Last August I blogged about a “Technorati for Bulletin Boards” and how forums could make use of tagging, just as blogs have done. About three weeks ago, I heard about BoardTracker, and they’ve done just that, and more!
So BoardTracker is a search engine for bulletin boards, allowing you to find specific information from discussion communities. But they’ve gone beyond being a vertical search engine by creating PHP modules for specific bulletin board systems such as phpBB, vBulletin and Invision Board that allow you to integrate their bulletin board search functionality directly into your site (thereby relieving bulletin board servers of the added load of search). Also, they’ve written the nifty tagging for bulletin board posts I was on about, allowing cross-forum and cross-site tagging of post content! (Now to look at how SIOC can fit in with this…)
We’ve installed BoardTracker search at boards.ie, and now have a nice tag cloud on our front page. Interesting to see that the 20 main tags used so far (on ~800 tagged threads) are: