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    • There are more than 100,000+ forums on the internet according to one of Quora's answers from 2015. I don't know if it is true, but I believe the majority of them don't get much engagement and are still relevant. Forums occupy specific niches and have been around for years, some even decades. So by now their core audiences have probably reached their limits of interest.

      I still enjoy using some forums like Slowtwitch, which is a triathlon focused forum. In general, I mostly lurk around in forums and rarely post. When I do post, I find it painful to deal with ancient bulletin board software and moderation policies that differ from one forum to another. But, I put up with it, knowing there are people just like me waiting to discuss topical issues and give advice on the matters.

      Reddit has more than 130K subreddits and is taking over many of the niches that forums once occupied. Facebook groups are growing like crazy in even more specific interests. In the world of these giants do forums still have future?..

      Which forums do you find interesting and why?

    • Which forums do you find interesting and why?

      VilTri, I enjoy learning from experts and researchers (both amateur and professional).  I’m on several forums, macro-blogging and micro-blogging sites and, like you, I put up with some ancient architecture on some because of the value of what I continue to learn: this week, I’ve engaged in conversations with a theoretical physicist on high-tech polymers and an info-sec expert on the FBI’s Infragard security issues notification system.  I also had a conversation on books with a bibliophile who’s read over 500 books in the time that I’ve read less than 50. And I learned the book recommendations of a legal reporter for the New York Times during a discussion on books on another forum. There is obviously a limit on how many sites I can engage with and contribute to in a given week, and I try to make a visit to each of them at least weekly.  What I’ve found fascinating about exploring multiple forums is that you come across interesting ideas on one that are completely absent on another. As a result, I may start a conversation on another site that’s an undiscussed aspect of one of those interesting ideas: it would be pointless to me to start the exact same conversation on another site.

      I think the short answer, to which forums I find interesting, is ALL of them.  

    • Great thread. Old dawgs like me have fun chattin' up the young hotties and s'plaining that there was a world before the internet. WHAAAAAAT?

      I got started with usenet forums for photography and photoshop. It was an amazing resource of information and I should probably credit EVERYTHING I have learned professionally from those early days (circa 1990's). Then, as some point Adobe pulled a bullshit corporate move and forced you to sign up for their forums that essentially got hacked so bad they were offline for a couple of years I believe.

      Google was just coming into it's own and people were just learning the new habit of thinking stuff like "what was the temperature during the lunar moon landing" and receiving a decent reply of links.

      Then, Senor Baldy was probably spinning in a black hole somewhere and the Big Bang of ADV happened and most of us know it was probably the most successful forum of all time during 2000's. The recipe was similar to these Celebrity Chefs like Gordon Ramsey. Sure, you could still eat at McDonalds and stay glued to your simple Yahoo group, but WHY?

      Facebook groups are growing but hopefully most people absolutely distrust anything that Facebook is doing such that I try and minimize my interaction on Facebook.

      Nowadays, will look for "forums" but, I have surrendered that they will be pale compared to the good ol' days of ADV....

      But, to answer your questions....I spend time now in a jet-ski forum mostly to learn things but I found a similar "Toxic Brittney" thread that obviously is the most popular.

      I have found in that forum most people rarely interact despite it populus views. I have create 8 threads about my adventures that have over 2000 views but about 3 interactions. Which does not bother me but I had assumed there would be the same rabid enthusiasm like ADV.

    • I was hoping there'd be a thread on something like this here.

      "Do forums still have a future?" Interesting question that I'm not certain I have an answer for, but let's go back a generation *before* forums were big...email lists!

      Much of the early days of this particular organization (warts and all) took place via an email list that's been in operation for over 20 years. People have come and gone over that time, and about 15 years worth of data is available thru a web page that allows for searching the list for all sorts of minutiae.

      A recent post on the email list lamented the fact that much of the traffic over the years has dwindled, and that traffic seems to have moved to other places (FB). Thus, the continuity of the information that at one time was confined to this email list and in parallel to a no-longer-supported forum software package. Again, searching for about any topic was relatively easy to accomplish, knowing just what it was (or who it may have been) that posted that nugget of wisdom a decade (or more) ago.

      There's two schools of thought - one is for the leaders of the organization to post relevant information to where the members are located. If it's FB, then it's FB. If it's FB, and a forum, then it's...

      The other one is...they've managed to do well with the tools they have (new, supportable forum package, though the legacy information isn't available for public consumption), unofficial FB groups managed by those sympathetic to the organization, and any other sources of discussion about the group, as appropriate - spread the peanut butter to the corners of the slice of bread.

      General chit-chat about the group? Yeah, used to be there in the email list (thank goodness for digest mode!) but not like it used to be.

      Is it simply awaiting the dinosaurs to pass on??