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The future of forums like this
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Has social media affected your forum posting?
yes, without a doubt
11%
 11%  [ 2 ]
Yes, but, not much
5%
 5%  [ 1 ]
I don't think so
22%
 22%  [ 4 ]
No. I hate social media
61%
 61%  [ 11 ]
Total Votes : 18

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hackersmovie
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 19, 2013 7:38 pm    Post subject: The future of forums like this Reply with quote

After some recent thought, I think the reason many forums have seen a decline or even just a decline in memberships is the fact that Social Media allows you a similar outlet to find answers, discuss topics, etc.

What do you think?

I also think with the amount of spam out there now (and ever increasing) that some people are just turned off a bit about forums.


I still search out forums for things I enjoy but, I often don't stay long (except here! Very Happy )
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MrMini
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 19, 2013 7:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I hate social media, like fececrook, I like techanical forums like this one
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Bandit Bill
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 19, 2013 8:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think everything has impact. General news is distributed within minutes. So there is little need to discuss general news, because everyone already knows.
It doesn't matter if you visit Macrumors, Macdailynews, Appleinsider, iMore etc. it's all the same news regurgitated.

That being said forums are communities of people with a common interest. It's always nice to share comments with people who have a common interest.

I think part of the reason 123Macmini has been successful and will continue to be successful is they have specialized. People are going to go out of their way to chat with people who truly know what they are talking about. Instead of getting comments like "It should work". It's nice to chat with people who can say "It does work","I've done that myself".

So yes I think forums will remain, but they will become more specialized. Yes social media has impact but it's not going to replace forums.
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Cypher
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 20, 2013 2:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've always used forums and although I did use Twitter in the early days, but not to post what I was doing every 5 minutes, I bailed out as soon as all the masses and wanna be celebrities started to join. Social Media really annoys me and I avoid it like the plague. I really don't get the idea of letting everyone know everything your doing or have done, its pretty pathetic really.

Also I think forums pulled in the initial up take in home computers etc with lots of newbies asking questions of the more experienced members. Nowadays after 30 years of home computers there's more tech savvy people around so inevitably there are less people asking questions. 123MacMini probably extending this as the majority of people were PC, but switchers needed help, even the tech savvy PC people needed a push when they first started with the Mac OS and looked for forums like 123. This seems to be dropping off now and the forum is pretty slow these days.

Unfortunately I really think forums have had their day and are in serious decline now. As you say Social Media gives an instant reply, google will find you an answer to you question and there is also the like of youtube where you can watch someone doing the thing your struggling with.

The bigger forums will probably remain as the existing members will keep it going but the smaller ones just fade away over time which is a shame. I always tended to avoid the bigger forums as they just churn out too many posts per day to keep up with the threads.

I always found 123MacMini was in my sweetspot size wise, lots of posts each day but not too many to make it hard to keep up with all of them. Nowadays though even its post count has declined and I only spend a few minutes at a time on here now.
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Smithcraft
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 20, 2013 3:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I like social media for what it is, but I don't think that there is any way it can hurt a specialized forum.

For example:
In my twitter-verse, I'm the most technically savvy person there. If I have a question, and since I don't have a gajillion followers to see it, I'd have to look somewhere that the answer can be found.

In my facebook-verse, it's pretty much the same, although I do have a few more technical and scientific people there. I would still have to hope that someone might have some memory about slightly older Macs that would know the answer to a question. I'd also have to wait for them to read and reflect.

With this forum, or other forums, I can post a question and have an answer fairly quickly. Take the Handbrake forums for example, I can ask and a developer, or other advanced user, will help out fairly quickly.

A Subaru forum that I sometimes use is facing a similar issue. It's dedicated to early 90s Legacys. Most of those cars are being put out to pasture, instead of staying in circulation, so membership of the forum is declining (plus there are a couple of senior members who like to hammer new members Rolling Eyes ).

So I'd say that forums are gonna stick around.

As for the spam issue, good luck! We already had one member here get upset that not enough was being done about the spam, and he took is mini and left. Oh well. The best way to deal with spam, is to moderate the first post. However, with a some of the problems that some of the mods and admins have had in the last couple of years, they are sometimes gone for a bit. If you're a newb and have a urgent question and have to wait more than twenty four hours to get a question posted, that's not going to be a good way to go, and will end up pissing people off in the long run.

SC
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zedtvl
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 20, 2013 11:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Social medias and forums like this one are two different things...
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hackersmovie
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 20, 2013 7:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

zedtvl wrote:
Social medias and forums like this one are two different things...


Agreed and well aware. The question is: Has social media had an impact on forums like this? I think it has. If not for the simple fact that many people are spending more time on social media then they are connecting with "like-minded' people with similar interests. I'm a prime example.....
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Smithcraft
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 21, 2013 3:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I only use social media to stay in contact with friends and family, and see what's up with a few famous people.

I supposes it's like the media saying that the personal computer is dead, because people are buying tablets. People are still buy/building computers, it's just that some people are going with tablets now rather than a laptop or desktop. Each tool has it's place in the ecosystem.

SC
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hackersmovie
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 22, 2013 2:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Smithcraft wrote:
I only use social media to stay in contact with friends and family, and see what's up with a few famous people.

I supposes it's like the media saying that the personal computer is dead, because people are buying tablets. People are still buy/building computers, it's just that some people are going with tablets now rather than a laptop or desktop. Each tool has it's place in the ecosystem.

SC


Agreed. So then you would have to agree that social media IS having a negative impact on forums, much like tablets have had a negative impact on laptop/desktop sales. No?
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Smithcraft
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 22, 2013 4:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Who uses facebook for indepth technical support?

SC
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hackersmovie
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 22, 2013 9:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Smithcraft wrote:
Who uses facebook for indepth technical support?

