Finding help online: why some forums rock and others, well…

I have an iPhone and like most iPhone users I love it. Recently, the phone’s calendar stopped syncing with Outlook. I tried all of the standard fixes but nothing worked. So, I searched for solutions online and found quite a few that had a common theme. Wow, to my surprise it turns out that this is a pretty common problem. After trying numerous proposed solutions unsuccessfully, I came across some alternatives to using Outlook calendar but I really didn’t want to change.

I came up with my own fix, which involved using Google and NuevaSync which combined can work seemlessly with Outlook and iPhone. And now everything’s back, plus it’s working much better: before, iTunes dropped calendar “notes” when syncing with Outlook; my new solution even resolved that issue, plus the entire sync works wirelessly. And I didn’t have to buy anything to make this work.


iphone calendar screenshotExcited about giving back to the community by posting my solution, I went to several of the forums I initially found. I understand the need to register before posting, but I was shocked to see how difficult some forums make it to register. It’s no wonder that those forums don’t have too many solutions posted.

I found a few that even asked me for my birthdate in order to register! On another, I registered and then it wouldn’t let me in to post my solution – some error message about the moderator disabling my post even though I hadn’t posted anything yet.

Then it became clear, the forums that helped the most were the ones that were the easiest to register on. While it seems like a no brainer to make signing up easy, some sites make accessing information or participating in a dialog so challenging that it drives people away. (I finally posted the solution on, which was very simple to do, under one of my online nicknames.)

The lesson exemplified the need to revisit the processes for accessing information. Some questions you might want to explore at least once a year:

  • How easy is it to access the content you want the public to see?
  • Do they have to register to see it?
  • Have you tried to register yourself lately?

Also see our complete annual strategy review checklist for email marketers.

Like this? Share it with your network:

I need help with:

Got a Question?

Get personalized expert answers to your business questions – free.

Affiliate Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, meaning we get a commission if you decide to purchase something using one of our links at no extra cost to you.