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Old 04-20-2012, 03:18 PM
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Interesting post, Guerrera. However, there are some problems with your argument.

You (and others) seem to define social media as Facebook and Twitter. That's incorrect. They may be the biggest players in the game at present, but they don't define the genre. Forums are and have always been social media. So really, the argument isn't for or against social media, it's one of choosing a regulated, structured online experience (Facebook) over the traditional internet experience. I find this an interesting change that has arisen with the current generation of users. It was tried before with AOL and Compuserve, but that generation of users preferred their internet more raw and unfettered.

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I see an alarming amount of disinformation being spread on sites like this because people are still adamant to accept the fact that things are done a certain way now - and the transitional period to this social age was so short.
I think you're jumping the gun a bit. The "traditional" period of the internet, wasn't short at all. FB, et al. are the newcomers. I see this new structured online experience very similar to the introduction of the big box stores. When they came on the scene, everyone flocked to them because of the convenience of one-stop shopping and some pundits predicted the end of the small shop owner. Now we know that didn't happen. The big boxes are still there and many people still go to them. However, so are are small shops. In fact the popularity of the specialized store that caters to the individual is rising.

I predict the same for the internet. Yes fb is big and offers everything under one interface with a single sign-on. But it doesn't offer the same unique experience that a smaller single-purpose forum or site does. There are those who are becoming tired of the bland sameness of the structured experience. There is also a small but growing push against being followed and tracked and counted by companies like Facebook and google.

I expect the structured online experience is here to stay. But don't count out the individual site and forums just yet.
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Old 04-21-2012, 04:27 AM
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Time will tell. My time tells me the only unregulated content that will thrive online is that of perversion and depravity. But, we'll see I guess.

That small anti-snooping group you speak of (of which I'm technically a part of) are for the most part insignificant and voiceless.
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Old 04-30-2012, 09:28 AM
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Originally Posted by Guerrera View Post
Time will tell. My time tells me the only unregulated content that will thrive online is that of perversion and depravity. But, we'll see I guess.

That small anti-snooping group you speak of (of which I'm technically a part of) are for the most part insignificant and voiceless.

No, I disagree with that. Yes those topics will prosper, as the only outlet will be the independent.

But your very mention of regulated content points to the one major issue. The big social media sites are there for the money. Ok so are some of us, but not the extent that they are. What would happen if FB became the only outlet, and they regulate what is tolerated. That very idea will keep smaller sites up and running. For an admin to know that they are not ultimately in control of their content, and community, and that some other entity is really in charge will not sit well with others, admins and members alike. And once you have a group on FB, how do you export the data to another "outlet"? If FB suddenly decides 'your' content no longer is acceptable to FB, what happens to it? I say 'your' content, cause who really owns the content on FB?

The same has happened to the larger forums bought up by VerticleScope and Internet brands. Many confirmed cases of censorship where members questioned vendor's claims for their products. Suddenly those posts disappeared. Why? To protect the vendor?

No, I think the independent will stay, and maybe even prosper in the coming years.
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Old 05-01-2012, 06:01 AM
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Well I'm not suggesting that smaller sites will just disappear, but you've said it yourself more or less - content owners don't own their content anymore - the audience does.

This is one of the things I've noticed recently. I used to believe I had control over the content I created, but that's untrue because if no one consumes it, and no one knows about it - it's not even content. It's a waste of time, no matter how much I try to promote it. Conversely, things other users have created which I consider trite and pointless and have had no promotion have been moderately successful because again - the content has no definitive ownership. It's all about ideas in the ether and this pattern of mass appeal something has to have in order to get traffic - and that's how information is on the internet.

If something is in demand and it's popular, it will be integrated into the social networks because people have naturally transitioned into an environment where they can have access to everything they want in one place.

You're counting on an ever-shrinking percentage of users who don't fit into this model perhaps because of the nature or scope of what they're looking for. But it's only a matter of time before even they become redundant.

From what I've seen so far, the only effective renewable way to promote content and gain interactive viewership is by word-of-mouth. All other methods fall flat on their face when you realize that people aren't consuming content like they were 10 or even 5 years ago.
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Old 05-01-2012, 12:55 PM
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I don't follow what you're saying here.

No one owns or controls an idea, but you always have control over your own content (unless you sell or give those rights away, as you do by putting it on Facebook or Google+). That doesn't mean the most popular content on any idea will be the best written or even the correct content. That's up to the readers. You can't equate popularity and quality. Walk into any bookstore or library. There are hundreds of very well-written books that no one ever reads because they haven't been noticed.

Moving your content from a forum or blog to Facebook isn't going to make it more popular, any more than moving a copy of John Donne's Psalms and Sermons from a dusty back shelf to the front window of a book store will make people buy it over the latest Harry Potter.

The reason people aren't consuming content as they once did, is because the quality of the content online is so incredibly bad. People no longer create content to tell stories, or share ideas and points of view. They use content as a shill to drive consumers to their sites where they can inundate them with ads in the hopes of making money. That's what will save the niche forums which focus on providing useful, quality content to users.
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Old 05-01-2012, 03:15 PM
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No one owns or controls an idea, but you always have control over your own content
As you figured I wasn't really speaking about intellectual ownership rights. I can't control the distribution channels or spread or reach of it. I can't control what portions of that content get popular and promoting it (at least in the traditional sense) doesn't yield any results because popularity is dictated by mass appeal. It's all very hit and miss to me.

Lots of analytics, metrics, conversion tools and tracking but not enough concrete proof that if I create content, it will be consumed, at least in the manner that I'd expect people to.

Maybe in my mind I'm still stuck in 2000 but I honestly believe this a problem that has to do with the fact that there are TOO MANY CONTENT CREATORS online - there's no model anymore resembling the traditional creator > consumer (buyer).

EVERYONE is a creator in their own right and the net result of that is content becomes devalued and worthless in no time, whereas the distribution channels' net worth increases exponentially. I'd rather be in the distribution chain at this point tbh.
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Old 05-01-2012, 04:15 PM
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Now I'm with you.

Your complaint isn't new. Books used to be made by hand and only those that fit the mindset of the book makers (generally monks) made it to print. Many great voices were never heard. Along came the printing press and suddenly large numbers of books from many sources got into the hands of the public. Good for the readers, but there were many who complained their work didn't receive enough publicity because there were too many inferior books being printed. Sound familiar?

Move into the computer age. You likely won't remember a time when getting content into print often meant knowing complex markup languages like LaText or SGML. With the rise of the word processing program, as especially wysiwyg, suddenly everyone with a PC could create formatted content. The ratio of badly written, useless information rose at an alarming rate with it (and continues in nearly every corporate office in the world). The same thing occurred with the development of desktop publishing software. Design houses with highly trained, experience designers found themselves competing with housewives and retirees pushing out their own newsletters and pamphlets.

Then comes the internet. In the early days, getting content online meant having access to large networks and being able to use the arcane tools available to publish. When the web and html came along, it opened the floodgates. The next iteration came when people started seeing the opportunity to make money from their content rich sites. Soon there were more and more sites and less and less good content.

I think we're about to enter a self-correcting phase. People have become jaded and no longer trust what they read online. Those sites are making less money off their bad content. We'll see those sites begin to disappear as their owners move on to the next get rich quick scheme.

Everyone wants their fifteen minutes of fame. In the face of an uncaring and largely unappreciative audience, most lose interest quickly. Once the stirring stops, the cream will rise to the top.
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Old 05-02-2012, 09:19 AM
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Originally Posted by Guerrera View Post
Well I'm not suggesting that smaller sites will just disappear, but you've said it yourself more or less - content owners don't own their content anymore - the audience does.
That is not exactly what I said. When I said admins don't own content I was referring to Facebook owning all the content on Facebook. If and admin wanted to move his content from Facebook to, say Wordpress, can he do it? That is what I meant. At least with a standalone forum the admin controls the content and allows what they feel is appropriate (within the law), and to some extent 'owns' the content, or is at least licensed to use the content.

