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    The Ultimate Electronic Bulletin Board Guide

    ultimate electronic bulletin board guide text over image of open book

    What is an electronic bulletin board?

    Electronic Bulletin Board software, also known as digital bulletin boards, digital billboards, electronic signage, or (most commonly) digital signage software, is defined as…

    “…a piece of software that displays communications and content on a display or screen”.

    But how do you choose the right electronic bulletin board software for your application?

    It can be pretty tricky, but we’re here to help.

    Article Contents

    How to choose the right electronic bulletin board software

    There are many online electronic bulletin board software products you can choose from.

    Sometimes deciding which one is best can be overwhelming.

    That’s why you must first define what you need the software to do before starting your search.

    Bennington Public Schools, for example, needed an easy, low-cost way to display their school announcements and events. Rise Vision's free digital signage ended up being the best solution for them.

    “I use Rise Vision to display announcements throughout my school. I love the templates and … it is also very easy to learn the basics of operation. The price is great and we can easily add displays as we bring more online.” - Konni In Den Bosch, Bennington Public Schools

    Once you’ve defined your needs, a great starting point is to sign up for a free trial.

    A free trial will give you the chance to review included content, templates, and functionality, which will help you decide whether or not the electronic bulletin board software is suitable for you and your needs.

    If you’re still unsure after your trial, the next step is to schedule a live demo.

    A live demo will do a couple of things for you.

    First, a demo will help you learn how the software works from an expert and allow you to ask questions and get answers.

    Second, a demo will show you how the software’s customer service operates. If there aren’t demos available, this could be an indication that customer service is not well supported. If a live demo is available, you could discover the host is unhelpful and doesn’t listen, which would be a red flag.

    Choosing the right service provider is key to long-term success.

    Rise Vision offers free demos and can meet with you at your convenience. Contact us to schedule a demo and find out if we’re right for you, or click here to watch a pre-recorded demo now.

    Once you’ve decided on your software provider, you’re probably asking, “Well, what can I use electronic bulletin boards for?”.

    Don’t worry.

    We’ve got you covered.

    Electronic bulletin board examples

    These electronic bulletin board examples will show you how some of our clients manage displays in K-12 schools and how businesses use them in a variety of different ways.

    Saline Middle School Hallway - Upcoming Events and Weather Display


    Middle School using electronic bulletin board

    Saline Middle School Principal Showing off Rise Vision in their Hallways promoting an upcoming gaming event

    As seen in the above photo, Saline Middle School in Michigan uses Rise Vision electronic bulletin board software to quickly and easily communicate with their students.

    This bulletin board template is one of the 500+ free bulletin board templates we offer and combines 2 types of content: local weather and events.

    What's great about this template is that it's designed to automatically update the weather based on your location while also featuring upcoming school events, information, and anything else you want to feature.

    The upper-right area promoting school events is displaying a Nintendo’s Super Smash Brothers gaming event, but could also be set up to display a variety of rotating content like school policies, reminders to check emails and school apps, and much more.

    City of New York Police Department Lobby - Directory with Directions Display

    electronic bulletin board displays in portrait showing staff directory

    City of New York Police Department Directory with Directions

    In this electronic bulletin board example, you can see Rise Vision software operating in portrait orientation at the lobby entrance of the City of New York’s Police Department.

    Here, they use the software as a staff directory with directions that communicate where to go.

    The great thing about using Rise Vision as a directory is you can update content quickly and easily at no cost.

    Say goodbye to the days of developing new placards every time someone changes positions or offices.

    What once took days (even weeks) and cost hundreds of dollars can now be accomplished in under 5 minutes at very little cost.

    NorthShore University HealthSystem - Interactive Display with Donor Wall

    person using interactive electronic bulletin board display

    NorthShore University uses an interactive display that allows viewers to interact with content and provide an engaging experience

    NorthShore University HealthSystem uses Rise Vision because the electronic bulletin board software integrates seamlessly with interactive displays.

    As seen in the above photo, one high-resolution touchscreen display empowers visitors to explore the staff directory, understand how the university is helping through philanthropy, view testimonials, and upcoming events, and more.

    The direct result is a closer relationship between your brand and your viewers.

    To learn how to use interactive displays at your facility, you can read this article about digital signage software best practices.

    If you’re interested in interactive displays, we’d recommend checking out Avocor’s interactive screens.

