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Are message boards dying?

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Are message boards dying?

Post  arpie on Tue Jan 15, 2013 7:59 am

A 'so last decade aughts phenomenon' soon to vanish under the tsunami of social networking? Deep thoughts no longer expiated but reduced to 1 to 2 line text messages? Discuss. (and save tapatalk comments for Facebook or Twitter. :colbert:)

http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/07/10/remembrance-of-message-boards-past/

"Many boards are stagnant or in decline, if they even still exist. Several once-thriving boards on the women’s site iVillage have closed up shop. Big fan-fiction boards haven’t seen real action in years. Last month, a once-popular eight-old-year British board about mental health went dark with a note: “The Internet has changed significantly.”

Thinking about what I see as a continuing decline in message board traffic reminded me of the post above which I made last year. For any interested in the replies, here's a link: http://mindromp.org/forum/showthread.php?t=889

I would add to this that I believe the declining cost for setting up a website is also a key factor. You will always have groups that differ on certain issues, and now many just spit off and begin their own site. Neat recursion here, eh? rabbit

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Re: Are message boards dying?

Post  nullnvoid on Tue Jan 15, 2013 10:38 am

I get what you mean - but I think the shift away from Message boards is more about the diverse array of alternatives available now.

Stackexchange is a perfect example of this - communities of people devoted to identify and refine knowledge. Less interest in opinion and discussion, more focus on truth and fact. http://stackexchange.com/sites You can freely propose new sites at http://area51.stackexchange.com and they then go through a process of attracting members and eventually establishing a site. BTW please visit http://area51.stackexchange.com/proposals/37472/atheism-agnosticism and commit to the site - we're on 58% commitment atm and need more people! Get enough followers and stackexchange will host the site for you for free.

Then there's reddit - sometimes disturbing and sometimes profound, they've democratized the interesting thoughts expressed allowing people to vote on where posts should appear in the site order. http://www.reddit.com You can create a new 'subreddit' on the fly with very little expertise required and no need to pay for hosting.

And of course you have google hangouts, yahoo groups, irc has had a resurgence, and of course facebook and linkedin and other social sites allow people to create simple online groups and forums.

Old style forums have their place - but they have issues too. Specifically the disparity between regular members and new members, the cliquey nature of forums, with in-jokes and tribal mentalities. So perhaps there are good reasons to abandon the format.

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Re: Are message boards dying?

Post  wind on Tue Jan 22, 2013 3:49 am

I hate facebook and like message boards. They're the most user-friendly and easy to navigate format for in-depth discussions, IMO.

I could be wrong, but it seems to me like people in the 15-23 age group are the ones who are leaving message boards in favor of social media the most.


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Re: Are message boards dying?

Post  scott1328 on Tue Jan 22, 2013 4:30 am

I am going to show my age here and reveal that discussion forums pre-exist the Internet. I was using dial-up BBS in the 80's. In the early 90's it was Compuserve. In mid and late 90's as the world-wide web was gaining ground, I was using UseNet. In the early 00's the first web-based forums began to appear: site such AskJeeves and AskMe, ostensibly for asking questions, became for a while discussion forums, and were replaced by threaded web based discussion forums such PhBB and VBulletin that continue to this day. After this came, personal blogs and then blog aggregators, and finally Facebook and Twitter.

Through these last 25 years or so I have been more or less active in the forums as my interests change.

I think UseNet was the best for discussions, but required a proper news reader client and only the moderated topics were usable due to the mountains of spam that flooded through otherwise. I was forced to stop using it because my ISP dropped it and I didn't want to pay for what was obviously a dying protocol.

The web based alternative to UseNet, PhBB and VBulletin, are adequate to their purpose and have certainly improved much from the early days.

I think that, unfortunately, Facebook will eventually drive all but the most popular discussion forums to extinction.

BTW, welcome Wind.

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Re: Are message boards dying?

Post  mood2 on Tue Jan 22, 2013 6:15 am

wind -

I hate facebook and like message boards. They're the most user-friendly and easy to navigate format for in-depth discussions, IMO.


Yeah I think so too.

And welcome Smile

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Re: Are message boards dying?

Post  arpie on Tue Jan 22, 2013 8:24 am

Yeah, welcome aboard, wind. I think you'll not find any here that disagree with your preference for MB's over social media. But then, were talking about it on an MB so.... A poll on twitter or FB would likely yield different results. Wink And while it's OT, I just had to say kudos on standing up against the cult of personality that has encased A+. It has become the most hostile site I've ever encountered. One of the things I really like about this site is you won't feel any of snarky more experience authority and less privileged than thou vibes that prevail at A+, or secret forums for the kool kids to belittle you behind your back!

