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I was saddened when my online contacts eschewed the more personal communication of messaging (MSN, YIM!, Aim, Skype, etc.) for the broadcasting style communication of facebook, Twitter, etc. I hate facebook, don't have an account, and I don't want my forum to be part of its collective. I do get that there can be some good points to social media. For example, If I were to join Twitter I could have the chance to be noticed by a celebrity I would never otherwise be able to connect with, but broadcasting and consuming on social media is not something to which I want to devote an inordinate amount of time. I think when it comes to meaningful discussion the quality and archiving features that are an inherent part of forums will forever supersede the more fleeting/ephemeral characteristics of social media style discussion. To me, the broadcasting style of social media discussion resembles advertising, and while advertising is also a form of communication, it's not my preferred method of communication.

I can imagine why it might be in the interest of a lot of forums to attract numerous members, but that's not the case with me. I know nothing about monetization, and as I've already implied above, I don't like the distraction of ads; I make continual use of the mute button on my television remote because I can't stand the blather whenever a show or movie breaks for commercials. I'd love it if someone invented a setting or created an app that would automatically mute the TV when a show or movie goes to commercials. ? In line with that, my forum is small, obscure (poetry), and more members is not necessarily better. Yes, even when it comes to poetry, there are plenty of forums, but almost none of them are to my liking. Similarly, many users might find my forum not to their liking were they to join and find out that I won't allow signatures with huge, glittering unicorns, wizards, and rainbows or giant pink font to serve as a distraction in topics. And that's fine. I don't even wish to attract members whose focus isn't writing; there are plenty of other "poetry" forums (and facebook) available where one can post diary entries masquerading as poetry. I do like and tolerate emoticons, just not entire conversations in emoticons. ? I'm even hesitant to enable a "like" button. As much as I may enjoy clicking "like" on non-writing forums where I'm a member, doing so doesn't really deliver much more satisfaction than the sense that I've voted on something, an act in itself unlikely to accomplish anything much less bring about meaningful change where it matters. On my writing forum, I want to encourage writing, not mere activity like the clicking of a "like" button.

I guess my main point to all of this is that options are good: emoticons, "Like" buttons, Clubs, even social media integration. What I don't want to see is the elimination of an option important to me: opting out of things like social media integration. I activated Clubs. My forum is so small it's unlikely to have a serious need for Clubs, but I might even make one myself where members can give input on the site itself (e.g. what else they would like to see as far as direction for the site, etc). I know I could make a hidden topic for this, but a Club might have a fresher appeal than even a pinned topic.

It's imperative that forums survive. There are plenty of thinking people who need them more than ever, for whom facebook jail will never be an option.

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On 30/01/2017 at 6:31 PM, meetdilip said:

Forum software matters as well. It is hard to ignore social media features in forum software. Social login will also help you get more members.

Hey, not seen you since you closed your WBB forum down. I thought you'd jacked in posting on forums.

Anyway, I personally think people that use social networking sites are not interested in using forums, why they use social networking sites instead. And there is little point trying to get users from social networking sites on a forum unless you maybe have a very specific niche to target some of them with. I have tried to get users from social networking sites in the past a few times and it's never worked.

But where is the interest in somebody joining your forum that's more than likely lacking activity - vs - them posting on a social networking site and seeing lots of activity with millions of users on it. So I think it's a lost cause really, I just don't see how any forum can compete against these large social networking sites like Facebook and others, simply because you don't have the either the users or activity like they do to tempt people onto using your forum. People will always tend to stay where the best activity is going on.

Edited by GTB

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Social network integration for login helps my sites increase registration and also helps to draw traffic back to the forum when something is shared. I do think people have somewhat moved away from posting pictures and such in forums to social networks, unless its a very niche'y site. I just don't get the photo uploads I used to, not anywhere close. I'm getting steady registrations every day but its mostly from users trying to find a solution to an issue rather than to be part of an online "community". In the past, I found that users joined to be part of something and edit their profile pages, add photos and videos, and generally take part in a community environment sharing social content. This has changed drastically from what I can tell. "Sharing" content is not as big with my forums as it was and it's shifted to "help me with something" that I can't find on other sites and social networks. 

 

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On 11/03/2018 at 12:37 AM, AlexWebsites said:

Social network integration for login helps my sites increase registration and also helps to draw traffic back to the forum when something is shared. I do think people have somewhat moved away from posting pictures and such in forums to social networks, unless its a very niche'y site. I just don't get the photo uploads I used to, not anywhere close. I'm getting steady registrations every day but its mostly from users trying to find a solution to an issue rather than to be part of an online "community". In the past, I found that users joined to be part of something and edit their profile pages, add photos and videos, and generally take part in a community environment sharing social content. This has changed drastically from what I can tell. "Sharing" content is not as big with my forums as it was and it's shifted to "help me with something" that I can't find on other sites and social networks. 

