Can forums come back? I think so.

Discussion in 'Other Off Topic Forum' started by Subarubrat, Mar 21, 2021.

  1. Subarubrat

    Subarubrat Formula 3

    Apr 1, 2009
    Full Name:
    Remember F chat 10 years ago, roaring and busy, people even subscribed to get into some chat rooms. It was a happening place, and now dead quite except a few visitors. You can substitute any forum that was a big deal a few years back and the problems are the same and the drop off is certainly not exclusive to Fchat. I hope Fchat mods and owners read this and understand I want success and not just to knock the efforts to keep this alive.

    Some things don't come back, I ran a BBS and it was a hugely successful one, then trumpet winsoc came out and ISPs started up and withing 90 days BBS traffic died and it was over. Forums saw a slower decline as people left for social media like facebook. I never much liked facebook and it was clearly inferior in terms of retention and retrieval (from a user point of view) but that is where the activity was. People stopped listing for sale stuff and exchanging information in forums and it was all on facebook.

    I think forums are in a position to recover. Not totally to their glory days, but recover to a healthy level of traffic and a higher standard of discourse. The last year has seen a mass departure from facebook/instagram/twitter etc and that departure accelerated with the purges and censorship through the election. I signed out of facebook last spring and never went back. It is like shopping at walmart, once you realize there is nothing there you need or can't find elsewhere you are free from the experience of returning. I don't think this is a pause, I think many people are tired of being censored, spied on, mainstream topics being forbidden, and the low quality of it all. And pretty much everyone has cyberstalked their ex's and hooked up or not. After a while I started digging out the forum logins and some are total ghost towns and some are doing OK with a core group still active. There is a huge opportunity now days with all of the people leaving or being forced off of social media, they just need to know the forums are still here and make them welcoming.

    So what do we do about it?

    1. Clear out the dead wood by pruning and simplifying categories.
    2. Delete irrelevant and dated content but retain quality info, get some more mods in there to help.
    3. Unlock everything, no special access or pay to play stuff.
    4. Scrap low quality advertising, especially the stuff inserted into posts.
    5. Email inactive membership with a re-launch
    6. Create some incentive for referrals
    7. What do you have, I am just one person thinking out loud!
    PappyDewBoston and anunakki like this.
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  3. PappyDewBoston

    PappyDewBoston Karting
    Silver Subscribed

    May 2, 2018
    Full Name:
    Chris Nadeau
    As a fairly new participating member I agree with your assessment of the opportunity. I prefer fchat and Reddit to Facebook and Twitter. Last year I dropped out of Traditional social media to converse with a more intelligent, respectful and engaged group. I can’t speak to the history of FChat but I enjoy what I follow on it today.
  4. DrStranglove

    DrStranglove FChat Assassin
    Rossa Subscribed Owner

    Oct 31, 2003
    Google Maps
    Full Name:
    Based on usage you are totally wrong. Engagement is actually up from 10 years ago.
  5. ylshih

    ylshih Shogun Assassin
    Honorary Owner

    Mar 21, 2004
    Northern CA
    Full Name:
    OOT used to be a very active, but not any more, so it may look like things are dead. But I think users are interested in more privacy for their postings these days. The traffic that used to be on OOT has moved to the subscribed sections.
    paulchua, TexasF355F1 and alum04org like this.
  6. DrStranglove

    DrStranglove FChat Assassin
    Rossa Subscribed Owner

    Oct 31, 2003
    Google Maps
    Full Name:
    Yes. And I am constantly amazed that people her pay to bull ****. But they do. Quite a lot of them in fact. Heck, since his FB ban, Jerry's usage here went up by a couple powers.
    wax likes this.
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  8. Jedi

    Jedi Two Time F1 World Champ
    Lifetime Rossa Owner

    Mar 18, 2008
    Seattle Area
    Full Name:
  9. MalcQV

    MalcQV F1 Rookie

    Oct 11, 2004
    Manchester, UK
    Full Name:
    Malc Holden
    I've not been on forums for over a year. Since we started locking down here in the UK. I upped my use of FB but have recently (for the second time) deactivated it. Only a few days but the longer I'm away the less I am interested. There are a few car related groups that I am missing a bit but so far...

    FCHAT always seems quite busy, well up until a year ago it did. Most others I used not so. Hopefully there will be a return.

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