Critique this title & tag line? (online discussion platform)

31 replies
Hi, I'm developing an online discussion platform. Initially the target customer/user group will be non-profits looking to improve people's lives / help people / change the world. With that in mind, what do you think about this title / tagline?

--------------------------------------------------
Shape the future.
=============

Create a discussion forum that helps your organization and its users find good
answers and ideas -- so you, and they, can do the right things.

Includes chat and question-answer features, and embedded comments.
-- all you need for your community, at forum.yourwebsite.com.
--------------------------------------------------

- What do you think?

- Does it seem silly? Promising too much? Or do you think "Shape the future" resonates with them?

- I'm not a native English speaker, and ... how do you interpret "do the right thing" in this context? Do you interpret it as "pick the right stuff to do for your organization" / "focus on the right stuff", or like "do the morally and ethically right thing & praise God" ?

(I'd happily give thoughts & feedback about your title/tagline if any, just tell me)
#critique #discussion #line #online #platform #tag #title
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  • Mebbe you got a cool kinda tropesy cliche SUCCESS deal from Sir Cure 19 ... whaddevah gowin' on there.

    Problem is, anywan achtschwlly 19yo now starts out pre-Millennial-oh-so.

    Got no idea what you sayin' FFS.

    *bails abominably*
    Signature

    Lightin' fuses is for blowin' stuff together.

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    • I don't understand a thing. I first thought that was a spam post, but I cannot find any link elsewhere, so ... what is it? No offence intended.
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  • Profile picture of the author helisell
    Originally Posted by Kaj Magnus Lindberg View Post

    Hi, I'm developing an online discussion platform. Initially the target customer/user group will be non-profits looking to improve people's lives / help people / change the world. With that in mind, what do you think about this title / tagline?

    --------------------------------------------------
    Shape the future.
    =============

    Create a discussion forum that helps your organization and its users find good
    answers and ideas -- so you, and they, can do the right things.

    Includes chat and question-answer features, and embedded comments.
    -- all you need for your community, at forum.yourwebsite.com.
    --------------------------------------------------

    - What do you think?

    - Does it seem silly? Promising too much? Or do you think "Shape the future" resonates with them?

    - I'm not a native English speaker, and ... how do you interpret "do the right thing" in this context? Do you interpret it as "pick the right stuff to do for your organization" / "focus on the right stuff", or like "do the morally and ethically right thing & praise God" ?

    (I'd happily give thoughts & feedback about your title/tagline if any, just tell me)
    Forget 'shape the future'

    Just stick to the single biggest benefit you'll be giving.

    What IS the biggest benefit you'll be giving?
    Signature

    Making Calls To Sell Something? What are you actually saying?
    Is there any room for improvement? Want to find out?

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    • Thanks for the feedback. Maybe the main feature is "all you need for your community".

      The forum works like a question-answers software: it helps people find good answers and ideas. There's other such software already -- however, other software lacks Slack-like chat and "normal" discussion forum features.

      Organizations often setup a discussion / question-answers forum, a chat, maybe Disqus for embedded comments ... But then people in the forum, cannot @mention people in the chat. And those who ask questions in the chat, won't notice the same questions have already been answered in the forum. -- They split their community.

      Maybe "all you need for your community" or "gather everyone at one place" is the major feature. Perhaps I should just replace "Shape the future" with "All you need for your community".

      Maybe "Shape the future" could be a separate landing page, when targeting non-profits & want-to-change-the-world people.
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      • Profile picture of the author helisell
        Originally Posted by Kaj Magnus Lindberg View Post

        Thanks for the feedback. Maybe the main feature is "all you need for your community".

        The forum works like a question-answers software: it helps people find good answers and ideas. There's other such software already -- however, other software lacks Slack-like chat and "normal" discussion forum features.

        Organizations often setup a discussion / question-answers forum, a chat, maybe Disqus for embedded comments ... But then people in the forum, cannot @mention people in the chat. And those who ask questions in the chat, won't notice the same questions have already been answered in the forum. -- They split their community.

