Do you think Reddit has killed traditional forums?

Bonesnatch

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I remember the days during the 90s and early 2000s when there was a message board dedicated to every subject under the sun. I used to be part of an old truck restoration forum and numerous game specific forums.

With the rise of Reddit, however, it seems like traditional forums like this one have dropped off the planet. This makes me sad because Reddit is all about karma farming, quick quips, dumb memes, and down voting dissenting opinions into oblivion.

I am curious about your thoughts. Do you think Reddit has eaten away at traditional forums? Do you see a resurgence in traditional forums? Why do you prefer to post here instead of the FF subreddit?
 
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Stanley

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I'm not sure how to answer this. But lemme say right off the bat, I always feel that I'm more noticeable, even though not really portrayable, when mingling in forums, compared to Reddit or social media. It's prolly due to me more inclined to write with more content and better articulation. Plus, I prefer the search option, stats and ranking achievements in a forum(if there are any)
 

Six

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I don't think Reddit by itself has necessarily killed traditional forums. I think social media in general and with how fast paced it is these days kind of took over, but I definitely do think that forums still serve their purpose in no message limit writing about games, art, whatever else. A lot of places like Twitter, and even FB where one will prevent a text wall, and others won't gain as much activity if it's not a short punch line.

I think activity on forums has declined because a lot of people who "grew up" on forums, moved away from them, and then you have the newer generations who grew up with the likes of Twitter, Facebook etc, who might not even know about forums.

I think it's more generation tied than it actually is social media outlets, come to think of it. 🤔 Like, you'll never see me use the likes of Twitter or Reddit for discussions or "threads", they don't even read like threads to me on those platforms.
 

Miko

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I think a lot of us who are still foruming are probably people who have grown up using forums to communicate with others - Social media wasn't nearly as fast or efficient at the time when forums were more popular. In a way I suppose forums kind of are it's own social media, just more structured. I don't think Reddit is nearly as personable as forums, and they're more suited for people who want immediate gratification for whatever they're there for content-wise. On Reddit I know there are people behind each username, but only the same way I feel like there are people in cars when I'm driving - I don't know if it's a man, woman, dog, chocobo - who they are, etc. Where at least on forums I can tell a little bit by the signature and/or avatar someone has or the throwback MSN status title they're using at the time. 😂

But, yeah, I like thinking about forums just being slower but more structured conversations with people of common interests. That said, I don't think the younger generations after us have that same relationship with forums and therefore you don't see as many new faces and such. I feel like everything is so easily available for people that kids (like my own) want everything *now*! Forums are probably, I presume, just too slow-paced in the world we are living in today. Even now, our active regulars don't take the time to log in anymore, they'd prefer the instant satisfaction of opening their phone and checking Discord vs logging in & seeing what's new and what's been posted. To their credit - same. If I have to wait in line at the store I'm scrolling to see what weird thing Adam has said or what cat photo the Emperor has posted - It's easy and simplistic and a lot easier to read than the forums on my phone. Again, forums are more structured, Discord (or even Reddit) are more instant, simple, clean, etc.

Also, people are busy. We're all adults now, crap to do, etc. - Not enough time to sit down and dedicate a bunch of time to writing up a long response to things that someone may not even read. So kids aren't the only ones to blame with forums dying per say. I do wonder, if forums happen to survive this long, if we'll see a resurgence once our current average age group begins retiring in the future. More time, more money, who knows.

So yeah, I don't think there's any one thing, it's just... old. Like us. 🥲
 

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Reddit is still a bit of a mysterious space to me. I've seen Reddit threads from time to time, but I don't get a real sense of community or belonging from them. Usernames are all like 'Personontheinternet2000' or 'King_Dudemaestro_The_Third' (made up off the top of my head, my apologies to anyone with those names who might be reading). Essentially it makes everyone look like a bot and not a person. This anonymity is liked by some people, but I don't know. All or most interactions seem to be instant, but then instantly forgotten. But that's the view of an outsider who doesn't really understand Reddit.

A few years ago I did once contemplate using Reddit to share FFF's magazines and also my Final Fantasy mythology articles. I figured months upon months of hard work should deserve a wider reach every now and then. But then somebody advised me that you need to settle in with Reddit a bit more or they'll bite you. Reply to other threads. Post other things. Which I get, but I can only be in so many places at once. I decided that for now it would be hard to cultivate a presence here, Reddit, and elsewhere. Not without dedicating myself to social media full time. Which I can't and don't want to do. I get scratching a few backs to get our own scratched, but too much scratching and my nails will get ripped off.

I guess people who use Reddit above everything else aren't wanting the aspects of forum culture that Reddit cannot provide, or they don't know about them, having not experienced them themselves. The generation gap would seem to be a contributing factor. The people who still use or remember forums most fondly are generally old enough to have less time to spend on forums than they might like.

