Countless articles have been written about how online forums are dead. My personal experience of being an administrator for a local-interest online forum would certainly support that claim. The same year Facebook boomed in Atlantic Canada, our community fell apart. The only posts I would moderate on our once-busy forum were spam. We shut down the forum after years of inactivity.
True, forum platforms have a history of being difficult to navigate on smartphones, and have other downsides such as spam bots, rampant trolling and karma farming. Nevertheless, some online forums have survived the trend of moving these communities towards Facebook, while new discussion forums have become popular.
If you wanted advice about fixing a strange noise your 2006 Ducati Multistrada motorcycle makes, where would you go? As a fellow biker, I know that we take pride in trying to repair our bikes ourselves instead of bringing them to mechanics. We also love talking about our rides. Luckily, there’s an amazing and still wildly popular adventure motorcycling forum called ADVRider. It’s a community where riders share their adventures, challenges, lust over bikes, and help each other. With nearly a million discussion threads, the forum’s easy search feature makes this a much more viable social network than Facebook for this purpose. This is just one of many active niche online forums. Into music? Try SteveHoffman.tv. Rather digital photography? Then Photography on the Net is for you. There’s a community for everything!
Reference and Reading
Apple’s new screen time application has categorized Reddit, the largest online discussion forum, as “Reference and Reading.” Though there’s plenty of junk (and even more cute kitty pictures) on Reddit, there is a wealth of information and personal experience that contribute to its users’ knowledge. If you don’t know where to start, try r/todayilearned (TIL). Despite its ugly interface, Reddit has had a boom in users in recent years. In fact, the online forum has recently surpassed Facebook as one of the most visited websites. And there are very good reasons for that.
Not convinced that forums still have a purpose? Check out this short article by Wix on why Reddit is so great. If you don’t know how to get back into the forum game, read this fantastic article on resurrecting forums.
Online Forums Aren’t Dead. Here’s Why: bit.ly/2EDWw3P
Thought online forums were dead? Think again! Check out my new blog post: bit.ly/2EDWw3P