Discussion in 'Forum Suggestions and Feedback' started by Nemos Janitor, 14 May 2015.
Are there any stats or trends on forums available?
Last few months or last 5 years or more...
The reason for asking is this quote I read.
"There seemed to be a time where everyone congregated on forums. With the presence of Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Quora, etc. it seems like people are no longer into forums. Does anyone still use forums for online socialization, asking questions, discussion/hobbies anymore or have internet forums been rendered redundant"
I dont see how they are becoming redundant as it's the place to go to when someone needs help with their problem or brag of their setup etc. There are forums for so many different hobbies etc... I learn tons from forums.
But posters and readers, by members interacting, are becoming few IMO....
I do keep stats. Not going public with it, but yes, forum traffic is slowing down. And its not only MASA. All over the world forums are taking a beating. Pet related, reptile forums are hit harder. And I'm not going to bash or gloat over the other South African forums. But exactly as traffic here is down compared to a few years ago, so are traffic over there. It is not a MASA thing only.
Seems facebook and whatsapp groups are taking over. But what I do not understand in today's generation of instant gratification, is how facebook and whatsapp is better. Both are mostly one way communications. And using another sponsor (not naming) comment, guys on whatsapp "insist" on immediate answers, day and night.
Here is a sea of information. Whatever question was asked, was asked before by another newbie or advance guy. We have very experienced guys here. And as it has been always, newbies join, learn, go up in rank. Older guys "retire" due to whatever reason, be it they pack up, or just got over the initial excitement of having a tank and/or being part of an online community. But here I do agree, lot of the older guys who personally knew each other are gone. Lots of the chatting in their tank build threads are gone.
What I do not understand is how guys who are "afraid" or not willing to post on forums, but do browse around. How they will participate in a whatsapp group. And how the whatsapp group will grow while loosing guys who retire. If they cannot use MASA or forums as a feeding grounds. See how many times a newbie comes around and ask where he can get something, to be referred to his closest LFS and sponsor. Shops he never knew about. So how without this forum, would I ever have heard about all the other shops. Would still have been stuck with the one non-sponsor that...let me not go into that.
We are a community. With a pool of information. Best is, the information is given free. There is nothing in it for me to advise anybody on anything. Except a few imaginary internet points. Yippie ki-yay!
Where with LFS whatsapp groups, it is still mainly another form of advertising of what they landed. I'm not bashing those sponsors doing whatsapp groups. It is a way to advertise and if it helps your business, why not. The better the shops do, the better for the hobby.
And as far as fighting, insults and bad behavior goes. At least we as moderators try to keep things civil. Guys do follow the rules and we hardly ever do interfere. It is not needed. (OK, now and then...) Anyway. In the whatsapp groups, it can be a mudslinging like mad. Been involved in one such discussion that went downhill so fast. Also seen another that just blamed each other with no solution found. I do not want to be part of any of these discussions.
One big advantage of Facebook, is that uploading pictures are really simple. From all your smart phones. If forum software can come up with a solution for that, then forums will blossom again.
So, come on guys, take part. After all, MASA is not here for me or the other moderators. It is here for you as reefers and your hobby.
A great response Riaan.
I have noticed the trend and the efforts by you guys to try and keep interest exciting. Hence this thread. All efforts by you guys are appreciated but not always expressed.
Interesting post and @RiaanP is correct in his statement that forums are losing momentum. I own a few racehorses and am a member of a racing forum that has seen traffic more than half in the last year or so. Members there have also "moved on" to alternate groups on whatsapp and facebook. For me, the huge advantage a forum has is the information that lies in it. I seldom have to post a question after doing a search on what I need info on.
Insofar as whatsapp groups go, I find them intrusive. I also don't appreciate my phone pinging at all hours usually with arbitrary stuff. Each to their own I suppose.
What's a swinging handbag?
Whatsapp chat groups have become almost an annoyance as the discussions are repetitive and often decend into myth and drivil...
Perhaps the forums integration with facebook etc could be improved....
Certainly Tapatalk helps with mobile browsing, but still leaves much to be desired IMO.
Couldn't agree more.
We're on the verge of Mobile Information and Technology age.
I agree with you here.
It is a shlep, I think you should look at making this link a sticky for new comes,
It is still a process but it is way simple from a smartphone than using photobucket etc.
its, My Images you can upload from your mobile device
and it's only locally hosted servers, so it quick...
Once picture is uploaded, you just copy the link and use it in the forum... link photobucket etc.
It is a saying refereeing to Maggie to change things.
If Maggie was in charge today she would be swinging her handbag | Daily Mail Online
I have noted how reef2reef and Wet Web Media are handling the shift. Not sure how they are doing it but they post interesting topics on FB and link one back to their site for the juicy bits.
Not sure what they do on twitter. I don't use it.
