Are forums dying?

Discussion in 'Managing an Online Community' started by CarpCharacin, Nov 2, 2016.

  1. No

    62 vote(s)
    45.6%
  2. Yes

    74 vote(s)
    54.4%
  1. CarpCharacin

    CarpCharacin Habitué

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    Someone who owns 2 big forums told me that they are dying. Are they?
     
  2. GTB

    GTB Tazmanian

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    Yes
     
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  3. GTB

    GTB Tazmanian

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    Why did you ask if you disagree with me?
     
  4. CarpCharacin

    CarpCharacin Habitué

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    I asked, but I don't think they are dying.
     
  5. Tracy Perry

    Tracy Perry Opinionated ass-hat

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    Yes, they are. It's few and far between on new startup forums that become successful. The niche's area already fairly well saturated with other sites providing the same discussions. Add on top of that the need of most of the younger crowd for instant gratification (FB, Twitter, Instagram, ad nauseum) you end up with a reduced "feeding ground" for members. BBS's were the pre-cursor to forums, and frequently you will find a lot of the users of a forum were at one time BBS members. Of course, a lot of those are dying off now (or getting to where they have more 'important' things to do with their time).

    Forums are hard to beat for technical discussions, but most of society seems to not care to get deeply involved in that type of stuff in their spare time.
     
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  6. CarpCharacin

    CarpCharacin Habitué

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    There are more forums than there were years ago, but those forums aren't dying.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 2, 2016
  7. Tracy Perry

    Tracy Perry Opinionated ass-hat

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    Yes, they are dying... I can give you numerous examples of sites that were extremely busy a few years ago and the activity level has dropped on them.
    It's a fact of life.. most younger people do NOT use forums to obtain information or interact. They use social media or blog type environments or sites like Reddit, etc.

    Just because you see "more sites" doesn't mean anything.. you have to look at the activity level overall.
     
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  8. Namorat

    Namorat Duder

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    Declining seems more fitting to me personally. I don't think they will go away, but activity focusses on fewer boards and decreases in general.

    One can argue if people don't have what it takes anymore to be a member of a community or if new social media options simply fulfil needs forums could in the past.
    Forums are paar their prime.
     
  9. cms674

    cms674 Neophyte

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    I don't know if I'd say they are "dying", but they certainly aren't as popular now that there's places like Facebook. Anyone can start a page or a group there and it's where the majority of people already are throughout the day. People being relatively lazy, if it isn't in their newsfeed they may not be as apt to seek it out.

    The trick is to find a way to make your forum interesting enough that they'll come back frequently. Then getting them to participate is another beast as well.

    But I wouldn't say dead, they just have to offer something social media doesn't.
     
  10. OUTL4W

    OUTL4W <style>OUTL4W GFX</style> :p

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    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 2, 2016
  11. we_are_borg

    we_are_borg Moderator

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    When i started with forums in 2000/2001 you had lots of competition. Forums going up left and right these days even the script maker boards are not visited much.
     
  12. GTB

    GTB Tazmanian

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    True that, if you look at sites like MyBB and SMF now they are a shadow of what they used to be like getting used
     
  13. Tracy Perry

    Tracy Perry Opinionated ass-hat

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    One definition aspect of the word dying
    Declining participation across most sites fits that bill very well, as most activity is declining with the exception of some niche sites. Will all of them disappear? Of course not, but many will.
     
  14. cms674

    cms674 Neophyte

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    I just think you don't have as many people starting them up as once before. There's more quality, less quantity. But I don't think that's a bad thing.
     
  15. Maddox

    Maddox Moderator

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    I don't believe it's forums that are dying, rather it is the interest that people used to show them that is dying. There are loads of forums out there on the Net and more going up each day - however, they are more like grave markers than active communities, effectively they are dead and will stay that way unless they cover some unique niche that has never been covered before and is immensely popular, or the owners find a way (nigh impossible) to generate people's interest and get them into an active and productive state.

    I also believe that many forum owners flash up a new forum just for the fun of actually making it happen; there's rarely any prospect of harvesting 100's of members and if they do, most of them will just be a number to rack up the counter and never add anything constructive.

    Unless Facebook and Twitter suddenly vanish from the face of the Earth, or something incredibly better comes along, then most forums will just sit there and gather dust whilst those two monsters thrive and harvest even more of the bland and inane into their ranks.

    Que Sera Sera!

    ;)
     
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  16. CarpCharacin

    CarpCharacin Habitué

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    I agree. There are many more forums now than there were once and that is why I think starting a forum is harder these days.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 2, 2016
  17. ozzy47

    ozzy47 Moderator

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    I cleaned this thread up.

    Now, lets stay on topic of forums in general and leave the fish forums out of it.
     
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  18. Yappi

    Yappi Participant

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    Just curious that you use Reddit as a reason for forums dying when in fact, Reddit IS a forum. Albeit, a really big forum.

    Personally, I've come across some incredibly busy forums the last few months that I had never heard of previously. The difference now is that it is much more difficult to start a forum and reach a reasonable threshold. In the early 2000s, it wasn't hard to attract new people to a forum. Everything was new back then but things have matured and getting a forum off the ground is more difficult but is certainly possible.

    It seems most people that say forums are dying are looking mostly at the entry level. There certainly weren't any "Reddits" out there 15 years ago that had 100s of millions of users. I would go as far to say that Reddit now has more monthly active users than ALL of the forums put together from 2001.
     
  19. Tracy Perry

    Tracy Perry Opinionated ass-hat

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    I don't classify (personally) Reddit as a forum. It has numerous limitations that todays forums do not have.
    Reddit is more a social site (albeit not a FaceBook/Twitter) to me than a forum. In fact, I'd really say it's more like UseNet was.
     
  20. CarpCharacin

    CarpCharacin Habitué

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    I think that reddit is a forum.
     
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