Death of the Modern Forum
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Death of the Modern Forum

This is a discussion on Death of the Modern Forum within the Aqua Lounge forums, part of the Aqua Lounge category; So I just wanted to start a conversation about this. Originally Posted by hp10BII I don't like the direction the ...

  1. #1
    Forum Novice Mark Brown's Avatar
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    Default Death of the Modern Forum

    So I just wanted to start a conversation about this.

    Quote Originally Posted by hp10BII View Post
    I don't like the direction the online community is going - too many other forums I belong to are dying a slow death.

    It is a source of valuable information that I can't get on current groups. Anyways, welcome to the forum, let us know what your particular interests are and if we can't help you out locally, we can probably source out to someone elsewhere...probably in Ontario.
    That got me started on the thinking. Over the years I have been a part of a lot of different community groups on the Internet from the much loved days of old on mIRC and email lists (remember those) to the much more current forums we find today. What does baffle me as well is that there comes a time for many of them where they just fizzle away into nothing. Being a new member here I cannot comment on what this form has been in the past, nor can I really compare it to anything because this is my first hobby related forum but what I can see is that it does seem at the very least active. With the advent of Facebook I find myself locked out of many discussions on the interwebs because I just am not interested in such a tool, however I see more and more community groups leaning in this direction. When this happens I find you lose the connection to the knowledge base that I find here and in other related forums and it degrades into more of a sharing entity. One that perhaps is more active, yet from what I can tell lacks the true substance that accumulates from the collective participation and knowledge of dedicated membership.

    To be honest I'm not even too sure what I'm ranting on about but I think at the heart of it is what do you all suppose keeps the engine chugging away for some when it just up and seizes for others?

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    The reason everyone is leaning away from forums is facebook is basically an all in one. You can join multiple groups on one account and do the exact same things except more efficiently in a way. It's also a much easier platform to use and keep up with for the younger generation such as myself (16).

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    Super Moderator The Guy's Avatar
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    As we all know BCA can be followed on twitter and facebook, so it comes down to a choice for our members as to how they want to participate in discussions about our hobby.
    Although I do have a FB account I choose to take part right here on the forum, hard to teach an old dog new tricks I guess, to me FB is more personal if used carefully.
    BCA has had it's ups and downs but for the most part is a friendly well run forum with lots of good information and a ton of very nice folks too. My 2 cents!!
    Back in the hobby, 1- 20 gallon shrimp tank and a 42 gallon community corner tank

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    I find facebook for business far more effective and quick to do videos, photos, update what's arriving and I can also post info and articles I feel relevant and people can post .
    I helped start simplydiscus forum 14 years ago and I see their fb page a lot faster although the srticles and valuable info is on the forum. But I do 99 percent t of my reading and posting on
    My iPhone.


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    Forum Novice Mark Brown's Avatar
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    For a business I can understand that sentiment, even if I personally don't enjoy it. I was actually getting angry last night searching out pet stores on Vancouver Island and all anyone had was Facebook pages lol!

    I'm getting the idea that perhaps I'm just a dinosaur. The great bard said it best "the times they are a changin'"

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    They are ! And now it seems to be instagram and many other sites you need . Usually though if you Google a fish you want or info on it forums
    Pop up or of course fb pages..
    I have t checked lately but bcaquaria used to pop up close
    To the top when googling


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    As far as I know, bcaquaria still pops up near the top of a lot of google searches. I've had the experience several times of searching for something, clicking on a post title, and then thinking, "Huh! I'm on our local forum again."

    I agree that other formats (reddit, facebook, etc) are better for browsing eye candy and probably for snappy marketing too, but I think forums will always have a place for folks who want to dig in deeper. I'm thankful for the rise of effective video/picture sharing in other formats, because it entices more people to engage with the hobby. As long as we continue to welcome beginners, all the extra exposure the aquarium hobby gets through those other channels ought to drive traffic here, even if we lose many of the tank photography/journal threads to other formats.

    Wiki-type sites seem to be the only real competitor to a forum format for housing our collective wisdom and facilitating discussion on the finer aspects of achieving the dream set-ups one can find on YouTube/facebook etc...

    I sincerely hope that's not just wishful thinking on my part!

    Also, Mark, I had the chance to visit the Courtenay Pet Centre over Family Day--pretty fantastic little store! I wasn't really expecting much, but I had to go to the Canadian Tire over there anyway. I'm glad I popped in.
    Mark Brown likes this.

  10. #8
    Forum Novice Mark Brown's Avatar
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    I really don't think it is wishful thinking at all. In fact I myself am a recent recruit back into this world and it is due in part to BCA. Thanks to our good friends at Google I ended up here, saw so many members tanks and the information available and the community available to me and out came my tank from storage.
    A month later and I'm headed down the path of the reef tank I have wanted essentially my whole adult life.

    I'm happy and proud to be a member of this community and hope it stays strong for a good long time to come!

    ....also I keep meaning to get to that store just north I do not travel often.

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    This forum is a bit less busy/active than I remember it being a few years ago, but I could also be remembering wrong.

    Facebook groups are really useful tools. I've learned a LOT about various hobbies from them. They are also more accessible to people as its easier to just click "join" than it is to make an account and log in again. So for "casuals" I think facebook groups are the main method of learning many things now.

    As I AM active on various facebook groups though, there is a MASSIVE downside: Everything that is posted is "bite sized". No one really writes paragraphs and paragraphs of info to help people the way its done in forums. The majority of posts I see on facebook groups (excluding sale posts) are along the lines of "what is wrong, how do I do this?" and "can you suggest ____ to me?". There aren't really "proper discussions" that happen. The actual viewing and posting format is also WAY less useful than what forums offer.

    In forums (such as this one for example) there is an overarching topic ("BC Aquarium stuff") and it is EASILY broken down into subtopics and sub-sub-topics (fresh water, salt water, classifieds, off topic, etc). Facebook has no way to do this. There is a group and there are posts in the group. Thats it. Posts show up in the group and on newsfeeds through some "magical" combination of "popularity" and "newness". There is no order to it. It does not always make sense. Heck, if you make a post in a group and try to find it later - it is really flipping difficult.

    I actually find facebook groups LESS social than forums (and usually FAR snarkier). There is no benefit to that though - the social community feel of a forum like this is not replaced by more knowledge: rather the opposite. The formatting of facebook posts makes even discussions like this quite difficult as what I have written here would already be FAR longer than an average response to a post and would be quite hard to read.

    I think both have their place and I will be very sad if traditional forums like this ever completely die.

    Regarding user demographics: I'm 24 and very active on a few facebook groups. I've also been a HEAVY user of forums for many years.
    Last edited by Bunny; 02-19-2017 at 10:44 PM. Reason: punctuation
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  12. #10
    Forum Guru hp10BII's Avatar
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    Very good points, that's why I still prefer forums. I like to do my research and ready a lot of older threads - it's handy to pick on the experienced "ol' timers". Forums probably peaked around 2014 then many just dropped off the face of the earth. I just got back to BCA recently, life was busy and I was surprised by so little traffic compared to just a couple a years ago.

 

 
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