Creating a forum in a dead(?) niche

Discussion in 'Getting Started' started by Taylor J, Jul 16, 2019.

  1. Taylor J

    Taylor J Fan

    794
    522
    +73
    I've been out of the game awhile now but I have been brainstorming starting up a community for the past few weeks now. The only thing is though it's apart of a niche that doesn't really have much around it anymore. By that I mean most of the communities that were apart of it all vanished and were closed.

    What I'm looking to do is start up a new GFX forum but instead of aimed just around GFX itself I want it to focus on pretty much all art (photography, large art, gfx, digital paintings, etc). For those that don't know what GFX would be it's just basic art but all created in photoshop so think your users that user signature pics that include renders or stock photos of actors/anime/video games/etc etc and can also range up to larger art. These sites also included competitions (usually signature of the week) and also sometimes an actual art group you would apply/try out to be apart of who's goals were to release really amazing art collaborations, to resource packs, tutorials, spread interest in their group (by having the groups name in their username on sites they participate in) and interest in the forum, etc.

    Some of the communities back in the day were FringeFX.net (this one is actually making a come back, the owner is starting up something again), VibrantFX, planetrender, and a lot of others.

    Now again the niche is pretty much non existent for the past few years besides some sites having a dedicated subforum for gfx on thier own forums. In everybody's opinion how hard would it be to get a community built and going again in an area that doesn't have much going on right now and for the past few years has been pretty much not existent?
     
  2. 2dub

    2dub Adherent

    370
    117
    +39
    Not knowing the niche, is there a lot going on in that world to support a forum? Does it have a motivated and passionate following that you're already known to? If so I'd say go for it,
     
  3. haqzore

    haqzore Devotee

    2,138
    472
    +1,256
    I think the question is - what does a forum bring to this space? Like.. honestly...?

    There are so many art sites and communities around... Like DeviantArt/etc...

    How does the ability to post a thread and reply to it enhance an art community in ways DeviantArt/others don't?
     
  4. Taylor J

    Taylor J Fan

    794
    522
    +73
    To be honest I besides the one site I used to be a huge member and staffer for (FringeFX) seeming to start a new adventure I haven't paid much attention and will be sitting down to actually research out the niche here soon. I do know DeviantArt recently upgraded and redid their entire site again and it seems to be bringing in more activity.

    DeviantArt seems to be the only mildly active one as of right now from what I can see. They have been getting more active with the most recent overhaul of the site though.

    I can't tell if they've changed anything else though. Back in the day DeviantArt in the GFX community was mainly used to host the artists works to then be able to imbed on the GFX forums to get critique, show off, etc (most artists used imgur, photobucket, or any other big named image host). I'm not sure if they've grown out their own community or not as I haven't dived too far into their new site.

    For what a forum would bring to this space I would think a fun place to get feedback on ones work, ways to improve, a place to compete in friendly competitions for prizes (site prizes or monetary), and a place to just meet like minded people that are interested in learning and bettering themselves with their work.
     
  5. sbjsbj

    sbjsbj Fan

    545
    187
    +326
    In this case I don't think it is worth to try.

    Did you think about why those forums disappeared? Because today there is Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or Reddit and millions of other sites where people can share their pictures and images.
    Much more bigger audience and much more convenient these days as all have their own apps.

    The only good reason why those gfx forums existed back in the day was because everybody wanted to learn how to make signatures or how to create art with Photoshop/Illustrator etc. So the only thing which would make a forum useful is to have those tutorials and where people could talk about techniques etc.

    Now the problem is, all those tutorials shifted to Youtube. There are hundreds of Youtube creators who share how to do stuff on video. So any person who wants to learn something will land on Youtube. Video tutorials are also much superior than to text/image based tutorials. You can see how person x creates something live vs. a wall of text.

    Then, you have another problem. GFX forum means people will upload tons of images/attachments. You will need much bigger storage than normal forums. Is your budget capable of stemming that? Although Amazon S3 or other services are cheap these days, you still need to make that happen and take care it from server side. Are you up to the task?

    Objectively speaking I just don't see the reason why anyone would want to visit a gfx forum these days. Also back in the day all people were sitting behind a desktop, which mean they could actually create art while they were surfing. It was convenient. Now 60%+ of people surf on their smartphones with a tiny screen. Do you think they will want to see full hd wallpapers on their phones? Do you think they would be able to create art work on their phones?

    Sorry to be frank.
     
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2019
  6. Taylor J

    Taylor J Fan

    794
    522
    +73
    Those are actually some really good points that you have brought up...

    I actually hadn't realized why they vanished as I stopped frequenting them after awhile and getting into making skins/themes for IPB.

    I think I'm going to hold off on this idea and see how the new FringeFX does in the field and participate there before doing anything to get a new GFX forum up and running.

    I still may end up making a GFX forum project in the future depending on a few things but for now I'll just put it on the back burner but still continue to piece together some ideas for it.
     
  7. sbjsbj

    sbjsbj Fan

    545
    187
    +326
    Yeah, sorry to take your enthusiasm away but I think this way you can save the frustration you would get otherwise.

    The problem is, it is extremely hard to get a forum going these days. All of us have to ask one question to ourselves: Why should anyone visit your place and keep coming back?

    You need to offer something valuable which other sites can't do. For example if you offered warez GFX stuff, that on the other hand would be a reason to come back. But you would need to get warez stuff in first place (from where?) and secondly would have to deal with the legal aspects of it.

    People won't come to your forum to rant, chit-chat, bond, socialize. They will come for a specific reason. You need to offer sth. valuable which they cannot find elsewhere and in your case you would be competing against Youtube (tutorials), Facebook/Twitter/Instagram (socializing, display of art), Reddit (community around gfx for questions/help) and other giants.

    They completely absorbed that niche. They also have infinite resources and the best engineers to enhance their platforms. And most importantly they have the audience.
     
  8. sbjsbj

    sbjsbj Fan

    545
    187
    +326
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2019
  9. overcast

    overcast Adherent

    307
    45
    +72
    If that niche is thriving on social media, then that niche has less chance on thriving as solo forum. But then again it all comes down to traffic to your content.
     
  10. Alex.

    Alex. The Ancient Dragon

    11,577
    1,322
    +1,197
    You'll be competing against sites such as Behance and Dribbble.
     
  11. SaN-DeeP

    SaN-DeeP TechArena.IN

    4,236
    735
    +19
    But dead niche is niche you work on ! always....

    IF you have ideas, do proceed.

    If need any help, pm probably..
     
  12. overcast

    overcast Adherent

    307
    45
    +72
    I think how ideas pick up is lot dependent on execution. Snapchat owners thought nobody would compete with them, but instagram is beating them badly. So dead niche or not execution is necessary.
     
  13. LeadCrow

    LeadCrow Apocalypse Admin

    6,444
    1,232
    +2,182
    A dead niche is actually an opportunity to own its scattered audience and gain a controlling stake in its evolution.

    However, a forum might not be the ideal form to run a graphics-focused ecosystem. Building a site with similar functionalty to deviantart featuring a discussion forum might work a lot better, especially as artists of all skill levels may promote their respective portfolios. Back in the days Sheezyart provided such a serious alternative, too bad it didnt last.

    Note that while a social network is usually a website, many nowadays take the form of a mobile app, which can offer many novel forms of integrations like directly drawing on mobile and saving to people's accounts. It's also a lot easier to promote, monetize and tie into other services like lockers or specific design apps.
     
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.