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This is one of the things I've noticed recently. I used to believe I had control over the content I created, but that's untrue because if no one consumes it, and no one knows about it - it's not even content. It's a waste of time, no matter how much I try to promote it. Conversely, things other users have created which I consider trite and pointless and have had no promotion have been moderately successful because again - the content has no definitive ownership. It's all about ideas in the ether and this pattern of mass appeal something has to have in order to get traffic - and that's how information is on the internet.
This 'owning' of content is different. I think you are describing the 'direction' of 'your' content. I still very much believe you have control over some of the content, at least for quality control purposes. I have a tech article portin of my site, I wouldn't just allow any mess of words and images make up an article.

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If something is in demand and it's popular, it will be integrated into the social networks because people have naturally transitioned into an environment where they can have access to everything they want in one place.

You're counting on an ever-shrinking percentage of users who don't fit into this model perhaps because of the nature or scope of what they're looking for. But it's only a matter of time before even they become redundant.
I am not 100% in agreement of this. I did some searching on FB the last few days, and I'll admit, I am not a FB guru. I tried to find a "Group" that covered the same niche as mine, and while there were tons of Groups on this topic, I didn't find any i would call good. Most had less then 30 posts, and this from a group more then two years old.

The problem I see with FB Groups is that anyone can start one. There is no initial wall you must get over to drive you to succeed. With a standalone site you have a lot of planning to do before you open the doors, and I am sure a lot of potential sites get weeded out before they go live. If I am wrong on this please let me know. if FB Groups are not the equivalent to a forum community, please show me what is.

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From what I've seen so far, the only effective renewable way to promote content and gain interactive viewership is by word-of-mouth. All other methods fall flat on their face when you realize that people aren't consuming content like they were 10 or even 5 years ago.
Agree, but I think social media/networking sites can be used to a forum's/community's advantage.
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Old 05-02-2012, 09:20 AM
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Originally Posted by Guerrera View Post
As you figured I wasn't really speaking about intellectual ownership rights. I can't control the distribution channels or spread or reach of it. I can't control what portions of that content get popular and promoting it (at least in the traditional sense) doesn't yield any results because popularity is dictated by mass appeal. It's all very hit and miss to me.
Yes, we can build it, but can not control if they come to it.

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Lots of analytics, metrics, conversion tools and tracking but not enough concrete proof that if I create content, it will be consumed, at least in the manner that I'd expect people to.

Maybe in my mind I'm still stuck in 2000 but I honestly believe this a problem that has to do with the fact that there are TOO MANY CONTENT CREATORS online - there's no model anymore resembling the traditional creator > consumer (buyer).
Yes, far too many content creators. Yet very little front runners. I want to go to a site that has content that is accurate and relates to the topic.

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EVERYONE is a creator in their own right and the net result of that is content becomes devalued and worthless in no time, whereas the distribution channels' net worth increases exponentially. I'd rather be in the distribution chain at this point tbh.
Again 100% agree. Everyone is an 'expert' on the web. But a good community will weed out the hacks. FB is full of wanabe admins (for the most part) and if someone disagrees with them they just erase the content. A good communuity will keep that in check!

A forum admin has always been on both sides of the model. On one side they create content, direct it, present it in a good manner. And on the other side they are the distribution channel, hopefully earning some revenue.

We all know it doesn't work out that way everytime
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Old 12-03-2013, 02:42 AM
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There's a lot of junk on social sites. While forums come in all sorts, they often have heavy rules or poor methods of moderation. A few bad experiences or coming from a mindless site to a forum could lead to various mindsets towards foruming.
If a forum isn't moderated well or is just allowing stuff to pass by, it will become junk and like the social sites.

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Originally Posted by newf83 View Post

The forum landscape is changing and so are the individuals surfing the net. You have to change your tactics for the new generation.
Pretty much. Forums have to find new methods to adopt in order to keep users interested. In order to survive, the community too needs to know how to help the cause.
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