Monday, January 25, 2010

Aviation Forums, the good the bad the ugly

When I started learning how to fly I realized something early on that really surprised me, finding decent relevant information online about flying is a virtual crapshoot (pun intended).

The problem isn't that there is a shortage of knowledgeable aviation professionals, and enthusiasts. On the contrary, there are hundreds of pilots, mechanics, licensed medical examiners, and aviation lawyers online right now asking and giving advice.

The problem is, unless you're cued into the right forums, the right groups (AOPA, EAA), and blogs, the people with the right answers to your questions can be quite difficult to find.

Furthermore, once you've found a forum, the proper netiquette is to search the forum or newsgroup to find out if the question has been asked before. With some of the forum software out there, that could be a slow, torturous prospect! Imagine searching for a needle in a haystack with only a refrigerator magnet!

So how can you fix this?

Step 1: Well, you can start by creating a site that's built with the sole purpose of having people ask questions and get relevant answers. You implement a voting system for best answers, you base the system off of wikis, allowing users to edit questions and answers to make them better, you give users the ability to self-moderate the posts to prevent trolls.

Step 2: Attract a community of helpful, resourceful pilots and other aviation folks to post their questions and answers.

I've got Step 1 down, all I need is to figure out Step 2.

Give Circle To Land ( a try, if you ask a question I'll be on there to give you an answer. If you give an answer I'll vote it up. In time, I hope to have Circle to Land be that place on the web you can go to get relevant answers about your aviation questions.

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