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Has Social Media taken over Forums


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Morning,

I have been a long term owner/subscriber to Invision with my website but I have noticed over the last few years that my forum seems to have really died off, to the extent where I have held back renewing my subscription. 

This actual forum still seems very active and there is clearly a requirement for the software otherwise Invision as a company wouldn't still be active and looking to develop the software further as they currently are.

So my question is, do you believe there is still a market for the forum or is it just a matter of time before they become no more?

Those who have successful forums, how do you keep people coming back to the forum instead of logging on to social media?

Thanks in advance for your feedback.

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4 minutes ago, Dean_ said:

Please please please do a search, we have spoken about this to death on here. 2nd topic in the last 6 months I’m sure. If you want I’ll link to them.

Sorry, I did have a look around but I couldn't see anything - hence the new topic. I will have another look now - if you have any links ready to hand, please share otherwise no worries.

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2 hours ago, avstu said:

Sorry, I did have a look around but I couldn't see anything - hence the new topic. I will have another look now - if you have any links ready to hand, please share otherwise no worries.

I thought you participated in one of the chats. :tongue:

Here you go mate

2016

2017

2017 (this is on page two of general chat 😛)

2018

Most recently Discord has caused concern (2019)


Hope this helps, I would post on page two's topic - Reply to "Are forums dying a slow death?" so we can all start moaning again!

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  • Management

 No, they haven't.

What you are seeing are conversational forums moving towards centralised services, like Facebook. Before social media, forums were the only way to bring people together. More often than not, they were based around an interest (movies, music, sports, etc) but a fair number existed purely to hang out.

Those 'hang out' forums are better suited to social media.

A lot of forums didn't keep up with the times and traffic dwindled over time as other people set up similar communities elsewhere.

A successful community needs work to grow it, and you need wrap-around content to drive people to your discussion areas.

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You need to find a way to differentiate yourself beyond just 'conversation.'  You need to offer compelling value above and beyond -- whether it be online tools, a sense of community, branding control, news, educational resources, or data that those platforms can't offer.  

 

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Posted (edited)

Although Discord has taken a bite out of our forum activity, we have a ton of in-depth technical content and that keeps people coming back. I think they also like the fact that their posts actually get read and responded to. The "react" buttons IPB has are really good because people can get acknowledgement from others without requiring them to type out a full reply. The real-time notifications system with the little sound also makes a big difference in making the forum feel "alive".

I don't get the whole social media thing. Anything I post on Facebook or Twitter gets completely ignored, and it's impossible to follow what is happening. On Discord or social media, suggest that people create a forum topic for any type of in-depth answers to their question. Social media should feed people into your forum, not replace it.

You might also consider adding something like ArrowChat, as it allows people to quickly communicate in a casual manner. You want people to just leave a tab open all day with your forum running.

Encourage members to post every kind of content you can think of. Create an IPB database of YouTube video IDs so people will just browse around and watch videos. Advertise all your site's content on the main forum page, as this tends to be the main portal our users prefer.

I don't think there is a specific feature that the forum can add to attract people. They tend to stick to Discord and Facebook simply because they already have an account for that, and they don't want to sign up for a million accounts. You can add the Facebook / Twitter / Steam sign-in methods but not that many people use them.

My plan it to let our Discord grow to be a little bit bigger, apply to make it searchable, and then delete it if Discord staff ignores me again. They should be giving us traffic, not vice-versa.

Finally, give some kind of free benefit they get when they sign up for your forum. You want to get those user accounts and email addresses. The hardest step is to get people to sign up for that account.

Edited by Interferon
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