Reddit and Twitter, etc, can be time sinks, but they trick people into thinking they are quick and easy things to check. "I'll peek for five minutes", someone says, before encountering an endless stream of content that keeps them trapped for hours. Hours that they are there, and not on forums, unfortunately.

Reddit hasn't killed forums, but part of the audience that has the same interest levels and fandom urges and would usually be on forums (and would be very, VERY welcome here) is now over there, probably not even knowing what they are missing out on.
 

congduc9589

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The first time I knew about Reddit was when running into issues at work involving paperwork and trying to find a solution for this on the Internet. As a cashier in a supermarket, working with all kinds of papers is a real challenge for me. Usually, I will find out the solution immediately in the first link after entering the data on Google. If not, then I only see the answer from Reddit. This makes me feel that forum is not just a traditional forum. But more problem has been revealed since then.

A terrifying aspect of Reddit is that "unwholesome pictures" may be shared. This case has once appeared on both Imgur and Twitter. Sometimes you will see quality pictures posted on Reddit by professional accounts, but it turns out they were edited and shared from malicious websites. Unfortunately, that topic is the simplest method to get likes and shares without causing wars on the forum. I think it might even help a conventional platform nearing the end of its life breathe again.

Funny if sharing some unwholesome things may be an excellent way to traditional resurgence forums. For me, this looks like the way that describes the main character in the movie Perfect Blue, a famous woman who wants to be an actress in a dark film more than a singer, even if it will make her lose her morality and then turn to a psycho with a friend of her. It means if something like karma farming, quick quips, and dumb memes… might help make a forum better than only post any wholesome things, then the platform will allow people to talk about them more. Indeed, I remember a thread on Reddit where so many people discuss which characters in a team will be getting make love to each other and how they do that in FF. I slightly feel those people reallly want most of the main characters in FF will be the same as the main in Perfect Blue. And I believe this kind of this post will never stop attracting a lot of guys than any accurate information. So it's good or not? Who knows.
 

Paddy McGee

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If I have to wait in line at the store I'm scrolling to see what weird thing Adam has said

UM EXCUSE ME?! What comes from my mouth fingers is pure, unadulterated comic genius of such grand proportions that the world simply cannot understand how to handle just how funny my jokes truly are. Wow. :(

To the point at hand but also to try hit on other aspects outside of "people just moved to social media bc easier":

I feel like the disappearance of Forums has a bit to do with the changes of how people use the internet - namely that we tie our real world lives, goods and services to our online persona.

Most people opt against pseudonyms on Social Media and take ownership of what they say and who they say it with as part of an overall brand they use: people do their shopping through Instagram and they receive their news from Tiktok nowadays. With the advent of using the internet to assist with dating, travel, food delivery and so forth identifying using a pseudonym just doesn't have the same appeal anymore. I'd argue that signing up for a forum, with a pseudonym, is now directly tied with "being a bit creepy on the internet" and "saying things that are morally/politically/culturally against XYZ" for many young people; that's not a look you're going for and you risk being ostracized and seeing real life impact if you do get involved.

The shift of how content is created on the internet could also be a factor. In the earlier days of the internet you could get by on Youtube with just gameplay and some tips and tricks. The only content made about a game in 2009 could be the ASCII guide someone uploaded to the internet. It's changed now, however: it's all about the brand and personality now; people don't care about what others think of a game, they care about whichever personalities they like think of a game. Why would Paul care that 50 people on the Sonic forum loved Sonic frontiers when Dunkey thought it was dog shit? It kills the desire for conversation, or rather is sates the appetite to hear what other people have to say; the personality has basically said what the fan would have wanted to discuss or the discussion happens as part of how the personality has approached the topic (on their discord or channel comments area) rather than about the topic itself.

Younger people are the lifeblood of Forums like this one; they keep it going because, bluntly, they have the time for it. Partners, careers, children take significant portions of our time - most young people have one of these going on, at most. Along with this, young people generally are still looking for their place of belonging and for many, that leads to the internet. Without this group, and their infinite spare time, the constant communication required to make a Forum seem interactive and "alive" is much more scarce.

There's a significant drop in the stigma tied to having many of the interests that people flock to the internet flock for: games, both tabletop and video, are part of the cultural zeitgeist in a way not thought of before; the biggest movies of each year are based on comic book heroes that are known world wide. Nerd culture, as a niche, has largely fallen by the wayside with younger people. Teenagers tend to make up large populations of the people who partake in these forums; but if they can find acceptance elsewhere, what really brings them here? If you can get followers, as yourself, by talking about games on Twitter why would you want to create another identity to discuss it on a specific forum?

I think about this last point a lot, honestly: part of why I've stayed here as a regular is because I put a bit of "real world" Adam into what I post and how I post it; I connect with people past just discussions and on a more personal level - we all have psuedonyms in the Discord but reference each other, in the majority, by our real names. Life forces us into situations where we create different masks to handle different groups and occasions; I feel like people would opt to have fewer masks whenever they can.

This is just a stream of conscious set of ideas I typed up procrastinating from work.
 
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