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tinytherese

Why is the Phorum Mostly Dead?

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Lilllabettt

I blame Pope Francis. 

No seriously. I think being an orthodox Catholic was more fun and less confusing before PF. He thinks we are poo in some ways and he tells us that. Hey, he has the prophetic charisma and who said we are supposed to be comfortable? But yeah ... I think for many faithful Catholics who want to love the Pope, e.g. phatmass'core audience,  PF stresses them out. orthodox Catholicism isn't easy to navigate rn. Hard to know what to think or say.

The other reason is that some of phatmass' core group got older and frankly is no longer so hard core. Some rejected the Church teaching on sexuality. Not naming names but these were major players. Once things stop getting responded to every day,  people stop checking every day. Vicious cycle. 

Another reason is that there was I think an attempt to move phatmass into Facebook.  I know there was a big reorganization of the site to make it mobile friendly.  It didnt go smoothly and frankly I think the rumors of message board declines were greatly exaggerated.  Lots of message boards are going stronger than ever . The move to mobile was absolutely necessary tho. I think it took time to work kinks out and in the meantime some members gave up their phix.

Lastly I left. I am the sustaining life force of many organizations so... no me no we. Lol. Just kidding. But I had a stink with a moderator so I left for ... years I think.  

 

 

2 hours ago, tinytherese said:

3TNj.gif

Also cam you write a tutorial about posting images on the phorum. Because its effin hard to figure

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little2add

I’m afraid your correct about the root cause.  Being Catholic ( in general) today is not like it use to be, either.  

I miss all the banter 

 

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linate

it's not just phatmass. forums in general have taken a dive in recent years. maybe it's because people are on their phones now and that isnt conducive to typing in forums? i dont know. i should google it....  :think:

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Not so long ago, online forums were the go-to place for online interaction. Whether the message boards served as a gathering place for niche groups to discuss their similar interests or the forum simply hosted general chit-chat, many of them got enormous amounts of web traffic in their heyday. More recently, devoted regular members have seen a decrease in posts on their favorite forums; here are ten of the reasons why.

Facebook – More than almost any other culprit, Facebook finds itself on the receiving end of many pointed fingers in the “who killed the forums” debate. The ability to form private discussion groups within the site for topical conversations, paired with the advent of fan pages that allow for fandom and niche discussion, make the social networking giant a heavy-hitter for special interest talk. Meanwhile, general discussion can now be restricted to a group of pre-selected people, most of whom users know in real life.

Twitter – The 140-character blasts of information make catching up with news and recent developments quick and painless, eliminating the need for hours of back-reading on traditional message boards. The presentation and almost limitless possibilities for reaching a wider audience have also bolstered the presence of fan communities and products on Twitter.

Blogs – For message board regulars who enjoy writing and sharing knowledge in their particular area of expertise, creating a blog is often much more satisfying than crafting forum posts that run the risk of being ignored altogether or taken completely off-topic. The comments feature allows for discussion and community participation, but the blogger retains control and can delete inflammatory comments as needed.

TLDR – This acronym, standing for “Too Long, Didn’t Read” has become the battle-cry for the younger generation of web users. Accustomed to brief snippets of pertinent information with a minimum of verbiage, these users will often dismiss a carefully-worded post with the insulting “TLDR”, causing many users to become frustrated with the platform.

User Impatience – An extension of the “TLDR” argument, the instant gratification generation that is now beginning to exert control over the web often lacks the patience required to wait for a response to a question posted on a forum. Getting an answer can take hours or even days; in the end, many users are simply not willing to wait that long.

Trolling – Another problem that forums face on a daily basis is the Troll. With posts designed solely to ignite anger or irritation in other users, Trolls are making many message boards almost unbearable. For some forums, the bulk of new posts are the result of trolling, which drives even some of the most dedicated regulars away.

Lurking – While new membership may be climbing on many forums, daily post counts are plummeting across the board. With few exceptions, new information is rarely posted as new users sign up to access information, but do not contribute to the discussion. This silent reading of forums is called lurking, and is likely the reason why there are dozens of users online but no new topics.

Smartphones – Almost all websites have made the switch to mobile-friendly offerings, with social networking sites leading the charge. Forums, however, have been slow to make the leap. In an era of mobile browsing, message boards are suffering.

