Old School Bulletin Board

Digital Bulletin Board Guide (Electronic Message Boards)

What is an electronic bulletin board?

A digital bulletin board is a TV screen that displays announcements and important news and is an excellent way to take advantage of digital signage in your school or workplace. Traditionally, you would litter a bulletin board with flyers, sticky notes, and posters to communicate.

The global market for bulletin boards is growing, as they have become essential in the corporate world, schools, and sports groups. This market was worth $1.6 billion in 2019, and is still expanding. Forecasts show it’ll grow at a 7.6% CAGR between 2020 and 2027.

Some of the factors driving market growth include:

  • The growing infrastructure in corporate offices
  • Ease of availability of these electronic boards
  • The enhancement in the educational sector infrastructure
  • An increasing popularity of artificial intelligence that offers an adaptive, user-friendly, and engaging learning experience

Today, bulletin boards are part of the digital signage industry that has paved the way for communication transformation. Thousands of electronic bulletin boards populate the internet today, also known as newsgroups in large collections. Each newsgroup focuses on a single topic, such as skin defects, roof-repair, and computer languages.

Example of online bulletin board - Reddit

How do Electronic Bulletin Boards Work?

Any person who has access to an electronic bulletin board can respond to the message they find there. However, access is only through registration, which allows a visitor to have posting privileges. Nevertheless, anyone can start a discussion on a specific topic and wait for replies from community members.

The initial posting and all its subsequent replies comprise what is known as a “thread.” It can be weeks or months before a thread ends conclusively. Long threads attract several responses that sometimes do not relate to the original post. A person who joins later in the conversation may have longer threads to unwind before getting to the original post.

Unfortunately, a question or statement may sometimes not attract any replies or comments. Where there are replies and the discussion is ongoing, digital information boards provide an open discussion forum for issues in diverse nature.

Electronic Bulletin Board Systems

A bulletin board system (BBS) refers to a computer network that facilitates electronic communication between users. They can share data by having their computers linked through satellite links, dedicated cables, telephone lines, or other communication forms.

In most cases, BBSs use phone lines in transferring data to users through chat rooms where they can interact with each other. This is an upgrade from the previous systems that used modems in the late 1970s for connection. Modern BBS systems comprise a central computer that serves as a message store that also sends messages to callers. The computer stays permanently connected to a phone to send messages to callers. The dial-up internet system offers global access and ease of use.

For your computer to reach the central computer, you’ll need internal communication tools and digital signage software. This is responsible for controlling the transfer of information between computers. Besides, you can use public domain communication software or commercial programs.

Advantages & disadvantages of a bulletin board (digital bulletin board)

One of the most significant advantages of these digital boards is that they are public. This makes them easy to access, giving users a broad scope of information sources. Besides, each source has a high possibility of providing original and unique information, sometimes from a global perspective.

Advantages of a digital notice board

There are numerous advantages of a digital notice board. The major advantages of using a digital notice board are:

Digital bulletin boards are effective

Electronic message boards utilize the latest technology in both display and software. For example, in the corporate world, they play a crucial role in keeping employees updated, thus promoting effective workplace communication. It becomes easy to reach workers at their specific location and to send messages to multiple places. Digital message boards have also made it easy to conduct web-based video training. Companies can use simple interfaces to add their content to the company bulletin board.

Example of digital notice board

Budget-friendly electronic message boards

Setting up a digital bulletin board is not costly. With a few hundred dollars, you will have a platform where you can share unlimited notices.

Eco-Friendly

Digital signage message boards help save the environment. They eliminate the use of paper printouts and help reduce the carbon footprint.

Engaging & entertaining electronic notice boards

Electronic bulletin boards allow you to use graphic digital signage design, rich text, animations, and colorful photos. This combination of elements makes them more engaging than paper printouts. It is also easy to update content on electronic notice boards quickly without the involvement of printers or designers.

Reducing printing costs

Companies and institutions that use regular bulletin boards spend much money to print pamphlets, posters, and announcements. Paper communication is expensive because you keep printing paper when making new announcements. On the other hand, you only need a single screen to set up a digital bulletin board.

Streamline communication

If you haven’t installed digital signage in your organization, you miss out on its ability to streamline communication. Unlike emails and sticky notes that are easy to miss, everyone in your school will see TV screens. Digital bulletin boards are perfect for disseminating information to many people, such as in a college.

Improve accessibility to information

Traditional bulletin boards typically feature overlapping layers of flyers and pamphlets that interfere with the accessibility of information. If you want communication to flow smoothly in your organizations, you should look into digital signage solutions. Moreover, your audience will quickly spot the relevant content of digital bulletin boards, which creates convenience. 

