The forums is a dying genre

add some AJAX to it`s funtionality, make it more modern looking. Sometimes I dream about hybrid between forum, blog and a social networking site.

This forum recently had its biggest ever number of users online at once (over 7000), so obviously people are still find this kind of forum useful. :slight_smile:

How do you envisage Ajax helping a forum? Or even the design? People come here to ask questions and discuss issues—neither of which depend on functionality or appearance.

SitePoint has a blog, which used to be integrated with the forums, though that model stopped working very well, it would seem.

I’ve been around for quite awhile and SP still is a great resource. If forums are a dying genre what is replacing them?

Hey there. Thanks for your feedback - I’m always keen to hear new ideas, but I need a bit more of a reason than to make it more modern looking. What do you think we’re lacking at the moment? :slight_smile:

Dont you think what you need is facebook then? There is already one, and if you havent signed up already you can do it anytime. There is a difference between forums and social-networking sites.


I think your forum lacks some possibilities to add media (video, muzic, big sized pictures) in a more convenient way. I think AJAX would help to shorten clicks when people add something to their posts. This gonna make your project much more cosy and yes more up-to-date looking. Add some script turning “–” into a dash, for example. Add some search to your site. If i want t find how many people visit this forum from my neighbourhood what I should do first?

I think FB, G+ and VK gonna kill forums in a few years (mabe one decade). Forums became a niche several years ago, pals. Think wider. This place is oldschol folks targeted. It has no future in a big scale. Give something social networks cannot give or die. :slight_smile:

The problems with FB and other social media is that you can not search and categorize your posts. Google+ is doing something with tags, but not enough to organize posts/comments (threads/posts).

I use Facebook Leu and sorry to say that FB and social media is certainly not the platform for technical items like this site carries.

FB lacks very much every tool an admin needs and I know as I administrate several groups and pages and it is a nightmare when you get a bull headed individual that is causing you grief and won’t adhere to the rules and you know if you boot them out the group that they will then get their friends to join and they will cause you trouble. Seen it happen several times in the 2 years of administrating one particular forum.

You ask people politely to read the groups rules, they say yeah ok, you know from their posts that they haven’t, those that do are a 50:50 huff and go or put up and shut up and the majority of people who really want to be a part of an active group play by the rules.

You get the odd one now and again that throws their rattle out their pram or are like kinder-garden children fighting over a lolly pop.

So in short Leu, this forum and others like are doing just fine, let the Zuccerbergs of this world screw you for your data and personal items, read the small print on Facbook because that award winning photograph you just uploaded no longer belongs to you, you have no rights and if you see your face on a billboard earning some ad company billions, you still get squat and zuccerberg makes a nice earner on your photo… Thats why I upload junk pictures, completely worthless and my content is only what others have shared. I did make one thing though based on what someone had posted, next time you are on Facebook Leu, try searching for my Frankenbears post & meme, Monsanto you cruel ******** LOL.

Leu doesn’t hang out here any more :wink: but in case other people check out this thread I thought I’d respond. I agree with you on most points. I also administer some Facebook pages, including the SitePoint one, and while the community there is engaged and active, the platform is not the right one for this kind of interaction. Forums were designed for this and they do a great job at it.

Forum’s appearance and functionality will change and increase, but they will never die, especially not niche forums - they are the best way to exchange knowledge and get help from the experts.

Wow, I am surprised Leu didn’t see his thread out. I would personally hate to see facebook get a monopoly but it does give me an idea for a money making project. (Given that no one else is doing it its probably illegal, oh well).

Facebook is really awkward for mobile users. Also, most of the time it attracts the wrong sort of person for the kind of discussion I look for. (By that I mean it seems to pander to the younger age group.)

I wouldn’t be using the internet at all if it were anything like Facebook - why it ever became even slightly successful is beyond me.

Does anyone want to offer me a billion dollars to “friend” them on Facebook so that I can turn down their request to waste my time on such meaningless garbage?

I don’t think facebook is the answer to everyone’s dreams. For more “professional” conversations there is LinkedIn but I dont like their web interface nor the way they are hiding their content. You can’t even save the web page to your hard drive for later viewing. (I suppose one could copy/paste it into a word document.)

The more interesting point is why the OP seemed to favour the big “forum consortiums” like facebook and why they have experienced the growth they have. Neither seem to have made their websites particularly easy to use (imho).

I think what forums need to become more popular is to follow the Wordpress marketing model. They offer a complete CMS solution for notenooks, laptops and mobile. No one has quite produced an equivalent excellent offering for forums yet (although I imagine bbPress might be heading in that direction). Most of the ones I know of are either hard to backup, change domain names, or write plugins for.

No way, forums are evolving because in order to be popular they are using updated techniques. Have you noticed how current interfaces are becoming simpler without all the bells and whistles? Most of the forums I frequent have now matured and far more pleasurable to use.

Facebook, Google+, Tumblr, etc are similar to the good old fashioned comics and poor at finding information compared with forums.

Well, if the javascript is used to provide the content, as in the case of LinkedIn, then I think its Google ranking will be worthless. As far as I know search engines just look at the content and don’t run any javascript.

However I notice that ranks quite high on Google for technical computing question. (Although they often annoy me as the admins often prematurely close th thread saying “This question is not a good fit for our forums” which I suspect means “we dont think it will improve our Google ranking”.)

Hence I dislike this modern trend to slavishly play the Google ranking game.

I don’t think that’s the point, really. They want the threads there to be a repository of useful answers, rather than a dumping ground for fluff. SO is not really a forum like this, where conversations are in order.

If the whole post was removed that would make sense. However in their case just enough remains as Google bait. The unwitting Google searcher lands there thinking he is going to find an answer to his question only to find the thread closed by their admins without resolution.

Usually they point to another thread where the question was already answered, though—if not explicitly, then in the links to the side.

200% agree that LinkedIn is awkward and not user friendly and their security is debatable. I use it to keep in touch with a couple of people who won’t use Facebook.

As for Facebook, like all the popular social media, its a question of who you know that can give you the backing / investment. Thats the real reason its successful, it had a large investor stump up the dollar for developing the advertising on the platform.

Data is money and selling it is also big business. I do my bit for the poisoning the data well by keeping all my profile information incorrect, images are re-posts and those I upload are worthless photographs like my feet or my chest or a photo of a cake, the pavement… get the picture!