Microcosm: Bringing forums back from the dead

There are currently 170 sites running on the Microcosm platform, 20 of which are "really starting to shine". These include Islington Cycle Club, which has been enjoying some of the logistics tools to organise meetups, and Esprino, an open source hardware project, akin to a mini GitHub.

Over the coming months, Microcosm is planning to bring in more people and more money. In an ideal world, it wants to make money by taking a slice out of the transactions that take place over forums, much in the same way eBay brings in revenue.

Kitchen says he dislikes ads and respects privacy, so doesn't want to chuck a load of tracking technology on the platform, nor does he want to insist on a real-name policy. Plan B would involve charging users or admins directly, but he's hoping there will be enough wheeling and dealing to keep things rolling.

Kitchen, who says Microcosm has been using Google Go to build the product, also has plans to give the wider coding community a boost. "Eventually we'd like to be an open source platform."

How's all that for reinvigorating a moribund piece of the web and doing some altruistic things along the way?

Tom Brewster

Tom Brewster is currently an associate editor at Forbes and an award-winning journalist who covers cyber security, surveillance, and privacy. Starting his career at ITPro as a staff writer and working up to a senior staff writer role, Tom has been covering the tech industry for more than ten years and is considered one of the leading journalists in his specialism.

He is a proud alum of the University of Sheffield where he secured an undergraduate degree in English Literature before undertaking a certification from General Assembly in web development.