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  • Shiny Platform Syndrome

    Shiny platform syndrome is a phenomenon observed in both individual users and organizations, where there is a persistent attraction to the latest technology, software, or platforms. This behavior stems from a desire to always have the most advanced or fashionable tools available, often under the assumption that newer is inherently better.

    However, this mindset can lead to several negative consequences. Constantly adopting new technologies can result in increased costs, both in terms of money and time.

    There is also a significant learning curve associated with each new platform, which can disrupt workflow and reduce productivity. Additionally, this syndrome can lead to instability as frequent changes make it hard to develop a consistent and efficient operational system.

    Established platforms, which have been tailored to specific needs and have proven reliability, may be overlooked or abandoned despite their effectiveness. Overcoming shiny platform syndrome requires a disciplined approach to technology adoption, emphasizing the evaluation of long-term benefits over short-term appeal, and ensuring that any new adoption aligns with strategic goals and needs.

    Community managers frequently switch between different forum software or social media platforms in hopes of attracting more users or providing a better user experience. For instance, a community might move from a traditional forum like phpBB to a more modern platform like Discourse, then switch again to a social media-based community on Facebook Groups, and later move to a niche platform like Discord.

    Each switch comes with its own set of challenges: migrating user data, training the community on new features, and potentially losing members who prefer the old system. While these new platforms may offer improved functionalities or aesthetics, the frequent changes can lead to user frustration and disengagement. A more effective strategy would be to thoroughly evaluate the needs of the community, choose a stable and scalable platform, and focus on enhancing it incrementally rather than chasing the latest trend.

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