Categorized | Random Rants

Why Domaining Forums (and Forums in General) Have a Bright Future

Posted on 22 February 2010 by Andrei

I was reading a comment earlier today and remembered that I’ve been meaning to post my opinion regarding the “do forums have a future?” issue last month but forgot all about that idea. Let me start by answering with two questions: do blogs have a future? What about email, does email have a future?

Here’s the thing: the Web is still in its infancy, so it’s easy to jump on the “this business model is dead, make room for the future” bandwagon. Is this principle usually valid? Yes. Is it ALWAYS valid? Nope, not by a long shot.

Fundamentals, Fundamentals, Fundamentals

We need to always see right through hype and analyze the fundamentals of each business model. Figuring out if we’re talking about an over-hyped fad or a fundamentally sound business model is really not all that complicated and no, I’m not going to bore you with a “from A to Z” lecture.

If you’re armed with a bit of common sense, you’ll be just fine. While I don’t want to bore you by stating the obvious (again, I’m definitely not a fan of “from A to Z” lectures), I’ll ask for a few seconds of your time and will refer to maybe the single most important indicator:

The Test of Time

Let’s go back to the original question: do forums have a future? Well, let’s see what “history” tells us. The first applications which could be considered web-based message boards appeared in 1996 (we’ve had applications which could, in one way or the other, be considered forums even way before 1996 but I want to be fair and only refer to those which can definitely be considered web-based message boards). Fad or not?

We’ll, let’s assume that we’re in 1996 and decide to wait it out. Are forums still popular in 1997? Yep, they’re becoming more and more popular. What about 1998? Yep! 1999? Yep? 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003 and beyond? Of course! Almost everyone who is currently reading this blog post is probably a member of at least one forum at the moment of writing and that alone says a lot. The same concept is valid when it comes to email and even blogs.

Does Jogging Have a Future?

We’ve invented the car, right? In that case, jogging is history! Who needs it, waste of time! What about spoons? Who needs them when a few years from now, we’ll all be eating astronaut food!

All in all, this much is certain: it’s extremely important to understand that we’re still pioneers. We’ll be able to see a lot of innovative stuff this year, next year and beyond but that doesn’t mean that none of the business models which will emerge will end up sticking, not by a long shot!

8 Comments For This Post

  1. LB Says:

    I’m pretty sure I’ll always be an active member of at least one forum. Forums can be great as long as you don’t spend the entire day surfing them, so can blogs and I guess the entire Internet. Most niches have at least one big forum so entering the market can be hard!

  2. pooooj Says:

    Forums are good, too bad some mods always end up being idiots and control freaks…

  3. pooooj Says:

    And my comment is not a personal vendetta if anyone is wondering, I didn’t even name names…

  4. nmwando Says:

    One of the first things I ever did online was join a forum and guess what I did a couple of days ago, I joined another forum and I plan to stick around. I’ll give you a small hint, you own it 🙂

  5. Nick Says:

    Andrei, did you receive my email yesterday night? It’s about the forum, I know it’s not launched yet but I’m eager to start.

  6. Andrei Says:

    @nmwando: glad to have you on board man
    @Nick: yep, email sent

  7. Valentin Says:

    Forums will not die. It’s just another communication channel. Only the technology changes. One might say that BBS is dead for a long time. Well, I would say it just transformed to something else.

  8. Wilmer Englar Says:

    Great idea this, i love your article for beginners. I need some time to think about this

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