Forums are dead… soooo why are you still on a forum?
I had this question the other day when I was posting on a webmaster and SEO discussion forum because some smart ass dropped this bomb into a thread;
Forums are dead! Everyone and everything is moving to social and social media.
I will concede that online discussion forums have lost some of their luster over the years. Social media is definitely the “new kid on the block” and this doesn't seem to be slowing down.
I see these types of comments a lot on bulletin boards all over the web. Since I was an active member of this particular forum I did what any rational person would do, I quoted him in my reply and said:
Get of this ____ forum then.
The reply I got one day later was;
Oh no, I don't mean these forums!
Come on, people… really? Why would you post this statement on a forum and then say you obviously don't mean this particular forum is dying? What I find odd is this user had far more posts than I did and was still quite active in the community. While a lot of his posts and reputation took years to build-up there was no indication he was interested in abandoning his place in this webmaster community.
On this website I once asked, “Are forums better than Social Media?” If you see the study by Social Media Explorer shows they are. I assume social media gurus like Dave Kerpen might tell you otherwise I still believe online discussion forums have a market and will stay. Does anyone think text messaging is going anywhere?
While my foray into building online forums and communities hasn't gone that well, I still don't think that means there is no interested in them. (My wide fucking open niche didn't work out that well.) Gaming and tech forums are still popular and active. Hey, I even see some social media marketing forums out there.
Derek Mueller showed us the disadvantage of platforms in his Facebook Fraud video. On social media you aren't sure if you are getting bots or real people. With forums, as long as the spam stays off, you know you are actively engaging in meaningful discussions.
Probably people who believe forums are dead are the same people who think email marketing is dead. It's not in case you were wondering and email newsletters have seen a resurgence in the past couple of months.
Anyway I'm unsure where this rhetoric comes from, but what are your thoughts? Are forums dead? Is social media taking the place of these outlets? Will some other technology or type of site replace forums?