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IP.Board & The Forum Will Be Dead Within 5 Years

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The vast majority of attempts that I've seen of using social networking to increase membership count don't work, or don't work well. After all, if people are interested enough in something to join a website dedicated to that thing, they are much more likely to Google it and join that website first than to first search for the corresponding fan group on Facebook, Twitter, etc. With regards to which tends to drive people where, I believe that it's usually the other way around: members join the fan group, instead of fan group fans becoming members. But please, show me an example of a fan group that drove a relatively significant number of people to join a site rather than vice versa.




I think it depends on your site first of all, as to what it is about. If it has interesting content and you post interesting snippets for example on your facebook page. And the fans of your facebook page share them on their own walls, a recommendation from a friend carries far more weight than a 6+ listing in a Google search in my honest opinion. Using facebook to get personal recommendations is a fantastic possibility and for those that say it simply does not work it may be that you simply aren't going the right way about it.

I am a fan of several sites on Facebook and when they post interesting snippets on their page it comes up in my news feed, I then follow the link to their site to read it. This is specifically true for Gizmodo, whilst I think a lot of their content is crap, occasionally a good story will crop up on my news feed from them and I will then follow the link through to their site and read the article, if I then enjoy the article and think some of my friends will find it interesting I will then share the link on my wall, I may even tag specific friends so that I share it with them if I think they will find it interesting. How is this not a great opportunity? This kind of personal recommendations is amazing!

If you have interesting topics on you forum, and you can share links to this content on Facebook, Twitter and the likes, people who are fans of your Facebook page will have this come up in their news feed, they can then follow through to the forum post, read it and if they enjoy it they may share the link on their wall/timeline, which in turn gives you exposure to an additional 300 people. It is all about how you work it and how much time you are willing to invest in social media. You have to go about these things the right way.

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I think it depends on your site first of all, as to what it is about. If it has interesting content and you post interesting snippets for example on your facebook page. And the fans of your facebook page share them on their own walls, a recommendation from a friend carries far more weight than a 6+ listing in a Google search in my honest opinion. Using facebook to get personal recommendations is a fantastic possibility and for those that say it simply does not work it may be that you simply aren't going the right way about it.



I am a fan of several sites on Facebook and when they post interesting snippets on their page it comes up in my news feed, I then follow the link to their site to read it. This is specifically true for Gizmodo, whilst I think a lot of their content is crap, occasionally a good story will crop up on my news feed from them and I will then follow the link through to their site and read the article, if I then enjoy the article and think some of my friends will find it interesting I will then share the link on my wall, I may even tag specific friends so that I share it with them if I think they will find it interesting. How is this not a great opportunity? This kind of personal recommendations is amazing!



If you have interesting topics on you forum, and you can share links to this content on Facebook, Twitter and the likes, people who are fans of your Facebook page will have this come up in their news feed, they can then follow through to the forum post, read it and if they enjoy it they may share the link on their wall/timeline, which in turn gives you exposure to an additional 300 people. It is all about how you work it and how much time you are willing to invest in social media. You have to go about these things the right way.




Out of the people you shared snippets with, how many of them can you confirm followed through to the site and joined as members because of that? I agree that it largely depends on the site, and since I presume that this thread is primarily discussing forum/community-based sites, how many people have you converted to members of such sites by sharing stuff on social networks? If more than a few, congrats.

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I never point my members to social media networks. While they are aware that they exist, the members on my site are longtime supporters of my community. They use Facebook and Twitter but that Facebook and Twitter doesn't replace the forum experience because all they are is a networking community. It's just "networking" and networking is just connecting with other people. Facebook has tried to create a "forum-like" experience but they've failed miserable at creating that.

Facebook tries too hard to be a forum-like experience and they fail miserably at that. With forum communities that run IPB, vBulletin or whatever, they are not pretending to be social networks or status update sites like Twitter. This is why message forums have survived as long as it has and why it will always be around. Just look at one of the original BBS', ISCABBS, which has existed since the late 1980's. The BBS, Message Board or Message Forum experience will never die out. There may be new forum software that replace what has come before, but the forum experience will continue to exist, as it has existed longer than Facebook has and still continues to exist to this very day.