        Maybe "all you need for your community" or "gather everyone at one place" is the major feature. Perhaps I should just replace "Shape the future" with "All you need for your community".

        Maybe "Shape the future" could be a separate landing page, when targeting non-profits & want-to-change-the-world people.
        'All you need for your community'.....IS NOT A BENEFIT.

        It is a very vague conceptual thing...but definitely NOT a benefit

        You'll need to think what the 'benefit' is.

        You really need to rethink the whole concept. I get what it IS.....I have no idea what the BENEFIT of that thing is.....your message will simply confuse people and confused people never buy (or read, or take action, or engage with you)
        Signature

        Making Calls To Sell Something? What are you actually saying?
        Is there any room for improvement? Want to find out?

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        • Maybe the following is a benefit? It's the main tagline, but rephrased a bit so the meaning is different:

          Create a discussion forum that finds good answers and ideas for your organization and its users -- so you, and they, can do the right things.
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  • Could the benefit be...

    Get all the answers (from the experts) and choose the ones you now know will work the best?


    Steve
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    • Hi Steve, thanks for the question :- )

      Hmm the benefit is rather that the software finds the good / best answers, among the answers people have posted. Otherwise the best answer tends to get lost somewhere in the middle among all other answers.

      Maybe I should rephrase the tagline to: Create a discussion forum that finds good answers and ideas for your organization and its users -- so you, and they, can do the right things.
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  • Profile picture of the author SARubin
    Originally Posted by Kaj Magnus Lindberg View Post

    what do you think about this title / tagline?

    --------------------------------------------------
    Shape the future.
    =============

    Create a discussion forum that helps your organization and its users find good
    answers and ideas -- so you, and they, can do the right things.

    Includes chat and question-answer features, and embedded comments.
    -- all you need for your community, at forum.yourwebsite.com.
    --------------------------------------------------
    Well, Kaj Magnus, as helisell already mentioned, you might want to try focusing a little more on the benefits to your target audience. Have you even researched your target market yet? And learned what they want from your platform? (or if they even want it at all?)

    From what I can see, you touch on a possible benefit with "Create a discussion forum that helps your organization and its users find good answers and ideas"

    But you're not really calling out your target audience. So it's not really clear whom you're talking to, or what you're saying (which kinda nullifies any potential benefit)

    Honestly, the whole thing might work as some body copy, in the middle of the page. Or as a second level copy. But on it's own, it doesn't really say much.


    On the other hand, the first paragraph of your post

    Originally Posted by Kaj Magnus Lindberg View Post

    Hi, I'm developing an online discussion platform. Initially the target customer/user group will be non-profits looking to improve people's lives / help people / change the world. With that in mind, what do you think about this title / tagline?
    Tells me a lot more about who you are, and what you're trying to do. It's more sincere regarding your mission (passion?) and it's coming from you.

    Based on the one paragraph from you, I pulled out what I believe are a couple key concepts.

    Now this is just a very rough "brain dump" first draft, based on one paragraph (in a forum post) coming from the "real" you.

    I simply read what you wrote, and pulled some silver nuggets out. If we were working together, we would need to sit down and talk for an hour, or more, and try to find some golden nuggets.


    Anyway, here's a possible direction you can start to work with...

    We're your online discussion platform, that allows your non-profit group to quickly connect with like minded peers. So you can easily collaborate, and organize your mission, to improve people's lives and make the world a better place.


    The basic elements here, are...

    * Online discussion platform (what it is)

    * non-profit group (who it's for)

    * connect with like minded peers, and collaborate (a bit weak, but still leaning towards a benefit, telling people what it does for them)

    * improve people's lives and make the world a better place ( possible motivation to connect with the heartstrings of your target market?)


    Now at the moment, it sounds a bit too much like a mission statement, so it needs to be polished.