Versatility

One disadvantage of using a static medium like paper is the minimal engagement you create with your audience. Digital bulletin boards excel in grabbing attention, as you can showcase dynamic content like videos, GIFs, and animations. Moreover, employees and students are more likely to watch entertaining announcements, which is why you should embrace digital signage. 

Disadvantages of electronic notice board

While the advantages completely outweigh the disadvantages of an electronic notice board, there are still some flaws you should be aware of:

Digital bulletin boards are a breeding ground for trolls

Since they are public places, they are often unedited and open to troublemakers who like controversies. They hide behind their screens to badmouth the users and the content posted.

Resource issues faced with digital message boards

Digital bulletin boards also face the risk of the influx of unwanted ads or spam. As such, they require massive computer resources to monitor and weed out spam messages. 

Lack of archiving in electronic message boards

The boards also lack archive features for each thread and post. This means that content can disappear with time as new posts come up.

Digital message board applications

Digital bulletin boards can be used by any organization that wants to improve internal communication. Schools and businesses have found success with digital signage, thanks to benefits like increased engagement and real-time display of information. Similarly, government offices, places of faith, hotels, fitness centers, and other business can use digital solutions to share:

  • Slideshows and schedules
  • Emergency information
  • Weather
  • Real-time traffic
  • Social media updates
  • Calendar of events
  • Employee achievements
  • Company news 
  • Safety updates 

You can explore the uses of digital bulletin boards below to see how they fit into your organization or industry:

For the Workplace

Efficient communication is an essential ingredient for company success. However, many companies are still using old-fashioned and inconvenient bulletin boards. If you want to improve your organization’s internal communication, your best bet is implementing digital staff communication displays.. In addition to improving mass communication, your company will attract benefits like:

Reach Your Target Audience

Your employees are overwhelmed with emails, phone calls, and social media, which is why they miss information on printed paper. Above all, digital bulletin boards allow you to use entertaining mediums to grab your staff’s attention and deliver information.

Provide Real-Time Updates

Digital bulletin boards can display real-time information regarding meeting schedules, client visits, and ongoing projects.

Set up an Automated System

You can use digital bulletin boards to automate your company’s corporate digital signage solutions. Digital signage solutions are customizable, and you can display reminders, employee achievements, conference room schedules, and new company policies.

For the Schools

If you want to modernize your school’s communication modes, you should consider digital signage for education. Digital displays can help you communicate and engage with students through creative content. For example, you can use digital signage in libraries to showcase new books and library hours and cafeteria to show menus and nutrition guides.

Another area to use digital signage is to replace traditional cork bulletin boards with digital solutions. Digital signage software for K-12 schools is especially useful since colleges which struggle to communicate to students between library hours, classes, and extracurricular activities.

Students are naturally visual-learners, and they now use screens more than ever to access information. Paper flyers aren’t as entertaining as mobile phones and laptops, which are popularly used by most students in K-12 schools and collegiate level. You can display information like:

  • Photography, videos, and creative content created by students
  • Event announcements such as sport competitions
  • Emergency alerts
  • Class schedules
  • Room changes
  • School policies
  • Campus guides

How to Make a Digital Bulletin Board

You can create your digital bulletin board quickly and easily if you have the right tools and resources. Here’s what you need to do.

1. Choose the Appropriate Display Screen

You can choose from two main digital signage hardware options for powering your digital bulletin board, both comprising cloud storage. Cloud-based signage provides the advantage of being easy to update from anywhere.

In choosing a display screen, consider the following:

  • How many devices do you want to deploy?
  • Where will you place the digital notice boards?
  • The type of digital signage content you want to display
  • Will the new hardware integrate with the existing infrastructure?

Display screens are available in many types, including:

  • LED screens- they are a lot more flexible in large scale settings as they provide high contrast levels and rich colors
  • LCD screens- they are lightweight and most affordable but are limited in contrast and brightness levels
  • OLED screens- new in the industry but offer infinite contrast, high energy-efficiency, low weight, and high resolution

In choosing your display screen, also remember to weigh between consumer and commercial displays. Commercial displays last long, have high processing power, and most of them come with a warranty.

2. Choose a media player

The media player is the central control system of your electronic bulletin board. It helps you run the system with minimal flaws. You need one media player for each display screen unless you use a video splitter to create a video wall.

Digital signage media players fall into three categories, namely:

  • Boxes
  • Sticks
  • All-in-one solutions
Digital signage media player

Their primary difference is in the size, price, memory, storage, and processing power. Media boxes are more popular because they have more processing power, are more durable, and have larger storage capacity. Plug-and-play sticks are an inexpensive option, while all-in-one digital signage solutions are inbuilt in the display.

