Why I think forums as we once knew them are dead!

By Soulwatcher · Aug 15, 2017 · ·
  1. During the early 2000's you could put up a forum and wave the magic wand and presto you had a forum and you had forum members. And I can tell you from a user's perspective 90% of the forums that I have found over the years, I have found them by google searches. And 10% were recommended to me by other users of the forum.

    Fast forward to 2017 and 99.99% of google searches are going to bring up blogs, social media, youtube, and google itself. (When google shows a excerpt of a website) I did leave that 0.01% chance in there for when people search "Forum" or every blue moon google decides to throw a forum post in the search results.

    Which makes me believe deep down in my heart if forums are going to survive, they need to be 100% content driven by a CMS. What do I mean by content driven by a CMS? You need something like wordpress on the front end and well thought out and written articles to feed google search results to drive people to your forum. And then have a discuss in our community link to drive them to the forum.

    And even then they are most likely not going to sign up, but sooner or later someone will. And it will be a trickle down effect as you write more articles you get more members.

    P.S. these are just my thoughts take them with a grain of salt.

Comments

  1. MarkFL
    The way I look at it, during the heyday of forums say 15 or so years ago, the average internet user was on a desktop PC, was fairly tech savvy and had a lot going on upstairs. Upon finding a forum whose niche was one of their interests, they typically had a lot to contribute and enjoyed communing with other like minded folks, and communities formed.

    Fast forward to today, and the average user online is a consumer, not a contributor.
  2. The Sandman
    I dunno - TAZ was founded 14 years ago and if you go back to the early threads you'll see they're mostly about the difficulty in launching a forum, in amassing good content, and in keeping members engaged. Maybe it is harder now... but we didn't think it was so easy back then.

    If anything, I think the biggest change over the past 15 years or so is the mindset of the admins and of the forum software developers and not a major change in the behavior of the members.
  3. djbaxter
    That was a nice myth that too many forum owners believed but it was never true. Getting a forum started was hard work and a view to the long term.

    Exactly. My first forum was Psychlinks, founded in March 2004, 13.5 years ago.
      Ummagumma likes this.
    1. bomb
      woow...a great forum. Very detailed.
      djbaxter likes this.
  4. worldgames
    A god reason why I had me site redone so its 100% up to Google standards because god knows Google is always changing stuff so everyone has to keep up with Google. I'm pretty excited to see what the next year brings and incorporating more of a Blog/website
  5. Harvey
    We are moving from Nabble (stay away from it) to BBPress, mostly because BB is WordPress based and my developer knows WP well. Still he is telling me that support for BB is not as robust as it could be because forums are dying or dead, replaced by Facebook and Reddit(?).

    Really don't want to give up our forum, I get so much more out of it than Facebook.
  6. skrinkle
    I agree 100%. Our forum had user created articles on the home page for a long time and traffic was steady. They were removed by a new owner and now we only have about 60 guests at any given time. This blog has inspired me to bring back the articles.
      Ummagumma and The Sandman like this.
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