    But do you see where this is going, Kaj? In no uncertain terms, we're trying to call out the audience, and tell people what's in it for them. We want your target market to say "Yeah... This is for me."



    But you need to remember this... it all hinges on THE MOST IMPORTANT THING!

    And that is to figure out what your target audience actually wants. So you can connect with THEM, where THEY are at, with what THEY want. (that's where your research comes in)

    It's about making a connection with your audience, and bridging your product or service with the desires they already have.

    The thing is... You know what you want to say. Now you need to figure out what your target audience wants to hear (assuming they even want what you have). Then you can craft your copy, to bridge the gap.


    Anyway, something for you to think about.

    All the best,
    SAR
    Signature

    Started working on a new copywriters community (Jan 2019) It's a work in progress. We'll see how it goes (suggestions for improvements are always welcome)

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    • Hi SAR, thanks for the reply. I did things in the wrong order, and started with building something, rather than finding customers and asking them what features / benefits the wanted. At least initially I did build the totally wrong things. Now I've remade everything though, after seeing what some competitors did instead.

      Interesting that the first paragraph in my post might be "better" than my attempt at a tagline.

      I was thinking, if someone in a non-profit sees "organization", maybe s/he would interpret "organization" as "my non-profit"? Hmm. But I understand it'd probably make their hearts feel warmer, if the text was "non-profit" explicitly.

      In any case, a bit further below, there's the text: "(Software name) is good for: Your non-profit. Talk with those you help, and your volunteers. ; Your company. Talk with your users. Team chat internally. ; Your hobby project. ..."

      So the homepage does mention non-profits, but a bit below. Maybe I should post a link actually if you want to have a look:
      www.effectivediscussions.org

      Thanks for the alternative tagline example ("We're your online discussion platform ..."). Hmm, the software is actually intended for companies/hobby-projects/schools too. I'm worried that they won't want to use it, if the tagline so much focuses on non-profits. -- Hmm I realize I've fogotten the "connect with the heartstrings of your target market" part.

      Ok, yes so maybe now I should start emailing different non-profits and ask what they need & want (if anything), in this area. I have a list of non-profits & some startups doing change-the-world stuff.

      B.t.w. the people here in this forum (you for example) have been friendly and helpful, thanks.
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      • Profile picture of the author SARubin
        Originally Posted by Kaj Magnus Lindberg View Post

        Hmm, the software is actually intended for companies/hobby-projects/schools too. I'm worried that they won't want to use it, if the tagline so much focuses on non-profits.
        OK, my mistake (sorry). Remove the "non-profit" part from my post, and I still think we might be headed in the right direction.

        Originally Posted by Kaj Magnus Lindberg View Post

        Ok, yes so maybe now I should start emailing different non-profits and ask what they need & want (if anything), in this area. I have a list of non-profits & some startups doing change-the-world stuff.
        .
        Yes, after you've contacted some organizations, and find out what the people actually want from your platform... then you may find that your copy will practically write itself.
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        Started working on a new copywriters community (Jan 2019) It's a work in progress. We'll see how it goes (suggestions for improvements are always welcome)

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  • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
    Originally Posted by Kaj Magnus Lindberg View Post

    Hi, I'm developing an online discussion platform. Initially the target customer/user group will be non-profits looking to improve people's lives / help people / change the world. With that in mind, what do you think about this title / tagline?

    --------------------------------------------------
    Shape the future.
    =============

    Create a discussion forum that helps your organization and its users find good
    answers and ideas -- so you, and they, can do the right things.

    Includes chat and question-answer features, and embedded comments.
    -- all you need for your community, at forum.yourwebsite.com.
    --------------------------------------------------

    - What do you think?

    - Does it seem silly? Promising too much? Or do you think "Shape the future" resonates with them?

    - I'm not a native English speaker, and ... how do you interpret "do the right thing" in this context? Do you interpret it as "pick the right stuff to do for your organization" / "focus on the right stuff", or like "do the morally and ethically right thing & praise God" ?