    Avocor provides high-quality solutions that can be used for a wide range of applications.

    Necedah High School - Event Communication

    students looking at electronic bulletin board showing digital event

    Students learning about upcoming events through a Rise Vision display

    Necedah High School uses Rise Vision to strengthen community among students by using pre-built bulletin board templates to promote school events.

    By keeping students informed of upcoming events, Necedah’s students are more connected and better equipped to have meaningful conversations about their school.

    James Coney Island - Menu Boards

    4 electronic bulletin board displays, 3 in portrait and 1 in landscape orientation showing food menu items

    Rise Vision digital menu board displays menu items at a James Coney Island restaurant chain

    Since Rise Vision’s electronic bulletin board software is flexible, it can be used in a wide variety of situations.

    James Coney Island uses Rise Vision to display their menus in both portrait and landscape orientations.

    The great thing about using digital signage software to manage your digital menu boards is that you can get started in only minutes by using easy-to-update templates.

    And when you run out of an item on your digital menu board, it only takes a few seconds to apply an update.

    The use of electronic bulletin board software in restaurants has a two-pronged benefit where you can reduce both

    1. Customer frustration (customers won’t be disappointed by out-of-stock menu items), and
    2. Employee workload (easy-to-use software can be updated by anyone in just seconds).

    To get more professional results from your digital menu board, read this article on digital menu board best practices.

    Electronic bulletin board advantages and disadvantages

    All this sounds great; however, there are both advantages and disadvantages you should be aware of.

    Luckily, it’s clear the advantages of using electronic bulletin board software far outweigh the disadvantages.

    The advantages of electronic bulletin board software are

    • It’s easy to update displays in multiple locations, cities, states/provinces, and countries from one central location, saving you time and improving the professionalism of your school or business
    • You can quickly assign roles to staff who manage content on displays, so your content is protected and tasks are easier to assign
    • They can integrate with apps like Google Slides and Google Docs, which makes transitioning to a software solution with your existing content a snap
    • Designing new content is intuitive and communicating complex messages is a breeze due to comprehensive template galleries.

    The disadvantages of electronic bulletin board software are

    • Higher cost when compared to using a thumb drive
    • The minor learning curve for staff (when considering an electronic bulletin board software provider, make sure there’s a detailed help center, and live support that includes the option for online chat).

    Once you get past the minor learning curve, using electronic bulletin board software to manage displays will far outweigh the disadvantages and give viewers easy-to-understand information which will make you and your school or business look more professional.

    If you want a digital signage solution without the bells and whistles of managing complex technology, consider the Rise Vision Media Player Hardware as a Service. Through our subscription media player, our team will manage and support your digital signage for you, so you can focus on communicating your message.

    We also have the Avocor R Series Hardware as a Service, an all-in-one solution complete with a display and built-in media player for simpler and more complete management and support.

    To learn more about how we can help make a seamless transition to electronic bulletin board software, book a demonstration with one of our experts.

    You can also learn more from one of our clients in the video below about how they use their electronic bulletin board software to improve communication. 

    Bennington Middle School librarian talks about how she uses digital signage to improve communication

    Now that you’ve learned all about electronic bulletin boards, you’re probably wondering, “Where did they come from?”.

    What is a BBS (Bulletin Board System)?

    The original electronic bulletin board was referred to as a “bulletin board system list” and was created back in 1978 originally for the US Department of Defense.

    The BBS was originally created as a means to communicate between computers prior to the internet.

    Although a BBS is not necessarily the same as an electronic bulletin board, it’s worth noting that they both have the same goal: to communicate a message on screens.

    To read more about bulletin board system lists, you can read this great article by Mariusz Zydyk from Tech Target who goes into detail about the history and current uses of Bulletin Board Systems (BBSs).

    What are your next steps?

    Electronic bulletin boards have come a long way, and the advent of cloud-based digital signage software has made management easy.

    Now that you’ve learned all about electronic bulletin boards, the next step is to start a free trial or get a free demo to try using it for yourself. You can also discover our digital signage reseller program.

    Although it may all seem very complicated, it’s our goal at Rise Vision to make digital signage easy so you save time and money while looking professional.

    Keep your displays interesting - pick new templates every week!

    Every week, we send Template recommendations that will make you look great and improve your audience experience. And the best part, they save up to 16 hours of content creation time every week.

    Not convinced? Check out the email we sent last week.