Why has forums died over the years?

Friendly Survival

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#21
At the same time small communities are extremely vulnerable. If you lose one or two people it can kill the whole forum. Larger communities can survive with an Administrator who just pays the bills every month.
Actually I would disagree, it down to how and when the DR planning is done, executed, and so on. A "big box" forum can die just as quickly if no working backups were taken for example...
 

Taylor GM

Surprisingly Adequate
Dec 15, 2017
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#22
Over my 7-8 years of watching forums just in the mybb community, I've seen thousands of small forums die. Why? Because they're dependent on a few factors. In 2013 I made a list of all the official big boards of mybb. In 2017 over half remained up and active. That's around a 60% success rate. Small forums there may be one or two I commented on back in 2013 still running. Even if there's some errors in the numbers the gap still isn't close. A 5-20 person forum isn't surviving 99% of the time. Numbers don't lie.
 

Friendly Survival

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#23
Over my 7-8 years of watching forums just in the mybb community, I've seen thousands of small forums die. Why? Because they're dependent on a few factors. In 2013 I made a list of all the official big boards of mybb. In 2017 over half remained up and active. That's around a 60% success rate. Small forums there may be one or two I commented on back in 2013 still running. Even if there's some errors in the numbers the gap still isn't close. A 5-20 person forum isn't surviving 99% of the time. Numbers don't lie.
That's like saying a mom cannot support her own child if she loses the husband. Just like this matter if she is prepared (for example have a "fail safe plans", keep her own "personal" funding, and so on) she can likely get her self back on the ground.

Size does not always ensure a "successful" run. For example Yahoo is huge, yet they got hacked and I believe twice if I remembered correctly. Even a well known "security company" had been taken down by the hacking team (I believe they were called FFA or something along those lines) because they idiotically but not limited to... left IPMI credentials to admin/admin!!
 

Taylor GM

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Dec 15, 2017
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#24
That's not really an applicable analogy. The #1 reason why small forums die is the administrator loses interest. Moms typically don't lose interest with their child. Small forums are typically started/owned by one person. I did not imply size ensures a successful run. I specifically said from my experience even larger forums only have a 60% success rate.

I understand you like and support small forums. I do too.

However for every small forum you can show me that's been around for 5+ years I could show you 10-25 large forums. The only reason I said 10-25 is because I would run out of forums I know of.
 

Friendly Survival

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#25
The #1 reason why small forums die is the administrator loses interest. Moms typically don't lose interest with their child.
Exactly and when that is exhausted failure is bond to be found. But even a large community with such mindset can fail just as easily as well is all I am trying to say. :smiley:
 

Chris Grigg

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#26
With small freshly started forums, half the time Administrators that started the forum will lose interest and get involved with something else, leaving the forum to die off and become dormant. The difference of huge forums is that if the Admin loses interest, they can easily sell the forum to someone that would be interested in it. Smaller forums doesn't really gather interest from anyone wanting to buy them.
 

Friendly Survival

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#27
With small freshly started forums, half the time Administrators that started the forum will lose interest and get involved with something else, leaving the forum to die off and become dormant. The difference of huge forums is that if the Admin loses interest, they can easily sell the forum to someone that would be interested in it. Smaller forums doesn&;t really gather interest from anyone wanting to buy them.
Indeed and only make smaller "seems" to be failing overall. When it often times such matters that larger forums doesn't have to to "typically" deal with.

That is why I don't believe sizing is the direct "point of failure" but rather simply able to "likely" be able to absorb said failure.
 

Taylor GM

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#28
Exactly and when that is exhausted failure is bond to be found. But even a large community with such mindset can fail just as easily as well is all I am trying to say. :smiley:
Sure I've seen administrators of large forums lose interest. However the difference there is they usually have a motivated staff to run the forum. Main difference is there is a paycheck coming in with larger forums. People don't lose interest in paychecks.
 

Friendly Survival

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#29
Sure I've seen administrators of large forums lose interest. However the difference there is they usually have a motivated staff to run the forum. Main difference is there is a paycheck coming in with larger forums. People don't lose interest in paychecks.
To say that someone is "attracted" by a paycheck is likely not going to result into a long lasting community efforts. The community that started said forum is not likely to be the "same" when it ran by someone who interested of "making a buck".

Forums are generally community driven, not directly there to make money at the end of the day.

It's like going over to Google and only to be charged per search query, I doubt something like that would keep Google going. Instead Google find other ways that it's typical to pay for to support the search engine. Same idea with forums.
 

Taylor GM

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Dec 15, 2017
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#30
To say that someone is "attracted" by a paycheck is likely not going to result into a long lasting community efforts. The community that started said forum is not likely to be the "same" when it ran by someone who interested of "making a buck".

