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Are Forums becoming extinct?





deanhills
Are Forums becoming extinct?

I’m a member of a few Forums that I joined during the period 2008 to 2013. Frihost was my first Forum (2008). The last Forum I joined in 2013 is doing more or less OK, but all of the others seem to be dying around me. Is this a sign of the times? Forums are in the process of becoming extinct?

During the recent long weekend in the Middle East I did a little fun project which was to “copy” a phpBB Forum that I had joined in 2011. It has sentimental value for me and the owner is thinking of mothballing it. I offered to buy it, but at the same time wanted to beef up my phpBB skills. As per usual in learning software, I Googled a few tutorials and found the pickings for phpBB, particularly in comparison with myBB tutorials, very thin. Most of the YouTube tutorials I found were 3-minute dated around 2011, which must have been the time when phpBB had been at the apex of its popularity. In the end I felt extremely lucky to have found two experts with collective tutorials of 30 minutes each. What struck me however in both cases were at the time they had created their tutorials they had thriving Forums supporting the tutorials, but those Forums had been redesigned into blogs with ample references to Facebook and Twitter accounts.

So I think it is quite a logical question to ask. Are Forums becoming extinct? They still have usefulness, definitely sentimental value for me particularly with Frihost, but if a blog can do the job, I can understand why individuals who do not want to deal with all of the spam, security issues, and managing staff would rather choose to deal with less time consuming social media like blogs, facebook and twitter. Also, all of the crowds seem to be into Facebook, Twitter, etc. Leaving Forums almost empty and much less frequented.

Darn! I just hate it when things change like this. Particularly on Frihost.
Crying or Very sad
rx9876
deanhills wrote:
Are Forums becoming extinct?


I hope not.
Frihost provides the best web service with so little cost to me.
I wish it can last forever!
Peterssidan
No they are not. I know many forums that are doing great, but they are mostly focused on some specific subject. Broad unfocused forums are probably less successful nowadays because social media sites fill that "be all" niche.
standready
I hope not as well but it seems that Twitter and (virus riddled) Facebook rule for instant gratification.
truespeed
I read on webmasterworld that google has downgraded forums and is sending them less traffic,not just forums but all user generated websites. google is moving towards a knowledge engine,it wants to answer every query for you,without having to click through to any website.

My forum is doing OK,but it did see a drop in visitors towards the end of 2012,other forum owners noticed a drop around the same time so it seemed like google were targeting forums in particular.

So couple that with,twitter,Facebook,Instagram and imgur and overall I would say yes there is a definite decline.
RosenCruz
Peterssidan wrote:
No they are not. I know many forums that are doing great, but they are mostly focused on some specific subject. Broad unfocused forums are probably less successful nowadays because social media sites fill that "be all" niche.



Peter is right. Forums that focus on smaller niches are doing better and will always stay around. Huge forums are rare to see today and almost impossible to grow imho.
Afaceinthematrix
As a whole, forums are dying out. Websites like Facebook are far more convenient and serve almost the same purpose. I can "like" any band's page. Plus, there's a page for just about any ideal, hobby, belief, etc. and that serves the same purpose. You can have things appear on your news feed - catching up on every forum as once. Also, if it's for a band, you can get information directly from the band instead of through a third party. I really do like forums and I am sad to see them go, but that's technology. I also really liked SNES and instant messaging but they don't make games for SNES anymore (I gave up video games after N64) and I have to deal with text messaging instead of AIM.
LonnieHoover
Forums/Communities = Discussion hub where information is exchanged and/or intellectual discussions take place for the betterment and advancement of your knowledge (with some exceptions... Confused)
But forums are still alive.
loveandormoney
deanhills wrote:
Are Forums becoming extinct?

I’m a member of a few Forums that I joined during the period 2008 to 2013. Frihost was my first Forum (2008). The last Forum I joined in 2013 is doing more or less OK, but all of the others seem to be dying around me. Is this a sign of the times? Forums are in the process of becoming extinct?

