DaviSto wrote in post #18537366
Agree completely. But forums are great for people who like forums ... people who like to engage in mildly structured conversation about shared interests, I guess.
When there are too few left, they will die.
Does it matter?
I think it does matter, just depends on each person's use/need/want out of a forum. I love forums, I'm on them all the time, on several. But I know that eventually I'll have to make that leap to social media platforms or I'll be having conversations with like the same 5~8 people, ever. That could be ok. But, at certain ages, it becomes a problem. A lot of people are not just hobbyists and mild enthusiasts looking for an outlet to share and learn from, but trying to build something larger (such as a business). A single dominating personality on this forum who rides every post nearly, every day, can totally drown out others for new folk to the forum (this is common amongst all forums). We all can name a few. Now imagine if you had the same thing, but instead of only 3~4 other people to chime in on a subject as well, you had 300~400 people instead. And if you were doing more than just playing around, talking shop and gear, being a hobbyist and enthusiast and you were trying to push your work more, or to professionally promote, a forum platform is the literal last place to look.
That said, I really dislike Facebook in general. Instagram is just a more media-monetized branch of Facebook (since they own it). And there's really not much else that has the volume of users at this time to compete with those two combined, other than YouTube. There are other large volume sites that are similar to forums but larger and more modern, such as reddit, but everything else is ultra-niche, POTN being a great example of that (as POTN isn't just a photography forum, but even in its present form, it's still very much high volume for Canon-centric information, so this is basically a Canon-enthusiast-forum if you were to sum it up with data to support what actually constitutes the volume here. And frankly, the activity here is slow. You can watch virtually nothing happen at certain hours. Yet, you can go on a Facebook group, and there are not just a few Canon-centric ones, but nearly countless groups, and you can get into a few of those large groups and have constant content feed at all hours from around the world. Some people want that.
I dabbled in a FB group once. I got banned eventually. I'm not surprised though. The group had hundreds of people in it, and it was very active. But the group administrators were clearly just a team of friends/colleagues, and if you challenged any photographic input they had, or showed images that gathered more attention than theirs, and said anything about the silly calendar they constantly spammed to the group to get sales, you would earn yourself some time off real quick. There are some really bad groups on FB that are basically just platforms for someone's personal ego and/or monetary monopoly. There are far better ones, I'm sure. But that sort of experience doesn't leave one wanting to do it all over again and again. Forums are more civil in my experience in general. FB groups are generally full of absolute chaos unless they're closed and very heavily moderated (which gets real hard when there are hundreds of active users). But, the FB group has more active people on it, like many of them, because it's simply easier to access it from a phone and interact from the phone in an app. You have to have a dedicated keyboard to do any significant word-smithing in a forum. Social media just makes it faster, easier, so there are more people. Significantly more.
Again, I prefer forums, but I cannot deny the overwhelming nature of social media platforms that have already taken over. It's so valid that people make money doing it (Instagram, YouTube). Forums cannot compete, they're not even recognized at that point.