facebook's new look and the future of forums.

iTuN3r

Well-known member
  • #21
lol facebook never mattered for me nor it will . Recently i was kicked out of pretty active group reason - i started online forum and i will be stealing their members lol ofcourse they gave me more reason to do so since 50% active users from that group are already in my friend list lol . I usually target such groups for luring users to forum have worked pretty good so far.
 

alfan

Active member
  • #22
Forums did not start to die just becaurse of facebook, but becaurse they did not evolve and became more userfriendly. But then came xenForo with a much more modern and user friendly interface, so I think forum based communities has a bright future with xF.

My hope is that xenForo keep focus on improvement on the userexperience and keep it simple to use. And as long as that happens I don't see any threat from Facebook.
 

HWS

Well-known member
  • #23
People like Facebook because they can exactly limit who can read their content. It can be hard for people to deal with other people with different opinions and minds. Like it is very common at public forums. So at some point they simply leave the forum, create a Facebook group and invite only those people whom they like. This is very easy, because most people already have a Facebook account.

To deal with that, a future forum software should have features to allow it's members to control exactly who is not allowed to read their content. Also a future forum software should have a clear and easy way to deal with non-text content. Uploading pictures and locations should be made as easy as writing words. Being able to do that from a mobile interface (e.g shoot a picture from a smartphone and upload it immediately) is a must.

Facebook provides an intuitive interface to handle all that in the most easy way.

This is the advantage of Facebook that makes it hard for Forums to compete.

Forum software creators should recognize that and stop thinking in old fashioned tracks.
 

Brogan

XenForo moderator
Staff member
  • #24
To deal with that, a future forum software should have features to allow it's members to control exactly who is not allowed to read their content.
How would that work with threads?
There would essentially be separate discussions going on due to various groups of people only allowed to see each others's posts.
 

D.O.A.

Well-known member
  • #25
This is the advantage of Facebook that makes it hard for Forums to compete.

Forum software creators should recognize that and stop thinking in old fashioned tracks.
Are you talking about some fancy uploader or API it uses? why waste time copying someone else, xenforo should innovate not re-create when it comes to the core product. Like button and facebook API, that's enough facebook for a forum software unless you just want to clone facebook. You can upload images easily on facebook from a phone, so what? so can plenty other sites. It's not like xenforo is deliberately skirting new methods, god knows what they have planned.
 

HWS

Well-known member
  • #26
How would that work with threads?
There would essentially be separate discussions going on due to various groups of people only allowed to see each others's posts.
Even very old forum software use features like "ignore". It allows people to ignore content of other people. This is very old fashioned, because it does nothing except cooling the mind a little bit for very simple people. And it also interferes with thread views too for those people.

Today people like to be treated with respect and politeness. If they write or post something that is important to them and other people (because they have invested time to think carefully about it) they do not want to have that dragged into the mud by some random anonymous other people. You have to give them the ability to protect their thoughts in their content from every other forum member they want. If you don't give it to them, they simply will stop posting in an anonymous environment.

Even if some people won't be allowed to see all postings in a thread because of that. In our experience (we use such a content privacy feature in our forum) it helps to keep the people with good content and discourage people with worthless content only. And the worth of the content is what forums differ most from Facebook.
 

Brogan

XenForo moderator
Staff member
  • #27
Ignoring content by choice is completely different to having content made inaccessible to you without a choice.

It simply wouldn't work for threads.

If all of the people in this thread blocked you from seeing their content, you wouldn't be able to participate in the discussion.
 

HWS

Well-known member
  • #29
It simply wouldn't work for threads.

If all of the people in this thread blocked you from seeing their content, you wouldn't be able to participate in the discussion.
If all people care to block me from their content, I have more than earned to be not able to participate.
 

BlackCobra

Member
  • #30
Geeze, as if the last design wasn't bad enough, Facebook has launched an even worse design. Yeah I'm thinking forums are gonna grow faster now.
Eh, the design is crap I agree but it's not going to drive too much traffic out to forums. From my experience, about 60% of Facebook users are inexperienced individuals whom wouldn't even know how to signup for a forum, let alone post in one without being banned for spam.
 