Knowing the goal you want to achieve with a digital announcement board will help you choose the best media type.

3. Create Your Message

You can use online tools to create and share important messages on a digital bulletin board. Here are some options to consider:

  • Notice – you can use it to create catchy text-based signage. The app can create a single message of several different messages for the app to rotate through. It allows you to pair your message with graphics or create personalized backgrounds for a more engaging bulletin board.
  • The Events – it’s one of the simplest apps to help you broadcast information across a large audience. You can add events manually or connect the app to a calendar for automatic display.
  • Google Slides – you can loop your published Google Slide presentations to your displays for automatic updates when you make changes to the document. It comes with interactive functions like notes, slide playback control, and a virtual laser pointer. Google Slides allow you to upload graphics in the form of PDF, JPEG, or PNG.

Remember to schedule your messages depending on what you want to display at a specific time. Having a tailored schedule will increase the efficiency of communication and save you time. Consider using a playlist to allow you to control the timing and length of the display. A playlist helps you cycle your messages in a loop to keep the content fresh and engaging.

Digital Message Boards and the Small Business Owner

Some digital message boards are created with educational or recreational aims. However, they now have a significant role to play in business functions, activities, and occupations. Self-employed business professionals will find the boards to be valuable in solving specific problems.

Bulletin boards seem to exist for almost every topic under the sun. As such, small businesses engaged in complex fields will benefit the most from using electronic bulletin boards. Computer hardware, programming, construction issues, and wiring problems are infinite issues that can be served by knowledgeable bulletin boards.

It is, therefore, essential to discover the right BB by sampling a few threads. This will help gauge the seriousness of the participants on how they handle issues.

Hotel Electronic Bulletin Board on Digital Signage display

Small business owners can discover bulletin boards that focus on their products. On such platforms, they can establish what the market feels about the performance of the business. This can come as a pleasant or unpleasant surprise.

According to Patrick Collinson in an article in Retail Financial Strategies, businesses can follow public comments. With some special marketing software, a business can get alerts when anyone mentions it anywhere on the internet. The company can request the removal of any false or misleading information on the boards.

Electronic Message Boards: Final Thoughts

The way people and businesses communicate is changing. Recently, the world has seen the entrance of electronic bulletin boards that reach a wider audience. They allow people to exchange thoughts and messages, as well as share files through a central computer.

Bulletin boards are common in the educational and recreational sectors, but the corporate world is also catching up. The advantages of using them include cost- and communication-efficiency, versatility, and sustainability. Businesses that have not yet identified appropriate bulletin boards should start engaging.

Digital Bulletin Boards FAQs

  • How do you make a digital bulletin board?

    You can make a digital bulletin board by choosing an appropriate display screen, select the best media player that fits your needs, and then by creating and publishing the content to the displays. Content is king however and should be relevant to your chosen audience.

  • How Does Digital Signage Work?

    Digital signage can be split into the content, software, and hardware segments. First you have the content that will go on the screen. This can be pictures, videos, or a variety of other content applications.

    These files and content apps are handled through the software. The hardware is your digital signage player that will then display the content on your screens.

  • What is a digital bulletin?

    A digital bulletin is a display or TV that is used for visual communications. They normally display important information such as notifications, updates, and important upcoming events.

    These boards can be used for either external or internal use but should be placed in high-traffic areas.

  • What content do I need?

    The content you need really depends on the solution you have. For restaurants, a simple image display for the menu with a social media feed is a solid choice. For offices and manufacturing, you might want to focus on current/upcoming company events with data visualization charts.

    Schools however can utilize almost every content app as digital signage can be used in the classroom, hallway, wayfinding kiosks, and digital menu boards.

  • What is the purpose of Digital Signage?

    Digital signage is primarily a communication tool. It lets businesses, schools, restaurants, and more convey information in an attractive and easy way.

    What sets digital signage apart from digital displays is the software. This software lets you quickly view, edit, and change your displays remotely so you can manage multiple locations at once.

  • How much does digital signage cost?

    Depending on the solution you choose, you can expect to spend anywhere from a small monthly fee to hundreds of dollars a month. Some providers also offer a hardware/software bundle that can help keep costs down.

    There are also other costs to consider such as content management, the screens you need, and quality support.

  • Can I get a free trial?

    Of course! Mvix offers free software trial accounts to clients curious about the Mvix digital signage software. Contact a solutions consultant today to learn more about our free trial option.

  • What type of screen do I use?

    The two types of screen types you have are LED & LCD and the displays are split between commercial and consumer. While commercial displays usually have a higher upfront cost, the long term benefits outweigh the price. The commercial displays have a higher brightness, portrait/landscape options, longer warranties, and can operate for longer hours.

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