Forums not actually, now dominate social groups (social networks).
Forums are obsolete, they should be folded as well as phones with keyboard are thrown during the iPhone. Now discussions relevant in social networks. I believe that XenForo do as similar to a social network.
Social networks are for narrow minded individuals who don't want to broaden their minds and actually debate an issue. Heaven forbid someone comes up with a premise that makes them really think. Want to test that theory? Take the complete opposite side of a premise with someone you're on a friend's list with. See how long you last on that list.
Social networking has its place. Will it replace forums? Nope. Not in a million years.
I love hearing the 'forums are obsolete' argument because it's not really true.
First up, forums are implicitly a type of social network. Just because they're not conforming to the standard definition of 'social network' as 'dumping ground for telling the world what you had for breakfast' doesn't mean they're not a social network. (Social network = place for people to talk to other people, socialise and share thoughts and ideas)
The big difference between the current 'social networks' and forums is that the 'social networks' put the user first, forums put the discussion first. 'Social networks' are all set up to be around the user, what the user wants to say, what the user chooses to look at, as opposed to choosing to participate in what content is there.
But there is also some value to private communities - you can add features and facilities to suit the community; I have a forum that is used for discussing what we're working on, it has a helpdesk and a task tracker and a variety of other custom developments to suit our needs. Doing that on Facebook would be impractical if even possible to try and make some sense of.
And then there's the privacy matter. On Facebook you are implicitly a single user throughout the entire network. On discrete forums I can choose whether to be 'myself' or have some anonymity. I can choose to be who I want to be, as it were.
As for the whole comparison to 'phones with keyboards' being obsolete, Blackberry isn't doing as badly as it might specifically because a number of people do actually like having a physical keyboard with physical feedback, rather than the virtual/audible feedback otherwise on a phone.
Yeah, sorry, but let's face it: social media is to forums what fast food is to a home-cooked meal. I suppose it's perfect for a generation that thinks and expresses itself in fragments and shorthand, but I'll keep my forums, thank you.
Only someone with a high sense of self-importance could think that a tweet is something which adds to the long history and advancement of mankind. Sure, this may be so if you are in Turkey and ready to face down machine guns...and have to know where to meet, but 99.9999% of "social media" cannot hold a candle to actual information that real people need to better their lives.
I'd like most social media to gossip and a good forum to a combo of a handyman magazine, a how-to textbook and an encyclopedia - and more...
Of course, folks with less interest in life don't read any of those last three items anyway...