Forums are Dead, Long Live Forums!

Seems like every month or so someone is decrying the death of forums or that platform hasn’t changed in well over a decade. I want to talk about that, but first I want to talk about perhaps the oldest form of communication online; Email and more specifically, the parts of an Email.

forumsEmails consist of the following:

  • From someone.
  • To someone or a group people.
  • Possibly a Subject.
  • The body or the bulk of the message.

Sure there can be attachments, but really that’s it. Now let’s also look at some of the more popular ways of communicating online.

Twitter update:

  • From someone.
  • To someone or your followers.
  • No Subject.
  • The body or the bulk of the message.

Facebook wall post:

  • From someone.
  • To someone or your friends.
  • Maybe a Subject as a photo, video or poll.
  • The body or the bulk of the message or poll options.

Reddit thread:

  • From someone.
  • To someone or a group people.
  • With a Subject/Topic/Title.
  • The body or the bulk of the message.

Quora question:

  • From someone.
  • To someone or a group people.
  • With a Subject/Topic/Title.
  • The body or the bulk of the message.

That seems pretty consistent, wouldn’t you agree?

Now let’s talk about what makes up a typical forum post:

  • From someone.
  • To someone or a group people.
  • With a Subject/Topic/Title.
  • The body or the bulk of the message.

Feeling a little Déjà Vu?

I think we can agree that forums are not dead and, at least for the foreseeable future, will continue to grow and evolve to fit the needs of the communities they serve.

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