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The Future of Forums

9:15 am on Aug 6, 2008 (gmt 0)

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5+ Year Member

joined:Oct 26, 2007
votes: 0

So there definately is a future for forums but Im looking at where they are going .

Just about every forum has a profile
While profiles of forums differ alot here are some characteristics

1. Signatures
2. Avatars or photos
3. Private messagging systems
4. Some allow you to edit a list of links
4. list of messages posted

Some have useful information like
1.glossary ,
2. library

some forums allow users to get a sort of repuation be it through reputation management or through number of posts posted.

Some forums allow you to log into your adsense account and earn income for you posts .

There are forums with maps and forums with picture.

There are moderated forums and unmoderated forums

Some allow you to create your own dicussion group with website , users joining and contributing .

Some are private .

What Im getting at is where is the forum heading .

Here are some of my idea's

1. User profiles becoming more open : sharing profiles between applications ?
2. User repuation management allows for area's of expertise credibility
3. Networking for business related people
4. tie in with blog ?

These are some of my thoughts perhaps you have some thoughts ?

12:16 pm on Aug 6, 2008 (gmt 0)

Senior Member

WebmasterWorld Senior Member quadrille is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

joined:Feb 22, 2002
votes: 0

At the moment, the "web 2.0" bandwagon is rolling fast, and the multifunctional forum will be subsumed into the awful biomass that sits like a smog over the web.

However, just as the forum never made usenet redundant (though arguably it is not what it once was*), so web 2.0 will not remove the specialist forums - indeed, quality forums may gain as refugees from clone-land seek a safe haven ;)

I don't argue with any of your suggestions, I just hope we continue to have a choice, and once the current bandwagon overturns, the best will remain.

I come here to exchange info on SEO; I don't want a date, I don't want to play ScrofulousTM (or any other gizmo).

I don't want the ego-boost that blogs give, or the disjointed exchange that follows among the 'followers'. When I want a blog, I go to the individual's own blog, not a marketplace of people vying for attention and praying (in vain) for SEO benefit.

I suspect I'm not alone :)

Don't forget that there are already waaay too many blogs. I'd guess that blogs outnumber readers at least 10 to 1 - and most blogs have virtually no readers at all.

There are too many forums, too. But forums can serve small niches, and some specialist ones do well on a handful of members.

web 2.0 however

1. REQUIRES many readers for the format to work
2. Will be dominated by a handful of sites:

I can successfully have a list of 20 blogs via RSS; I can visit 20 forums as the mood takes. I cannot have active (useful) membership of 20 web 2.0 sites and still get some sleep.

*People always say that usenet isn't what it once was, to which the response should be "what is?"

10:47 pm on Sept 3, 2008 (gmt 0)

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joined:Sept 3, 2008
posts: 4
votes: 0

I tend to think of forums as simply very early examples of social networks, where the emphasis happens to be on topical discussion. The 'social network' we think of today tends to be more the Facebook or MySpace model, where user profiles and friend relationships are central, but user profiles can be prominent in forums as well. Think of Facebook groups as forums embedded into an social network, and user profiles in WebMasterWorld as social networking features brought into a forum.

I think they every context has it's own set of "social networking" features that are most appropriate, depending on what actions people want to take and how they'll want to communicate. All features of the same thing imho.