Keep Music Alive
- Nov 13, 2005
AWS said:While that is true it can be reasoned that because there are not many forums the ones that are running should get an abundance of traffic to fill the void left by sites that don't have them.
Think about this for a minute.
I have a site about "widgets". I make and sell them and my site is the number one "widget" information site on the web. I have no forum for "widget" users to interact.
You start a forum for "widget" enthuisists. Until you build the site there isn't anyplace for these people to interact.
Wouldn't you think that your "widget" forum would be become popular?
You bet you behind it would.
The problem is that people would see how sucessful your forum has become and thousands more would spring up. This is the problem with forums. Too many people have it in their mind that they can coat tail on popular topics and become instantly successful.
It just doesn't happen that way.
I never said forums don't produce excellent content. I said that they are not the be all end all as some seem to think. For every forum with superior content there are 100 more covering the same topics that are garbage. Same goes for regular old webpages.
The point I am trying to get across is you have to have an established web presence before you can have a successful community.
As with anything else there is exceptions to the rule and a few forums do very well as stand alones.
I see your point, your view has been a popular opinion for quite some time now. The more trusted your site's opinions and information is about a particular topic, the more loyal your visitors will be. You'll also be successful at getting recommendations from other people and they'll post links to you and such. I also agree with your observation of the recent "forum boom" where everyone and their dog starts a forum and copies what they've seen elsewhere. Only the strong, innovative forums will survive, and it's pretty common for most forums to not last past the 90 day mark. But things are changing lately. In my opinion I would rather Google a very specific query and find the perfect answer rather than spend a lot of time searching one particular site that has a great reputation and has been around forever (and not always find an answer). In my experience, I see more and more people doing the same thing. What happens when someone finds the perfect answer to their question, and also discovers that the site they are directed to also is a wonderful community full of interaction and discussion of LOTS of things you'd like to learn about? THEY JOIN! Their loyalty to that old site can be stolen away pretty easy now because they've found a place that offers non-stop new information that they're interested in, and the best thing is that it's coming not from one webmaster, it's coming from thousands of people that are passionate about the same things.
So I have to agree that forums have an untapped potential that will soon explode and show the world some very amazing things. I don't think it's the be all/end all...but I do believe that they have more potential than any other web application we've ever seen.