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Are forums dead?

Discussion in 'Forum Management' started by Brian123, Apr 10, 2014.

?

Have new forums had their day?

  1. Yes, forums are a thing of the past.

    4 vote(s)
    14.8%
  2. No, there is still room on the internet for forums.

    23 vote(s)
    85.2%
  1. #1
    If you were thinking about a new networking site, would you even consider creating a forum these days?

    I have had some success with forums in the past, but are users looking for a better interactive experience? Obviously, DP is doing OK... but it has been around for years and has a dedicated user base.

    With forum software being so easily available and to set up - is there really any more room for another?

    Would you as a user be more interested in a facebook or twitter kind of platform rather than a forum?

    I just feel that building a site using something like Elgg or phpFox would encourage more user interaction - more than just a form could offer anyway? For example, a dating forum or a dating platform similar to Facebook? I'm sure the latter would be more popular?
    However, a forum on penis growth would work better than a FB style site on the same subject?

    I guess it depends on the niche, but I feel forums are starting to have had their day...

    phpbb, seems so dated now, as does SMF. VB is still developing fresh looking scripts, but is it worth the cost?

    Thoughts?
     
    Brian123, Apr 10, 2014 IP
  2. Foxxy

    Foxxy Active Member

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    #2
    It would be hard for me to say forums are dead when there are a few that I check in on as part of my regular schedule. They have certainly been impacted by social media though.

    On my own sites, I don't bother with forums. I prefer to install community apps that have more of a social media feel and can integrate with facebook/twitter/etc. If those communities get to the point of having a large active member base, then I will consider adding a forum at that time, but it will always be an after-thought.
     
    Foxxy, Apr 10, 2014 IP
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  3. Brian123

    Brian123 Active Member

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    #3
    I think it is also important to remember that is difficult to generate revenue from a forum, whereas a more "interactive" social site may create more monetization opportunity?
    Also the "realtime" aspect appeals more to users... something that a forum can't really offer.
     
    Brian123, Apr 10, 2014 IP
  4. sarahk

    sarahk iTamer Staff

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    #4
    I've got a new set of technical skills I need to pick up and I've found a google group covering it - a social network wouldn't do because my friends don't have the skills and I don't want to befriend people in the hope they do. A forum basically makes everyone your friend and leaves participation open.

    In other circumstances you want to have a bit more control over the identities of people - like dating - so a more social network thing might work but I'm not in that market so can't comment.

    The key thing is to consider what your target market need and don't just decide "I want a forum" as many people have done in the past. You may find that you can leverage more business by using someone else's forum and earning a reputation as a resident expert. I know a "property guru" who earned phenomenal amounts by doing that - he still went bust when it turned out his snakeoil wasn't up to scratch but he proved that you don't need to own the forum to earn from it.
     
    sarahk, Apr 10, 2014 IP
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  5. Brian123

    Brian123 Active Member

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    #5
    Agreed, but what if there were a social network dedicated to the skills you were looking to pick up?
    It is a tough one - anything dating or adult, definitely a forum won't work as well anymore... whereas a facebook/twitter kind of platform would.

    Someone interested in motor sports, may find a forum more appealing?

    I have created a number of forums in the past, with marginal success - but I just feel they are a bit dated now. I guess the kids on the street want a more mobile/interactive kind of network...

    Edit: Just found this article... http://www.socialengine.com/blog/2013/04/19/forums-vs-social-networks/
     
    Brian123, Apr 10, 2014 IP
  6. qwikad.com

    qwikad.com Well-Known Member Affiliate Manager

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    #6
    Unless you hit a niche that someone still cares about you prolly can spin a new forum out.

    I wouldn't bother with starting a forum, though. You can create a niche community on G+ and develop a following from there - faster.
     
    qwikad.com, Apr 10, 2014 IP
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  7. BusinessSpy

    BusinessSpy Member

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    #7
    You wrote "Are forums dead?" You found the best place to ask this kind of question, on forum!
    (clap clap clap) :)
     
    BusinessSpy, Apr 10, 2014 IP
  8. Brian123

    Brian123 Active Member

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    #8
    If you were to take the time to read my original post, I was asking about new forums.

    Clown.
     
