Wednesday, 27 May 2009

Omani Internet Forums - Part 1


There are tens of active internet forums in Oman today, thousands more in the Arab world and hundreds of thousands around the world. Most of these forums use the same vBulletin technology, the most successful forum application that can be purchased fairly cheaply.

Obviously, all internet forums are global in that they are accessible over the global network, i.e. internet, but I describe them as Omani or otherwise based on the origin of members and the orientation of topics discussed. Here, I will only briefly compare and analyze some of the Omani forums that are in English language (to go with the theme of my blog and because honestly, there are too many Arabic language forums to analyze).

I will do this briefly but very objectively using all my knowledge and many years of experience in the IT industry and in academic research:



AVERAGE SCORE: 4.4 OUT OF 5

EnglishSabla.com: This forum has been running successfully for about 8 years. Initially, it was the English version of a famous Arabic language Omani forum. In April 2002, the website started functioning independently. This forum is well regulated and very diverse.

Diversity & Reach: Moderators and members originate from different countries from around the world. This forum has good international presence as about 30% of its visitors come from United States. For this, it gets 5 out of 5.

Sections & Activity: A wide range of well structured and moderated categories are available. Rules and regulations provide guidelines for all discussions and all sections are highly active. In January 2009, this forum crossed the 4 million visitors in a month for the first time, earlier, and more recently, it crossed the 5 million visitors mark! As per Compete, EnglishSabla had about 4,000 unique visitors in March 2009, the best among all English language forums in Oman. The average number of members online during peak hours is about 28. For variety, control and activity, it gets 5 out of 5.


Members: This forum has over 6,000 members, of which over 700 are active. The members are truly diverse in terms of age, profession, religion and country. Above 200 members have more than 1,000 posts and new members continuously join from around the world. For this, EnglishSabla gets 5 out of 5.

Technology: Latest version of vBulletin software is used and supplemented with highly creative and unique graphics. The look and feel of this forum is without doubt the best. In this criterion, it gets 4 out of 5.

Unique Features: EnglishSabla has a unique theme, highly active sections, variety in topics, diverse members, comprehensive rules and guidelines, and good ambience. For these key differentiators it gets 3 out of 5.

This blog post will be done in parts. In my next post, I will introduce and discuss one of the most active English language forums in Oman.

To be continued..

7 comments:

  1. Wow. I had no idea an English Sabla existed! (shows that I'm totally out of it). I monitor the Arabic Sabla regularily for my company in order to catch bad comments. It's a boring job. I'll have to check out the English Sabla. Thanks for recommending. Have you checked out Knowledge Oman?

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  2. You must check it out. Let me know if you decide to join. As for Knowledge Oman, I might actually consider for this series of posts. It is new and tiny compared to other forums I had in mind.

    Thanks

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  3. English Sable is a good forum to start with in this series. The most popular English language forums in Oman.
    It's been active constantly since it's first started to date.
    Waiting for part II :)

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  4. Sting when commenting about E.S Thug4Life should be there ;)

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  5. Haha of course. But you know, didn't want to mention names and so in these posts. Otherwise, Thug4Life is a Legend in ES :p

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  6. Not to forget Kamakazy :-)

    btw String, where did you get your stats from?

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  7. Some from the forums itself, others observed by myself and some from analytical websites like Compete.

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