Forums are generally community driven, not directly there to make money at the end of the day.

It's like going over to Google and only to be charged per search query, I doubt something like that would keep Google going. Instead Google find other ways that it's typical to pay for to support the search engine. Same idea with forums.
I have to disagree again. A lot of successful people are driven by the money. Usually successful forums don't start out as a money grab, but once successful sometimes they stick around because they generate income. Simply put if something is bringing in money it has a GREAT chance of sticking around. I can show you plenty of examples where the admin has clocked out of the community and just gets income.

Again the analogy you used is kinda off. Your analogy actually kinda proves my point. Users don't pay to use google, users don't pay to use large forums. Both bring in income, both survive.

No one used the Cuil search engine so it died. No one used the small forum so it died.

While this isn't the case all the time, this is the result 9/10 times. A quick browse of the showcase forum on any site will prove this true.
 

Friendly Survival

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#31
A lot of successful people are driven by the money.
That may be correct however as you mentioned...
admin has clocked out of the community and just gets income.
How does that ensure the longevity of said setup when the "driver" isn't there?

Because let's me tell you I seen times and times over again that businesses that hit the fans because of the owner not having the care and passion to keep it operating. Of course then this "spreads" to the employees and I think everyone can guess the end result... :(

Yes it cost money to run, yes you need to get "bread on the table", but if you cannot breathe, sleep, and eat into what your getting into I believe you won't be the "last one standing"...
 

Taylor GM

Surprisingly Adequate
Dec 15, 2017
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#32
That may be correct however as you mentioned...


How does that ensure the longevity of said setup when the "driver" isn't there?

Because let's me tell you I seen times and times over again that businesses that hit the fans because of the owner not having the care and passion to keep it operating. Of course then this "spreads" to the employees and I think everyone can guess the end result... :(

Yes it cost money to run, yes you need to get "bread on the table", but if you cannot breathe, sleep, and eat into what your getting into I believe you won't be the "last one standing"...
Both statements can and are certainly true. They can coexist no doubt.

As far as how the site lasts when the owner is just paying the bills, I have some guesses but nothing really worth typing out. A lot of different factors. I feel like we're getting a little off track from the original topic which is larger boards survive longer then smaller boards and to be honest that's not really debatable.
 

Daniel

Drastically Average
Jan 18, 2018
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#33
I have seen this discussion soooo many times, I think I recall this discussion going back to 2010 or 2011. I personally think that half the issue isn't that people aren't joining forums anymore it's that there is such a large saturation of forums that sometimes a good one can be stupid hard to find, especially a good one that has a motivated admin and staff team. With that being said I am sure social media has had some impact, in fact there are people that I have spoke with that have no idea what to do with a forum.

I think that is all I really have to say on the topic but let this forum not be a part of the statistics...at least not the bad ones :yum:
 

edenwax

Designer
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Feb 17, 2016
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#34
I have seen this discussion soooo many times, I think I recall this discussion going back to 2010 or 2011. I personally think that half the issue isn't that people aren't joining forums anymore it's that there is such a large saturation of forums that sometimes a good one can be stupid hard to find, especially a good one that has a motivated admin and staff team. With that being said I am sure social media has had some impact, in fact there are people that I have spoke with that have no idea what to do with a forum.

I think that is all I really have to say on the topic but let this forum not be a part of the statistics...at least not the bad ones :yum:
I definitely didn't factor in saturation but I can definitely see that playing a part. I feel like the best way to really stand out is to put heavy focus on your niche, make the place stand out aesthetically and find a dedicated staff who can really put in the time and effort to keep it going.

Which are all things we're currently trying to do :0
 

Michael W. Smith

Constantly Improving
Mar 25, 2016
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#35
This is one reason I quit forum owning. Next to being hacked too many times there's become too much competition to deal with out there. This site has to be getting up in age, FP is over a decade old, who knows how old places like The Admin Zone and Reddit are. I'm happily active here, FP, and maybe 3 general discussion sites but that's all. There are times when the battle, no matter how much you want to fight, it's just not worth it.
 

RichEdmonds

Drastically Average
Mar 31, 2018
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#37
It happened because people spend much their time with social media sites like Facebook, so it is easier to chat in a Facebook group.
That and younger generations have less to say. They're also more pre-occupied with building social profiles and getting as much attention online as possible. Gone are the days of decent conversation on a grand scale.
 

Shole

Constantly Improving
Mar 30, 2015
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#39
Easier options poped up, people are less communicative online, well at least through the old forum way. With discord and such you have people instantly replying to you rather than waiting a day or two for a reply.