I see your point, your view has been a popular opinion for quite some time now. The more trusted your site's opinions and information is about a particular topic, the more loyal your visitors will be. You'll also be successful at getting recommendations from other people and they'll post links to you and such. I also agree with your observation of the recent "forum boom" where everyone and their dog starts a forum and copies what they've seen elsewhere. Only the strong, innovative forums will survive, and it's pretty common for most forums to not last past the 90 day mark. But things are changing lately. In my opinion I would rather Google a very specific query and find the perfect answer rather than spend a lot of time searching one particular site that has a great reputation and has been around forever (and not always find an answer). In my experience, I see more and more people doing the same thing. What happens when someone finds the perfect answer to their question, and also discovers that the site they are directed to also is a wonderful community full of interaction and discussion of LOTS of things you'd like to learn about? THEY JOIN! Their loyalty to that old site can be stolen away pretty easy now because they've found a place that offers non-stop new information that they're interested in, and the best thing is that it's coming not from one webmaster, it's coming from thousands of people that are passionate about the same things. So I have to agree that forums have an untapped potential that will soon explode and show the world some very amazing things. I don't think it's the be all/end all...but I do believe that they have more potential than any other web application we've ever seen.