    (I'd happily give thoughts & feedback about your title/tagline if any, just tell me)
    You've had a couple of heavyweights weigh in already.

    Even so, I'm going to throw in my two cents worth...

    "Shape the future" really doesn't mean anything. It's not promising too much - rather, it really doesn't promise anything at all.

    The way I read this is that you are developing a platform for non-profit types to communicate with their members, donors, etc.

    You aren't trying to build something where people who run non-profits can gather to talk to each other.

    Am I right?

    If you are, do some research into what it actually takes to run a non-profit, what the people who run them are like, what they worry about, what they want their world to look like.

    You have the seed of a real benefit in this statement:

    Create a discussion forum that helps your organization and its users find good answers and ideas -- so you, and they, can do the right things.


    I might rewrite it like this:
    Create a safe place where you, your organization, and the people that look to you for help can gather to share your concerns, your ideas, and your triumphs so that together you can do the right things to make it a better world.
    That's rough, but it gives you a flavor of what I mean.
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    • Profile picture of the author SARubin
      Good points John,

      I was looking at it from a similar, albeit slightly different angle. Which brings us back to trying to figure out exactly what he wants to accomplish here.

      I think the OP needs to give it just a little more critical thought, and research. And figure out exactly what he's trying to sell, whom he's trying to sell it to, and what his audience might be interested in gaining from it?


      Originally Posted by JohnMcCabe View Post

      The way I read this is that you are developing a platform for non-profit types to communicate with their members, donors, etc.

      You aren't trying to build something where people who run non-profits can gather to talk to each other.

      Am I right?

      If you are, do some research into what it actually takes to run a non-profit, what the people who run them are like, what they worry about, what they want their world to look like.

      You have the seed of a real benefit in this statement:

      Create a discussion forum that helps your organization and its users find good answers and ideas -- so you, and they, can do the right things.


      I might rewrite it like this:
      Create a safe place where you, your organization, and the people that look to you for help can gather to share your concerns, your ideas, and your triumphs so that together you can do the right things to make it a better world.
      That's rough, but it gives you a flavor of what I mean.
      Signature

      Started working on a new copywriters community (Jan 2019) It's a work in progress. We'll see how it goes (suggestions for improvements are always welcome)

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      • Agree, time to start talking with them :- )
        (which I should have done looooong ago yes.)
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    • Hi John, thanks for the reply. I like the tagline you suggested, it feels friendly and seems to me it'd work for companies & schools & other stuff too, not just non-profits.

      Ok, maybe I should just replace "Shape the future" with the name of the software.

      The platform is actually rather for discussions in general. Yes, it's for non-profits to talk with their members & donors. But can be used for the other things you mentioned.

      About seed-of-a-benefit. Ok. I just changed to: "Create a discussion forum that finds good answers and ideas, so your organization and its users can do the right things." -- maybe that's a real benefit, not just a seed?

      "Non-profits" is mentioned a bit below.
      ( www.effectivediscussions.org if you want to see what I mean)

      Hmm yes maybe now is the time to do market research, and contacted non-profits & change-the-world startup companies. (Ok I should have done that loooong ago, but when starting all this, I was rather clueless.)
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  • Maybe I should add a plain text link to a demo forum, so you can, if you're interested, see how it looks. You'll need to remove the spaces between "https://" and the rest:

    question-answers: (finds the best answer for you)
    https:// insightful.demo.ed.community

    chat:
    https:// rollflow.com/-45/chat-say-hi-tell-us-about-you
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  • Now then...

    You mentioned naming the software.

    The "name" could tell the story highlighting the big benefit.

    I appreciate you might not want to reveal the title.

    But whatever you do - don't make it sound generic, meaningless or incomprehensible.

    Make it sing the song you want your people to listen to.


    Steve


    P.S. Creating the "name" isn't easy - my first 7 thoughts weren't worth typing.

