Are Forums Dying Or Is It Just Me?

For some time now I’ve noticed something ‘different’ about various forums that I’ve followed for quite some time. I’m talking affiliate boards, webmaster and seo boards, the biz stuff. I could never quite put my finger on ‘what was wrong’, but I realized something last night.

Many of the forums I have been visiting the past year or so just aren’t as active. New threads aren’t created as often. Discussions don’t seem to go as long. Long time favorite posters aren’t around or if they are, not as much.

Many of the new threads are more ‘newbie related’ and the ‘more advanced’ or original/unique stuff is less and less. The newbies are keeping the forums somewhat alive. I’m looking at a handful of forums and when I take away the ‘newb’ questions, there’s not a whole heck of a lot left. And no – don’t ask me what forums I’m looking at cause I won’t say. But you’re probably familiar with at least some of them.

One affiliate board that I could count on for some good dish – has pretty much stopped cold. Maybe 5 or 6 posts a day, if that. And topics of great interest just aren’t there any longer. Another affiliate board is somewhat more active – but again it’s mainly newbies holding the place up. One SEO type forum that I’ve always been fond of, the ‘real’ discussion just isn’t happening. Take away the siggy link option and I’m sure that forum would topple over and die.

I’m not getting a whole lot out of forums anymore – in terms of learning. News flashes – sure. But the stuff that stretched and pulled you into thought and discussion and growth, mostly gone.

So what’s happening to the forums? Is it the blog movement? Has everyone moved to blog stalking and posting? Is it private forums? Have we all moved off the big boards and into our own little quiet corners with trusted partners? Or are people just done and bored with forums and cranking out more work?

I don’t think it’s me that’s changed, I think the forum crowds have shifted. I remember days of two full forum pages of posts. Now it’s a quick 5 minute check through all the forum folders and I’ve moved on. I’m not complaining, it’s just an observation I’ve made and wondering what’s changed.

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I've been trying to find my way online for more years than I care to admit.