When was the last time you posted something in a forum? You almost can’t remember, can you? Nowadays, when blogs and social networks are the main means of communication and internet marketing, does anyone care anymore for forums?
The forums began to rise around mid nineties and shortly became very popular due to the fact that they created the impression of a virtual community that was developing through common users.
We won’t insist on how the forums work because you’ve certainly posted at least once in a forum and if not, this Wikipedia article is very explanatory. The forums played an important part in our daily internet presence some time ago, but recently, it seems their importance started to fade. It’s a well known fact that everything changes with time, and web development and the way we navigate the internet, this including forums, is a part of the process.
But, what is it that quenched the socialization thirst of the users and gave more complex elements so that forums lost ground? The social networks, of course! Facebook has changed the internet world whether we like it or not. Myspace works on the same principle but it’s more targeted. So, slowly, the forums upon which the social networks are based, began losing ground and, also, being outdated in comparison with the services offered by the social networks.
The blogs are also an alternative to forums. While they allow visitors to leave comments, your opinion on the subject is always on top and the discussion around it can be left in the hand of the visitors.
The phenomenon goes beyond the social life, the social networks and blogs penetrating the business world as well. Few clients ask for a forum in their web site but almost each client wants a Facebook page and a blog with the help of which they can interact with the visitors.
Thus, taking into account these aspects, should we make peace with the idea that forums time has passed or is there still hope for them? What could the forums advantages be in comparison with the new socializing means and are there still reasons to opt for forums? What do you think?