SC


Probably no one, however, instead of me "chatting" with people here like I used to, perhaps in the "Off Topic" board, etc. I'm on Facebook. As I've said, social media has negatively impacted forums, not eradicated them. I sincerely think people no longer "hang out" on forums like they used to, they now "hangout" on Social Media sites.

Not too mention that fact that big brands now spend MILLIONS of advertising dollars on social media, I'd venture a guess that the Admins here have seen a decline in advertising and I'm sure that big brands rarely if ever spent MILLIONS of their advertising dollars on forums...

Social media sites have BILLIONS of users, I'm sure many of them USED to hang out on forums....

Just a thought... Wink
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Bandit Bill
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 22, 2013 10:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

hackersmovie wrote:
Smithcraft wrote:
Who uses facebook for indepth technical support?

SC


Probably no one, however, instead of me "chatting" with people here like I used to, perhaps in the "Off Topic" board, etc. I'm on Facebook.


I can also see someone on Facebook who gets a new Mac posting a pic of it on Facebook for their friends to see instead of posting it in a photo gallery on a forum for strangers to see.

It's an interesting topic Hackers. When you really think about it, social forums probably have a lot more impact than we realize.

That being said I still think forums will survive, they will just become more specialized. Let's say I just became the proud owner of a dog like a Rhodesian Ridgeback, I'd definitely join a Rhodesian Ridgeback forum.
BTW I just looked it up and there is one Smile . http://www.rr-forum.com/forum/
10 years ago you likely wouldn't have found this forum. You would have joined a general "dog" forum and hoped to find some owners of the breed.
Now of course there is probably a group of people on Facebook that own this dog as well.

One thing that forums have that social media site do not have is a library/archive of all the posts. This is very useful. Stickies are another useful feature. There are plenty of features offered by forums that social media doesn't offer.

Perhaps the way to go is incorporate social media features into your forum, just like many businesses are doing along with their webpages etc.
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hackersmovie
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 22, 2013 10:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bandit Bill wrote:
hackersmovie wrote:
Smithcraft wrote:
Who uses facebook for indepth technical support?

SC


Probably no one, however, instead of me "chatting" with people here like I used to, perhaps in the "Off Topic" board, etc. I'm on Facebook.


I can also see someone on Facebook who gets a new Mac posting a pic of it on Facebook for their friends to see instead of posting it in a photo gallery on a forum for strangers to see.

It's an interesting topic Hackers. When you really think about it, social forums probably have a lot more impact than we realize.

That being said I still think forums will survive, they will just become more specialized. Let's say I just became the proud owner of a dog like a Rhodesian Ridgeback, I'd definitely join a Rhodesian Ridgeback forum.
BTW I just looked it up and there is one Smile . http://www.rr-forum.com/forum/
10 years ago you likely wouldn't have found this forum. You would have joined a general "dog" forum and hoped to find some owners of the breed.


BB, I completely agree. Forums still have their place and I'm sure aren't going anywhere. I hadn't thought about it but, you're probably right, forums will have to be more specific and hyper focused, the draw back there is the total number of members will be drastically lower which will make it difficult for the owners/Admins to keep it going.

I'm a member of an "F-150" forum. That's fairly specific but, Ford has produced that truck for, like, 100 years (<-- exaggerated sarcasm) so there are a decent number of members and new members (F-150 owners) all the time. Guess what, they still take donations and you can PAY to be a "contributing member" of the forum. Those monies are obviously to keep it afloat. Without it, it probably wouldn't survive.

The flip side of that is social media is FREE. It's also FREE for big brands to join and promote/brand/interact with their end users....
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zedtvl
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 23, 2013 6:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

hackersmovie wrote:
zedtvl wrote:
Social medias and forums like this one are two different things...


Agreed and well aware. The question is: Has social media had an impact on forums like this? I think it has. If not for the simple fact that many people are spending more time on social media then they are connecting with "like-minded' people with similar interests. I'm a prime example.....

For my personal experience, no
First of the forums and specially this one are not intrusive, there is no big "ego show up" to impress any member, our political or view about religion are set aside so we can talk about what this forum is for and help each other.
If I had the choice between certain forums, this one included, and social media, I would ditch the social media in less than a second.
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Smithcraft
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 23, 2013 8:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

zedtvl wrote:
hackersmovie wrote:
zedtvl wrote:
Social medias and forums like this one are two different things...


Agreed and well aware. The question is: Has social media had an impact on forums like this? I think it has. If not for the simple fact that many people are spending more time on social media then they are connecting with "like-minded' people with similar interests. I'm a prime example.....

For my personal experience, no
First of the forums and specially this one are not intrusive, there is no big "ego show up" to impress any member, our political or view about religion are set aside so we can talk about what this forum is for and help each other.
If I had the choice between certain forums, this one included, and social media, I would ditch the social media in less than a second.

I have to agree with zedtvl on both counts.

Social media is convenient for what it is, which is keeping in touch with friends, family, and all that stuff. It's also great if you like ads being shoved down your throat. Technically, I have four G+ accounts, since every Gmail account gets a G+ account. Does that mean I use them? Nope. I sorta gave up facebook for a month. It was quite rewarding, and when I went back, I saw all the stupid changes that were done. When they start pushing video ads, I think I'll be happy to say that I'll be done with facebook.

My mother is fairly computer competent, no matter how much she claims otherwise, and she won't touch facebook with a ten foot pole. As far as she is concerned, if a business is only contactable via facebook, she won't do business with them.

I did link a few of my family at facebook with their relation matrix deal, but then I didn't link any others because I don't need facebook to know who my father is, who my cousins are, who my girlfriend is.

The benefit to facebook is that I can stay somewhat in contact with my friends and family, and a few of my interests at one site, rather than a bunch of different sites.

SC
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