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I have worked on previous sites where it was more article based and that worked well for getting new members. With my site I primarily use it to keep my users coming back. They are fans of my facebook page and if I have something interesting to share with them I post a link on the facebook page and in turn this comes up on their news feed. As I said in a previous post most of your members are likely to already be using Facebook or Twitter, sharing them regular content (as long as you don't spam it) will keep them coming back. It is not always about getting new members but it is also about keeping your members coming back for more. IF they are regularly on Facebook anyway, keeping them updated via Facebook will transfer them from Facebook to your site. and the same clearly works for Twitter too.

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OP raise a valid point with respect to the role of social media and the decline in forum discussion participation. It is a paradigm shift in social discourse.



Let us compare Invision Power versus Facebook using Compete.



post-1449-0-14938600-1333817682_thumb.jp

Versus



post-1449-0-62768100-1333817728_thumb.jp


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Correlation_does_not_imply_causation

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The members I have on my forums use Facebook and Twitter because of my forums, not vice versa. I've actually seen activity on my forums increase when those who had never posted a message receive an email from my forums bulk tool that accounts would be purged if members didn't post at least one message on the forums. Not only did I see members who never posted a single message, posting on my forums with their accounts but I also saw in increase in donations (which are used to keep my site funded).

Because of that, I'm considering licensing IP.Blog, IP.Gallery and IP.Downloads.

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As long as a company thinks rationally, strategizes, uses statistical forecasting methods, and adapts to the changing market, it will have a better chance of survival than not.

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Simply put, if Facebook decided to take down forums then there is pretty much nothing any one of us can do. We can't compete with Facebook if they decided to have forums so we all should be thankful that they are not going down that road.

Forums haven't evolved in terms of concepts since the past 20 years. Conceptually, forums have topics which have posts and that's pretty much sums it all up whereas Facebook evolved dramatically considering that it was started as university "game". In addition, FB has more fun factor and addictive nature than online forums which are usually filled with trolls, smart asses and alikes :P

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Simply put, if Facebook decided to take down forums then there is pretty much nothing any one of us can do. We can't compete with Facebook if they decided to have forums so we all should be thankful that they are not going down that road.



Forums haven't evolved in terms of concepts since the past 20 years. Conceptually, forums have topics which have posts and that's pretty much sums it all up whereas Facebook evolved dramatically considering that it was started as university "game". In addition, FB has more fun factor and addictive nature than online forums which are usually filled with trolls, smart asses and alikes :P




Facebook already has forums actually, and they're relatively inactive. Back to the main subject at hand, I sincerely doubt that Facebook is a serious competitor for forum platforms. One is focused on general social networking, whereas the other is more specialized. There exist substantial markets for each.

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If that isn't proof that Facebook is dying then I don't know what is. The simple fact is, that Facebook is bound to be replaced by something fresher and more innovating. The only thing they have going for them is that everyone is hoping to cash in big when Facebook's IPO is unveiled on Wall Street. Everyone is hoping to get rich on Facebook stock but once that initial IPO is released, Facebook is simply going to go back to being the boring old website it has always been.

The whole site is an unorganized mess.

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They're buying up these companies that I have never heard of. Wow! Like this is news? lols. It's like Microsoft buying Netscape. Since Microsoft already owned most of Netscape, the announcement was for the news that they pruchased the name "Netscape". Facebook must be running out of ideas since they don't create anything that could be considered innovative.

:lol:

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They're buying up these companies that I have never heard of. Wow! Like this is news? lols. It's like Microsoft buying Netscape. Since Microsoft already owned most of Netscape, the announcement was for the news that they pruchased the name "Netscape". Facebook must be running out of ideas since they don't create anything that could be considered innovative.



:lol:




Firstly, unless my memory serves me incorrectly but Netscape was purchased by AOL, Microsoft then paid AOL millions to switch to Internet Explorer, and this basically spelled the end of Netscape as a brand?

Secondly, instagram is a very popular service for social photo sharing, I can see why this is big news for Facebook considering it is the first real sized company they have acquired.

I don't mean to be argumentative but it is helpful if you understand the facts surrounding these companies before you slate them.

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They're buying up these companies that I have never heard of. Wow! Like this is news? lols. It's like Microsoft buying Netscape. Since Microsoft already owned most of Netscape, the announcement was for the news that they pruchased the name "Netscape". Facebook must be running out of ideas since they don't create anything that could be considered innovative.