During the recent long weekend in the Middle East I did a little fun project which was to “copy” a phpBB Forum that I had joined in 2011. It has sentimental value for me and the owner is thinking of mothballing it. I offered to buy it, but at the same time wanted to beef up my phpBB skills. As per usual in learning software, I Googled a few tutorials and found the pickings for phpBB, particularly in comparison with myBB tutorials, very thin. Most of the YouTube tutorials I found were 3-minute dated around 2011, which must have been the time when phpBB had been at the apex of its popularity. In the end I felt extremely lucky to have found two experts with collective tutorials of 30 minutes each. What struck me however in both cases were at the time they had created their tutorials they had thriving Forums supporting the tutorials, but those Forums had been redesigned into blogs with ample references to Facebook and Twitter accounts.

So I think it is quite a logical question to ask. Are Forums becoming extinct? They still have usefulness, definitely sentimental value for me particularly with Frihost, but if a blog can do the job, I can understand why individuals who do not want to deal with all of the spam, security issues, and managing staff would rather choose to deal with less time consuming social media like blogs, facebook and twitter. Also, all of the crowds seem to be into Facebook, Twitter, etc. Leaving Forums almost empty and much less frequented.

Darn! I just hate it when things change like this. Particularly on Frihost.
Crying or Very sad







No.
I wonder, why the great companies do not feed forum or chat.
Best forums are like Frihost:
private.
And there are many in the www.
You have to look.

But
what does the people like?

We look into the charts.
Which are the most famous forums?

TV.

We look into the year
2004:

The people talk about TV in the www.

But the same like 10 years before.
Blaster
Some forums arn't doing well. For example all around topic forums. However if you look over at www.silveradosierra.com they are doing well. But its nice for me to go over there because if I have a question on my truck these are the people that can answer it. The nice part is that this forum only does Silverados and Sierras (which are pretty much the same truck) So the people in the community know a great deal about it.
loveandormoney
Blaster wrote:
Some forums arn't doing well. For example all around topic forums. However if you look over at www.silveradosierra.com they are doing well. But its nice for me to go over there because if I have a question on my truck these are the people that can answer it. The nice part is that this forum only does Silverados and Sierras (which are pretty much the same truck) So the people in the community know a great deal about it.





Some forums arn't doing well.
Use FRIHOST
Sergiz
Not really. Years ago when social networks weren't that popular, people created forums to stay in touch with their (e)frineds. Those were the times when free forum hosting services were doing great. When everyone got FB (and accounts on other networks) these types of forums died because people communicate through social networks.

However, forums that actually serve a specific purpose (let it be a support forum, fan forum for something, etc) haven't changed much. I'm member of plenty of forums that are still highly activel.
loveandormoney
Same here. A lot of people meet here their friends in the forum.#
A place like this here is a good place for communication.
zacky
@deanhills, I don't think so.

There are still plenty of active community sites out there. However I notice that the numbers of active members getting low and low each and every month.

In my own opinion, it might be the effect of Facebook. One of my favorite community site switch into blogging sites and news site from community site due to inactive users and less interest. BUT they moved the community feature on Facebook. As I observe, the community brings to life again. Maybe this is because people to tend to get lazy with so many things they visit every day or they forgot to go to that site because they are already entertained using Facebook. Unlike using FB platform, the community is just few clicks away, the notifications is also good too, so I guess for my that's somehow it goes to other community.
deanhills
I still can't get people's preoccupation with Facebook. I get the fun part of it, but communicating one's daily moments so publicly, sort of worrisome. Particularly when there are so many cyber crimes reported.
coolclay
Very fascinating topic. I don't think they will ever go extinct. Just like chat IRC and other "outdated" methods of online communication have not gone extinct neither well forums. While it is obvious the affect that social media has had on online forums I think the idea that they will disappear entirely is hard for me to believe!

