tojag wrote: ↑
Fri Mar 09, 2018 11:37 pm
I am happy with this information
I have never had FB and I do not plan to have it. However, I am watching young people. They are on FB. Hence, I share some of the concerns of the author of the first post because I can see how young people are looking for information - not on forums but on the group on FB. In some areas of life this may be a big competition for forums.
FB groups have all but destroyed automotive forums. There is no denying it. Very few of the popular automotive forums in Australia are left - most have closed due to inactivity. The ones that are left are much much quieter. It is not young people taking part in FB groups. It is the 30-50 year olds who used to use forums and made them popular in the first place. This is through no fault of the administrators of those forums either. It is simply a matter of swift and massive cultural shift that really kicked in in about 2014-2015 and has proceeded unhindered.
In my view, discussion forums ought to be superior to a FB group in every way: information is ordered, indexed & searchable. Information can be crawled by search engines and located by Google. Pages can be cached and archived for posterity. You can better evaluate the trustworthiness of participants in a discussion through their profile (join date, rank, post count, having specific user feedback ratings/topics etc). Posts are also ordered by last post date, which is far more democratic than the algorithm Facebook uses determine which posts gets served to a particular user's feed.
Facebook is ephemeral, disordered and the display of content to users is prioritised based on Facebook's own commercial imperatives. Trying to search for information on Facebook is a joke.
That said, it has proven very popular for buying and selling goods and organising events. This has made FB groups the place to go to find second hand stuff (particularly for cars!). Classified sections were the engine room for automotive discussion forums. People love the general discussion, build logs and posting multimedia content etc but they initially came to buy and sell parts and cars. If they go elsewhere for buying/selling they are not there to take place in the other more interesting discussions. Facebook is a wormhole for buying and selling and it sucks up users time to visit other sites.
I have found a lot of automotive forums still have a very large number of users who log on regularly, but they don't post content - they just read.
It was observed earlier that forums have become like libraries. This is the most cogent observation so far. Forums like mine will always be valuable because they have so much information not found anywhere else in the world. However, maintaining and hosting forums with very large databases is expensive, so they have to be funded through advertising or donations. This relies on having steady traffic, which in turns relies on steady new production of content by users.
I can see how forums in some niches are insulated from the impact social media. For example, forums with a focus on IT, like this one, or PC gaming are likely to have users who are sitting behind a desk a lot of the time. I think people who use those forums have tended to severely underestimate and downplay the effects of social media on other forum administrators.
Forums in particular niches face a massive uphill battle against social media. It is therefore critically important that forums are mobile friendly, fast (even more important now since this is a very important ranking signal for Google mobile search rankings) and contain all the features that users expect on other platforms (being able to like and share easily, having notifications pushed to their devices, being able to upload images with resizing or having to rotate them).
FB also uses its market power to actively conspire against third party websites and prevent them from using the Facebook platform itself to drive traffic back. If run a Facebook page and try to link content on your site, Facebook will artificially limit organic impressions to force you to pay them for sponsored posts. If you then share your page's posts to private groups, Facebook knows. You need to hope that your posts are organically shared. I recently had a post that was served to only 500 of my 15,000 page followers. I shared that to groups with over 25K members and it still only received a handful of impressions. Read between the lines. If you watch your own feed, you can see Facebook is pushing its groups and marketplace very hard in your feed. Facebook wants to own this space. I follow heaps of pages of other businesses, and I have to actually visit their pages to see updates unless they pay for sponsored posts.
I sincerely hope the trend of FB groups abates and forums become more popular again. They are much more democratic and intellectual way of interacting. Which is exactly why I don't hold out much hope.