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ashworth
Purple Belt
Purple Belt

Joined: 13 Nov 2006
Posts: 566
Location: UK
Styles: Kankoko No Ryu, shotokan, IJR Karate, Iaido

PostPosted: Tue Dec 08, 2020 1:46 pm    Post subject: The Decline in forum communities... Reply with quote

I remember years ago, probably a good 10+ years ago. I used to be part of many different martial art forums. They all used to be so active and it was really helpful if I had any questions about my training especially as my club at the time had their own forum. They even arranged forum meet ups, used to meet up at events like tournaments. It was just good to have that extended support and social aspect.

What happened? I know that I am guilty myself, as this is the only forum I am still on, and I haven't really been that active here either. I notice that posts aren't as regular as they used to be...

So what did happen? am I imagining all of this? have social media platforms like facebook been a cause of forum inactivity?

I would have thought that with how many people are now online and how easy it is to access the internet, forums would thrive...

Just a random thought I wanted to share and hear your views?
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Ashley Aldworth

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Patrick
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Joined: 01 May 2001
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Location: Los Angeles, California

PostPosted: Tue Dec 08, 2020 5:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey ashworth,

I don't think you are imagining anything. I see it really as platform diversification. As time has gone by, there have been more choices available, for how you might spend your time online, and people have gone to those choices as their patterns of use fit well with in them. There are so many more things to do online that take up time than there were when, for example, this community launched back in 2001.

A platform like Facebook or Twitter is more centered around the individual. You follow this person, you friend this person. They have their profile that they control (relatively speaking). So, patterns of use centered around the individual make more sense there.

Forums and hosted communities are more shared spaces, and there are a lot of communities that are still very active and growing. In some ways, I have seen a pendulum swing back to these types of environments as some have grown tired of how the big social media platforms work and of how often they are very directly tied to identity, instead preferring a more focused experience around specific topics, commonly under a username.

Personally, I'm not a huge fan of Facebook Groups because I find that it leads to people behaving like they would on their personal Facebook profile, as if they own the space. Facebook Groups are also largely hidden, so we've lost a generation of community knowledge to that walled garden, which I think is a net negative.

Our own activity here ebbs and flows, and we're not as active as we once were. But I don't necessarily see that as a bad thing. I think it's okay for communities to be less active while still being valuable and available for those who enjoy the type of environment that we have.

Overall, the diversity of choice is a good thing and people will find what works best for them. Those are my thoughts, anyway.

Patrick
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ashworth
Purple Belt
Purple Belt

Joined: 13 Nov 2006
Posts: 566
Location: UK
Styles: Kankoko No Ryu, shotokan, IJR Karate, Iaido

PostPosted: Wed Dec 09, 2020 2:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Patrick,

Your thoughts do make a lot of sense. In some ways I suppose being less active can be good, I remember there being too many topics to go through so probably missed some decent topics that I could have contributed in.

Totally agree with you about facebook groups, there are far too many trolls, I remember there being the occasional troll in forums, but that's nothing compared to facebook, everyone has an opinion about the topic quite often negative, and will come out with stupid comments that ruin the conversation of the post.
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bushido_man96
KF Sensei
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Joined: 31 Mar 2006
Posts: 28921
Location: Hays, KS
Styles: Taekwondo, Combat Hapkido, Aikido, GRACIE

PostPosted: Wed Dec 09, 2020 10:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't care for the Facebook Groups either. I believe the use of platforms like Discord has also affected forums like these. I'm on a few Discord channels, and I honestly don't like them (at least, I don't like viewing them on my phone). The conversations are more of a "right now" thing, and if you don't check on it for a few hours, going back to a conversation that is over is hard to do.

I like the organization that online forums like this offer, with the opportunity to read over the posts and respond in my own time, and not necessarily having to be watching it like a hawk in order to respond to something that interests me.

Personally, I'm hoping we start to see a turn-around in the traffic here. As Patrick said, things ebb and flow, and I think things will come around again.
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ashworth
Purple Belt
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Joined: 13 Nov 2006
Posts: 566
Location: UK
Styles: Kankoko No Ryu, shotokan, IJR Karate, Iaido

PostPosted: Wed Dec 09, 2020 1:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Definitely agree with your post, I used to enjoy getting home, logging onto the computer to read through the current conversations, seeing if I had anything to contribute.

People have grown impatient and looking for instant responses in a faster paced world now, I know I have been guilty of this, time to slow it down.

I too hope there will be a turn around. I'll do my best to contribute and help with that if I can.
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Patrick
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 09, 2020 11:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks ashworth. I should say that hopefully my post didn't come off as negative at all. I think these are all totally reasonable things and just because this community isn't active/as active/active enough, it's not anyone's fault, e.g. you don't need to feel any pressure to post more, haha. But, of course, would love to see you more regularly again.

Discord is another platform, like Slack. I feel similarly in that there are good use cases for it, but it's very much a chat room sort of thing for me, like you do need to be there in the moment. I use Slack for a couple of work projects, and I use Discord to talk with my brothers while we play video games together. All good platforms, just different experiences.

Patrick
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ashworth
Purple Belt
Purple Belt

Joined: 13 Nov 2006
Posts: 566
Location: UK
Styles: Kankoko No Ryu, shotokan, IJR Karate, Iaido

PostPosted: Thu Dec 10, 2020 1:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh no, I'm not doing it because I feel pressure to, its something I want to do for myself. The members on here have great knowledge and experience and it's interesting reading what they have to say.
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DWx
KF Sensei
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Joined: 17 Jan 2007
Posts: 6418
Location: UK
Styles: Tae Kwon Do & Yang family Tai Chi

PostPosted: Thu Dec 10, 2020 5:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

bushido_man96 wrote:
I don't care for the Facebook Groups either. I believe the use of platforms like Discord has also affected forums like these. I'm on a few Discord channels, and I honestly don't like them (at least, I don't like viewing them on my phone). The conversations are more of a "right now" thing, and if you don't check on it for a few hours, going back to a conversation that is over is hard to do.

I like the organization that online forums like this offer, with the opportunity to read over the posts and respond in my own time, and not necessarily having to be watching it like a hawk in order to respond to something that interests me.

Personally, I'm hoping we start to see a turn-around in the traffic here. As Patrick said, things ebb and flow, and I think things will come around again.

I think you're right about the "right now" bit. Facebook groups are also similar in that way. If you don't see it when it happens its gone.

I think people liked the immediacy of those platforms but at least anecdotally I find friends now choosing to switch away from Facebook and come back to platforms like this because they are slower paced.

If we're talking forums, though not exactly the same, Reddit seems to keep growing and growing. The algorithm does favour posts with immediate traffic but on the less trafficked subreddits like /r/martialarts you have the chance to go back, read and contribute.
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bushido_man96
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Styles: Taekwondo, Combat Hapkido, Aikido, GRACIE

PostPosted: Thu Dec 10, 2020 9:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I had forgotten about Reddit. I've never posted on it before, and don't really plan to.
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Himokiri Karate
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 10, 2020 10:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I feel like social media and forums like reddit are more how you say "in your face" in respect to notification bells as well as receiving emails that someone responded to your post.

Forums that have experienced rejuvenation have added notification bell function to their software.

This way if you make a post but life gets in a way, you get a reminder that someone responded to your post and it returns to your attention, In old school forum I have occasionally experienced asking a question and forgetting about it until months later I revisited the forum to realize I got a response long ago, Some folks never check back unless they get a reminder.
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