Forums, also known as message boards, are an awesome way to communicate and store information for a long time. You can easily search up old topics and discussions if your looking for information. Also because of the asynchronous nature of forums it’s easy to communicate with people in all time zones.
Today I ran across this post at kotaku and I think it might be the first time I seen someone agree with me about forums. Not that I’ve looked for people that agree with me. But the post got me thinking.
Luke Plunkett is talking about Discord in his post and I agree with him a lot. Discord is good for real time communication but I feel like it’s inferior in every other way.
Facebook taking over the forum space
But for me the problem started with the rise of Facebook groups. I don’t use Facebook so I can’t say a whole lot about how Facebook groups work. But I do know I seen lots of smaller forums vanish and move to Facebook over the years.
I liked the smaller forums better. Maybe 50-100 people max. I felt like it made more of a tight and friendly community. But this size message boards seem to get hit the hardest.
Even the small gaming forum I hosted for years with phpbb slowly diminished to a state of inactivity. And this was before Discord was even a thing.
Discord the final blow?
A lot of the larger forums survived for a while but as the post above details they have been shutting down in favor of discord.
Why I don’t like Discord.
Harder to keep up with
For me it seems harder to keep up with what is going on because chats in the moment and you can’t watch chat all day.
That’s OK if you have 10 people chatting. But once you get over that number it starts to become noise. Because of this it’s easy to miss things.
Harder to start new topics.
Because its live chat it can be hard to jump in and start a new topic or ask a question. Having other channels can help but that’s something you have to manually go and check on. But with a forum the topics are presented in a way that they are harder to miss.
Harder to Search
If you do miss something in Discord you might never know. If you do know then the built in search is not the best. And you can’t use Google or anything to search the chats like is possible with forums. So I guess you could say old discussions are not so easy to access.
I think forums are much better at privacy then Facebook or Discord. But it kind of depends on the forum and how its setup.
But anytime you are congregating everyone into one place that can become an issue. Were forum sites were separated from each other and could be anonymous.
So Forums are Better
So I’ll admit Discord wins when it comes to real time chat. But I still think forums are better in every other way. It’s sad to see that so many have closed down. The new generation of people on the internet does not seem to be interested in anything but live chat.
I’ve thought about making a forum around this site a few times. But my last attempt at restarting my old gaming forum bombed out because of discord. So i’m not sure it’s worth my time.
But who knows maybe one day the internet landscape will change and they will make a come back. One can hope. 🙂
What about you?
How to do feel about online communication? Leave a comment below and we can talk about it. That’s kind of close to a forum now days.