    Brian123, Apr 10, 2014 IP
  9. thsadmin

    thsadmin Notable Member

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    #9
    DP has dropped in participation levels though, many years ago this place was pretty damn busy. Would I start a forum? Nope... would I start a social network? Nope... Basically people will follow each other, if there's heaps of people visiting a site, then everyone gets curious as to why. People really are like sheep & really like to be seen & read... that's been one of my observations, most people are like us & what drives us as web-masters is the number of visits, hits & traffic - this is the same thing that drives regular net users, like on Facebook - the majority thrive on participation, they like the "likes", "shares" & comments that they get... maybe just make a community & fill it with bots that auto reply & give the user the perception that the place is really busy :p
     
    thsadmin, Apr 10, 2014 IP
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  10. petertdavis

    petertdavis Notable Member

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    #10
    It really depends on the topic and what you have to offer, and a myriad of other factors. For example, it would be really stupid to try to start a forum for webmasters in general if you're a noname with nothing to offer other than a fresh forum install. On the other hand, if you're a world famous expert on a topic and have a good following of people, starting a forum might work very well for you. Too many people think you can just install the software and that's all it takes to succeed. That goes for more than just forums, any type of website really.
     
    petertdavis, Apr 10, 2014 IP
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  11. sarahk

    sarahk iTamer Staff

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    #11
    I'd certainly look at it but my experience with social networks is that you only really start to get value once you connect with people so it would need to be able to work around the idea of finding and following "an expert" as opposed to "a friend" which twitter has done to a certain extent.
     
    sarahk, Apr 10, 2014 IP
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  12. depat

    depat Greenhorn

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    #12
    nooooo. Reddit, facebook, youtube is like a forum. Forum is a website where a people build community. In todays world they look differently.
     
    depat, Apr 10, 2014 IP
  13. aniblow

    aniblow Active Member

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    #13
    Forums are still very much alive, and very much dead too...
     
    aniblow, Apr 10, 2014 IP
  14. ThisOldMan

    ThisOldMan Active Member

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    #14
    Let's go back to the basics. Why do you want to start a forum in the first place? To make some loose change? If that's your intention, you can achieve the same thing with less effort by just putting up a lemonade stand in front of your house. However, if you are interested in creating a place in cyber space where you can hang out with like-minded people, then go ahead and start a forum. That's what a forum is for. The money-making part should be an afterthought and not something that comes before.

    So is the age of forums coming to an end? No way. As long as there are people who want to get together in their own private space and just hang around talking about things they are interested in, or just sit there quietly listening to other like-minded people talking about things they are interested in, that's how long forums will still be around. Which probably means forever.

    A social network is like a coffee-house. All kinds of people can drop by or eavesdrop on your conversations. You may want to do that once in a while but not all the time. There are times when you just want to have a drink and a smoke with some close friends in the privacy of your home. That's when you start a forum. Contrary to popular myth, a forum is not a public place. You are only in a forum as long as the forum owner allows you to be there. You cannot demand to be in a forum. You have to be admitted.
     
    ThisOldMan, Apr 10, 2014 IP
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  15. MickJagger

    MickJagger Member

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    #15
    Absolutely not. To say forums are dead would be like saying that communication online in general is dead. Short of PM-ing any type of public communication online will be a forum of sorts (you could argue that Facebook is just a fast-moving forum).

    Like everything online I'm convinced it'll morph and change over time, but the basics are here to stay.
     
    MickJagger, Apr 10, 2014 IP
  16. matt_62

    matt_62 Notable Member

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    #16
    I dont think that existing, established forums are dead (or even necessarily dying), but if we look at how people use computers, it has changed dramatically in the last few years. I feel forums are great for desktops / laptops users, but these days most people are using phones, and tablets. I tell you, if I was using my phone, I wouldnt be writing this reply.
    So its not just about forums, etc, but how people connect to the internet in general. Still, when it comes to starting a new forum, I feel it would be like trying to start a starbucks, that is shoulder to shoulder with another starbucks - the competition is just fierce.
    Regardless of what style of script you use (forum or social script), these days most people seem to use their phones more and more, so I would put more thought on having a site mobile friendly, with suitable apps and so on. The first thing you should ask about a script is "is there a phone app" and "is it mobile friendly" and what features are available to mobile users.

    If you are starting something though, as part of your market research, be sure to check out flippa, you might even be better off taking over an existing project from someone rather then starting completely anew.
     
    matt_62, Apr 10, 2014 IP
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  17. Brian123

    Brian123 Active Member

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    #17
    Excellent response - that is my main point/concern... the internet is going mobile, forums haven't/or are slow to accommodate for this.
    Don't get me wrong, I love forums and I have loved creating them - but because the future of the web is mobile, I just don't think a forum would cut it...
     
    Brian123, Apr 11, 2014 IP
  18. Jedineka

    Jedineka Active Member

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    #18
    Regardless if it is new or not, u asked on a forum. So, if the forum is on a good niche, why wouldn`t work ?
     
    Jedineka, Apr 11, 2014 IP
  19. Brian123

    Brian123 Active Member

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    #19
    See above.
     
    Brian123, Apr 11, 2014 IP
  20. Jedineka

    Jedineka Active Member

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    #20
    The question is : Have new forums had their day?

    The answer like i told u above, it is : No. - What u have mentioned to me is the changes that forums needs in order to survive/grow.
     
    Jedineka, Apr 11, 2014 IP