Nice post RiaanP - I agree, there is a sea of information on MASA (or forums in general) and ideal for some who doesn't mind reading through posts to find a relevant answer and thereby learning a lot in the process too.
One often finds so much more info that what was originally being sought and there is a lot to be learned and gained from taking the time to research.
However this generation is one of instant gratification.....people don't want to spend time researching when they can get an instant answer from a What'sApp response or the likes. And they will take the given advice, whether it be good or not, only to learn the hard way.
There is a lot more room for open communication and debates on the forums - thus allowing the person looking for answers to decipher what they feel is best (majority agreeing / disagreeing on a method for example) and take suitable action.
I must admit, I am "old fashioned" when it comes to the way the world is moving in terms of technology and the "instant" generation that has ensued, and would prefer to research things properly to ensure that the livestock I have, stands the best chance possible in my tank.
However, while forums do tend to have cycles where new people come in and old favourites leave, I find MASA is not what it used to be.
While I can understand that people get tired of newbies asking repeat questions, I don't feel that they are treated the same way as when I joined eons ago.
People don't often show an interest, even when a newbie introduces themselves, let alone when they ask for advice.
I find I rarely get a response to anything I post.
Mods used to be more active, the "vibe" was far more friendly and down to earth and there was less ego involved.
I find myself not wanting to contribute to conversations that certain members are party to, for fear of a backlash or a "what-would-you-know" shrugging off.
But that hasn't put me off logging on and reading new posts, researching and learning as much as I can on my journey through marines.
I wonder how many people I've met over the years through this forum.
The amount of knowledge I gained, there is no way that I would have known what I do today, just by reading articles.
There are just too many variables on each tank, be it the filter options, reefer lifestyle and or his wallet thickness, circumstances, livestock options and whatever else are different. How can you expect an answer that fits 100% for your tank? From a single response from a whatsapp group. Were all discussions are mixed together into one long long chat history?
Regarding the "vibe". Yes I do agree. Its as if we are more matured? Not involved in younger chit chat anymore. Maybe we all should just get more involved. Have less of a formal approach. And enjoy this forum as friends as well. A good joke here and there is good, especially in members tank build threads. Other deeper discussion threads like parameters or urgent help, thread derailment does not fit in.
Even after all these years, there are still areas that I'm do not consider myself above intermediate level. Deeper discussions around chemical reactions, I stay out. And with electronics, here I'm clueless. This hobby is just to big to know it all. There are always more things to learn. There are others that are experts in electronics for example.
People come people go, no use in trying to analyse the reasons from stats as things are not constant, the human psyche is a wonderful fluid extension of many aspects of feelings and knowledge and the way those feelings and knowledge are applied to their lives.
The web is a huge source of information and one needs to decide what you harvest from this source. I sense that the average reefer might've become more resourceful in terms of finding information, besides each reefer has his/her own experience with the hobby.
Reefers have learnt to read more, research more and not take on any old thing that others have to say.
In the end, remember that here today, gone tomorrow. Yesterday's fashion is today's kitchen rag or dog blanket.
Why hold on to things that don't last forever, MASA or any other forum, website, social media might not be here in twenty years, THAT IS LIFE.
Personally, can't stand facebook, enjoy MASA, LOVE TWITTER (I am a knowledge collector), whatsapp is on silent (left many groups).
Do what you enjoy.
I might be to young for that!? Never heard of it Keith She was very butch, maybe she wa called the iron lady because she kept metal in her bag?
There is one thing that has often cheesed me off. i wait for endless time for cloudflare to process request to browse MASA.
A few years ago, the same hardware I use today. it was pleasure to log on to MASA and other forums. Today it is a pitta.
IMO Cloudflare is the prime cause of most issues.
Could the above be a contributing factor ?
I have been contemplating this for a while....Was going to start a new thread but came across this...
This trend still seems to be on-going. I recall in the past, after a few hours of absence from the forum, a full page of new posts....
Nowadays a page in a day is a lot. I believe wattsapp groups are the norm nowadays, but definitely not for me..... ping ping ping ping.... Or switch it on silent and then having to wade through a whole lot of crap to see if you got a sensible or at least practical response to a question you posted.... And as a newbie, you have no idea whether the advice posted is of any value.....
I wonder whether forums will make a comeback?
I know I have been a habitual deserter through the years, but must admit, I do miss how busy it was here in the past.
Perhaps not a comeback per se, they just need to be able to maintain, sustain and adapt themselves as the world and it's online behaviours change. The one MAJOR advantage a forum has over Whatsapp and Facebook is the ability to retain information and a history of discussion in an easily searchable platform. Try searching a Whatsapp group for information or an old discussion, nigh on impossible. Those platforms are generally more suited to the "I want instant answers now" generation, not the "research, learn and discuss" generation. On a forum the history/information and related discussion is always there and easily found.
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