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Author Topic: Are Forums Dead ?  (Read 3985 times)

Offline Chip (OP)

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Are Forums Dead ?
« on: July 21, 2015, 05:15:20 AM »
Thoughts on "next generation" forum systems? (Discourse, nodeBB, etc.)
   
With the coming upgrades to DC that mouser is working on, I got to thinking about the future, the long view, how to future-proof a community like this. I run a couple of forums myself, all based on SMF (and have administered vBulletin, phpBB, and other forums as well), and while I've found SMF to be my favorite overall of the free options I've tried, its development now seems troubled and its design a bit archaic.

With the current dominance of social media and new methods of interaction that are evolving (short Twitter posts, @mentions, tagging, video and photo posting, coming interactivity/VR, who knows what else), I started to feel like traditional forums might be on their way to becoming antiquated in the way that Newsgroups are now - they still exist, people still use them, but they're relegated to a seldom-used part of the Internet where most people seldom venture. I have seen traffic diminish on the forums I manage and am part of over the past 5+ years, which might support this idea...

So I started to wonder what might be next. If SMF and the traditional forum model are losing popularity and not as appealing to new users, and perhaps younger users, then what is out there to replace these systems? What can you download and run the same way you run SMF, but with more modern features, design, interaction methods, etc? I found a few obvious answers in the most popular of such "next generation" systems, notably Discourse and nodeBB, along with a few hybrids like BurningBoard, and even (just today) some forks of SMF like ElkArte that add some needed features to SMF's base code.

Discourse seemed a bit alien to me at first, but also rather exciting in its potential. Once I found a Material Design theme for it, it looked a lot more appealing too. The others I've looked into a lot less, but from my not-very-well-researched position Discourse still appears to stand-out in features and goals. Unfortunately I haven't had a chance to try *any* of these systems yet though.

I'd love to hear thoughts and experiences from anyone who has been looking into similar systems, or better yet, who have tested one or more of these (doesn't have to be ones I mentioned, just a system that is more "modern" and "progressive" than SMF is, and ideally free/open source).

- Oshyan

> keep reading at http://www.simplemachines.org/community/index.php?topic=538288.msg0;topicseen#new
    
« Last Edit: July 21, 2015, 06:09:25 AM by Chipper »
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I do not condone or support any illegal activities. All information is for theoretical discussion and wonder.
All activities discussed are considered fictional and hypothetical. Information of all discussion has been derived from online research and in the spirit of personal Freedom.

Offline Narkotikon

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Re: Are Forums Dead ?
« Reply #1 on: July 21, 2015, 01:25:16 PM »
I'm not an IT person, and I've never been on any of those "newer" interfaces, but...

Just because something is new and improved doesn't necessarily mean it will suit the needs or tastes of all users.  I really don't like Twitter (mainly because I think it's nothing more than random blubs that people think will matter when really they're just asinine ephemera), Facebook (it's too cliquish and high-schoolish; plus, I don't really want to keep in contact with people from my past), or Instagram (while I like the idea of saying things via images, I'm not comfortable with posting personal images online). 

I think forums will still exist and be relevant, but maybe not as used.  Like the example you gave with Newsgroups. 
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Offline Chip (OP)

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Re: Are Forums Dead ?
« Reply #2 on: July 21, 2015, 01:37:38 PM »
... i agree. Facebook doesn't feel really personal and Twitter,i don't do at all.

the exciting part of this type of forum is that it's open source and very customisable.

SMF really is a great community asset. Just what a bunch of junkies need with their media fix.

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Offline _Enduser

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Re: Are Forums Dead ?
« Reply #3 on: August 09, 2015, 11:44:01 AM »
yo fuck twitter.

Nah, forums aren't going anywhere IMO.  There is just as much of pertinent need for anonymous information posting and sharing that exceeds one sentence now as ever.  Just look at all the thriving profession and hobby based forums; cop forums, IT coder and hacker forums, car forums, bodybuilding forums etc.
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Offline Dhedmo

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Re: Are Forums Dead ?
« Reply #4 on: August 10, 2015, 04:09:25 AM »
Some of the options suggested or implied are a little less (ostensibly) anonymous than the traditional forum.
Some people like to SWIM.
For what that's worth.
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Offline Roman Totale

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Re: Are Forums Dead ?
« Reply #5 on: August 10, 2015, 06:42:24 AM »
yo fuck twitter.

Nah, forums aren't going anywhere IMO.  There is just as much of pertinent need for anonymous information posting and sharing that exceeds one sentence now as ever.  Just look at all the thriving profession and hobby based forums; cop forums, IT coder and hacker forums, car forums, bodybuilding forums etc.

lol domeights!

plus white supremacist etc. forums these days it seems.

But yeah, the couple of forums I've been on over the last 10-15 years have definitely taken a dive in the last few years; could be site-specific factors more than indicators of a general trend though.
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Offline Chip (OP)

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Re: Are Forums Dead ?
« Reply #6 on: August 10, 2015, 10:10:20 AM »
we will try to keep the forum interesting by adding features and changing it's look.

yep, forums can only get better and we have some intetesting people here ... it's the members that determine the success of the forum.

you guys are cool.

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I do not condone or support any illegal activities. All information is for theoretical discussion and wonder.
All activities discussed are considered fictional and hypothetical. Information of all discussion has been derived from online research and in the spirit of personal Freedom.

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