Why do forums fail?

mazzly

Well-known member
And Twitter, other social media sites combined with the proliferation of mobile devices, and the relatively slow rollout and adoption of mobile-friendly forum software. Plus if it ain't an app for the phone it ain't gonna get much traffic, relatively speaking.
I would also say Reddit, as there are very many active subreddits ("mini communities") around all different kinds of topics there :)
 

Max Taxable

Well-known member
I would also say Reddit, as there are very many active subreddits ("mini communities") around all different kinds of topics there :)
In fact I think it is quite safe to say that the number one answer to the question this thread poses, IS the proliferation of mobile devices. And everything that came after that, secondary.
 

alexm

Active member
It is with us. Our posts rise with the registrations

View attachment 244646

Ours too...

1611345203087.png


Ours is a "narrow niche" as said, and the numbers are starting to shoot up (the statistics only go back to when we changed to Xenforo). You can see the spike Mar/Apr '20 was the UK's first lockdown now there is people who have had enough of F'book etc together with our 2nd lockdown which is our spike on the right.

Alex
 

sbj

Well-known member
@alexm
Yours just looks like a rise because of covid. Before it was stable and the same. And again, put registrations on the graph, too, so we can make analysis.
 

Dixie McCall

Well-known member
With big tech clearly biased censorship behavior now, I suspect there may be a resurgence of the need to decouple from global social media sites to more intimate local online communities and single subject communites. Thankfully.

And then there is gov intervention....
I suspect anyone running forums in Australia are going to be increasingly doing better in the future.

This is probably a good time to invest in forum software both the software and the company if traded or allows private investors.
 

Dixie McCall

Well-known member
It was easier 10 or 15 years ago, forums had no real competition for a while. I remember when one of my biggest competitors was yahoo group email!

Broadly speaking, there is little or no room now for general chat type forums. To succeed you need to specialise in a narrow niche and become the world's most useful resource for than niche, or at least your country's best resource. If you can do that your forum will grow organically.
Agreed but I think this “competition “ has overestimated their continued appeal as they move towards extreme censorship and other likely nefarious actions. As this continues, we’ll see more and more exit these platforms. Thank Goodness. This will help the forum industry I believe, even perhaps non-niche forums idk.

TBH and I may be naive, but I believe their will be a resurgence of private (via private people or small business) forums in the near future. Just a hunch.:)
 

1966Mustang

Member
I've asked myself many of these questions, mostly around why do I continue to run the community/forum I am running.
We have a niche, it's personally interesting to me, we have subject matter experts and have content that people care about.

Why do forums fail? Thats easy. Facebook
I think that Big Social is a poor substitute for fourm type things.

and some users with 0 posts
I was just looking at setting up notice pop-ups for valid users registered as far back as 2000 (board was migrated to XF this year from phpBB) that have never made a post but visited since 1/1/2020... there were more than several. Damn lurkers. I found that really interesting and would like to know more about that motivation (or lack of). Also realized that Notices system does not have a full filter set like Search for Users i.e. search for registered between and made 0 posts (feature request).

great core group of users more than willing to pay their part of the costs associated with running the website
This is important depending on your goals. I'm not necessarily in it for the money (but would be great if it was there!). I tend to think that my members have disposable income (old cars forum)...

Broadly speaking, there is little or no room now for general chat type forums. To succeed you need to specialise in a narrow niche and become the world's most useful resource for than niche, or at least your country's best resource. If you can do that your forum will grow organically.
Agree on that.

So, would I start this forum/community from the ground up starting today? Nope. Maybe a facebook group/page... It might attract more and younger users but it would not be anywhere near a resource as it is as a forum. I've been lucky since it was a community in-place since pre-2000 and had a decent membership and I was in the right place at the right time and it changed hands etc - For me, my goal is to preserve the knowledge base contained therein. The lost-art knowledge these guy share is amazing.

In my mind - a 'real' forum is perfect for the community I am serving. If it wasn't XF, it would have been phpBB. A wiki could work, but it's just not the same experience.

My users have commented re: XF on ease of uploading media, albums, thread options/types. They're happy. There are competing sites that have moved from XYZ forum to a FB Groups style format. I am 'going after' those users. When they arrive, they say they're glad they found us. We have great long time moderators (sadly, one passed from C19 in November - found out January...)

Just my .02.
 

Faust

Well-known member
Depending on the niche. I checked Forum Showcase section here. And most forums are gone.

I also believe that social media is killing the forums unfortunately.
 

diretur

Active member
I was just looking at setting up notice pop-ups for valid users registered as far back as 2000 (board was migrated to XF this year from phpBB)

wow, you were a very early beta tester ;-)

Niche forums are doing great and they definetely are a primary information source. In my opinion, the real great danger to forums is Youtube, not facebook. Try searching for a topic of interest and look at the search results. It's not the tons of bs from facebook, but very often a video on top of the list. I know YT belongs to Google, so it makes sense for them to promote video content, but look also at the comment section under each video.

Young generations don't read, they watch videos and photos.
 

HJW

Active member
Unless they build up traction they die a death, which is hard to do these days.

Then if they do build up traction it's hard keeping them running well, there will always be users so outraged if they ever get a warning that they'll set up their own FB group/discord/Reddit to leave and try to take users to some holly ground.
 

1966Mustang

Member
they'll set up their own FB group/discord/Reddit

I think most of my users remember when BBS's were the rage. Many have @aol emails. But, really those that come and stay are a hardcore technical lot, They have their debates but normally cool down and have a 🍻 . I am not aware of someone breaking off in exodus.

Oh, wait - back in the day that's how we were started :ROFLMAO:
 
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RodrigoSQL

Member
I had a great forum in 2009 until 2017 about 350k of users with a daily average of 5k I can assure you clearly that social media will kill many forums out there. I ended the same in 2017 converting all content to wordpress, still earns me some money with adsense .. but nothing compared to the good old days, this month I started a new project this time with Xenforo, well I am confident that with hard work it can still be having space and success in some way.
 
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