight of yet another online message board, you might ask – Do we really need another one? Well, sure. What is the Internet, if not the best place to communicate with people from all walks of life, in every corner of the globe? What is the Internet without them? The more the merrier and it isn’t exactly like we’re going to run out of cyber space the way we run out of land. If we could find a way to build a home in cyber space we’d be in good shape. So what exactly is it about HYPick.com that makes it stand out from the crowd of nearly dormant message boards that float unvisited in the clouds?
HYPick.com gets a thumbs up for diversity. One of the problems of some message boards is that they are too focused which means only a certain group of people are going to bother with them. If that group of people isn’t big enough to support an active community, or if there are too many forums dedicated to that subject, and that do it better, then those boards are dead space—we’ve all seen them, forums with tons of topics that only the forum owner bothers to update, and if any respond there are perhaps one or two regular posters, or boards that have had no posts in months or years.
HYPicks.com has forums on a wide variety of subjects and some very up-to-date topics such as “The Top 10 Mistakes of Google” (not that I personally agree with that article’s assertion that Google Chrome is a failure, but that’s the idea behind a good forum, different opinions and a place to debate them). There is a “Geek Speak” forum (that I am a little afraid to enter), a “Politics” forum, one for “Pics and Vids”—yours or those found on the web of popular subjects, of course the requisite “Showbiz” forum where you can debate Michael Jackson’s comeback and Britney Spears return to the highlight. There is a forum for “Sports and Health” and several others along with just a “Random” forum where you will find anything and everything that doesn’t have a place in the other spots on the board.
One of the most important aspects of any online community is large and active membership. It gives messages boards their life. I’d give HYPicks.com a knock for not having many active members as evidenced by the relatively few posts even though it boasts a relatively populated membership list but it’s a baby in the cyber world so I’ll cut it a break there. It has such a good concept I can only hope it will catch on.
There are several aspects that come into play when considering how well a message board works. HYPicks.com gets a thumbs up on most of them.
• Registration: Fast, easy, free—every criterion you could possibly want from a message board sign up.
• Functionality: No hiccups that I could find. Everything works well.
• Maneuverability: Everything is laid out simply and easy to find. The HYPicks.com site loads quickly and with no perceived problems.
• User Controls: Thumbs up. Easy to use, and there are all the requisite message board requirements such as signature lines, avatars, and the rest.
• Picks and Hits: A value based algorithm allows for topics featured on the home page of the site for quick view to be determined by response so that viewers get a quick view of the freshest content with the most traffic and responses. This excellent feature shows the value of each thread due to popularity rather than the numbers game sites such as Digg provide. HYPicks.com is about the Hype that surrounds each topic not rigging numbers.
• Statistical Information: One area I find the HYPicks.com board lacking is the complete absence of easy to view board statistics showing who is on, who is viewing each thread, how many overall members the board has. While not completely necessary many forums have such statistics readily available on the bottom of each page and while serving no ‘real’ purpose those facts help to strengthen the feel of community and can boost activity. Plus it’s just nice.
• Unusual: A blog, that’s not something you normally see in association with a message board but HYPick.com has a blog to keep you updated on activities, current trends and topics, and probably any possible hiccups the site might endure as it grows.
What Can HYPicks.com Do For You?
Just like any message board you can do a lot to promote yourself, your ideas, or your website with a forum if you do it right. The nice thing about HYPicks.com for exposure is that it is so diverse you are not locked into a click or niche. Some of the ways you can use HYPicks.com are:
• If you have an opinion you can voice it.
• If you have a website put a link to it in your signature line.
• Add your Twitter name and all the common messenger info for further networking.
• Start a topic on your own blog posts, website info, or products.
HYPick.com is a clean and easy to navigate message board with some unique qualities to set it apart from the crowd of forums online. With a little advertising, some extra word-of-mouth, and maybe a few more months it could easily become ‘the’ place to be online.