Morgain

Well-known member
  • #31
Yes I think FB people like it for exactly the reasons I dont. It works for small snippy posts. People who are scared of more than a couple of lines of text love it.
Now it's important not to knock that. Our education systems have been deliberately downgraded to make people stupider and easier to control. Bless the net for providing much of the missing critical thinking and readeing power with book reading exploding :) ) But still with 40% of our youngsters leaving school functionally illiterate beyond a short sentence, real reading and discussion power is a minority sport.
Which it wasnt until state schooling got going and forced the last families into it at gunpoint! because our masters want us educated THEIR way.

So FB fills a need as Twitter does for short, easy text bites.
But forums can do some of that too - LiveThread - Shoutbox - and many gossipy threads thrive on short posts. Which can balance the 'heavier' writers like me ;) so we get a nice balance of both kinds. The shorty stuff can be good community glue as well.

As for protecting one's precious thoughts I absolutely agree. But I do not think this is to be solved by software. Software privacy can help - have special topic or theme forums that work in affinity.
But beyond that it comes down to the carbon input alongside silicon. That is, human stuff. After all if people keep burrowing into tiny private similarity nooks they'll never learn to communicate better. Sooner or later someone in that tiny private nook is a bit rude and all hell breaks out as naked shivering bunnies are incapable of coping.
Interestingly victimy people are very prone to bullying once they feel safer - because they havent learned the boundaries that make contact without bullying possible.

I make one huge and very simple rule on my forums. You don't do rudeness on another member. Say what you like about anyone outside the forum but members are sacred. Which I enforce rigorously and I spell out what I mean. Not even words like 'stupid' allowed. I feel/ I think instead of You are ...
Works well with us but it does need human attention. On a bigger board once you make it known what the standard is - a few strong and obvious examples - and encourage Reports it could work there too. Ultumately less work than the uproar you get if people dont learn manners.
 

Jason

Well-known member
  • #32
Not sure I really buy that. The quality of a post can't necessarily be measured by word count. Some people use verbal fallacies, such as proof of verbosity, so that their argument superficially appears to be sound based on its length, but in reality they're saying very little. That's why I tend to skip posts that are longer than a paragraph or two, unless the person has grabbed my interest in the first few lines. The ability to be concise in one's replies is just as much of an art as being able to put up a wall of text.

Forums were one of very few ways to have in depth discussions, and get specialist information years ago. There's just more options out there nowadays, and some people prefer them more.
 

Morgain

Well-known member
  • #34
Not sure I really buy that. The quality of a post can't necessarily be measured by word count. Some people use verbal fallacies, such as proof of verbosity, so that their argument superficially appears to be sound based on its length, but in reality they're saying very little. That's why I tend to skip posts that are longer than a paragraph or two, unless the person has grabbed my interest in the first few lines. The ability to be concise in one's replies is just as much of an art as being able to put up a wall of text.

Forums were one of very few ways to have in depth discussions, and get specialist information years ago. There's just more options out there nowadays, and some people prefer them more.
Good points Jason. Absolutely quantity is not the sole measure of a good post. But again poor education leaves most people untrained in going back over what they write to cut out waffle. I think there's an idea that good writing simply spills off the keyboard for a good writer, instead of what really separates the good writer, which is checking it over and cutting out stuff.
Acadenics are awful at being verbose as you say. That's politics though. They advance their careers by playing it safe, which means saying very little so as not to offend anyone who is powerful. You don't get interesting ideas that way!

What I meant though is how forums get cluttered with long sequences of posts with one or two or three words, or just a smiley. I've seen whole pages like that which would have been fine in a shoutbox, but as along term thread going on record? Waste of storage. Yet here and there ... I just posted to say simply YES and that was all that was needed.
I like the Likes because they cut down on clutter. They should be more prominent to encourage peole to use them. I made the Like link into a button for example. I'd like the result to be bigger, more rewarding, and more diverse (not the well known addon).