Control – Whether well-intentioned or the result of overzealous moderators, many forum users find themselves disenchanted with the iron fist that some message boards are ruled with. As debates over internet censorship rage, any form of moderation can be construed by some users as censorship and thus grounds for abandoning the community.

Lack of Control – On the opposite side of the “Control” coin is “Lack of Control.” Volunteer moderation numbers are down, leaving some forums almost completely unmediated. In the absence of leadership, forums can face shutdown from a lack of maintenance or an established core of exclusionary members that harass and ridicule new users into leaving soon after they arrive.

Though they’re in the minority, there are a few forums that are still thriving. Mostly dedicated to extremely specialized areas of interest or file sharing, these secretive sites fly under the radar for the most part. The bulk of message boards are finding themselves struggling to avoid going the way of the dinosaur, with varying degrees of success.

 

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Isit just me, or have others noticed that web-based discussion forum projects seem to fail more than so many other types of web projects? Below are some reasons why, in my opinion, this tends to happen.

Users need to login. I think we like to believe that users won’t mind establishing a new username / password pair just for our forum, which also means keeping a note of that somewhere, and coming back to visit and participate. But, speaking just for myself (admittedly a web developer, so I probably have more credentials to maintain than most people), I have more than 1,000 sets of credentials that I need. I suspect half are business oriented the other half personal. But, that’s a lot of info. There’s little chance I’m going to remember a particular username / password set, so I probably wouldn’t casually stop in anywhere to participate. Having to lookup credentials is often rather annoying (yet of course you risk spam if you don’t require them).

The rise of social media. This is actually related to the above point. Once you’re logged into Facebook, you’re logged in no matter where you go online. So, if Blog A has a blog post where you need to sign in to make a comment and Blog B has a blog post where it just uses Facebook’s comment system and thus requires no further login for commenting, then Blog B is likely to get more reader participation than Blog A. Same concept with forums. (Yet, you have to balance that with the fact that using social media comments might not be as powerful SEO-wise for a site because those comments aren’t indexed the same as on-site / on-page text.) There are some other workarounds, though, admittedly.

Social media’s decentralization of content commentary. In another point related to the above, a topic can appear rather dead on a public forum, but actually be getting action elsewhere. For example, consider a blog post that has few comments on the web page where it “lives,” but goes viral on Facebook or Twitter. These media also have the power to draw in non-traditional participants into specialty-area conversations. For example, imagine posting an image from an early 1900s piece of sheet music, such as this one:

In a musician’s forum, the discussion would largely focus on the music or the composer. However, in a broader sense, there may be interest from artists and illustrators, from historians, from scientists, from lithography professionals, from geographic-regional researchers, from family members of those mentioned, etc. — all very welcome and mostly productive areas for further conversation. You get that extra traffic on social media, whereas topical sites and forums would generally not ever see such peripheral visitors.

OCD Hyper-organization. Many site owners tend to want to break down their discussion boards into (sometimes very steep) hierarchical category areas versus just allowing a general board where people can post on any site-related topic. For example, if my company had a discussion board, I’d have ONE board for any related topic — web design, SEO, PHP / MySQL coding, Joomla!, etc. IMHO, that would be the way to go rather than creating specific topic areas. The reason is synergy… While person A may come to my board for a reason related to Joomla, there’s now a greater chance he/she may engage on another topic rather than simply checking the Joomla index and then leaving. Plus, let’s say that person (a Joomla designer) is reading a CSS post … well, he/she likely has an answer or insight to share there as well; people are much more multi-area knowledgeable than so many people believe in this world. Over-organization prevents and denies such synergy, and can doom a forum project; I’ve seen this many times, routinely warned against it, and then watched it happen after such warnings were ignored. (Still, under-organization may simply not be acceptable for some personalities.)

User base too small. There’s a critical mass needed for a successful forum project. What that is, is subjective, of course. But, it’s probably larger than most people think. Hundreds of users is a good start; thousands is better. It’s tough to make those numbers unless maybe you’re a well-known brand with tons of existing and motivated fans. Let’s face it: If a board is generally inactive, no one’s going to want to return to it to see what’s been going on and continue with the fun. Getting return visits is a lot to ask of anyone these days, so a board has to be engaging and active for success. (Of course, a small board may seem exclusive to some, which may be desired in some cases.)