 

In other words, your site adds value, and that is why they are registering.

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2 hours ago, Matt said:

In other words, your site adds value, and that is why they are registering.

Yes absolutely. I noticed this years ago, a shift to people registering more for help with something. Some get the help from other members and then leave. Some stay but it's definitely no longer members joining and hanging around to share stuff. Once in a while. 

With #deletefacebook or something like that and the general slow shift I think we'll see away from Facebook, hopefully people start to not use groups as much on that platform. I think that's what hurts forums as well.

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If I may add my own personal experience.

I'm running a specialized internet forum in Croatia (small country in Europe, for those who don't know) which has population of a city like L.A.

I started my forum almost 15 years ago and it was the first railway forum in southeastern Europe. Many forums with the same topic appeared later on, but many of them unfortunately didn't survive.
What was the reason for that? Well, mostly, they were all set on phpBB and lot of admins didn't have time and knowledge to go with the trends. I realized in 2011. that I have to move on to a payed platform for a much better and professional experience, so I converted to Invision Community.

Well, traffic was rather stable for years, but it kept shrinking. And I knew what was the reason - demise of the image hosting services like Imageshack, Tinypic and others simply destroyed lot of my discussions, because a lot of topics had lot of photos in them. My users were getting frustrated more and more, and Facebook didn't help with it either, but I could say that I had a really good and faithful following.

For years I knew I had to deal with the issue with image hosting, but it was simply to expensive to run a VPS or dedicated server.

2019. had some of the worst (statistically) months ever.

And then...

After almost 15 years of this problem that I was having, I finally changed hosting provider and acquired my own personal server. Result? Well, it is only three weeks, but I'm literally hitting records in registrations - I didn't have so many newly registered users in eight years(!!!), in time period of a month (last month that had so many registrations was in February 2011.), and it is only the 16th! Over 60 newly registered users in three weeks! Can you imagine how big actually is that number for a specialized forum in such a small country?

Number of daily posts has risen an average from 50 % to 75 %.

My daily number of members coming on forum was raised for more then 50 % and it is steady for three weeks now.

There is not a single Facebook group that can compete with my forum in terms of quality of content, quality of members and usability.

I have to accentuate that there is no chat or off topic on a forum. You can only discuss about railways and similar topic.

My forum is now most advanced(modern) forum in Croatia and second biggest specialized forum in Croatia in terms of posts, currently counting 612 946 posts and 4454 members.

You can check it on:

https://zeljeznice.net

So, this is my story. You have to be the one who really knows the subject your forum is about. You have to be the one that can be a front end admin and back end admin. You have to keep up with trends.

On a top of that, I'm not monetizing anything. I don't have ads nor will I put them on my forum. I run this from my own pocket, without anyone's help. It is a passion for me. You have to be passionate about the subject of your forum AND forum itself.

Will this all guarantee you that you will succeed? Of course not, there is not a guarantee for anything. But, these are some of guidelines I think that you should follow.

Yes, I had luck starting forum in a right time and a right place. But, keep in mind that with constant censorship and Weyland-Yutaniiness of Facebook, Google, Twitter and other corporate monsters, who just eat you in their bowl of nothingness and stupidity, free, independent platforms where you can discuss topics anonymously and freely, will have a bright future. 

Edited by Nehaj

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Nokia was the king, until they discovered...we lost the market...but when Nokia was the king, they think...we are fine...

Forum is part of the history, but the history alway on the improvement and innovate trend, ... the key point is, the product will be the option for the moyority people? because our world is changing, technology changing...all go to meet to our tendence and habit of use....Why we have to waiting for a day when Google, facebook etc offer something that can do same that our forums, replacing all old technology....so, according the tech trending give IPS more and more improvements is the correct way....why we discuss about this? because I am part of this platform...Now I try to learn to use fb group to promote my site, but what happen if one day fb give me more and more power that make my current forum site without use of scenes....

I think IPS still have many interesting opportunities to growing more....E-Commerce for community concept, etc.....that is why we claim for the IPS mobile app....

Sorry for my english, but...my best wish for ips.

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2 hours ago, Midnight Modding said:

Someone called in on a tech show recently and was asking for advice on creating some sort of forum to discuss a specific topic and the host didn't even list a legit forum as a possibility! She mentioned facebook and blogs and I forget what else.

That shows how brainwashed and stupid that host is. Honestly, she shouldn't even have that job. She should be asking if you would like fries with your burger. 

