question Are forums dead?

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amplify

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Raymond Hackney poses the question of whether forums are dead or not on his blog (which if you think about it, is nothing more than owner-posted threads with owner-approved replies on a forum) after the question came up as to whether forums are dead when Epik announced DNForum ownership.

He makes some good points, gathered from, well, forums.

I would beg to differ because there is this little, I mean, huge, company called VerticalScope. They operate around 1500 communities on some of the greatest exact match domains for forums.

The licensing of the forum software to get to VerticalScope's level is estimated to be anywhere around $150,000 to $300,000 due to moving from one commercial platform to another. However, I think they got a break when Xenforo sprung up and they got a great licensing deal that isn't offered anymore -- I know, as I tried to obtain this as I want to compete with them, but the barrier to entry (a single license as opposed to an unlimited one) makes it exceedingly harder to do as each forum is another hundred to drop.

Why would I continue to operate forums and monetize domains that seemingly fit into a category that could be a community? Because it's profitable.

Unlike a blog, a forum has "user-generated content" (UGC). In most cases, this is now deemed as low-quality content by search engines. In others, it's not. You can have a thread that gets thousands of visitors a year for no apparent reason and cash in on CPC ads with that.

So are forums dead? Short answer: No. Long answer: Only if the operators of the communities don't continue to encourage users to participate, which they must determine which way is appropriate for that to happen in that particular community.

If you have the time, monetize your domains with a forum and you may never need a sale! And if a sale comes, it's probably VerticalScope knocking on your door.
 
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The "are forums dead?" is a long lasting question, which keeps being asked (usually on... forums), because they aren't!
It is difficult to have the right mix of people, enough freedom but without becoming something toxic, spur participation while keeping some quality to it, and so on. But I believe forums are very much alive.
 

robmonster

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Forums need to evolve to integrate new user experiences and create new value propositions.

Examples:

- Use audio, video, AR and VR to create more immersive engagement

- Use AI to more intelligently alert users to topics and people of interest

- Use API integrations to industry partners to drive network and ecosystem effects.

Of course I hope to see such efforts at DNF but the comments apply broadly to forums in any industry.

Clubhouse raised money at $4 billion valuation recently. It is a forum platform for audio.

Rumble raised money at above $500 million. It is a forum platform for video.

There is ample evidence that in a post-COVID era, people want to connect, interact and co-create.
 

Biggie

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Hi


for years, folks have been saying "PPC is Dead"
but for those still earning $, it's still alive.

the same can be said about forums.
as long as somebody is still posting, then that forum is still alive.

to me, it's what you want or expect out of any forum or board you visit.
they won't all have the same mindset, even if they have some of the same members.

the noise level may be quieter on one board, yet more informative
while on another, there is lots of activity and volume is turned up to full blast.

but, every forum doesn't have to be like the other, to enjoy their own measure of success.

imo....
 

Charank

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Sports forums are popular, so are few other forums. There are so many audio and text apps available for user participation like Discord or Clubhouse or even Facebook groups for that matter. But I have seen Chatrooms using lots of forums. But to monetize a forum through membership or ads is sometimes a struggle. unless the users get real value out of it they might be hesitant to pay. nevertheless, the Forum is a great place for user-participated content. If it is maintained properly.

Also, there must be some relaxation of rules. When you get new users in the forum let them use it and see what path the forum takes and change it accordingly until the forum reaches its maximum potential.
 

vivadh

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Over the years, I have participated in many internet marketing and SEO forums.

There hasn't been a change in what I get there in the past 8 years or so, the same level of engagement, the same level of activities, the same level of value.

Whether for backlinks, traffic, or sales, people are on the forum all the time.
Therefore, I do not think Forums are losing any value.

However, it is better to evolve with time.
Forums and forum owners should prioritize using the latest technology and understanding the needs of users.
 

Theo

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Forums aren't dead but some of us shifted priorities in life. Been a member of online forums since 1999 or so. It requires a lot of time spent doing what can be a hobby or a fun pastime, or even a professional interaction. Unlike Twitter, forums retain all conversations in an indexable format.

Regarding DNF, I'm glad when it runs as it should: on a steady platform, with a clean theme (with fonts my aged eyes can read!)

Will I be trading here in the future? Possibly so. So let's see how well this ship sails, all aboard!
 

seeker

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I find that in forums in general, it's not how active they are that really matters, but the signal to noise ratio that ultimately decides their fate. It's a new beginning here, so I'm expecting some good signals.
 

scithe

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I feel like I've frequented forums a lot less over the last decade than I did in the previous decade...except for Reddit. Part of this reason, I think is Facebook and FB groups. I'm there communicating with friends daily and now topics of my interest are right there as well.

Forums are great for being able to keep track of discussions as well as for going back and finding older posts. Facebook groups have some search capability but I often feel like it's lacking and I also think most FB users don't bother with it.
 

mr-x

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Nothing wrong with facebook for catching up with friends but forums making finding, saving and sharing knowledge much easier. Lot's of special interest forums doing well, backyardchickens.com, is a good example.
 

robmonster

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Forum is still alive but social media is doing everything possible to kill it.

Actually, I think social media can amplify forum posts and often does. If someone has a good forum post, promote it on social. I plan to do more of this -- write a thoughtful post on DNF and Tweet the intro.
 

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If any forum software is going to blur the lines between forums and social media it will be Xenforo.

The lesson is to stay current with Xenforo to keep up with the innovations. There are some forums using Xenforo that are so customized they are not able to update the core software and therefore cannot take advantage of the new features.

I notice DNForum is up to date with the software and I like the fact that it puts the emoticon whenever you add a link.

Example: cnn.com
 

MapleDots

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Now one of the mistakes that the forum admin is making is that links are not automatically converted. That is a simple setting on most forum software and when I add cnn.com it should automatically convert to cnn.com
 

robmonster

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If any forum software is going to blur the lines between forums and social media it will be Xenforo.

The lesson is to stay current with Xenforo to keep up with the innovations. There are some forums using Xenforo that are so customized they are not able to update the core software and therefore cannot take advantage of the new features.

I notice DNForum is up to date with the software and I like the fact that it puts the emoticon whenever you add a link.

Example: cnn.com

Thanks for the feedback. I know you are versed in Xenforo. We are also adding some custom plug-ins that we might make available generally. DNForum will be the perfect testing ground.
 

Darlington Omeh

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I notice DNForum is up to date with the software and I like the fact that it puts the emoticon whenever you add a link
Yeah, you mean the Favico? That's great as it helps to highlight URLs.

I'd also like this forum to adapt the exact onsite alert plugin the NamePros is using. That notification plugin is very efficient and useful. This current one need you to refresh the entire site to find out if there's any notification.
 

amplify

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Forum is still alive but social media is doing everything possible to kill it.
There are some elements of social media that have innovated. We're in the process of implementing some aspects of different networks as Xenforo is so versatile to build on.
That notification plugin is very efficient and useful. This current one need you to refresh the entire site to find out if there's any notification.
Notifications should update without refreshing the page, but we surely could look into making it more visible aside from the number on the bell increasing. Perhaps, with an overlay that pops up and disappears. We'll look more into it!
 
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