Wouldn’t it be great if there was somewhere for theatre breaks where you could see other people’s reviews of shows, recommendations, maybe a star system and suggestions of other shows you might enjoy.
It would be good if it had a discussion area too, maybe even some links to breaks. (I’m thinking of sites like goodreads.com) You see sites like that for books all the time, so why not for theatre breaks?
Our own Readers Offers site has some customer comments, but I’m thinking of something a bit more in depth that that.
Most Sites Outdated or Hard to Navigate
I’ve been looking round the web for places where people can talk about their theatre breaks and I’ve been a bit disappointed by what I’ve found. There are a few discussions on specialist theatre forums but most of these are old and out of date or have become a cosy community where it is hard for new people to join in.
Then are also recommendation based sites, but these are often dominated by tourists from the US who are ‘doing’ the West End as part of a larger UK tour.
I dug deeper and had a look at some more generic forums. I chose 3 to look at in detail. These were an over 50s forum, a forum for mothers and a locality based forum in Yorkshire. There are discussions in all of these about theatre breaks but again the threaded discussions can be quite hard to follow and quickly wander off topic.
Oh No, Not Facebook!
Facebook seemed like a good place to look next for a theatre break loving community but apart from out own theatre breaks page there wasn’t much.
I know that some theatre web sites have active communities but they can be very London/SE based. These are people who can mostly ‘pop up for the day’ and grab cheap tickets rather than those for whom a theatre break is a fairly major investment of time and money. Even they also have the problem of long discussions that wander off topic and are really boring to trawl through.
It seems there might be a bit of a gap and I wonder if perhaps we can provide something to fill it? To help to do this I’ve been investigating a range of software and possible solutions.
First of all there is an old fashioned web based forum, a bit like an old fashioned web board or forum but we’d end up with the same problem of wandering topics.
Then there are more up to date solutions, these give you more freedom to build yourself a profile etc and might give us the opportunity to use rating systems. I’m quite interested in this idea and think it could work quite well. After all, the book review sites use recommendations, reviews and star systems to great effect.
Finally we might use an existing platform, and have someone else host the community. This could be a Facebook group perhaps or a another hosted solution, like Ning or similar. I’m not at all keen on this idea. I know we all use the dreaded FB all the time but I’m unconvinced by their attitude to privacy and their tendency to target adverts at you in a very intrusive way.
So from my point of view we could have a forum variant or something that’s based on the current web site but gives you a chance to log in, have a profile and maybe share your theatre breaks experiences, rate them, talk about them with others, that sort of thing.
Are You Interested?
I suppose it comes down to us finding out if people want this sort of meeting place/group where they can talk about theatre breaks, see other people’s recommendations, or horror stories(!), also maybe find out about tips, tricks and bargains.
What do you think? Would you be interested? Please let us know in the comments.