N.O.R.A.D. WebBoard Forums & Chat

Leading Uses for WebBoard
WebBoard is a tool for fostering communication among people with common interests, whether they are professional, civic, or social. Easy to use and manage, WebBoard can be used anywhere, at any time, through a browser, email program, or newsreader. All users need is access to the Internet.

Check out the Guests' WebBoard running at www.Norad.com at http://webboard.norad.com:8088/~Guests; (in guest mode, no additions or updates are permitted).

WebBoard is a resource for communication, disseminating information, and building community. WebBoard “forums” or “boards” can be used for holding virtual office hours, providing information and support to customers, or promoting discussion for a new product in development. Each board or forum can contain unlimited “conferences” (discussion topics and the messages and attachments related to them). For those who want to draw traffic their web sites, WebBoard provides the user interaction essential to drawing people to a site and keeping them there. You can easily configure the look and feel of WebBoard to suit your preference.

Community Building
People with a common interest benefit from sharing ideas, discussing problems, and negotiating solutions. WebBoard serves as a central location where this can take place. Interests can range from programmers working with the Perl language to residents of a town. A town board, for example, hosted by the community center or homeowners’ association, would provide a virtual meeting-place where residents share ideas and thoughts about local schools, parks, and what they’d like to see in their community.

Virtual Meetings
Team members and workgroups are familiar with the often-impossible task of coordinating schedules for meetings to review and discuss time-critical information. And, scheduling meetings with multiple participants from far-flung locations can often be more time consuming than the meetings themselves. However, WebBoard provides an effective alternative by allowing a meeting place without regard to time or location.

Corporate Extranets
Extranets are an ideal means for a company to provide its customers or affiliated business partners with information that is not published or available to the general public. For example, franchisee owners may use extranets to review current inventories, check the status of an order, or collaborate on a project. WebBoard is well suited as the “welcome” to an extranet, which requires a user account and password to gain entry. Members can easily post questions and the company can distribute news through the conferences.

Customer Service/Technical Support
WebBoard is frequently used to provide online customer service or technical support. Conferences are set up for specific product activities. Customers can then post a question. Other participants can answers or comment from their own experience, or a staff member can provide an official answer. The WebBoard Administrator may choose to moderate some of these conferences to ensure that solutions are proper. Once a solution is posted, it’s available to other users who may have similar questions. In fact, rather than repeating the same information over and over, support staff can point users to WebBoard conferences for answers to questions. WebBoard’s message searching functions quickly locate information on a given topic, posted by a specific user, or from a specific date.

At Educational Institutions
WebBoard is enrolled with honors at educational institutions from Singapore to Sweden and continues to be a favorite with faculty, students and administrators alike. Educators are finding many diverse uses for WebBoard on campus such as virtual office hours, student-to-student discussions, curriculum development and distance learning. Try out WebBoard and find out why Dr. Karen Fox at Santa Clara University says, “the potential for continuous dialogue with students in WebBoard is wonderful. In principle, I can check in and view each student’s progress at any time.”

Project Collaboration
As business have become more flexible in reacting to changing market-places and the increasing pace of technological advancements, they rely more heavily on electronic communication, such as email, file transfers, voicemail, pagers and faxes share and track information. WebBoard’s ability to store information by topic and attach files makes it an excellent choice for team members collaborating on the same project. The entire thread of a project’s history, related communications, discussions and decisions can be kept in a conference for all team members to access, add to, or review.

Information Management
Having too much information can be useless or even counterproductive. WebBoard helps web administrators manage user-generated content so that it is readily available and logically organized. It allows them to alert those who most need to read a message by posting it to their attention. Users can isolate message requiring their immediate attention, or restrict their view to new messages only.

Online Brainstorming
WebBoard makes it easy for team members to hold brainstorming sessions, even when separated by time and distance. The fundamental idea behind brainstorming is never to discard ideas, but share them all. In the traditional brainstorming model, each idea may be the seed of the final, creative solution. WebBoard keeps conference postings until the administrator removes them or they reach a defined expiration date. Participants in a WebBoard brainstorming session can refer to earlier comments, previous ideas, and the entire flow of the conversation throughout its lifetime.

Foreign-Language Conferences
Whether it’s a discussion area for international customers, or simply a place to practice with the French club, WebBoard makes setting up foreign language conferences easy. Nearly every element displayed by WebBoard is an HTML document or image that can be translated or replaced. System messages that are hard-coded can be translated, too. Individual language files make it possible to have system messages in different languages for different boards.

Additional technical information available at www.akiva.com.

To run your own forum and/or chat service, hosting service for WebBoard is available now from as a $25/month add-on to any of the hosting plans we offer.

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