@Scott-yeah, I was around for the BBS days and remember how thrilled I was to go from 1200 to 2400 Baud, lol. I was using an Osborn 01 with CPM back then, an open source OS with TSR long before Apple had it. What a world of difference that made. I was able to configure all the number keys to execute a complex series of routine commands for different tasks. 0 was the menu for 1-9, with 1 being for word. Once I hit ctrl 1 and loaded that configuration, I'd hit 1 again and it would run through all the commands to set up a new file named X. 2 would then close and save the file, requesting it be renamed. 3 would close the former X file, and send the named one to a 5.5inch floppy. I still have a box of them. It was much faster this way to move around as I often got ahead of the system typing in commands so they didn't register and I'd have to go back.

Now I have half a gig of RAM on my computer and 64k in my wetware. Daaiiisy, Daaaaiiiissssy....

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Re: Are message boards dying?

Post  wind on Tue Jan 22, 2013 8:26 am

Thanks for all the welcomes, folks! Smile

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Re: Are message boards dying?

Post  nullnvoid on Tue Jan 22, 2013 1:17 pm

wind wrote:Thanks for all the welcomes, folks! Smile

You're welcome.

arpie wrote:Now I have half a gig of RAM on my computer and 64k in my wetware. Daaiiisy, Daaaaiiiissssy....

Settle down Dave.


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Re: Are message boards dying?

Post  arpie on Fri Jan 25, 2013 8:22 am

I can see you're upset Hal. Why don't you let me access your BIOS and see if I can't reset some of your stress circuits? pirat

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Re: Are message boards dying?

Post  arpie on Wed Feb 13, 2013 11:42 am

WIND...WHERE ARE YOU!!?? GET IN HERE...NOW!!! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fgNH6GT6auo

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Re: Are message boards dying?

Post  wind on Fri Feb 15, 2013 8:49 am

Yes?

(lol)

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Re: Are message boards dying?

Post  arpie on Sat Feb 16, 2013 1:57 pm

Yo wind. Well, at least we can credit A+ with helping to create some very interesting discussions at JREF. Good one lately at TR also wrt Exi5's thread on not allowing the term homosexual. Turns out adjectives as opposed to nouns is important describing others.

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Re: Are message boards dying?

Post  mood2 on Sun Feb 17, 2013 4:07 am

Being called a homosexual does feel clinical and off to me, like the person isn't at ease with the idea.

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Re: Are message boards dying?

Post  arpie on Sun Feb 17, 2013 4:45 am

mood2 wrote:Being called a homosexual does feel clinical and off to me, like the person isn't at ease with the idea.

Plus 'gay' is one syllable as opposed to 5. That's partly why 'African American' will never replace 'black' or 'European American' replace 'white.' Neutral

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Re: Are message boards dying?

Post  lpetrich on Tue Feb 19, 2013 10:32 am

"Dying" would be a rather extreme statement. "Declining", maybe.

Does anyone have any good numbers? I think that it may be possible to collect some systematic statistics from some of the longer-running messageboards, like count how many threads per year over several years in some of their forums.

It may take a lot of time to get good estimates, but I think that it would be worth it to try. It certainly isn't a project for someone who thinks that one-liners are all that's necessary to resolve great issues.

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Re: Are message boards dying?

Post  nullnvoid on Tue Feb 19, 2013 11:27 am

A quick google search turned up this site:

http://trends.builtwith.com/cms/growth

and this one:

http://w3techs.com/technologies/overview/content_management/all

From there you can drill down into the types of forum: eg phpBB, MyBB, etc and view trend data. Just a start, but you could easily build up some data that way.


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Re: Are message boards dying?

Post  Fred on Sat Mar 09, 2013 1:27 pm

I think forums in general -might- see some resurrgence as e-learning and online education become more popular and the need for indepth discussion space grows.

I've been involved on some Coursera courses lately and you would be amazed at how many people say that they have never participated in forums before and are really enjoying it. And forum software on Coursera is TERRIBLE! Evil or Very Mad

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Re: Are message boards dying?

Post  nullnvoid on Wed Mar 20, 2013 4:27 pm

I tried out coursera - I wish I had more time to actually participate instead of just letting the weeks go by without completing the course work! Smile

Didn't even look at the forum.

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Re: Are message boards dying?

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