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 Post subject: Is Facebook Killing Online Automotive Forums?
Unread postPosted: Mon Nov 16, 2015 4:48 pm 
Moar Dew.
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I've heard this idea in a number of circles, and it makes a lot of sense. For crying out loud, I did a full turbo install on my Miata, and it got absolutely zero air time here in my own forum. It's just too damned easy to post all the bits on Facebook, really.

An article about this struggle: <Is Facebook Killing Online Automotive Forums?>
A piece:
Andy Lilienthal wrote:
Recently I noticed a drop in online forum participation on a couple of the sites I frequent, including Scionlife.com, Yarisworld.com, and Zukiworld.com. At first I didn't really think much of it. The Scion brand has been going through some changes; the Toyota Yaris isn't selling like it did in 2007, and Suzukis are a very niche brand, even more so since the company left North America. I decided to chalk my observed decline in activity up to those factors. That was until my friend, Justin, mentioned how he thought Facebook was killing online forums. It dawned on me that perhaps certain forum sites were being affected by Facebook's popularity, and not in a good way. While some forums may have setup a Facebook page or group to help their website get traffic, it could be adversely changing them. Suddenly I realized that Justin was probably right.


Now, I know we have piles of lurkers here. When an interesting enough topic comes up, all sorts of folks come out of the woodwork. This forum's not dead, it's just dead quiet.

Thoughts?



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 Post subject: Re: Is Facebook Killing Online Automotive Forums?
Unread postPosted: Tue Nov 17, 2015 12:55 am 
Major Trou
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Location: Indypolis
I'll post more from a keyboard and not a phone.



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 Post subject: Re: Is Facebook Killing Online Automotive Forums?
Unread postPosted: Tue Nov 17, 2015 10:57 am 
Major Trou
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Here's my take on it. Many of the original CNY Subies guys and several of the IIC guys are a little bit older. I'm 32, you're....42? Facebook opened up to high schools in 2005 and opened to everyone in 2006. For many of the forum regulars, Facebook came out when we were late in college or out of college. We had already been using forums for the past 8+ years by then while a freshman in high school might have never used a forum but is now on facebook.

Fast forward ~10 years. I went to the semi annual IIC Subaru meet a few weeks ago. There were a handful of the original/older crowd and lots of young 20 somethings. I recognized maybe 15 people out of a crowd of 150+. These 20 somethings grew up with facebook in the same way we grew up with forums. It feels more natural for them. In some ways I would even suggest that as our society increasingly becomes more ADD like (or rather our attention spans drop even more) that forums are slowly dying. Forums are great for preserving the history of something (such as a build, or a how to) but they take time. Today's emerging gear heads would much rather post a handful of pics with little description that do a writeup. I can take photos of my 818 and upload them while I sit on the can before going to bed. Posting on the forum requires I upload to a host, then copy and past individual links, then type stuff out. Not something I'm doing on my phone. For CNYSubies I also need to go and manually resize photos depending on which image host I used.

People on IIC talk about AWD army all the time. I guess it's a FB crew? Never went there myself. I personally dislike the FB takeover. It's much more enjoyable and useful (to me) to see a full history of something that is easily searched rather than manually trying to scroll through someones FB photos because you kinda remember seeing a photo of a turbo miata while you were dropping a duece at work.



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 Post subject: Re: Is Facebook Killing Online Automotive Forums?
Unread postPosted: Tue Nov 24, 2015 12:53 am 
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Joined: Mon Sep 24, 2012 5:41 am
Posts: 119
Location: Utica, NY
While what Craig says certainly resonates with me, I hope the answer isn't that everything is going to fb. But, for posting things that might resemble content (at least, more than simple text), fb does make it very easy. I've yet to ever put a meme or a gif in a forum because I still don't know how to. I tried embedding a video, and I'm pretty sure Scott had to fix it for me. Pictures? pfft. But, that's more because I'm creeping up on old enough to start wanting my own island....

...on that, I don't participate in FB groups, at all. With rare exception, I don't even read them. It's just too much of a free-for-all, and while quick responses are nice, the signal:noise:spam ratios tend to be iffy at best.

Overall, though, I think the follow-up generations to ours are what's killing forums (maybe even the car hobby). It's like a bad RPG mentality. Someone racks up a high post count to present themselves as a genius when they're anything but. Sometimes they mean well but just don't know better, sometimes they're trolling as a pastime (seriously, go play soccer or something). So, I get to frustrate and mislead myself while I find out which users know what they're talking about, and who're just 14 year-olds with a vivid imagination.

Forums that I do actively participate in happen because I look to them primarily for research, and in some rare cases, I can actually contribute. You really can't do research on old threads on FB (or can you? and I just don't know how?) But even some of those fall victim to lots of bad info. There's way more than one FRS/BRZ forum, but only one that gets enough activity to bother with (and still has a lot of bad data all over), so the rest just essentially wither and die...without telling anyone where the cheese moved to. Which, I suspect is a not-insignificant part of what's happening for the article author.

As this all happens, though, I won't be willfully or quickly migrating to FB as my go-to source for reliable info. Because, as far as I can tell, it's not a reliable source for good info. I tend to retract further to the few trusted friends that I know for certain are a bunch smarter than me, like with phone calls and actual face-to-face conversations. In any medium, I still can't regularly depend on what I find on the internet to be accurate. Which is a shame.

All the wonders of the information superhighway, and good help is STILL hard to find.



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 Post subject: Re: Is Facebook Killing Online Automotive Forums?
Unread postPosted: Sun Nov 29, 2015 8:48 am 
Subie Tuner
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Joined: Fri Aug 03, 2007 7:10 am
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Location: Clay, NY
Smaller forums are definitely having a harder time due to Facebook, but it is also definitely related to the demographics of the users as noted above. Forums still provide a lot that social media can't, especially for things like howto guides and other technical information that's difficult/impossible to find once posted to social media.

Where the forums are definitely losing out is for things like build threads, it'd just so much easier to snap some pics and share them from your phone than to jump through the hoops of posting to a forum. The bad news there is that the tips and tricks that owners come up with get lost in the abyss of The Feed, instead of being available and more importantly searchable on forum archives.

In the particular case of this forum I think that it has more to do with the fact that many of the members aren't as focused on Subarus as they were in the past and/or are busy with work & family (I'm definitely included in both categories).



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 Post subject: Re: Is Facebook Killing Online Automotive Forums?
Unread postPosted: Tue Dec 01, 2015 12:57 pm 
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Sounds like phpBB and vBulletin need to get brainstorming on new ways to enable an Instagram or Facebook level of simplicity in user's posting photos. Something that doesn't even require typing a caption or even creating a thread. Basically taking the best parts of Facebook (simplicity in adding new content), and the best parts of internet forums (simplicity in consuming old content, in an organized fashion).

I think a big hiccup on this forum was when registration was closed. I know why it was closed (to stop spambots), and I know efforts have been made to enable new users into the site, but being effectively closed for so many years stalled growth, which is functionally the same as decline. Even the best sites will loose members interest over time (people get busy or find new interests), and if you don't have a steady stream of replacements coming, the community will eventually die.



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 Post subject: Re: Is Facebook Killing Online Automotive Forums?
Unread postPosted: Wed Dec 02, 2015 10:43 am 
Miss March
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Registration has been open forever, it just requires an admin to approve the account. It was never closed for "years" New users just aren't exactly flooding in.



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