The winter semester is right around the corner, and as we begin to work off that holiday turkey, the site should be seeing an influx of activity in the coming days. With that, I’ve decided it’d be a great time to launch our latest feature; HawkTalk.
What is HawkTalk?
In short, it’s an online forum where students can engage with and contribute to the Laurier community. You can talk about a project from your class, what the best bar to go to on a Saturday night is (Turret), where the best spots to study on campus are, how the Raptors have inconceivably won 8 of their last 9 games.. you get the drift.
It’s a social platform that enables us to share our resources, our knowledge, our experiences, and our stories, bringing the community closer together.
It’s been my goal for a while now to transform HawkSwap into a hub for the Laurier community, as opposed to simply being a textbook exchange site that’s used for 4 weeks of the year.
The introduction of student blogs were a step in the right direction (we now have 2 bloggers as of today), but I think these forums will be an even greater leap.
On campus, we’re incredibly connected. We have more clubs than one can count, and a ton of events that go on throughout the year that offer real value. When it comes to our presence online though.. we have some work to do.
I think everyone can agree that the majority of discussions related to Laurier take place on Facebook, whether it’d be in the various groups, or within your own news feed. While this holds certain benefits, it has some definite flaws:
- It’s not searchable. Looking for something specific? The only way you’ll find it is if you’re in the right place at the right time.
- You’re limited to your network. Only your friends get a notification if you’ve posted in a group, assuming that they’re also a member of that group. The chances of you interacting with someone outside of your social circle is pretty slim.
- Posts have a short shelf-life. Try making a post to a Laurier group the first week of the semester. Your post will be buried under “View more” in about 18 minutes.
I feel that the forums (as well as everything on HawkSwap in general) offer a pretty attractive solution to these issues.
With this being the initial launch, there is still a lot of fine-tuning left to be done. I’ve kept the feature-set pretty basic, and the forum categories very general. I’m not completely sure where this will take us just yet, so I’m leaving it open to you guys.
I would also love to hear your feedback if you have any. Is this a good idea or not?
Leave your comments below (oh yeah, the forums are integrated with the comments now).