I tend to skip posts that are longer than a paragraph or two, unless the person has grabbed my interest in the first few lines.
Now that is an excellent personal discipline. I am constantly amazed that people complain of my long posts - when they do that is. After all no one forces you to read them least of all me!

The ability to be concise in one's replies is just as much of an art as being able to put up a wall of text.
Indeed. Which takes years to learn so we need to be patient with each other.
Some are nervous of going beyond a smiley or a quick joke. others need to experiment and waffle before they find out that checking over makes good writing shine. Which wins approval and gets things done.
A big reason I love forums. they give us the tools to learn.
 

Digital Jedi

Well-known member
  • #35
I'm not sure why people keep comparing the two. They're completely different animals. Anecdotal evidence would suggest that they grow forums AND destroy forums. Which means they probably don't have a significant effect either way.
 

Lone Fox

Member
  • #36
Whenever I have a question or need particular help with something, Facebook has never been a viable source.

Then again, forums aren't always that helpful. I posted a question on a forum two days ago (I'm car shopping), and absolutely ZERO responses :(
 

Lisa

Well-known member
  • #37
I use Facebook to keep in touch with family and "occasional" friends.. you know those ones who you'll say hi to if you see them, but don't really spend any time with. Because I live so far away from my family, it's the easiest method (and stops them phoning me up :D) to keep in touch. Most of them struggle to use email, let alone anything else... so FB it is!

I do have to be thankful for FB as well though as it put me in touch with a friend I'd lost contact with when I split up with my ex (many many years ago) and was also partly responsible for finding one of my sisters who had been adopted when she was 3 months old... so in some ways it's not all bad.
 

Anthony Parsons

Well-known member
  • #38
Facebook isn't a threat to forums IMHO... it is a completely different social network structure. Most people have privacy set on their FB content, so only friends and such can see it. Not exactly friendly stuff when you're looking for information and conversation. I seem to find a repetitive pattern in Google results when searching for data, and that is forums showing up, not Facebook.
 

Ingenious

Well-known member
  • #39
I don't use Facebook either anymore. I found the constant stream of old schoolfriends banter was sapping my will to live. The people in my life who really matter are, and always will be, real time.

There's a few companies who I work with who are trying to use FB commercially and it's all a bit sad to see. They're competing for (and in some cases buying) "likes" and "friends" so they can get to the top and appear popular. What happened to just selling good products and offering good service and letting that be your beacon?

When we socialise as a larger group I find it quite sad to see the younger generation now (teenagers) spend more time on their smart phones on social media sites than actually taking part in a real life conversation or learning to use a knife and fork and sit at the dinner table with family :)

I agree with Alfan, FB didn't kill forums. We're just seeing the net saturated with forums. So especially in the niches, you might have 10 forums on one subject but only 1 or 2 will work out. The rest have tumbleweed blowing in them, giving the impression forums are dead. You see this in the Showcase forum here a lot, people starting forums on subjects already well catered for - why?
 

Morgain

Well-known member
  • #40
I agree with Alfan, FB didn't kill forums. We're just seeing the net saturated with forums. So especially in the niches, you might have 10 forums on one subject but only 1 or 2 will work out. The rest have tumbleweed blowing in them, giving the impression forums are dead. You see this in the Showcase forum here a lot, people starting forums on subjects already well catered for - why?
Well I think unless you have a passion for something it;s hard to think up a niche. Especially if your major motive is to make money. There;s a regular type of newcomer post here of wanting to do a forum and asking for ideas.

I always feel that's not really playing the game. I'll help freely on design and how to, or human mechanics. Bur forum theme has to come from you and who you are. Polishing or finding data sources we can help but the only person can know what you're willing to do long hours on is you. It ain't an easy get rich quick trick this here thing.
 
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