Edited by tonyv

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3 hours ago, Midnight Modding said:

Someone called in on a tech show recently and was asking for advice on creating some sort of forum to discuss a specific topic and the host didn't even list a legit forum as a possibility! She mentioned facebook and blogs and I forget what else.

I will not tell my opinion about that host, but she should deal with burgers, as @tonyv wrote.

1 hour ago, kmk said:

Nokia was the king, until they discovered...we lost the market...but when Nokia was the king, they think...we are fine...

Forum is part of the history, but the history alway on the improvement and innovate trend, ... the key point is, the product will be the option for the moyority people? because our world is changing, technology changing...all go to meet to our tendence and habit of use....Why we have to waiting for a day when Google, facebook etc offer something that can do same that our forums, replacing all old technology....so, according the tech trending give IPS more and more improvements is the correct way....why we discuss about this? because I am part of this platform...Now I try to learn to use fb group to promote my site, but what happen if one day fb give me more and more power that make my current forum site without use of scenes....

I think IPS still have many interesting opportunities to growing more....E-Commerce for community concept, etc.....that is why we claim for the IPS mobile app....

Sorry for my english, but...my best wish for ips.

Yes, but you're comparing apples and oranges. Forum is a concept, Nokia is a brand. And we are here talking about the concept. Mobile phone didn't die with Nokia, it just evolved.

There is nothing old in Invision Community. Concept of forum is thousands of years old. Social networks are bull*hit of this era.

My forum is better than Facebook in every bit. Not just mine, anyone's, with quality content.

1 hour ago, tonyv said:

That shows how brainwashed and stupid that host is. Honestly, she shouldn't even have that job. She should be asking if you would like fries with your burger. 

I couldn't say better myself.

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On 12/16/2019 at 7:08 AM, Nehaj said:

Well, traffic was rather stable for years, but it kept shrinking. And I knew what was the reason - demise of the image hosting services like Imageshack, Tinypic and others simply destroyed lot of my discussions, because a lot of topics had lot of photos in them. My users were getting frustrated more and more, and Facebook didn't help with it either, but I could say that I had a really good and faithful following.

For years I knew I had to deal with the issue with image hosting, but it was simply to expensive to run a VPS or dedicated server.

2019. had some of the worst (statistically) months ever.

And then...

After almost 15 years of this problem that I was having, I finally changed hosting provider and acquired my own personal server. Result?

Can you elaborate on this part? Are you saying that imageshack etc pictures disappeared on old posts? If so, how did you get them back? Or are images still broken on old posts, but new posts have your own hosted images and that has resulted in higher registrations?

Thanks.

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41 minutes ago, openfire said:

Can you elaborate on this part? Are you saying that imageshack etc pictures disappeared on old posts? If so, how did you get them back? Or are images still broken on old posts, but new posts have your own hosted images and that has resulted in higher registrations?

Thanks.

I have very, very passionate users, so lot of them downloaded photos from forum locally. And that same users are now helping me to bring back those images on forum. There are myriad of lost images and of course, I will never get 100 % of them back, because it simply isn't possible, but returning for example 80 % of images is an extremely huge success. 

Bare in mind that there are literally millions of images on my forum, so the process will be very slow and time consuming, but not impossible.

Result of higher registrations are all the new features I added on forum, image hosting is one of them.

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I've probably already said this before... but I am still annoyed at imdb for closing its message boards down. Like Bezos doesn't have enough money to hire enough moderators……...

Edited by Midnight Modding

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10 minutes ago, Midnight Modding said:

I've probably already said this before... but I am still annoyed at imdb for closing its message boards down. Like Bezos doesn't have enough money to hire enough moderators……...

Yes that was stupid and annoying, but an admin took up the job and made a forum where some people migrated and are having a better experience:

http://imdb2.freeforums.net/

Edited by tonyv

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1 hour ago, tonyv said:

Yes that was stupid and annoying, but an admin took up the job and made a forum where some people migrated and are having a better experience:

http://imdb2.freeforums.net/

Thanks. I've been trying to think of an ideal way of organizing one myself using the IPS software, but obviously an idea involving something as popular as movies means so much competition. But either way I'm wanting to post about movies, whether it be my site or elsewhere. 🙂 

Edited by Midnight Modding

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2 minutes ago, Midnight Modding said:

Thanks. I've been trying to think of an ideal way of organizing one myself using the IOPS software, but obviously an idea involving something as popular as movies means so much competition. But either way I'm wanting to post about movies, whether it be my site or elsewhere. 🙂 

Well, I'm a member there, but I'm not very active, because I don't have time -- I'm so busy with my own board -- but I joined because someone else in my house is a member there, very active, and loves it much more than the original imdb.

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