How has your thread adapted with more social media discussion?

I launched my forum in 2008 when there was a real need for a community of people at different universities in the US and Canada to have a better discussion platform. By 2012, '13, and '14, though, a lot of this conversation has moved to Facebook and Twitter. That's good-- people are connecting a lot easier. But what is the role of a forum with these social media channels absorbing a lot of the communication?

How has your forum changed based on this? Beyond share buttons and credential integration. Curious to hear. On my side, traffic is down from its 2011 peak, but actual messages/posts are down a LOT. The nature of the conversation is different. Open to advice!


Well-known member
We have a Facebook page that we use to highlight featured threads (we don't use Brogan's addon, but perhaps once a thread is featured there, it could be shared if it is good enough). We don't find that the page brings us much traffic, though.

Eventually, I'd like to set up a Facebook group for "alumni" of our forum. Sometimes people are active on the forum but then become less active after, say 9 months. Since people will continue to check Facebook for a very long time, we can maintain a connection to them and retain their expertise within our community.

Terminology: a FB page is primarily unidirectional, allowing the owner to blast out updates to its fans but not giving a way for fans to post something which is shown on other fans' news feeds. A FB group is closer to a forum in that it allows bidirectional communication. We started with a page and want to set up a group for "alumni."

Regarding FB as a platform for building communities, the smartest community builder I know, Richard Millington, hates it:

Perhaps you can read those articles and think about how you can leverage your strengths as an independent site. Having complete control over your site opens doors that would never be available with a turnkey solution like FB.


Well-known member
But what is the role of a forum with these social media channels absorbing a lot of the communication?
This question reminded me of one of my answers to a similar question like this, so I want to quote myself:

In my opinion the only power of forums is the ability to contain information.

Youtube contains music and videos. Facebook, Twitter, and so on contains "network".
Wikipedia contains information, but one-sided information. You can't ask something. You hear just one version of something written by someone.

Forums have the ability to contian information, but with interaction. I can create a thread and ask for help. I could also read an article on wikipedia about my problem, but in most cases it will not tell me how to delete the virus from my pc.

But the problem with this is to find the relevant information, this is time-consuming and mostly not easy to find.
So, that means a forum(software) should concentrate on how to be a better information supplier with perfect search and index system.
Information must be easy to find. So, if a forum(software) can offer this, it will never go down.
That means in future just those forums(software) will survive which can afford this. All trash forums with trash content will die, and they are dying.
Why? Because the trash content went to Facebook, Twitter, and co.
With trash content I mean daily, popular, political content stuff.
Of course networking is another reason why people left. But networking was never a big thing of forums. This is not a lost. They lost the trash part. Now just the unique ones will survive if they can keep containing information.
I hope you all understand what I want to say.