Has Facebook taken people away from using forums?

Discussion in 'Community Organization' started by simonetta, Apr 24, 2010.

  1. Yes

    101 vote(s)
  2. No

    43 vote(s)
  3. Other

    14 vote(s)
  1. simonetta

    simonetta Enthusiast

    In my site, alot of my members spend a hell of a lot of time on Facebook, where before they used to spend a lot of time on my site. :( I am just wondering if other people are experiencing the same thing, and what have people done as a strategy to regain some of this loss of traffic?

    I feel like I am competing with Facebook, obviously I cannot compare it to my site. I am not interested in turning my site into something like FB because that's not what we are about.

    Whilst we encourage the members to use the Album feature, they often post links to their Facebook page which sends people back there and they forget to come back. It's just one example.

    We are a big board and our community has been running for 6 years.

  2. Soulwatcher

    Soulwatcher Devotee

    Yes social networking websites are killing forums. And its only going to get worse!
  3. ranz

    ranz Participant

    I'm interested in this topic - and what strategies people are doing to survive.

    We've recently upgraded our forum license from VB3.8.4 to VB4.0.3 and are currently testing it (before we change it live). I've noticed that there's already a Facebook link in the new VB4.

    What are the benefits of this kind of link?
  4. scotslass

    scotslass just another haggis :)

    I found this interesting so I put it to my members. From the replies I got, it seems Facebook is for the more light hearted day to day small talk, but they preferred forums as something more 'private and in depth, something just for them'.
  5. Tiggy

    Tiggy Aspirant

    Twitter and Facebook are killing a lot of blogs, that's for sure!

    I'm not a big fan of Facebook - it's great for publicity and giving out information, but for that community spirit you can't beat forums.
  6. Morsolo

    Morsolo Aspirant

    I voted "No".

    They might be killing General Discussion forums, but they're definitely not killing niche forums. A niche forum creates a sense of community and knowledge that you just wont get on Facebook, or any other social networking site.

    Think about it this way: If you want to ask a question about administering your site, you'd come to TAZ to ask the many knowledgeable members. Would you go to Facebook? How would you even be able to perform that on Facebook properly?

    ...So for Chit Chat... Maybe... For specific aimed content, most definitely not.
  7. Rizzo

    Rizzo Adherent

    Yeah, same thing as first poster, photos posted always link back to facebook, that kind of thing. Not sure how i can 'fix' it, so just plodding along.
  8. ranz

    ranz Participant


    I fully agree - and am the same. I use FB only when I have to. I so much more prefer Forums - perhaps it's a generation thing?


    You've raised an excellent point. I think it is valid too. So, to be strategic, you really have to get the ChitChat part out of your forum before it "hogs" the real purpose!


    Stay tuned - hopefully we can "extract" some secrets in this thread :)
  9. Morsolo

    Morsolo Aspirant

    I have seen quite the opposite happen of the general idea of this thread.

    A niche forum, with a general discussion area has basically turned into a general discussion forum. They barely ever talk about their original purpose/niche anymore and everything is just general.

    It is a rival site of mine... So naturally they have more activity now, but they don't even talk about Avatar anymore. Granted, movie things go out of fashion, but this isn't out of fashion, they've practically converted. Which I suppose bodes well for me, because I remain 100% Avatar exclusive. (Barring a small off-topic section, that I make sure doesn't get out of hand).
  10. Nomez

    Nomez Aspirant

    Even though there are groups dedicated to serious topics on facebook I have hardly seen people go there to discuss things, at least that is the case with our niche so it has not affected us as such, in fact we are a spin off from a bigger site and we did not want to spam them so majority of our initial promotion was on facebook and has been quite successful.
  11. vlauria

    vlauria Adherent

    I don't agree that they're 'killing forums' as suggested by a few, but I do think they've taken away from the traffic, just like they've taken away from the amount of time ppl spend watching TV (which has started to decline since 2008).

    Ppl are spending more time on facebook and less time on other sites, but that's ok. Like a lot of ppl commented here, niche communities are doing really well and that's outside of what facebook is. So you may notice a decline in activity, but I don't think it'll be killed outright, you may just have ppl on the site less. HOWEVER, I think you can use facebook to get more members then you may not have been able to reach before, say using Facebook Connect to post updates to a person's wall after certain activities within the forum.
  12. renlok

    renlok Neophyte

    I think they are or atleast like someone said before its killing general forums i run a niche forum so im fine also its the only forum of its niche so im even finer. but yeah anyway people spend so much time on it its inevitable other things will suffer
  13. simonetta

    simonetta Enthusiast

    Thanks everyone. We do have a lot of off-topic discussions which would explain a few things. :(
  14. blebs

    blebs Aspirant

    We most definately have seen a drop because of Facebook and Twitter. We continue to get new members, but they just aren't posting in the forums. Rather frustrating actually.
  15. scottinaz

    scottinaz Participant

    I think Face book is where people want to go to interact with Family for the most part,, and play those stupid games,,, I have noticed that a couple of people have moved from our forum to FB ,, But when they want to discuss topics and threads they come back,, I think FB is too full of Viruses and other Malicious content,, I HATE it,,,
  16. scottinaz

    scottinaz Participant

    I quit trying to keep people On topic,,, doesnt work for a discussion forum like tvally.com ,, ya know , one comment leads to another,, I havent seen very many conversations where people stay on one topic in real life ,,,, I have found that posters get mad when you tell them to "Stay on topic",, lol
  17. Jezlad

    Jezlad Adherent

    What he said.

    Facebook is a den of liars, retards, pouting teens and loners looking for an easy lay.

    The day Wargamers choose it over a wargaming discussion forum wont come soon.
  18. IFC

    IFC Fan

    It may have taken away some chit chat but most of what's talked about on my site isn't what people chat about with friends and family.

    Most of my members, and definitely I, find Twitter to be the most overrated and useless site on the internet. What anyone finds interesting about typing 140 characters or less (and having to vet words just to complete a postable sentence) is beyond me.
  19. DaUnknownAdmin

    DaUnknownAdmin What Are You Missin?

    I've seen members from my site on other social networking sites such has MiGente, Tagged, Twitter, etc. But Facebook has seem to really have their attention for the past year or so. I've even seen several groups and pages for our niche that contain over 10,000 members.

    So while we have survived myspace and others, Facebook may very well be the social network that brings our site to its knees. To give our site a fighting chance we've created own group/fan page and installed Facebook Connect, Like and Share Buttons.

    As a result we have seen a slight increase in unique members and new member registrations. Getting everyone to be more engaged however is another story.
  20. ranz

    ranz Participant

    I can see that pockets of forums are not affected - so it seems it depends on the "type" of forum. However, overall (so far) it seems that most forum owners do seem to be concerned about it.

    My take on this is that we need to find the niche on how forums and facebook can exist coherently in the internet. I think that most people will be "concerned" at how big facebook is getting, and their "ultimate goal" might start to be questioned. Forums are much more personal, topical and focused.

    As was said earlier, forums become a place where we can enjoy a much longer and informative conversation thread. Facebook is almost like a newspaper - you read it and it's done with (and in the bin).

    Using facebook is a great tool (so long as it is allowed and not considered spam). However, some of the "automated" tools will be short-lived. I think most seasoned facebookers will start to detect what are "bot" created status updates and what are genuine human entries.
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