Best Online Forums And Message Boards | Blackhatworld
In this post we’ll explore whether online forums are still relevant today. With the advancements the global internet community has made in recent years, are forums still necessary, or even useful at all?
Many content management systems, the likes of WordPress, Joomla and Drupal, for example, provide support to directly embed a user-contributed bulletin board into websites. Perhaps there’s a case to assume that the traditional thread-based online forum no longer has such a dominant reign over community-centric online spaces as they did before. And with popular breakout sites like Reddit and Quora, also following a similar format to the traditional bulletin board, it’s possible that viable use cases for such software have long-dwindled.
Like all humans, the users of your website like intuitive, user-friendly interfaces that are straightforward and familiar to them. Due to its independence, each bulletin board has its own configuration and appearance that, more often than not, works to discourage visitors.
Avoiding the usage of a forum in favour of more natural and socially integrated alternatives like social commenting is a far better choice.
Does the forum have any current relevance?
One of the best uses for online forums in the modern world is as a way to offer customer help. In practice, this only applies to technical goods and services because buyers who have previously bought or interacted with non-digital goods offline are unlikely to harbour suspicions about them online.
An easy illustration would be a brand-new piece of flat-pack furniture you just bought from Ikea. Users are less likely to turn to the internet for assistance when having trouble installing a new bed frame, kitchen unit, or closet drawers. Customers are far more inclined to seek assistance through the store or by getting in touch with the furniture store directly (think telephone) because the product isn’t digital and exists in the physical world.
Social media has replaced the formerly popular online bulletin board in many ways.
According to surveys, the majority of visitors actually prefer to find information on-site from a reputable source, such as articles, know-hows, tutorials, or a knowledge base.
Now that social integration is a crucial part of the majority of websites, many blogs offer social commenting through services like Disqus and Facebook comments. Users may now communicate more easily, and because registration is not required, this encourages users to post comments and start discussions.
Today, it is simply not appealing to have to provide your personal information to numerous separate discussion forums or blogs. Users want to comment right away and rely on the security of their communication channels, such as their pre-existing Facebook or Google account.
Improved Google rankings and low-cost promotion strategies are both benefited by social integration for online conversation on websites.
Forums are not required.
Forums are unnecessary. They create clutter, frequently draw spam, and are challenging to maintain. But perhaps more crucially, users just dislike them. When a user is forced to provide registration information for yet another website, especially when the only goal is to ask a possibly (very) basic question, there is frequently a little bit of animosity felt by the user.
If there is a need for one, that should be the driving force for the deployment of a forum. It’s also critical to think about who actually requires the forum. Due to the prevalence of social media platforms and community forum/discussion sites like Facebook, Reddit, and Quora, internet users no longer regularly visit forums; instead, they turn to social media to seek answers from a broader global community.
If your website or business doesn’t need the forum, it generally isn’t worth your time. A discussion board becomes necessary for your business and makes sense to launch if it best meets your needs as a way to engage with your consumers or clientele.
Do I hear spam?
Spam on forums is a concern. It has always been an issue. Even with the most widely used third-party captcha integration, the issue persists. While the web has improved, spam is still a problem that almost every website administrator must deal with, and a bulletin board is the best place to start.
There are techniques to lessen and moderate the quantity of spam a forum receives, but it would be difficult to find a forum that hasn’t at some point been irritated.
The nature, size, and level of success of the forum are the only factors that can determine whether it’s worthwhile to put the work into maintaining it.
The other negatives
- Maintaining cumbersome forum software is a pain, so use existing solutions instead of inventing the wheel.
- Internet consumers go toward social networks first because of their huge user bases, which are incomparable outside of a narrow specialisation.
- It’s challenging to keep people interested on a forum; repeat posters will likely face difficulties.
- Forums are basically no longer necessary; instead, employ social media on your website to keep posters engaged.
- On community-based forums, users frequently wait longer for a response than on social networks.
As a result, it appears that the internet forum has outlived its usefulness. They were essential for the majority of user-based websites five to ten years ago, enabling the neighbourhood to successfully participate in pertinent topics. However, it seems that alternative community-based websites like Reddit and Quora, as well as social networks like Facebook Groups and Twitter, are now providing a lot of the services that online forums used to offer. In the modern era, we can obtain answers to our questions and musings on just about any topic without having to search for an appropriate discussion forum and wait for a response.
This isn’t necessarily a terrible thing; in fact, it’s advantageous in many respects. It eliminates the effort of maintaining and using discussion forums and enables us to share our ideas and queries with larger user populations. The forum has long since been superseded by more effective options.
Online discussion boards may still have a few niche applications, such as providing community-based customer service, but in our opinion, the era of independent forums and bulletin boards is gradually coming to an end.
Will independent message boards regain their prior level of popularity? It seems improbable. It is improbable that forums will become obsolete as websites and apps move toward a more integrated, seamless experience for end users.