What are the profits of forums like? I have read statistics showing that the average revenue per 1000 page impressions on the mainstream market ranges from $1 to $5 depending on quality. Do forums tend to either end of the range? Or maybe they have a much higher rpm (revenue per 1000 impressions) than the mainstream $1 to $5 spectrum? Some sub-industries out here, certain ways of building and selling content, have considerably higher rpms than just $5
The article doesn't mention facebook and the huge barrage of messy information on facebook and maybe other sites like it, which are a good example of what the overall mass of all forums really is. Just lots of rants, flirts, bullying, general human relationships, using information sharing as a pretext rather than seeing it as the real point.
I suppose there is potential for compromise and if Google really does manage to bring order to the chaos of 'opinion' which is often not even legitimate or real opinion, then I expect forum owners everywhere will be 'brought in' and made rich, rather than wiping them out and taking their market.
That's probably what differentiates Google from people like Microsoft.
[edited by: rogerd at 9:38 pm (utc) on July 27, 2008]