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  • Forums - slower/quieter/dying?

    Me and Azh were talking about this on twitter earlier - how are you finding forums these days? Are yours slower or quieter? Are you visiting forums less yourself? If you've noticed a change why do you think that is?
    Last edited by Razasharp; Thu 15 Sep '11, 12:33pm.
    What's Special About Ruby on Rails?

  • #2
    Forums - slower/quieter/dying?

    My forum was never thriving in the traditional sense. I have a great group of core members that post on a wide variety of things. However, the conversation has slowed as they have become friends on Facebook. It has been more difficult to get new members as well. VB is looking dated and static compared to new social sites on the web.

    I really hope we can see some improved features that don't push our community members to Facebook.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by GHST View Post
      . VB is looking dated and static compared to new social sites on the web.

      I really hope we can see some improved features that don't push our community members to Facebook.
      +1 Like

      If bulletin had a like feature I would not have had to make this comment just to indicate that I agree.
      Last edited by alfanexus; Thu 15 Sep '11, 9:26am.

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      • #4
        That's an interesting question, just checked the stats in my forum (new posts), it could be better but it's more or less on a stable level.
        Click image for larger version

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        .......

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Razasharp View Post
          Me and Azh were talking about this on twitter earlier - how are you finding forums these days? Are yours slower or quieter? Are you visiting forums less yourself? If you've noticed a change why do you think that is?

          Since I installed Vbseo's like feature + a custom made activity feed and a few other improvements to make my site more social that just forum, I have had a steady increase in site activity. Its just annoying that you have to do all this custom work to make your bulletin site feel as a modern community site.

          I think there is a bright future ahead for niche communities, but people has gotten used to the Facebook kind of community feel, and might find forums only sites a little outdated.

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          • #6
            + 100k users during the last year, so I would say no.
            Many of our users do not like facebook, so that might be part of it.

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            • #7
              Its definitely tougher then it was to get users involved in forums. My forums are receiving more visitors than ever, but the time people spend on it is much lower. Mostly because of the time they spend on facebook and more modern sites and because vbulletin lacks the instant gratification features that people are used to these days. People are not going to bother searching if groups, blogs, image gallery has new content. Facebook and other sites present new content to people in one activity stream and also notify by email and onsite about anything new. vbulletin is too fragmented and lacks good content discovery. It looks and feels outdated and people prefer better UXD than what vbulletin offers.

              Another issue is that forums are often used as a free for all for various content. i.e. articles, video, documents, images, reviews, whatever, are all posted into forums, while this is not the optimal format for everything. People used to be happy with such chaos because technology was limited. But now people are used to and prefer appropriate content types. For example: They will go to a proper reviews site, rather than browsing forum threads for hotel reviews. This is why vbulletin needs custom content types.
              Last edited by Alfa1; Fri 2 Dec '11, 10:19am.
              I buy 420 forums

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              • #8
                Yup. Personally speaking my site has been on a slight decline. Don't get me wrong, it's still active in comparison to other forums I lurk around, but the people leaving aren't getting easily replaced. I don't blame anyone or anything other than myself, however. I'm not a marketing guy, never was, never intend to be - one of our original administrators was into that stuff, and he did it well up until 2010 when he got into a lot of personal stuff and ultimately left on our advice.

                Times change. With it you need to change your tactics.

                I don't agree with blaming the software when there are existing discussion boards maintaining particularly decrepit (and in internet terms 'ancient') softwares and still manage to pull in thousands of discussions daily. The main difference is they are actually old and got into the game early on. Maintaining an already popular forum in this modern era isn't the real problem, it's starting one.

                You could have a site that included the kitchen sink and the corporate fridge (with lobster!) and it wouldn't mean jack if it's a stock implementation of a turnkey solution that anyone could buy and/or download and set up. Your site has a lot of fancy features? Congratulations! But so does X, Y and Z's sites... It isn't some magic feature set that retains members, it's uniqueness. All of these big sites, yes, most do use an initial turnkey such as Joomla, vBulletin, Wordpress etc, but that's not the meat, just the bones. They build onto that with custom and unique items that separates them from everyone else..

                IMO.. One of the worst things a site administrator can do is overwhelm their target audience with things they [the audience] will never or hardly ever use; you need to truly dumb things down for them. They [the audience] are not site administrators (unless that's your target audience) that get giddy over the same things you do. I would rather take 5 good and well-implemented core (and by 'core' I mean absolute basic necessity) features over 50 shiny things that try to 'mimic' something else (read: Facebook) and build off that (the core set) in a personal and unique sense.

                All of this is my opinion and I don't expect anyone to relate. I could go on about it, but I'm already starting to become redundant. I don't care if people agree with me, that's the awesome part about opinions.

                tl;dr: You can't base your entire site off of a base turnkey solution and expect success. Don't hate the player, hate the game.

                Originally posted by Razasharp View Post
                Me and Azh were talking about this on twitter earlier
                I know it's old, but I needed to comment: Anyone else see the irony here?
                - Maurice Workin' in the Jira mine, goin' down, down, down

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                • #9
                  I will never use software turnkey. I will always adjust it to my communities needs. Much of vbulletins features are bloat, because the features are not user friendly, have bad user experience design, are simply too complex. No K.I.S.S. Case in point: Xenforo has implemented Facebooks notification system and it works well. Why? Because its simple. With vbulletin users need to search if they have been quoted or have received reputation.
                  I buy 420 forums

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                  • #10
                    Forums - slower/quieter/dying?

                    Have you tried putting your forum on facebook, twitter and google+ ?
                    the more traffic you get the more members you will receive.
                    Try tweeting your forum by adding it's url and then see how many people jump on your site.
                    Aussiefootyforums

                    New Site New forum
                    Come and talk sports all day long


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                    • #11
                      We are quite niche and offer things that are not available on social media sites.
                      Our competition system is unique to forums (others have photo comps, ours is fully automated).

                      We have very good learning facilities and in depth constructive critique on image,
                      to the point that people have joined us from FB etc. as they are sick of 'Nice photo' but nothing that help them improve.

                      Our active community is steady / slight growth. There is the normal churn as well.

                      Kym
                      environment: Centos 6.9, Apache v2.4.25, PHP 5.6.30/xCache, MariaDB 10.22 -- vB5 Connect Licensed

                      AusPhotography - Australia's Premier Photographic Forum vB4.2.3
                      Rick (site owner) and Kym (site tech) sharing this account

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                      • #12
                        I don't think forums are dying. There are a lot of people can still manage to do to different forum sites to share ideas despite of having the presence of other social networking sites. Maybe enhancing some features would be great.

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