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Is Facebook really even a true "competitor" for forums??
Facebook has critical mass. It has enough users to help ensure it stays viable. Some forums get so little traffic as to be ghost towns. Traditional forum formats are not what's preferred by many younger users. (That said, Facebook is actually a forum, but the format is very different, mainly in how the messages are shared/distributed, so it doesn't look like one.)

Anyway, I see other traditional forums, despite being properly moderated, slowly dying, with much of the traffic moving to FB groups instead. In some cases, the host, Yahoo groups, is so clueless about features that they lost the traffic to new FB groups due to incompetence.

I've participated in Yahoo groups for my high school class and a couple of hobby rocketry forums, and all that traffic has moved to FB, with a Yahoo format change a few years ago being a big catalyst (IMO).

What I've seen here, prior to the new format, has been encouraging. There's enough traffic to keep it interesting, altho there are some slow days, but that's part of life. The participants are friendly, knowledgeable and well behaved, which helps keep people coming back, which in turn keeps the place going.

Shout out here: Thanks to all the great participants here for keeping it going !

I suspect lots of the folks here have been around long enough to have seen a forum die due to abuse followed by loss of traffic. I go back to the waning days of usenet, and have seen bad behavior by some run everybody else away, So, when there's a conflict or gripe here, it usually doesn't get out of hand or cause folks to stop visiting, because folks know not to add any fuel to the fire lest it diminish the forum.

So I plan to gut out this format change and keep coming back for the same friendly cyber bench racing I've enjoyed the past 10+ years :) I hope everyone else does, too :)

Doug

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I agree with everything you said there Doug!

Although, I didn't word my question properly. I guess what I meant to ask was "Is Facebook even a true competitor to forums like this in terms of functionality?". Since I don't use Facebook, I'm not very familiar with it - but does it truly replicate the functionality that a forum like this offers (in terms of organization, searching capabilities, amount of stored "post history", etc)?

From the outside looking in, it just doesn't seem to offer much in the way of "history" - especially in any organized fashion.
 

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Further to your post Doug. I have been a member of this Forum for many years. The format is quite different from what we had and have here now.


Its kept alive by the administrator (Al Savage) out of his garage in Washington state. He manages to keep it viable and going from a few donations he gets from members occasionally and his "tech" abilities to figure out the sorcery and black magic of servers and "script" and whatever the pixie's require to keep going. Hes pretty good at sourcing good used cheap slightly outdated equipment and changing things over.
Its a small forum compared to this one and is geared to a pretty limited group but the information gleaned there over the many years its been active is too valuable to just let go.
In the 10+ years I've been on there I cannot recall one "FU" fight. Had some friendly disagreements over procedure's, theories, concepts, and ideas etc which usually ended in one party admission or an agreement to disagree. That being said I think the age demographic is quite different as is the subset of people that actually have the reason/want to be there.
My $0.02.
 

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Since I don't use Facebook, I'm not very familiar with it - but does it truly replicate the functionality that a forum like this offers (in terms of organization, searching capabilities, amount of stored "post history", etc)?

From the outside looking in, it just doesn't seem to offer much in the way of "history" - especially in any organized fashion.
Searching in FB is pretty good. It's sort of like Google wherein you don't necessarily specify the user name, date range and subject ala advanced forum searches, but, like Google, it does a pretty good job of finding what you're looking for in a given group.

For example, I'm in a group for my home county in Kentucky, and it has lots of stuff in it, but finding things is still pretty easy using the "Search this group" feature.

That said, there's no table of contents or tree structure where you can start at the top and progressively drill down into various topics. But I suppose eventually stuff like that will be added. Having such an outline is surely handy when folks want to start with a broad topic and narrow it down step by step rather than looking for something very specific from the git-go :)

Doug

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These type changes are a part of what is driving users away from traditional forums imho. Have seen it happen elsewhere. Far as facebook, agree with jt, wife and kids are on it, have no use for it myself. I do from time to time look through my wife's to see pics my kids put on, no use for it beyond that.
 

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These type changes are a part of what is driving users away from traditional forums imho. Have seen it happen elsewhere. Far as facebook, agree with jt, wife and kids are on it, have no use for it myself. I do from time to time look through my wife's to see pics my kids put on, no use for it beyond that.
Same here, I am no Facebook fan and refuse to join. Wife joined mainly to see family pictures, etc. She will show me some interesting ones once in a while, but that's about it.
 

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I also dislike the advertisements (which try to appear to be a legitimate post) that are inserted between posts, while logged-in and reading the posts.
 
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