    But I can guess this...

    If it indicates future shaping we'll all go into a huff.
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    • Ok yes the title, ... currently it is "EffectiveDiscussions". It's maybe a bit a slogan at the tame time ... it's a bit too long though maybe, and maybe sounds a bit too serious :- /

      Thanks for all feedback, and for now I'm actually going with the slogan "... good solutions and ideas are shown first, not lost in noise ... Brings together the best from Slack, Discourse, StackOverflow, Reddit, Disqus." -- that kind of slogan seems to work OK for some competitors. They even just write "the ultimate chat platform", breaking all the "rules". And still they're doing better than fine. Maybe I should stop thinking about slogans for now, and work with other stuff for a while :- ) like making a video that explains how everything works.

      And I'll contact non-profits, talk with them and create a dedicated landing page only for them, when I know what "message" they would respond to.
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  • Profile picture of the author Eden A
    Hey,
    I loved your Idea.
    To give to the community.

    But what exactly do you want to give?

    How it will help others?

    What exactly do you want to achieve with it?

    What value do I bring to the people?

    How does it going to change their lives?

    You have a good concept you just need improve it by asking those questions.

    Hope that helped you.
    Eden
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    • Thanks yes those are good questions. I'm going to create a dedicated landing page for non-profits a bit later, and the stuff you wrote, seems like an outline for what could be on that landing page.
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  • Profile picture of the author Alangile
    Before you start the project, you need to determine the target audience, build the content plan, determine what you want from the project, what benefits will your client receive? And remember ... Customer is above all!
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    • Yes, ... and this time, I did things in the wrong order. At the time, I didn't know anything other that how to write source code. So that's what I started doing, and built a minimum-viable-product. Now I'm learning about marketing & stuff afterwards instead :- /

      But next time, I'll do things in the correct order.
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  • Profile picture of the author Zack Zeller
    Seems like a good idea...

    1. Make it more specific. Shape the future is vague. Starting out with something specific will be more powerful. Maybe Shape The Future Of ____ (energy, homelessness, etc).

    2. You want to build a tribe. This means you're creating a network to fight for something. This also means you need a villain.

    Find your fight.

    Find your villain.

    "Grow a community of non-profit organizations to fight for alternative energy development against governments and private industries working tirelessly to maximize profits above the health of the Earth."

    3. Create rules and you're golden. All good forums have rules to determine the scope of what's acceptable and what isn't.

    Keep Killing It!
    -ZZ
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    • Aha yes making "shape the future" more specific, is an interesting idea, didn't think about that.

      I don't know who's the villain :- P

      .... Hmm, in your example: governments and private industries. Actually I want politicians & for-profit companies to use this software too, it's not only for non-profits.

      Maybe the villain is ... the Universe. The way chaos and disorder, environmental pollution, other sad things, buildings collapsing in an earthquake, happens, by default -- unless the humans spend time & effort to prevent such things from happening.

      E.g. by default the world is unfair: 1% is going to own like 99% of all resources, just because of universal "laws" like the Pareto principle & accumulation of advantage. Maybe there's no human adversary, ... instead it's the Universe and the laws of nature who's the enemy.
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  • Profile picture of the author DABK
    What do you mean, the software finds the good answers?

    How does it do that?

    Why is it better than me or you or some other person finding the good answers?

    Who lost the good answers? (Shouldn't you be making software that gets rid of members who lose good answers?)
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    • It looks at a comment's Like votes, and compares with how-many-*read*-the-comment, to find out if it's probably a good comment, and then shows it higher up on the page. -- This works fine & finds good answers, most of the time. (Other software only looks at like votes, not how many actually read the comments. Then the topmost comments tend to get more and more and more like votes, because everyone sees them but might not scroll down.)

      It relies on the people in the discussion forum being able to recognize something insightful / bright / a-good-idea, when they see it.