:lol:



It is news. Instagram is actually the hugest photo-sharing social network around, and it recently opened up to Android users (since it was initially for only iOS users). Facebook bought it for $1 billion.

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I sincerely doubt that Facebook is a serious competitor for forum platforms. One is focused on general social networking, whereas the other is more specialized. There exist substantial markets for each.



I think everyone who has been following this thread probably agrees, so why are we still talking about Facebook *. Of course this isn't to say changes can't happen.

%7Boption%7D



People who've never had an account here, should open one, pick a professional sector which could be oil to diamonds to writing subtitles to graphic design and start adding poeple. Then join some respective groups. The constant mention of Facebook has me wonder whether people know what I'm talking about.


* and I'm not having a dig at you pal, apologies if it seems that way.

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I actually think that Facebook is driving a need for better organised communication. I've seen a few companies that have started out using Facebook to connect with customers and have since purchase IP.Board because they've outgrown Facebook.

This very topic has come up every 6 months or so since Facebook gained traction in 2006. Here we are, many years later and our business is still growing (and those stats from compare.com are way off the mark).

Be smart. Use these tools to your advantage and I can't see how you can fail.

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What we've found (having been online since before facebook) is that focused discussion has increased since it became popular and facebook even helps to drive that. But some of the general, social chat and discussion which we had as a small part of the community has shifted more to facebook.

As Matt says, people have been saying that fb will kill forums for years and it's not happened yet, people have also been saying fb will die for years too but that's looking pretty wide of the mark as well (understatement!)

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I loved the prospect of the bigger share buttons for topic starters on thread creation...



[img]

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... but the above ain't good enough I'm afraid.



Like it or not Facebook and Twitter have, and soon Google+ will have a massive domination over the internet. IP.Board isn't riding off their success enough.



How many people actually notice those buttons as their attention diminishes on approach to the bottom of a forum topic?



How it should look :



[img]

[/img]



That's at the base of the header-post, then the replies start, and again at the bottom of each page of replies the options to share should be highly visable.



And look at the way websites are constructed now. It's best practice to have share buttons at both the bottom and the top of any webpage. As we know not many people actually make it to the bottom of any page. So in addition each thread should look like this


So basically, you want share buttons at the top and bottom of each page as well as at the bottom of the original post? Okay then, why not just have it at the top and bottom of each post and heck, while at it, have it appear every so often within each post if the post takes up more than one page on the screen? On top of that, could just make it randomly produce a pop-up encouraging people to share the topic and keep nagging the member until they use at least three of the available services. Heck, let's make it easier. Person is required to connect their account to FB/Twitter and one other service, where the community could do the sharing automatically. Every time a new topic is made, it's automatically shared to every FB/Twitter/etc account that it's connected to for each of its members. That way, the member doesn't have to do the work of sharing stuff manually.


Adapt or die.


"You know what they say: Adapt or die. Or in my case, don't." - Medium, episode "Penny for Your Thoughts"


Remember myspace?


Myspace? What's that?

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I've made a change to my ip content page:
http://celtictalk.org/

Before you could only see how many comments there were on the main page. Now I've added in twitter and facebook so people can see how many people have shared the articles. Then inside the articles I have the same buttons but also added google+

Personally this makes the sharing feature deeper. Would be good if I can add a reddit button that shows how many up votes it has then the same with digg. In one day two of my articles got onto the reddit soccer front page getting 200+ upvotes and 60+ upvotes.

edit, I just learned that reddit does have such a feature, so that will be getting added right away.

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I've made a change to my ip content page:


http://celtictalk.org/

Before you could only see how many comments there were on the main page. Now I've added in twitter and facebook so people can see how many people have shared the articles. Then inside the articles I have the same buttons but also added google+



Personally this makes the sharing feature deeper. Would be good if I can add a reddit button that shows how many up votes it has then the same with digg. In one day two of my articles got onto the reddit soccer front page getting 200+ upvotes and 60+ upvotes.



edit, I just learned that reddit does have such a feature, so that will be getting added right away.




Dude, share ... your code!!! That totally rocks and looks so crisp and professional. I want to know how you did it.

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Boards never die. At least in case when f*ckbook will go in current way.

Damn IT! I don't understand why those losers (facebook developers) change settings every month! I created new page for my new fan site. I cannot find code for Like it feature. Where is it?!

