Can forum communities survive?

(KMcNiff) #21

OMG this thread is awesome.

I’d never have found it in a Facebook or Twitter community because it’s not easy to search for past discussions (or maybe I just don’t know how).

Right now, we’re asking ourselves this very same question. Should we spend some money on our old support forum and turn it into a community (some how) or should we ditch it and just focus on social media channels?

We have a LinkedIn Group with 5000 members (not many active), a Facebook page with 11,000 fans and a pretty big following on Twitter. Maybe we don’t need a branded community - even though I’ve been gunning for one these last 6 months. I just feel like we need a central home of our own. Plus, if I focus my attention on social media, I have to become a Twitter/LinkedIn/Facebook/Blogging expert - and any one of these could take up all of my time.

People don’t like Facebook because they don’t want their grandma to see - others don’t like LinkedIn because they don’t want a future employer to see. Maybe a forum community is appealing because you don’t have to use your real name?

This makes sense to me:

and this:

and these

Plenty of food for thought.


(Sarah Hawk) #22

Or a Slack community… even more ephemeral.

IMO this is the primary benefit of a dedicated platform – both for the audience (easy to find info) and the organisation (content).

That said, their still needs to be a requirement for a community in the first place.

(Rob Nicholson) #23

Yes, this is the biggest limitation of Facebook. It’s mainly for flash-in-the-pan debates because after a few days it’ll sink down the timeline and get forgotten. I also don’t know why Facebook bothers having a search function as it’s singularly useless.

CAMRA has an official Facebook page (dead IMO as only the administrators can start new posts), the much more fun and anarchic unofficial Facebook group (that’s where the real dirt comes to light) and the relatively new Discourse forum. I do occasionally try to direct some of the in-depth discussions to Discourse because Facebook is crap for in-depth long term debate but I don’t have much success to be honest.

The Bollington community group is all about short term subjects such as “Can anyone recommend a plumber who actually turns up” or “Concert at the school hall tonight” etc. Ohh yes and of course the on-going topics of parking and dog poo :wink: