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Thread: Why are traditional Forums dying?

  1. #1

    Default Why are traditional Forums dying?

    People always say it is because of Reddit or Discord, but that is a description of the problem, not the underlying reason. What is it that makes Reddit or Discord superior to forums?

    Personally, I've always preferred forums. They allow for more permanent discussions, people generally put more effort into their posts (not everyone all the time, but on average) and they are a lot more structured. You have a nice neat division into different subforums in which discussions are again structured by threads.

    In contrast, Discord is basically just an assortment of chats that flow aimlessly and go nowhere. Finding stuff is often difficult, too. Most posts are just effortless one-liners, spam, emojis or trolling. And Reddit isn't perfect, either. The upvoting system usually promotes in-jokes, memes and even trolling. Having a proper discussion is often basically impossible. Voicing a dissenting opinion in a subreddit often leads to being downvoted to hell. Not to mention the arcane posting restrictions in most subreddits.

  2. #2
    Akar's Avatar I am not a clever man
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    Default Re: Why are traditional Forums dying?

    I hate this "discord doesn't do what forums do" argument. It's not supposed to be doing what forums do. It's like complaining that Skype is lacking the features of a traditional forum. Like, yeah, no , it's not trying to replace that.

    The reason Reddit's format has surpassed the traditional forum is because it allows access to multiple communities at the same time. On TWC I get access to a single community - the TWC community - for better and for worse. If I want to find a place to talk about sports cars or whatever I either have to find a specialized forum for it or I have to take what I can get here amongst the TWCers. Reddit does not have the same constrictions. Reddit allows access to both total war communities, sports car communities, communities for obscure books and so forth all in a single place. The ease of access to these often specialized communities is a huge draw to Reddit. I can go from a politically specialized community to one focused entirely on the book The Martian all on the same website.

    You have a nice neat division into different subforums in which discussions are again structured by threads.
    Reddit has the same thing with subreddits, to be fair.

    The upvoting system usually promotes in-jokes, memes and even trolling. Having a proper discussion is often basically impossible.
    I don't find that to be the case - though it will depend heavily on the community.

    Voicing a dissenting opinion in a subreddit often leads to being downvoted to hell
    Tons of places have +rep and -rep buttons, this is nothing exclusive to reddit. But yeah if you say stupid people will downvote you.

    Not to mention the arcane posting restrictions in most subreddits.
    I feel like this is just a navigation issue. All of the restrictions are in the side-bar and on the main subreddits it's very clear what the restrictions are. Reddit is a huge website and has to take protections against spam. I run two small subreddits and am constantly dealing with spam bots - I can't imagine what it would be like to run one with several million members instead of several thousand.

    But yeah, I prefer forums too - in general - but I think acting like Reddit isn't doing a ton of stuff right isn't helping.

    That said with all of the new changes Reddit will be making in the coming months I except to see these traditional forums see a bit of a resurgence.

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  3. #3
    Flinn's Avatar His Dudeness of TWC
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    Default Re: Why are traditional Forums dying?

    Quote Originally Posted by Akar View Post
    I hate this "discord doesn't do what forums do" argument. It's not supposed to be doing what forums do. It's like complaining that Skype is lacking the features of a traditional forum. Like, yeah, no , it's not trying to replace that.
    Concur. Forums and discord could cooperate and coexist. Just like forums and other chats cooperated in the past. Honestly I'd rather have one extra tool, than one less

    It's true that at times you can lose info at Discord, depending on the amount of activity a channel has, but there are ways to ensure that the important info do not get lost: you can attach a message to a channel, you can create an announcement channel, you can create a read only channel etc etc. If it wasn't so, I doubt so many modding groups would be using it.
    And if you really want to say something to someone so badly, you can direct message them.

    I love my TWC forum, but if today there's still a bit of activity here other than in D&D, is because of Discord, that helps up keep in contact and makes it worth, in some way, to come back here.

    PS back at the time, when I was "forced" to join Discord in 2018, I really hated it, because I thought it was going to draw even more activity from the forum, but I was wrong, because Discord is not the cause of the decline of forums, but the consequence of it.
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    Ukiah's Avatar Semisalis
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    Default Re: Why are traditional Forums dying?

    Did a lot of the TW forum members move to Reddit? I think Reddit continues to get new members because it's probably the most well-known forum. We aren't getting new members because the TW forums are unknown to those who don't play any TW games. And the TW series haven't been gaining popularity as much as we expected. I think one of the reasons is that all of the TW games have issues such as the tendency to crash. And the TW creators don't listen to their main customers. It seems that they're seeking a larger market judging from their later games, but have failed to do so. Every other forum that I know of besides Reddit haven't been getting much new members either. I don't know anyone outside the internet who uses the forums. I think the people I personally know of prefer to get responses right away. They're too impatient to use the internet forums. The forums were popular before the chat apps began to be used on the phones. This forum is actually one of the more active ones that I use, which shows how unpopular the internet forums have become. It's the moderation. This forum is moderated well. There are a lot of other forums out there where the moderators fail to identify the trolls and the internet bullies or they protect the trolls and the bullies on purpose due to their own agendas. The forums that lack proper moderation are almost inactive now. The members who provided good content have left those forums.
    Last edited by Ukiah; June 06, 2023 at 08:20 AM.

  5. #5
    Muizer's Avatar member 3519
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    Default Re: Why are traditional Forums dying?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ukiah View Post
    I think the people I personally know of prefer to get responses right away. They're too impatient to use the internet forums. The forums were popular before the chat apps began to be used on the phones.
    There are many reasons why activity has dropped but I think this is the big one. And it's not just about the instant response, rather than that the chat apps are designed for mobile, whereas this forum quite obviously isn't.
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  6. #6
    Roma_Victrix's Avatar Call me Ishmael
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    Default Re: Why are traditional Forums dying?

    Quote Originally Posted by Muizer View Post
    There are many reasons why activity has dropped but I think this is the big one. And it's not just about the instant response, rather than that the chat apps are designed for mobile, whereas this forum quite obviously isn't.
    This makes a lot of sense, the instant gratification that is lacking on traditional forums. On top of that, Generation Z simply has other places for a quick chat like Snapchat in contrast to the traditional online spaces dominated by Gen X and Millennials. The latter two have either clung to forums or moved elsewhere like Facebook, Instagram, Reddit, Twitter, Discord, etc. LOL. Nobody uses AOL or MySpace anymore, and those were definitely alternative spaces that rivalled the amount of traffic seen on forums back in the 2000s. As noted by Akar and Flinn, though, all of these platforms aren't exact replicas or coherent replacements for each other. In many ways they complement each other (or only superficially steal away a consumer's time spent on another platform). A person seen posting a bunch of replies in Youtube comments sections or Quora most likely has other avenues for posting stuff elsewhere.

    Quote Originally Posted by Akar View Post
    If I want to find a place to talk about sports cars or whatever I either have to find a specialized forum for it or I have to take what I can get here amongst the TWCers.
    Now that your expectations have been lowered here at TWC where you must take what you can get, it's high time we had a lengthy conversation about sports cars, Akar, even though I don't care much about the topic and it is my brother who is the automotive technician (albeit a 1970s/1980s American muscle car enthusiast over everything else). Are you a Dodge Challenger type of guy, or are you an Audi R8 type of guy (these are the two genders, whereas the Mazda Miata might represent the third gender).

  7. #7
    Akar's Avatar I am not a clever man
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    Default Re: Why are traditional Forums dying?

    Even worse - I don't care about cars at all and was using them as an example. I hate dodge cars because they all look like cop cars.

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  8. #8
    Ukiah's Avatar Semisalis
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    Default Re: Why are traditional Forums dying?

    Another advantage that the chat apps have over the internet forums is that you've met the person you chat with. This is a huge plus for a lot of people.

    An advantage of the internet forums that I can think of is that it's easier to find people with common interests. The first common interest that we find here is the game. It's very hard to find another TW player outside the TW forums. I think we'd get lots of new members if more people realize this advantage.

  9. #9
    Dismounted Feudal Knight's Avatar 🦀\_(ツ)_/🦀
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    Default Re: Why are traditional Forums dying?

    In the modern internet I'm pretty sure the barriers of anonymity are up as often as not. Common interests are often found through a multitude of specialized Discord servers, which are far easier for people to casually say hi, wanna play a game, sure, meet up in game and sometimes with nifty integrations that Discord throws in to compliment this. All through a centralized, now-familiar interface that responds instantly to input. TWC is comparatively not that responsive and even at its best, say with a technical upgrade to xenforo for features and a magic wand whisked away underlaying performance issues, it would lag in convenience and depend on traditional benefits. The upper management would need to be creative to reclaim a larger audience. The use of a static place on the internet to find find knowledge is undeniable, although other platforms have managed to suck a lot of wind out of those sails too.

    The very concept of a 'traditional' forum is not very 'in' these days, for gaming especially. This will ebb and flow, but I think the next time forums become hip they will not quite look the same, the same way that chat does not look the same as it used to (IRC is now old, and different bells and whistles are expected in most circles for chat). Already there are fairly standard bells and whistles that TWC is lagging behind with, and this can only hurt adoption as time goes on. There will be holdouts just as there are holdouts, sometimes strong ones for IRC use, but if we're wondering about growth then all this and more must be considered.

  10. #10
    EmperorBatman999's Avatar I say, what, what?
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    Default Re: Why are traditional Forums dying?

    For me, and I think it's the same problem with Discord, but I don't have the time and attention span anymore to really follow most threads and conversations.

    I'm not sure if it's because I've grown up and gotten a job now and so have major responsibilities (and burnout), or if there is something about the saturation of technology that has fried my ability to closely follow written conversation.

  11. #11
    Akar's Avatar I am not a clever man
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    Default Re: Why are traditional Forums dying?

    They're too impatient to use the internet forums. The forums were popular before the chat apps began to be used on the phones.
    I feel like this sort of thinking is just symptomatic of the larger issue at hand which is that other places are now able to provide most of what forums provide but better. A discord server isn't a forum, but it can be a community and the barrier to entry is significantly lower. When you've already made an account you can join any number of discrete communities. Discord is a program that allows you to find communities. It is not, itself, a community. Reddit is a place to find communities, it is an amalgamation of the communities to which you subscribe. It is not, itself, a community. Total War Center is a community. The barrier to entry and proper participation are higher and while many of us would consider the rewards of membership in such a community to be equally lofty we must recognize that a good portion of people are satisfied with less impactful and significant interactions and communities. Better to have a home than a series of hotel rooms but both provide a place to rest.

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  12. #12
    Roma_Victrix's Avatar Call me Ishmael
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    Default Re: Why are traditional Forums dying?

    The real reason that the TWC forum is dying is because Cookiegod is a malevolent sorcerer who casted a wicked black magic spell to drive away online traffic and members. We need to strike at the beating heart and source of this scourge, and remove the false idol Cookiegod once and for all. Boiling him alive is too good for him! We need something much worse. We need to hire the musical hit team known as Nickelback to handle lethal tortures of unspeakable horror behind closed doors.

  13. #13
    Akar's Avatar I am not a clever man
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    Default Re: Why are traditional Forums dying?

    Sometimes I think people forget that black magic is still magic too.

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  14. #14
    Flinn's Avatar His Dudeness of TWC
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    Default Re: Why are traditional Forums dying?

    #BlackMagicMatters
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    Default Re: Why are traditional Forums dying?

    It's overrated, navy magic sits so much better.

  16. #16
    Roma_Victrix's Avatar Call me Ishmael
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    Default Re: Why are traditional Forums dying?

    Quote Originally Posted by Akar View Post
    Sometimes I think people forget that black magic is still magic too.
    Yes, but hello bigot, Earth to the racist, you can't just call it black magic anymore, duh!
    Or use a slur word like voodoo.
    It's called African American magic, okay, bruh?


    Quote Originally Posted by Dismounted Feudal Knight View Post
    It's overrated, navy magic sits so much better.
    Navy magic...sounds like the name of a Village People cover band.

  17. #17
    Morticia Iunia Bruti's Avatar Praeses
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    Default Re: Why are traditional Forums dying?

    Quote Originally Posted by Roma_Victrix View Post
    Yes, but hello bigot, Earth to the racist, you can't just call it black magic anymore, duh!
    Or use a slur word like voodoo.
    It's called African American magic, okay, bruh?




    Navy magic...sounds like the name of a Village People cover band.
    Village people... the usual republican politician in private?

    Last edited by Morticia Iunia Bruti; June 12, 2023 at 06:26 PM.
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  18. #18
    Akar's Avatar I am not a clever man
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    Default Re: Why are traditional Forums dying?

    Or in public.


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  19. #19
    Roma_Victrix's Avatar Call me Ishmael
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    Default Re: Why are traditional Forums dying?

    Little known fact: Cookiegod forged a secret alliance with the YMCA to take down traditional forums and siphon off their online traffic in an insidious plot to undermine American values with Wiccan black magic spells dispersed through the air by the black helicopters (and by black I mean African American).

  20. #20
    Ukiah's Avatar Semisalis
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    Default Re: Why are traditional Forums dying?

    Quote Originally Posted by Roma_Victrix View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Akar View Post
    Sometimes I think people forget that black magic is still magic too.
    Yes, but hello bigot, Earth to the racist, you can't just call it black magic anymore, duh!
    Or use a slur word like voodoo.
    It's called African American magic, okay, bruh?
    There are African-Americans who get offended at being called 'African-Americans.' Most of these people were too young to have witnessed a time when the African-Americans demanded to be called 'African-Americans' instead of 'Blacks.' The others are of the older generations who missed out. We should call it 'ebony magic' instead.

    Btw, I also noticed that many people stopped posting ever since the pandemic began. Although the downward trend began before the pandemic, I noticed large numbers disappearing within a short period of time during the early stage of this pandemic. I think the dwindling pandemic economy had something to do with it.
    Last edited by Ukiah; June 19, 2023 at 08:33 PM.

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