Future Features Coming to Forums

Discussion in 'Managing an Online Community' started by dvduval, Aug 7, 2019.

  1. dvduval

    dvduval Adherent

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    As I've watched Google develop the Chrome browser it certainly appears that their plan is to make it so the browser will do about as much as a mobile app will do. This possibility is exciting to me because I think that means that there will be a day in the not-too-distant future where forums can have features like:
    1. Video Chat
    2. Voice Calls
    3. Voice Messages
    4. Location Check-ins
    5. Notifications
    Perhaps some of these features are already somewhat available in a limited fashion, but maybe not to the level of a mobile app. I think it's coming. What do you think?
     
  2. TrixieTang

    TrixieTang Politically Incorrect

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    1. No.
    2. No.
    3. No.
    4. Not entirely sure what this means. Is this referring to the whole location-sharing feature that you can find on Twitter and such?
    5. This is already a feature on most modern forums.

    Forums have their purpose - being an alternative to Skype is not that purpose.
     
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  3. Alex.

    Alex. The Ancient Dragon

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    I'd go for a feature that allowed me, and only me, to electrocute others with a cattle prod that appeared out of thin air on their side of the screen. Someday.... :LOL:
     
  4. Kevin

    Kevin Oooh, something shiny!

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    If I wanted to talk to somebody voice or leave them a voice message I think I'd just, you know, call them on the phone. :coffee:
     
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  5. haqzore

    haqzore Devotee

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    I don't know...

    I appreciate the perspective of forum "purists" and do think "pure" forums have a purpose... But I think it's a mistake to avoid potential features.

    Don't want to use Video chat or Location check-ins? No worries - don't.

    But I'm not the most visionary Admin - so it excites me to imagine what others might accomplish with new capabilities.

    At the risk of beating the dead horse - I think ignoring potential is part of what let Social Media leap ahead.
     
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  6. TrixieTang

    TrixieTang Politically Incorrect

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    At some point, it stops being a forum and it starts being some sort of weird Skype clone that has an attached forum.
     
  7. haqzore

    haqzore Devotee

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    It can, yes.

    But I think S. Media / Discord have proven that water (users) flows the path of least resistance.

    Isn't it better to have these "abilities" in our holster to deploy as needed, understanding they're optional?
     
  8. Nev_Dull

    Nev_Dull Anachronism

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    Just to be clear. A forum is a forum, not something else. You can create a site that includes a variety of technologies and communication media that suit your particular needs, however the forum part will still be the same threaded discussion that it has always been.

    If the problem is that users prefer some other medium to forums for communicating and sharing ideas, then the best course is to abandon the threaded discussion forum and go with that other medium, rather than trying to attach other technologies and media to the forum in the hopes that some will use the forum as well.

    I believe that there will always be a need for the forum as a means for discussion and communication. That need may be smaller than it once was, because there are now other technologies and media serve some of those needs better. To me, that just means we now have more choices in how best to serve our users. It doesn't mean we need to reshape forums into something they aren't meant to be.
     
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  9. dvduval

    dvduval Adherent

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    Over the last five years I've been learning Chinese, and as a result I've been spending a lot of time on Chinese sites. It is amazing how many users are using live streaming and voice chat and voice messages as part of a social experience. It is inevitable that these source of features will be available on forums in the future.

    Of course that doesn't mean that each form experience will be the same. That is certainly true in the Chinese communities. Some are all about the social feed. Some are all about the live streaming. Some are all about the chatting with friends. There are a multitude of combinations that I think we really aren't seeing nearly as much in the West as yet.
     
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  10. TheTourVan

    TheTourVan Aspirant

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    This is so true. Forums might still be forums, but honestly, ours is much more community than message board. We have events every month, etc. There are a lot of combinations that could be headed this way.
     
  11. Karll

    Karll Adherent

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    If that were all a particular forum software solution offered, I wouldn't want to use it, and neither would my users. I don't want to be locked into a paradigm from the 90s. Though, maybe 'forum software' isn't the right term to describe what I want. Maybe 'community software' or similar would be more appropriate and relevant in this day and age.
     
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2019
  12. MagicalAzareal

    MagicalAzareal Magical Developer

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    I can certainly implement those features, but would anyone actually want to use those features? It'll cost the admin a fair bit more than they are really prepared to pay to cover all that bandwidth.

    I hate anything privacy invasive like 4 too. Someone actually requested that from my software before.

    What else do you want? Livestreaming? VR perhaps? ...AI? Those are cool ones. There was also someone who wanted voice recognition, that one might actually be practical, although there may be better native utilities for that.
     
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2019
  13. Nev_Dull

    Nev_Dull Anachronism

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    This is something I struggle to understand. Does it matter so much that the core forum function hasn't changed much from its early days? We don't eschew printed books because they haven't changed since the first ones in the mid 860's CE. We haven't stopped going to movies because that form was created more than a century ago. I just don't get this aversion to a forum being a forum. It is simply the best form currently available to capture and display discussion type communication between a group of people.

    I have no problem with adding other technologies that will enhance the core discussion experience for users. I think many forums can benefit from providing those that fit their particular needs. However, it is still the core discussion piece that users are there for. And if it isn't, as I suggested in my earlier post, perhaps the admin needs to switch away from forum software to something that better suits the site.

    Also, I really dislike the term 'community software'. It's a euphemistic, abstract, meaningless term.
     
  14. Karll

    Karll Adherent

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    Yeah, books are still popular, but now you also have audiobooks, ebooks / Kindle, and books in Braille. Some types of printed books, such as encyclopedias and dictionaries, have suffered very heavily from online competition. Wikipedia and similar are just so much more user-friendly. And the average movie-goer isn't as excited about black-and-white silent movies as they were back in the day. Given a choice, they will choose a contemporary movie the vast majority of the time. Also, you no longer need to go to the cinema to watch a movie as you can stream and watch it in the comfort of your own living room.

    It's the same with "forum" software. Evolve and cater to a wider group of users, or go extinct.

    Well, I like to think of what I'm doing as facilitating and administrating the operation of an online community. The forum is just one specific piece of software that we use. Fair enough, it's the only piece so far, but we could add other pieces e.g. chat rooms. It would be great to be able to offer other features that benefit the community in some way. I disagree that 'community software' is meaningless, though it is of course a very broad term.
     
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2019
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