Are forums everywhere dieing a death?

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#1
Wow! I remember from a few years ago that this was a pretty happening place with quite a buzz! Now it only seems to have a few posts a week!!!

What happened, and where has everyone gone? If there is a great place to visit now for website/techy type questions can you point me in the right direction?

Have just come here from a forum with a paid membership I rejoined after a years absence to see that they are suffering the same fate. Is this something all forums are suffering as people spend more time tweeting and on facebook?
 
#2
As you can see I am a die-hard forum user here, however its not an open forum. There are only certain topics people choose to engage in.

Real recent internet usage stats for the US put internet access at just over 239 million out of 310 million. Facebook users in the US: 143 million out of that 239 million. So there is a huge move here to use Facebook. Facebook Groups and I know quite a few techies using LinkedIn Groups for social interaction.

But yes, you noticed too how slow it is -- how quiet people are, I'm one of the few vocal barflies left hanging around SC on a daily basis. nice chatting with you. :grin:
 
#3
Thanks for the response DSL :)

Have avoided linkedin as am constantly bombarded by people insisting I join their network when I have very little in common with them and they just appear to be playing a numbers gain. Maybe I should look at again with a less cynical eye!

I imagine the thanksgiving holdiay may be a partial reason for the lack of activity, though it does seem to extend back a but further than this here.

Have just posted a similair discussion on a paid forum and received a quite defensive response, maybe they thought I was on the attack? Nevermind, glad to meet and receive a more level and open answer! :)
 
#4
I don't know how rambunctious you are, but using Google Alerts you can set it up to monitor the web for key phrases of things you have an interest in and see where the action is coming from, like from blogs or forums or news sites.

right now I'm using it to help me develop real-time content. Watching terms in my interest category and writing my thoughts down about the conversations I read.

I'll see how that works out.
 
#6
There's one thing I am sure of- forums are not dieing!! FOFLOL

Unless they are going into the colouring or engineering business. Ha ha!
 
#8
maybe something is killing them off

Just a thought in passing.
One possible cause may the increasing pressure from spammers, harvesters and hackers.
I have noticed that SC isn't even immune to this problem.
Some site administrators may just be throwing in the towel and giving up.
 
#9
I think forums are actually on the up! People can find a community for anything they like.
Facebook has stolen alot of people from other forums but there still are more people joining forums about football, boxing etc and cars and cycles etc.
Some forums help people lose weight etc.
They are addictive though if you get into an arguement you enjoy with someone. I used to argue all day with a bloke from Utah about music till I had to throw in the towel as it was taking up too much of my time!
 
#10
Dont confuse quantity with quality.

This is still my 'go to' forum if I have a serious query and the place that I look to see if I can help anyone with genuine questions.
 
#11
As an old member that rarely visits these days, I was also a member during the very busy days. I think basically it all depends on the subject of the forum.
I had a huge amount of help here when I was setting up my first site using Serif. After a few years I realised that most members were interested more in the precise coding whereas I needed more about selling at which point I started visiting a very busy dropshipping forum which had a huge amount of information on Zen Cart sites which I wanted to get into.
Now that forum has become a lot like this one.
I think the reason for the downturn is that basically out of a huge membership there are usually quite a small percentage of posters. When forums like this and the dropshipping forum have been running for a few years you can usually find all the answers you need by using the search so not so much need to post. At the same time it gets very laborious to keep answering the same quesions over and over for those that won't use the search. I think that's when the regulars begin to slowly move away.
Forums that deal in hobby subjects don't seem to have that problem. I'm a member of a torch forum which most nights has any number up to 500 members on and has done ever since I joined 7 years ago. But hobby forums always have something new to chat about so they don't have the same problem as here.
Anyway, got some work to do now. Regards to any of the "oldies" that still pop in - JWJ and the rest.
Take care all.
Alan.
 
#12
I'm afraid my lack of visiting - to suddenly find a very non-active forum - was due more to circumstances beyond my control, namely the Chinese Government. But now I live back in the free world, I would like to think we could re-generate interest. How, is another matter.

