Are forums dying?

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

  1. No

    97 vote(s)
    45.8%
  2. Yes

    115 vote(s)
    54.2%
  1. Tracy Perry

    Tracy Perry Opinionated asshat

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    I know 3 different large motorcycle forums (1 Goldwing, 1 FJR and one Kawasaki) that their traffic has dropped drastically in the last 18 months. Even I don't post on them as often as I used to.
     
  2. Namorat

    Namorat Duder

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    Why do you think so?
     
  3. GTB

    GTB Tazmanian

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    I have seen a lot of forums vanish from the web that I used to post on which was very large ones.

    All of them gone now, bar a very few left.
     
  4. CarpCharacin

    CarpCharacin Habitué

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    Vertical scope owns thousands of large forums.
     
  5. Tracy Perry

    Tracy Perry Opinionated asshat

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    And are those "thousands" of forums all doing as well on activity as they were 2 years ago. I know at least 3 that aren't (again, they are vehicle related)
    The point being.. you could have 300 billion forums.. but if their traffic is not what it was, then it is indicative of a "dying" posting population. More takers than givers is usually the culprit (what were called leeches back in the BBS days).
     
  6. CarpCharacin

    CarpCharacin Habitué

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    There are lots of active vehicle related forums. There are so many vehicle related forums. I'm sure some of them aren't active anymore, but that can be because of other things too. Of course some forums are dying, but I don't think all are dying.
     
  7. Tracy Perry

    Tracy Perry Opinionated asshat

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    I think if you could look at their historic statistics, you'd find that participation is declining.
     
  8. CarpCharacin

    CarpCharacin Habitué

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    There is an active forum that started in 2015 that isn't dying or declining. http://www.goldfsh.com I am just using it as an example, I'm sure there are others.
     
  9. GTB

    GTB Tazmanian

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    Not all are but I think even many of the largest forums are noticing a decline in activity over time now. That won't make much difference to massive forums until a long-time to come - but it's happening for many big boards, you can read the owners of them sometimes talking about it happening to them slowly. And some are worried about it because it's only getting worse for them (not better) and many rely on making money from their big boards
     
  10. Tracy Perry

    Tracy Perry Opinionated asshat

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    Provide their metrics for each month to support your supposition. 18 posts so far today and 31 yesterday... I don't call that burning up the keyboards - compared to what it used to be like for sites.
     
  11. CarpCharacin

    CarpCharacin Habitué

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    I don't know exactley.
     
  12. Yappi

    Yappi Enthusiast

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    Why do you think Reddit is not a forum?

    Reddit is a forum because it is topic driven and the topics are broken down into smaller categories (forums). Someone from 2001 would instantly recognize Reddit as a forum.

    On top of that, social media is basically driven by the user (ie you follow someone). Maybe Reddit has something like that but I've never heard of that feature. You go into one of the categories (forums) find a topic that you are interested in and make comments in the thread.
     
  13. GTB

    GTB Tazmanian

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    And what does that mean? They might own 1000's of forums because combined together they can make them money from ads displayed (or whatever) used to make them money. That is different and doesn't mean all their forums are doing well. Internet Brands also owns lot of forums, but it only a few years back they was asking for people to admin some of their forums and help add content on them
     
  14. Tracy Perry

    Tracy Perry Opinionated asshat

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    The Goldwing site I am referring to used to do (when I first joined) easily 200-250 posts a day minimum, if it was riding season it was more. Now they do good to get around 100... and frequently it's more chit-chat than actual topical related.
     
  15. CarpCharacin

    CarpCharacin Habitué

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    One fish site I am on gets sometimes 17000 attachments a month.
     
  16. mysiteguy

    mysiteguy Devotee

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    As of 2015 more people as a percentage of Internet users were using forums than 2011.

    The pond is a lot wider now than it was deeper 10 years ago. There's as much forum activity, just spread out over many, many more sites. A quick check on Google and I stopped counting at 18 Honda Goldwing forums.

    One very busy big board, when I sold it in 2007, had 2 competitors then. Now it has over about 20.
     
  17. mysiteguy

    mysiteguy Devotee

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    It used to take some skill to setup, maintain and operate a forum. Forum software has gotten much easier and the barriers to entry are easier, plus there's a lot of consultants/tech people available to help those who have trouble setting up a forum.

    These days any idiot can start a forum, and many idiots frequently do. (Not calling everyone without admin/server skills an idiot... just trying to throw some humor in the thread)
     
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2016
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  18. Tracy Perry

    Tracy Perry Opinionated asshat

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    And that very fact is why many sites are withering on the vine (as far as activity - and if there is minimal activity I would call the site dead if it was busy before). There are only so many users to go around. I know I cut myself back from 6 Wing sites to 1, and now I don't even go there. Was doing 4 FJR and cut back to 2 and haven't even hit them in a while.
     
  19. mysiteguy

    mysiteguy Devotee

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    Depends on the niche and the site(s) in question. That big board I mentioned received 1500-3000 posts per day... no one could possibly keep up with the all the activity. The sub-niches which grew around it tend to be focused. So there are now about 10 of the 20 which are pretty good sites, but they are splitting the traffic the 3 sites had before.

    Many people jumped on the bandwagon after they started seeing money in it when boards started selling for big bucks starting around 2007. There are those who jump in thinking because someone else was/is successful running a forum they can be too (whether or not they do it for profit)... and they aren't willing to put in the sacrifices needed. Not all, but most niches, take really hard work, time and dedication --- more than most people are willing to put in. Many people either think "if I build it they will come" and put in no effort., who put more effort into talking about putting in effort... than actual effort put into their sites.
     
  20. Tracy Perry

    Tracy Perry Opinionated asshat

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    yes, and I was guilty of this very thing.. that's why I'm trimming back to 3 sites now - and maybe even dropping another one of them to only 2 (debating between the recumbent bike site or the Linux site). I don't have the time to spread over that many sites trying to generate traffic to draw users on that many topics. I'd much rather sit back and smoke my pipes and talk about that. One of my sites is (in reality) basically a repository on the web for info that I use. Instead of a blog I set it up into a forum so that others could talk about it if they wanted to. Of course, it doesn't cost me any extra just to leave it live as the domains are pretty much all paid up for multiple years.
     
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