As per my last post, I recently set up a free public Excel Help Forum on my website. I'm pleased to say that over the past week and a bit we've attracted 50 new users, and now have over 40 threads with over 200 total posts on the site. Not bad for 10 days!
I've spent a lot of time configuring different options to try and make this forum as consumable as possible for people. In addition to the basic forum functionality, some of the modifications include:
- Serious anti-spam solutions to keep the board all about questions and answers, without having to wade through garbage
- Facebook integration, for those of you who like to tell your friends what you're doing 😉
- RSS feeds, for those who like to keep up to date on the topics, and drop in when you see one that interests you
- Tapatalk integration, for those who want to keep up with the site on a mobile device
And those are just the big ones. There's been a lot of tweaks under the hood to make the experience as optimal as possible, and a few others are coming soon.
The latest thing I've worked on is adding what I hope to be THE Excel Events Calendar on the internetâ€¦
I'd like to invite everyone to use the Calendar on the forum as a public Excel Events Calendar. If you have, or know of, an Excel event in your area, please post it for the world to see. I'd like to make this the most comprehensive Excel training calendar on the internet.
There are only 2 rules I'd like to attach to this at this point:
- Put the location of the event in the title, if applicable. The goal is that people will be able to find events that they can attend in their own backyard, worldwide.
- Only the date(s) of event should be posted. (I don't want a post each week reminding people.) If there is a registration cutoff date, please post it in the event information.
I think if everyone observes the above, the calendar should remain relevant and helpful to everyone.
Events I would expect to see include training courses (live or online), new book release dates, conferences that deal with subject matter relevant to the users on this site. (Be it BI, SQL, Sharepoint and more, so long as it has an Excel flavour, it counts.)
If you are a trainer, teacher, publisher, or whatever, I invite you to participate. Register for the site, if you're not already, and post your event to the Excel Event Calendar. The more up-to-date and accurate we can make this, the more our community can rely on this being the source to come to for training courses. The more that happens, the more likelihood you'll get signups. The more signups you get, the more likely you are to want to put on more training events, and the more the users win. It's a self-fulfilling cycle that is in all of our best interests.
Oh, and one final word on this to everyone. I am not doing this to solicit commissions, affiliate links or funding in any way. There is already enough advert links on the site. This is about people helping people in our Excel world.