My interest now is my photography and I'm building a new website to front my "stuff".

Just as Alan says, most people can find the answers by searching - and I found many here - it would be worthwhile knowing the visitor stats for the forum and how it was accessed and for what reason - just as we know through Statcounter the same stats about our sites.
 
#14
Alan,
I'm afraid it's not very warm at the moment and won't be again until spring - winter in Corfu is wet and windy with lots of mudslides etc. BUT, summer has its compensations - hot and sunny.

Gets down to just above freezing in the winter and 15cms of snow fell on the mainland not too far way.
 
#15
I just wonder how StatCounter is doing all in all? I don't post or read as much in here as I used to. I also don't pay attention to my stats like I used to (or still should?).

Maybe it's just a slump that the forum is going through.
 
#16
I certainly still keep an eye on the stats - probably more than ever. I think if you have an ecommerce site it is one of THE most important things to do. You have to know where visitors are coming from, where they look, where they leave. And it's a nice easy link to find how you're doing for each product in the search engines.
 
#17
Hi Alan, nice to see you dropping in.

I agree entirely with what Alan has posted. For me, the forum doesn't provide the same interest it used to. Back in the 'busy days' Alan is referring to, we had a number of members building their own web sites from scratch. Some commercial, like Alan's, and some hobbyist, like mine. Whatever the reason, we were all learning what we could about building a site, from the design stage through to W3C compliance and search optimisation. There was a lot to learn and we all piled in to help each other. And we disagreed and debated and all gave our 2 cents worth and it was 'fun' as well as being useful.

That dynamic has changed considerably. Probably because of the availability of blogs and e-commerce software, the need to build raw website's has gone away. As a result, the content of the forum has shifted and I find little of interest here these days. That said, I drop in every day and read every post, I just find very little to comment on. But everything runs in cycles and one day the dynamic will shift again. I hope so because I miss the old topics and the free banter with like-minded members. :wink:
 
#18
This cybatrons tag is a staff tag we use at sites providing us services, such as StatCounter stats tracking. That being said, there are about a half dozen people on our staff with access to it at various websites. From what most of us have seen, some sites seem to be slowing down, but others are picking up.

I don't think forums sites are really going out. I think a lot of them are in a slump, and may pick back up. Right now they're under assault by a number of competitors for visitors that didn't exist before; facebook, twitter, etc. I also think it depends on what those sites offer as to their chances for survival. For those unfamiliar, I'm going to be using the term rpg quite a bit in my explaination of a few things. This refers to Role Play Gaming; Dungeons & Dragons, etc.

On our network we have 3 sites offering some sort of forums and chats free, add-free hosting, and we have an index we set up to try and help people find good free stuff on the net. Out of the 2 Beehive forums and x7chats sites, the site offering the most features with it's free services is of course getting the most hits, while the one offering only basic forums and x7chats hosting is getting the least. One site on the network offers 4 different hosting packages for rpg and rpg related sites; using phpbb3, with a choice between 2 chat systems, that site is picking up. The only site that doesn't offer forums is the index site, and it's been pretty steady all along.

One thing we've seen is people looking for good free forums hosting services, but when they sign up for hosting, they go in and find their free hosting packages comes with adds everywhere. This annoys a lot of people and they lose interest, especially for rpg sites, particularly when those adds have nothing to do with rpg. We put all adds in a single supporters area. This area is separate from the members areas, and accessible by a single text link. We found this works well for just about any site, and the hosting site gets what it needs to keep providing it's free hosting packages without ruining the members subsite, boards, or chats.

I think you'll see more people getting interested in forums and boards again when they find more places they can go without seeing garbage all over the place. Most forum owners I know put a lot of work into making their forums look good, and they get really ticked when a host comes along and trashes their efforts, free or not.

Once people start getting tired of some of the new services that have popped up in the last few years, and finding decent free hosts again, I think you'll find forums traffic will pick up again. I don't believe forums are going to die.
 
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