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So, while pondering about the forum system here@frihost, I wondered. Why do forums suck nowadays? How do you make people engage in a, to put it nicely, archaic way of interacting with people? How do you even get this people to MAKE USE OF IT?

I mean, right now I'm even writing this post in a PHPBB forum frontend somehow. It's strange

11 blog comments below

If a messageboard is archaic, what's a modern means of persistent mass-communication? What is the modern equivalent or replacement of messageboards?
Ankhanu on Fri Jul 13, 2012 8:35 pm
The answers are: Twitter and Facebook. Now, which question am I answering?

First: I think it's harder to maintain a good forum recently, because many come with a tweet mentality. They have more of a tendency to post a short comment without much thought.

Second: Whether desirable or not, fly-by posting sites seem to be the trend. Does that make forums archaic? Just like Usenet before them, forums seem to be yesterday's news to the majority of social-site posters.
SonLight on Fri Jul 13, 2012 9:30 pm
What I was thinking about is, how exactly would one go to promote usage of a forum nowadays? I mean besides niche stuff like here
cfvergara on Fri Jul 13, 2012 9:37 pm
Facebook and Twitter are NOT useful as repositories of information and discussion. They have their use in communication, but are not very good at encouraging discussion or providing an easy to search interface to find information. They are popular, but they're not designed for such use, and they predictably fall flat.

But, yeah, cfvergara, your question is entirely valid... and it was valid even when this medium was at its height. I've always had difficulty promoting and keeping interest high in the various messageboards I've run and been involved with; grabbing people's attention and eliciting a passion for communicating with one another is freakin' hard... and really, the specific medium doesn't matter. I don't have an easy answer, it really comes down to a lot of hard work, getting your name/site out there and interacting with your target audience.

The secret to a good, and active, forum is to build a community... and that doesn't happen over night. It's highly personality driven, as well as content driven. The content can be seeded by one or two passionate individuals, but it's engagement that really builds the community... I've yet to find that magic something that really grabs people and brings them into a community. (but I'm also not much of a "people person" so that could have something to do with it Wink )
Ankhanu on Sat Jul 14, 2012 12:00 am
I would agree that forums are hard to maintain a good community within, but without the community it is hard to do much real activity. However, miro-blogging platforms (like Twitter) are not the greatest at mass-communication either. I wonder if there is a truly great way to do it... Or if it still needs to be discovered.
pauline123 on Sat Jul 14, 2012 11:31 pm
What do you think is a better way? Maybe the first thing to do is create a vision. It may not be practical or even possible but an important first step I think?
Bluedoll on Mon Jul 16, 2012 12:35 pm
I'd like to see something similar to Quora but without the crap, and without the specific purpose. I want the BBS spirit back )=
cfvergara on Mon Jul 16, 2012 4:17 pm
Perhaps the BBS spirit will come back one day. You can always hope it will or you can try to make it happen. Either way it will come to pass if it is meant to happen.
pauline123 on Mon Jul 16, 2012 4:30 pm
Strictly speaking, that's impossible. BBS died completely and there's not a single tool nowadays that resembles the usage patterns.

Sad as it is, that's pretty much how it goes...
cfvergara on Wed Jul 18, 2012 2:23 pm
Not entirely true. There are still some sites out there that have a very BBS sort of interface. For example, I had been playing a play-by-post D&D game on a site called MacRay's Keep until recently (I convinced the DM to move the game to my messageboard) that uses a BBS form of posting/tracking. But, yeah, you're right, the BBS style is pretty tough to come by these days.
Ankhanu on Wed Jul 18, 2012 2:47 pm
As I said the SPIRIT of BBS not necessarily that BBS would or should come back. Technology has a way of progressing that sometimes seems to make a circle in itself where certain habits, customs, procedures seem to get resurrected for a time. However, the SPIRIT of a time can come back at any point.
pauline123 on Wed Jul 18, 2012 5:22 pm

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