Timeline is another great fail. Since I see profiles and pages with timeline it's confusing.

I PROMISE if IP.BOARD will go in the same way I sell my licence!!

DO NOT make big changes!

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I think the boards will continue having a important role on communities, social medias are for general things, the boards have an important role on specific subjects, like games, tecnology, etc. I think the boards don't must compete with social medias, but can be complemented with that. The social medias today works very fine like RSS.

If you have a great content you will work WITH the social medias, not AGAINST.

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Like it or not Facebook and Twitter have, and soon Google+ will have a massive domination over the internet. IP.Board isn't riding off their success enough.




They already do. As did Myspace and the likes. However, I seriously don't think we need more of these social networks thrown into peoples' faces. After all, doesn't the media do enough of that? And most people already know they are there and many know how to find buttons for them on websites.

Most major news networks, big brand names, and even the weather channel is always telling people to follow them on Twitter and Facebook instead of visiting their own websites. Lol...thanks to that kind of FREE promotion, guess whose revenue increases?

You go to sites online and you have the like button thrown in your face everywhere. You try to sign up for a site and again you get these networks thrown in your face as a login method. And let's not forget all the follow us buttons and how many people we have as friends lists blasted on all these websites.

Really? Doesn't anyone want to manage their own websites and members anymore? I thought people wanted to get traffic and new members on their own site. Yet, people and businesses promote the hell out of social networks much more than their own websites!! Then wonder why they don't get more traffic and members. And wonder why when people reach the site through a search engine, they follow off to the social network site where they are told to go follow and where everyone else seems to be.

Why wouldn't people not be on these social networks when they can get updates from these profiles and fanpages all in one place. After all, people can be lazy. And it's like having an rss feed reader for all your favorite places. What's the sense in visiting the actual websites unless something catches your eye in a brief notice of an update that flashes by quickly and you want to read more. Even then, people read it and come back to the social network.

I hear people boasting about how every business should be on all these social network sites to generate more business and more traffic. ROFLMAO!!!! We've been there, done that, for years for our online websites and brick and mortar business!!!! We have well over 10,000 LOCAL (within a 75 mile radius) friends on one social network. Even with generating a lot of friends, it doesn't guarantee you are going to get more traffic or more members or more business.

Getting the word out and getting people interested isn't as simple as you think it is on these social networks. Lots of people use these places to vent and talk about themselves or to kill boredom with apps. They add lots of people as their friends to look popular and rarely care about what people post unless it's the local gossip from real family/friends, and/or their handy new finangled way of having an rss feed reader to glance at the latest from people and websites they don't intend to visit. You'll generate more bots on your website than you will actual people.

Twitter has a cap now on how many people you can request friendships from and have shut down accounts in the past when you've requested too many. Been there! If someone tells Facebook that they don't know you and you requested a friendship, they scold you and make you go through a "process" to get back to your account. Been there! You don't have to be a spammer to get in trouble for friend requesting. Been there! So, if you aren't careful with friend requesting people...it's sometimes pointless to even try to gain those new people.

Let's not forget what everyone is promoting here, either. These networks are requesting more and more personal information. It's not just email addresses anymore. They ask for your cell phone number, address, schools attended, where you work, who your family members are, etc. There are a lot of people who don't even know that this information isn't always required either (even if "optional" is visible)...so they fill it in. Those same people add as many friends as possible and wonder why everyone (including scammers & spammers) has their personal information.

This year I have gradually moved all our updates off of these social networks. All of our content is now officially where it belongs....in our hands. Traffic has significally climbed on several of our websites (and I don't mean more of their bots, either).

And jeepers, sometimes a page takes way to long to load because of the FB and Twitter crap. If I'm on a slower computer at the time, I close any general site that says it's loading FB or Twitter. It's not like you can't find more information on other websites that load faster. I know most of my sites load faster than competitors who have SN stuff...lol!

Obviously, not everyone will have the same opinion here nor the same experience. After all, we are different in so many ways and our websites and businesses are quite different as well. Just couldn't resist sharing my opinion and our experience thus far. But, to each their own in the end.

I still strongly believe that we don't need more of any social network stuff in our faces. We have plenty of good SN tools already inside IPB to utilize if we choose to do so. And there are many other ways we can enhance our websites with newer features in IPB to entice new members without more SN tools.

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