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Are specialist forums dying?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by ***F1ZZY***, 18 Jan 2021.

  1. dowie

    Capo Crimine

    Joined: 29 Jan 2008

    Posts: 52,624

    I don't think facebook etc.. is a good replacement for the non-social side of these forums. That isn't easily replicated in a FB group.

    On the other hand this perhaps is relevant:

    Yeah, I guess for ease of setup, bunch of users present etc.. reddit is actually reasonable for some specific areas. Though a subreddit thing is like having just one subforum, somewhere like OCUK has multipole obviously and so do various other forums.

    I think these sorts of forums with individual threads are ideal for hobbies/interests etc...
  2. Apex


    Joined: 12 Feb 2006

    Posts: 12,995

    Location: Surrey

    I think that's a double reason why numbers are dropping /not being replaced with new users on here.

    I try and think back to how I discovered ocuk and why I stuck around.

    I discovered it because I wanted to build my own pc when I was a little kid and the forum were there to provide guidance and confirm a good build.

    I then saw the community here, checked out gd, mobile phones, html sections etc and found a good amount of discussion to read and enjoy, fulfilling a social aspect that didn't exist back in whatever year that was, 2005 maybe or so.

    Now I assume build your own pc is still a decent market, but is it growing? You have laptops now better than ever, tablets, and more importantly mobile phones. Very few people I know now have desktop pcs, some rare ones don't even any sort of windows device in their house.

    Perhaps there's still plenty new customers discovering ocuk shop, but if they are the type to buy a laptop or premade pc, then they likely wo t discover the forums to get help as they won't need it.

    Then you have the social aspect. This is most definitely fulfilled by all sorts of sites, Facebook mainly but plenty out there. Will someone realise the community here like they did in the past where this would have been one of the few places to see a community.

    I hope ocuk forums goes on forever, and like others say its been one hell of an experience and one if not my most visited sites, but the trend and popularity would suggest that this forum is slowing down and will continue as the site gets less fresh content you'll have less and less to check back in and read and eventually stop coming so much.
  3. viathinair


    Joined: 28 Nov 2009

    Posts: 2,519

    Location: Bidenland, apparently.

    If I ever get banned from here, I'd likely still lurk...and, maybe after like a year or so, I'd possibly consider, at that stage and in that deranged mindset...to make an alt-account, maybe..

    Needless to say, this forum is definitely one of my favourites.
  4. Acme


    Joined: 29 Jul 2011

    Posts: 35,393

    Location: In my chair.

    The active members are actually just about 5 of us with dozens of alt accounts each and a few spare personalities.

    I spend every waking hour staring at the blue.

    Join us. O.O
  5. englishpremier


    Joined: 15 Feb 2003

    Posts: 8,360

    Location: Europe

    Facebook groups are horrendous. They are extremely limited in how information can be presented and read. Sometimes it's not possible to read all the comments even when you select 'all', just because Facebook says so.

    The groups are closed off. I've been trying for about a week to join a particular one for the city i'm in right now. My request just seems to be ignored and there's no-one to talk to in order to sort it out.

    The information in the groups often isn't accessible to the public, and is extremely limited in how it can be presented.

    For useless nonesense Facebook groups will remain popular, but I see Facebook fading/dying out before true forums do, or Reddit which has its own formatting and presentation issues.
  6. rIcK

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 5 Jan 2004

    Posts: 1,449

    I find forums incredibly readable, I can sit and scroll through every single post and read them in order easily. Or search without issue.

    Reddit is really awful format wise, and Facebook doesn’t work much better...
  7. Bassmansam


    Joined: 22 Nov 2007

    Posts: 3,193

    Forums are much better navigation wise than fb groups.
  8. Martynt74


    Joined: 20 Feb 2004

    Posts: 16,742

    Location: Higher Walton

    I'm not sure, some users are just too special for even the darkest of minds to come up with!
  9. MR_Punk


    Joined: 23 Mar 2004

    Posts: 7,976

    Location: Up t'north

    This is the only forum I've ever really enjoyed, I do lurk now more than I post but hopefully it stays as active for a long time to come.
  10. robgmun


    Joined: 30 Apr 2006

    Posts: 16,484

    Location: London

    Even though it's a lot less busy than in it's heyday. This forum is surprisingly still very busy (relatively speaking) It's still got a lot of life in it left
    Last edited: 19 Jan 2021
  11. SqualidChimp


    Joined: 20 Oct 2002

    Posts: 578

    Location: Glasgow

    Completely agree. For information navigation and properly following a discussion, you can't beat forums. But hey. people love just talking about... well whatever floats into their head at any time, and I guess FB etc lets them do that. If I want specialist knowledge, I don't want it from ****** Facebook, where almost every popular 'fact' has an agenda behind it.

    I used to run a specialist gaming forum that was a decade old, and the majority of the users at one point went, "we don't need this anymore we have facebook groups, har har har." Used to be a cohesive group and you'd know people for years. Now that's all disappeared. No continuity. I believe even that splinted off into n+1 circe de jerke Discord groups. :/ And even some forums where there is a remnant of a community, the owners/mods can sometimes be a little rigorous(?) as they start thinking more along the lines of "yeah this community is good but what is it doing for my bottom line / political beliefs / random agenda..."

    my 2p - go for as many comms channels as you like. tie them into your forums, or promote your forums as a primary actually on the other comms channels and make it interesting/worth people's while to go there by offering incentives such as exclusive articles/news/offers.

    All of this says me as a very long time lurker, who posts very little. Though to be fair I've posted maybe ten times more here in this incarnation of these forums than I ever have on social media. :p
  12. robgmun


    Joined: 30 Apr 2006

    Posts: 16,484

    Location: London

    Don't get me started on Discord, it's an absolute mess and very counter intuitive. At least Reddit displays the information readily and is archived.
  13. Sirrel Squirrel


    Joined: 5 Aug 2003

    Posts: 7,943

    Location: Essex

    I still visit this forum every day, I don't post as much as I used to but good to see lots of the same old faces.
  14. Yaayuh!


    Joined: 5 Nov 2010

    Posts: 21,484

    Those ugly, ugly faces. :p
  15. Theophany

    Perma Banned

    Joined: 1 Sep 2010

    Posts: 11,227

    Location: Bell End, Worcestershire

    Peak GD was excellent.






  16. lookitsjonno


    Joined: 10 Sep 2003

    Posts: 4,419

    Location: Midlands

    I still enjoy OCUK over Facebook, it's far less opinionated and people are actually constructive and (most of the time) get on.

    Oh, does anyone else find themselves reaching for the 'like' button on OCUK :p
  17. LiE


    Joined: 2 Aug 2005

    Posts: 22,503

    Location: Milton Keynes

    Here and MacRumours are where I post the most. OcUK is like my home on the internet :)
  18. SPG


    Joined: 28 Jul 2010

    Posts: 7,431

    Do we need a contingency plan for when they take down.....
  19. ***F1ZZY***


    Joined: 5 Jan 2004

    Posts: 806

    Location: Wiltshire

    I don’t think it’s a surprise but the average age of the account replying to this thread is around 15 years I’d guess.

    what was the peak of users online at any time? I’m sure I recall tens of thousands.
  20. Apex


    Joined: 12 Feb 2006

    Posts: 12,995

    Location: Surrey

    Guys blue is so 2014. Please select the dark theme. It's much better once you have spent 1 week with us you'll never want to go back to blue.