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Jul 26 2010

Property Network launches forum

Surely just a coincidence, but just days after last week’s Reorb post I received an email from a rival – the Property Network: “the largest professional network in UK property with more than 3,000 members”. This Ning-based network was established by Property Week last September (post), and – as at 11am today – has 3,218 members, 123 ahead of Reorb‘s latest 3,095.

The core message of the Property Network email was the launch of a new Forum feature on the site, allowing members to discuss issues  – red tape, legislation, unfair charges or bad practice – they face in their working lives.

Given that the forum functionality has been available in Ning for a long time (I included it on the Be2camp site two years ago) and that the Network was intended to ‘provide a platform for debate‘, I’m slightly surprised that it wasn’t included from the beginning.

Perhaps it was seen as potentially competing with other comment or discussion opportunities run by Property Week, or maybe there were concerns about people posting inappropriate messages or becoming ‘trolls‘ (sister publication Building magazine, for example, has had a separate discussion board for a couple of years, and there were certainly issues with trolls that caused UBM’s Phil Clark some moderation headaches at the time).

Any way, early signs are promising: 13 threads started since Thursday’s email, and three of these have had replies so far.

I’m not sure if the Building Network will follow suit. It may stick with its existing discussion forum, which to date has 2,302 registered members, more than twice the 1,014 signed up for the Network.

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