Are forums dying?

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

  1. No

    97 vote(s)
  2. Yes

    115 vote(s)
  1. Hauyser

    Hauyser illiterate.

    Can I get an amen!
  2. zappaDPJ

    zappaDPJ Administrator

    The ratio between content providers and consumers is what's changing, not the volume of traffic. Users are reading forums more than ever, they are just not contributing.
  3. Yappi

    Yappi Enthusiast

    Totally agree on the content providers. Forums do a poor job of letting people know how popular someone really is. On Twitter specifically and other social media in general, your popularity is more visible. Twitter followers make you feel like you are very popular. You could post the same content on a message board and on Twitter and there is very little analytics for the post on the message board.

    I've had a very difficult time trying to convince local reporters that my site gives them far more visibility than their Twitter accounts. They point to their 1000 followers. I try to show them that posting a link to their article on my site can give them 10x as many readers on their article as their Twitter post.

    Twitter gets the content providers because they do a better job of making them believe they are connecting with their audience.
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  4. Sockio

    Sockio Participant

    late to the conversation, as always...

    I would say they are, yeah. There's been a decrease in advertisements when it comes to admins and moderators showing off their forum, so to speak. With big websites like Reddit and Facebook ever-changing, giving social media users more possibilities to interact with other users with different features, I feel that simple things like forums and discussion boards are getting pushed aside, and it's simply due to the fact that there's not much of an interest in forums anymore.

    There's another thing to consider too, and that's those who decide to make a forum about a hobby/interest and have high expectations for their dream forum, but get side-lined and distracted by the lack of interest which ultimately makes them close the forum down.
  5. BlackSpot

    BlackSpot Participant

    We get people who only post to get critique and never put anything back. We're well known for honest critique and can be quite brutal. I don't mind if it scares them off - those who want to learn will suck it up and put their nose to the grind stone.
  6. Apple

    Apple Enthusiast

    This thread isn't about A4, or Sakuga City.

    Guys, Jura was just being passive agressive toward me about his one-liners not getting replied to a LONG time ago. Sadly I didn't cop it in his first response and thought he was referring solely to the topic of the thread. Ignore him. :)
    Here's the thing. Some years back, you were removed from the retired moderator team on A4 for coming into the moderator forum and telling us how to do our jobs. The admins didn't thank you for it since you'd been gone for nearly a decade. You had only been a site mod for a relatively short time. Put in perspective, the site was around for almost 14 years, you were a mod for 1 of those years. It would be like you coming here to tell the admin how to do his job. I don't think he'd be happy about it. It's demise was not down to us. It was sold (which we had no knowledge of til after the fact), we tried to work with the 2 dingbats who bought it for over a year, but eventually all the members started leaving because they kept moving servers. Looks like they were taking advantage of free hosting for a 250GB site, so it was down for months at a time, or inaccessible due to server errors. So yeah... Members who were left asked us to just make a new site, and we did. We'll never sell it despite some random people offering to buy it. It belongs to the community now and they deserve better.

    As for your 3 one-liner posts on SC that didn't get responses and expecting people to know you... People genuinely don't know who you are. I barely remember you. If someone comes to a forum and posts one-liners, don't expect people to engage with your posts. One was a thread "Who's playing x now?" Obviously no one was, so no response. The forum does pretty okay for it's size and honestly, if someone is interested in engaging with the community, they'll post more than a one-liner. If not, they can't really make passive-agressive remarks about it because it's their own fault.

    I think cliques are the responsibility of the staff. I've always been one to break down those cliques because at the end of the day, they will eventually kill the site. Encouraging new members to take part in community events and popularity contests is a good way too. Helps break the ice and keeps the oldie vs newbie mentality away. lol.