Just like different types of specific programs may come and go (AIM, Yahoo messenger, Windows messenger etc) I don't think general online forums will ever go away. Especially ones like Frihost!
Insanity
I think that they will stay for the most part. I don't think there are a lot of viable alternatives right now. Facebook isn't really an alternative because it's not as organized as a forum. There are threads and specific categories in a forum and the threading makes it easier to find what you need. Also, the search functions are much better and it's more of a community than a Facebook page or something similar. It might be easier to communicate to a company, but I think for the most part forums aren't going to go away at all.
Marcuzzo
IMO Forums aren't dead, they've evolved into what most people call social media.
if a forum isn't social media then I don't know what is but that is subjective.
phpbb is ugly and a dinosaur, back in the day it used to be popular because it is easy to install and manage, but the package has become dated.
I'm pretty sure that forums are still alive, but just in another form.

Frihost is brain dead for other reasons:
and if I can be honest, frihost is in a persistent vegetative state not because of it's forum but because it has been abandoned by the admin's and founder.
to give you an idea, my subdomain change request is still waiting to be processed

there are a lot of other users that have created their forum account here and posted 5 messages and requested a hosting account and this is sad.

I still log on every now and day to check if something interesting has happened but at the moment I don't even get my hopes up when I log in.
playfungames
I think that those General discussion forums have been losing a lot of members. People usually hang out in social networking websites now. But there are specific forums like xda-developers.com where the content quality is so high that a lot of people are still active.
sonam
I think the forums will not die. But some of them loose lot of members because they didn't modify their content when social networks start to grove. Social networks grab lot of attention from all their members with news, chat, etc. With this in mind forum must give something useful and different then social network.

Sonam
truespeed
With apps like whattsapp and viber,facebook may start taking a hit too,as most only use it to keep in touch with friends and families,phone apps can let you do all that and more conveniently.

Forums will be around a long time I think,if you have a hobby,or a passion,you look for like minded people,and forums are the perfect get together place.
saratdear
As a whole? I would say yes. But one curious thing I found is that reddit communities are still thriving, despite being almost entirely forum-ish.
Blaster
Reddit has been so popular for so long now that I doubt it will go under. In fact I see a lot of stuff floating around the internet that originated from reddit.
zacky
Blaster wrote:
Reddit has been so popular for so long now that I doubt it will go under. In fact I see a lot of stuff floating around the internet that originated from reddit.


Indeed. People coming back due to certain reasons. For me as I observe, first is because of its interested topics that its users post.
loveandormoney
zacky wrote:
@deanhills, I don't think so.

There are still plenty of active community sites out there. However I notice that the numbers of active members getting low and low each and every month.

In my own opinion, it might be the effect of Facebook. One of my favorite community site switch into blogging sites and news site from community site due to inactive users and less interest. BUT they moved the community feature on Facebook. As I observe, the community brings to life again. Maybe this is because people to tend to get lazy with so many things they visit every day or they forgot to go to that site because they are already entertained using Facebook. Unlike using FB platform, the community is just few clicks away, the notifications is also good too, so I guess for my that's somehow it goes to other community.

FB has nothing to do with a forum.
FB has nothing to do with the traffic in the forums.

Why?
FB is no forum but a
mirror of Your neighbour.
spinout
I am sure that forums live a poorer life after the socail networking came about. We had some rocknroll forums in sweden that today are closed, all is happening in facebook and similar.
Blaster
With time comes change. If you look when frihost was real popular so was myspace.Now if you go on myspace you would be lost. Facebook I feel is slowly on the way out as well. We tend to draw towards the up and comming trends in technology. After that technology becomes old we lose intrest in it and find something else to waste our time doing.
loveandormoney
spinout wrote:
I am sure that forums live a poorer life after the socail networking came about. We had some rocknroll forums in sweden that today are closed, all is happening in facebook and similar.


Maybe there is another reason.

Who likes to play rocknroll beside the Stones?


