Visiting a forum on the Web is like a trip back in time. As different types of websites have evolved with new technology, forums are stuck in the past. The code is clunky, and the user experience is frustrating.
Moot just launched in public beta to change all that. It is a realtime forum and commenting system that took 3.5 years to build. It’s beautifully designed and fun to use.
“Moot was a creation of obsession over tiny details,” founder Courtney Couch told Social News Daily. “There were a few times we literally trashed the entire UX to start from scratch because of a minor fatal flaw that couldn’t be fixed. We’re obsessive perfectionists.”
Courtney designed Moot to be optimized for scale, and to be fast.
It’s very fast. The delay between the time you submit a comment and it appears for other user is two to three milliseconds. Courtney says that’s faster than the flap of a house fly’s wing. If you open two browsers to the same place on a moot forum, you can see how fast your post shows up.
It’s simple to set up. You start by creating a forum at moot.it. Once you’ve named it and logged in, you have access to an embed code to put in the HTML header and then in the body of the page.
Since Moot integrates comments and forum posts, every comment on a blog post becomes a post in the forum. That tight integration brings the potential for conversations to come to life on a blog.
So many website owners skip having a forum because it can be an administration time suck. In Moot, a website owner can manage blog comments and forum posts on one page. It’s easy to quickly scroll through and read.
The Moot team is active on its own forum. They’ve already rolled out tweaks and improvements based on user feedback in the first few days since the beta launched.
According to its website, Moot will always be free and will never have ads. The business model is to make money in the future by charging for private forums, custom branding, and single sign ons:
“Our focus is not revenue but rather on improving online discussions. By making a useful product the revenue will naturally come. A business focused purely on generating revenue makes poor products.”
I can’t think of any feature-rich tool for website owners since WordPress that is as exciting as Moot. If website owners embrace Moot the way we’ve embraced WordPress, Moot has the very real potential to improve how we talk to each other on the Web.