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9 Comments

Do 'forums' still work anymore?

I was thinking of trying to begin building a sort of community around a central idea (I guess, similar to how the bulletjournal started) and a big part of that is a community driven content generation and collaboration which usually is facilitated by a bespoke forum.

However, I was wondering - are forums still a good approach these days? With the availability of platforms like reddit/facebook groups and other channels - do micro-niche forums struggle to generate a network effect now?

Cheers!

  1. 2

    I don't think the word "forum" applies anymore - if you call it "community" then the way it's packaged and presented matters less and the idea around the formation of the community takes center stage. The older forum software has to be fighting for survival right now but community formation seems hotter than ever. I would look at the type of community you want to form and then consider the presentation of that community after. Your options range from custom-made to a simple slack channel or Facebook group. They can be stand-alone like IH or inside of something else like Reddit or FB. The presentation options affect the ease at which you can build an audience.

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    You might be interested in @yaroslawbagriy’s Playgroup which is like a modern take on forums.

    1. 1

      Thanks @cbartlett for the mention! We’re currently redoing the UI to be more modern and increase engagement.

  3. 2

    There are also other platforms besides classical forums: Discord is a prominent one. And there are lots of startups that let you build your own social-media-like community site. There are people who gain traction with that.

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      I’m building playgroup.community currently. We’re adding the social-media feel to it with our redesign. What are some other examples of community platforms doing this?

  4. 1

    Asking on a forum if forums still work? XD I would say that yeah, they work. Reddit is a forum (each subreddit can be considered its own forum) where people post and other people comment. That's basically what it is to that. So yeah, they work. But a golden feature modern forums should have is threaded comments (a single line of comments isn't enough anymore). People want to have conversations that are easily to follow and jump into.

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      Absolutely. This is essentially now days.

  5. 0

    In addition to the others mentioned, you might want to check out Tribe and Circle

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