Or do Status Quo play rocknroll?
grofet
It's just like IRC in the past. IRC become popular so fast than email. Then a lot of new interesting stuff come and makes IRC not interesting anymore. Right now there are still many IRC server stay online but with small amount of real people on the server. Many young people don't know anything about IRC. Some of adult people also never hear about IRC. Right now whats app, blackberry messenger, line, kakao, wechat, facebook, twitter, and some kind of like that taking over the internet communication. We can not do anything about that. Only new stuff in the future can make changes on the internet.
deanhills
I disagree Grofet. Thing about Frihost is that it has quite a wide variety of topics for different audiences. It will take much longer for it to go under than the IRC.
HazyJay
We have a forum on a TV service I work for, and we've found that the forum has reduced in chatter significantly over the last 3 years particularly. This is in direct relation with the uptake of our twitter and facebook profiles.

Essentially our forum used to be alive with many topics, then it started reducing to support requests, and now most of those are directed at us via FB etc, where we just refer them to a support email.

In 2005 following Green Day gig I joined their UK forum, that was abuzz and alive and vibrant. Then once FB and Bebo came along it dwindled slowly, and is no more.

In contrast to that however, I find that dedicated community forums are alive and kicking. From physical communities (such as the areas you live in) to online communities for, say, WOW or CoD, if it has a sole purpose, then they're doing well.

I think if forums were more up to date in design and more on par with social media (with easier sharing etc) then there'd be a resurgence in usage as people seek alternatives to Facebook desperately!
deanhills
HazyJay wrote:
I think if forums were more up to date in design and more on par with social media (with easier sharing etc) then there'd be a resurgence in usage as people seek alternatives to Facebook desperately!
Good point. Particularly about Facebook, as I really "hate" the site with a passion. Tried to open an account a week ago for marketing a Website. Facebook would not allow me to register with the name of the Website, saying that I need to register with a personal name and would be given the option to use a different name for the page once I've been set up. So when I wanted to use that option after registration, in the settings, it says that changes will only take effect within 60 days and I have to use my cell phone to verify details. There are so many of these very irritating inconsistencies. Facebook's rules are geared for personal use, although being greedy like most of these large corporations they want to cash into the corporate type accounts as well, but the way they are set up for corporate sucks right through to archaic tools for setting up pages. I don't think they are dynamic enough to keep pace, BUT there are so many sheep out there that are supporting Facebook, probably going to take ages to find successful alternatives.
loveandormoney
grofet wrote:
It's just like IRC in the past. IRC become popular so fast than email. Then a lot of new interesting stuff come and makes IRC not interesting anymore. Right now there are still many IRC server stay online but with small amount of real people on the server. Many young people don't know anything about IRC. Some of adult people also never hear about IRC. Right now whats app, blackberry messenger, line, kakao, wechat, facebook, twitter, and some kind of like that taking over the internet communication. We can not do anything about that. Only new stuff in the future can make changes on the internet.


You are right.
Many people do not know this.
Blaster
Facebook is great for personal use. Its also nice for its groups. We use groups for our firehouse in order to keep up on details. This is one way that facebook has replaced forums though. At one point there were forums we had on the backend of our website. This is now replaced with the facebook group.
deanhills
Blaster wrote:
This is now replaced with the facebook group.
They look a bit messy though don't they? Surrounded by all kinds of ads and stuff. Gatecrashers and spammers. I really don't get why people go for Facebook with such intensity. Must be something I'm missing.
Blaster
I agree but for us its nice. It works well with my phone so I can keep up to date on what is going on.
deanhills
OK, that makes sense. Keeping in touch. Substituting for phone calls. How about Twitter? Although I guess Twitter is limited, one can say more in Facebook.
loveandormoney
Blaster wrote:
Facebook is great for personal use. Its also nice for its groups. We use groups for our firehouse in order to keep up on details. This is one way that facebook has replaced forums though. At one point there were forums we had on the backend of our website. This is now replaced with the facebook group.


Did You ever read a newspaper?
Blaster
Twitter is nice for letting the public know whats going on in short. As for the newspaper I'm lost at what you are getting at.
loveandormoney
Twitter is a good concept. Because it is very fast.
Blaster
Twitter is a good place to post tibet news info. Other than that there is no real good reason for twitter.
loveandormoney
PR
Twitter is a very good way to share PR.

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