    In a way, you're right. Every joe soap wants to make a forum, so the internet is saturated with numerous sites that do the same thing. I think nowadays, to be really successful, it needs to be more than just a forum, and perhaps do something that no one else is doing. Easier said than done.
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2018
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  7. Jura

    Jura Devotee

    I would crave feedback and ideas of what other people would do. A4 for the longest kept moderators for ages and advisory as advisory when they were not around for long periods. Advisory was implemented because they wanted those people back and were okay with dropping by in the staff forums. I am pretty sure I was moderator for lot longer than the short time you're claiming. It's clear you've held bitterness for a long time towards me and never reconciled. Anyway differences in leadership, as I wasn't there trying to boss people. Was voicing about a long established site being sold off and was reaching out even if it was just in a staff forum.

    I don't lie about other people making 3 one-liners when 1 was short.

    Anyway I gave my feedback of why forums are dying in that people can't be passive with interactions. Obviously should be genuine, but can't be idle. Each post is an opportunity and even more so from a newer person even if you don't care for the post themselves. Chance for more posts, lasting bonds, and ways of getting them to post how you want.
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2018
  8. Nev_Dull

    Nev_Dull Anachronism

    Yes. It is very important to engage with your members, especially the new ones. It's even more important now, as forums tend to stay as small communities. The practice of giving trophies and awards, gold stars, or whatever through the software doesn't do much to bring people into the conversation. If the staff don't show some genuine interest in the members, it affects attitudes and participation.
  9. Riaz

    Riaz Aspirant

    Forums no longer appeal to most people under 25 years old. At their best they are perceived as old school social media for 30 and 40 somethings.

    I also suspect that quite a lot of youngsters don't know how to use a forum in the same way that many don't know how to use a computer with a command line or an analogue clock.

    I don't believe that many forum users today ever used Usenet and almost none used dial up BBS systems so you can probably factor them out of the equation when formulating strategies for the future.

    Forum software hasn't really advanced much in the past 10 years. You basically have a product from 2008 sitting on a substrate from 1998. Social media companies are able to employ the best brains in human psychology to develop UX whereas forum software companies are low budget enterprises who probably don't employ such people.

    Another issue is centralisation vs decentralisation. Forums are decentralised whereas Facebook is centralised. Decentralisation contributed to the success of the internet in the late 1990s and early 2000s but do users, especially the younger generation, want everything under one roof nowadays?
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  10. R0binHood

    R0binHood Habitué

    Yet the first forum linked in the article is described as this:

    Yet, their board is only getting 45 posts per month?


    Although some other other forums linked are incredibly busy, I imagine it's because they're already long established sites like this one
  11. EvolutionD

    EvolutionD Aspirant

    No idea if the forums are dying or not, but it is a fact that forums are the building blocks of the web community and the perfect go to places if one needs to know about anything, just anything.

    Forums are about swarms of real people standing for the community, adding to the community and leading the way forward for the newer generation.
    Just like the associations that go on building and shaping up the societies without expecting anything in return, always giving all they can.
  12. Riaz

    Riaz Aspirant

    There is a discussion on The Student Room - an internet forum itself - whether any of its users use other internet forums

    As the users of The Student Room are generally under 25 then it might be a discussion worth watching.
  13. mysiteguy

    mysiteguy Devotee

    There seems to be a trend the past couple of years where the younger crowds are starting to abandon some of the larger social media platforms. Once their parents discover it and start using it, its no longer cool. FB for instance, it's audience demographics are skewing towards older people, and they are losing the under 25 crowd rapidly.
  14. Nev_Dull

    Nev_Dull Anachronism

    That's always going to be a trend with the younger users. They want their own place, away from parents and anything related to "main stream", so they will always search for something new and more obscure.

    The bigger problem for forums, I think, is the 25-35 crowd. I've talked to a few people in that age group, whenever I get the chance. Most of them do read forums, and realize they are a much better choice for having a deeper discussion on any topic, yet they still gravitate to Reddit and FB. It's because they just can't be arsed to register on every forum that supports the topics they're interested in. It's difficult to compete agains laziness.
  15. 49er

    49er Enthusiast

    Of course forums are dying, sit up and smell the coffee ...
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