The Money Pit Syndrome. Add on a forum and you may well face significantly increased, ongoing development costs. If your site or budget isn’t ready for this commitment, then updates may be put off or done with too little testing, which can lead to security breaches and other issues.

There are other reasons discussion boards fail, as well. For example, I’ve seen internal / intranet forums fizzle away for other reasons, such as a poorly designed / poorly functioning system, users not being savvy (possibly due to a lack of training), and/or inadequate leadership (e.g., management not buying into the concept and therefore not encouraging it). However, for general board failures, the above are the main reasons I’ve seen over the past decade or so.

 

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Lilllabettt
2 hours ago, linate said:

it's not just phatmass. forums in general have taken a dive in recent years.

 

 

I have to disagree. A lot of forums are stronger than ever. Reddit. Weddingbee.  Facebook Groups are a forum, a message board basically, in which people post comment and share. I think the rush to use facebook as a platform for forum content (not speaking strictly phatmass here) was ill advised or at least premature.  Given what's in the news about fb lately... I think I'm right :smile4: its much better to have an independent phorum vs building a community that can be exploited/ deleted by Zuckerberg with a snap of his greasy fingers

2 hours ago, linate said:

[....]

 

Also, did you just cut a paste a long text box from Google. Cuz that poo will kill a message board right quick. Ain't nobody want to scroll thru that bruh.

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Lilllabettt
17 minutes ago, HisChildForever said:

I’m old and married now. :sleep2:

No excuse.  Make a wedding thread where people can post pictures of their wedding . Did you see Ice is getting married???

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linate

there are exceptions like specialty and large forums but all you have to do is google it and you will see that the tendency is for forums to have taken a dive. i know it's just one person's story but i'm a forum dude, and many of my forums have fallen by the way side. 

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Anomaly

Lack of leadership personalities.   

Troll posts and responses.  

Its almost impossible to have reasonable disagreements and discussions online anymore with the cultural behavior that has developed over the years.  I’ve been posting (under another name) since 2001, and it’s changed a lot.  No strong personalities last because they end up being attacked, and/or ridiculed, or just misunderstood with resulting hurt feelings all around.  

We cant go back to simpler times .  

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Lilllabettt
13 minutes ago, Anomaly said:

Lack of leadership personalities.   

Troll posts and responses.  

Its almost impossible to have reasonable disagreements and discussions online anymore with the cultural behavior that has developed over the years.  I’ve been posting (under another name) since 2001, and it’s changed a lot.  No strong personalities last because they end up being attacked, and/or ridiculed, or just misunderstood with resulting hurt feelings all around.  

We cant go back to simpler times .  

You sit on a throne of lies. Or of defeatism rather.  I agree people are over much nowadays but these things are cyclical. I'm a strong personality and I dont care how many hearts I smoosh. Teach me how to insert images so I can include meaningful gifs. 

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Anomaly

I laughed out loud in an inappropriate setting.    

I only post from my phone, and have never wanted to learn to post images.   So here I sit, smug in my throne, blissfull in my ignorance, with a callous and unsmooshed heart.  

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Lilllabettt
46 minutes ago, Anomaly said:

I laughed out loud in an inappropriate setting.    

I only post from my phone, and have never wanted to learn to post images.   So here I sit, smug in my throne, blissfull in my ignorance, with a callous and unsmooshed heart.  

No one who does not know how to post images can be happy.

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Lilllabettt
3 hours ago, dominicansoul said:

I blame Trump... 

Ugh you would . JK :blowkiss:

I think Trump and PF are similar in some ways. Non traditional preparation for the job, elected to drain the swamp, tendency to throw bombs/say things that need walked back. 

There are big huuuge differences too of course.

But it's a destabilizing moment. What's the Catholic response to Trump? To PF? Faithful Catholics are in freak out mode I'm thinking.

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tinytherese
On November 28, 2018 at 3:15 PM, Lilllabettt said:

Also cam you write a tutorial about posting images on the phorum. Because its effin hard to figure

I post from my iPAD, so it might be different from me.

1. Click on "Insert other media."

2.  Click "Insert image from URL." 

 3.  Copy and paste the link to there.

 

harrison-ford-in-apocalypse-nowy-and-mat

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