      Maybe one can say, the software makes the community, as bright & well-informed, as the brightest people in the community.

      In other discussion forum software, people might post 100 comments, and some good answers & ideas end up somewhere in the middle of those 100 comments. But no one wants to read 100 comments, just to *maybe* find-a-few-good-comments. So, the good comments are in effect lost.
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      • Profile picture of the author DABK
        So, it helps ensure good answers are not buried? that they are visible, and therefore, make the whole thing more attractive to potential members?

        Then say so.

        Yes, explain how it does it, but if I were interested in such software, I would not care much about finding good answers, I would be interested in making sure good answers are seen by prospects.

        Originally Posted by Kaj Magnus Lindberg View Post

        It looks at a comment's Like votes, and compares with how-many-*read*-the-comment, to find out if it's probably a good comment, and then shows it higher up on the page. -- This works fine & finds good answers, most of the time. (Other software only looks at like votes, not how many actually read the comments. Then the topmost comments tend to get more and more and more like votes, because everyone sees them but might not scroll down.)

        It relies on the people in the discussion forum being able to recognize something insightful / bright / a-good-idea, when they see it.

        Maybe one can say, the software makes the community, as bright & well-informed, as the brightest people in the community.

        In other discussion forum software, people might post 100 comments, and some good answers & ideas end up somewhere in the middle of those 100 comments. But no one wants to read 100 comments, just to *maybe* find-a-few-good-comments. So, the good comments are in effect lost.
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        • > Then say so

          Thanks that's a good idea. I agree that the stuff I wrote initially is a bit vague (right?), I mean "helps find good answers". I have since changed to "Create a discussion forum where good solutions and ideas are shown first, not lost in noise. [...]" -- that is, "shown first". To me that seems to be fairly much what you were suggesting, so ... I hope the changes I made are on the right track then :- )
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          • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
            Originally Posted by Kaj Magnus Lindberg View Post

            > Then say so

            Thanks that's a good idea. I agree that the stuff I wrote initially is a bit vague (right?), I mean "helps find good answers". I have since changed to "Create a discussion forum where good solutions and ideas are shown first, not lost in noise. [...]" -- that is, "shown first". To me that seems to be fairly much what you were suggesting, so ... I hope the changes I made are on the right track then :- )
            Getting there.

            I would have said that the best solutions and ideas, like cream, rise to the top.
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  • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
    Originally Posted by Kaj Magnus Lindberg View Post

    Ok yes the title, ... currently it is "EffectiveDiscussions". It's maybe a bit a slogan at the tame time ... it's a bit too long though maybe, and maybe sounds a bit too serious :- /

    Thanks for all feedback, and for now I'm actually going with the slogan "... good solutions and ideas are shown first, not lost in noise ... Brings together the best from Slack, Discourse, StackOverflow, Reddit, Disqus." -- that kind of slogan seems to work OK for some competitors. They even just write "the ultimate chat platform", breaking all the "rules". And still they're doing better than fine. Maybe I should stop thinking about slogans for now, and work with other stuff for a while :- ) like making a video that explains how everything works.

    And I'll contact non-profits, talk with them and create a dedicated landing page only for them, when I know what "message" they would respond to.
    This is a good idea. You have additional data that your subconscious will keep working on as you attend to other things.

    Even when writing copy, I usually do the final headline last. I'll have a long list of possibilities, and pick one to use as a working headline. What I often find, though, is that the headline (slogan) that makes the final cut comes out of the copy itself.

    The dedicated landing page is a good start. Since you said you want for-profits and other groups to use the software, I'd repeat the process with each group.

    Best of luck to you...
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  • Profile picture of the author Jessica Amboos
    I don't think your tagline "Shape the Future" is very catchy. It's quite broad. I don't understand what it is that you're trying to convey in that statement alone. Go directly to the point and tell your customers what are the services you are offering. After you've done that, put your tagline at the bottom... but please don't use "Shape the Future".
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