Customizing SMF > Building Your Community and other Forum Advice

Future of Forums

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Hi all,

I have been a huge fan of SMF forums for well over a decade now. I believe that this is a powerful software with lots of growth potential, with the right idea. With the prevalence of social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter in the 2010's and no end to their growth in sight, what puts SMF above other social media platforms?

I love SMF and would still love to start my own community, but I can't but help to feel that the forum scene is quickly on the way out. Is it even worth considering starting one now? I feel as if one of the few benefits SMF has over the social media giants is the retro and nostalgic appeal. Has SMF made any efforts to modernize the software? I think it's a real shame that modern social media put the "nail in the coffin" for online communities. Could anyone share some hope and wisdom?


well except that social media and forums are really 2 different things

social media is more of a free for all with no while there may be some good posts made with good info, it's hard to find it among all the other posts since they are all lumped together....

whereas forums are organized into categories and subcategories

if you were looking for info on a topic do you search social media sites or forums/blogs/ect type sites?

each one has it's own place but they really are not the same thing....

Aleksi "Lex" Kilpinen:
Forums do have a lot of advantages over social media, but the use case is (at least meant to be) different and they can't really be compared like that.
2.1 does bring a lot of new goodies to the table though, if you are interested in seeing a "modernized" version of SMF, maybe take the 2.1 RC3 for a test drive?

I think it's more the "question & answer" sites like StackOverflow that have taken traffic away from forums, probably not for all subjects though

From my perspective, and as a forum admin for three technical forums, I believe forums are a much better platform/tool than social media for collecting and sharing technical information - especially if the image, PDF, etc attachments provided by those who contribute technical information are uploaded to and stored on the forum website (frustrates me no end to find a technical/how-to post where linked images formed a substantial part of the information and all I can see now is "Image Not Found" placeholders) - whereas social media sites are more suited to transient/in-the-moment content (eg, holiday photos or, heaven forbid, daily update photos of what someone had for breakfast, lunch, dinner etc).

The following is a link to what I believe is really pertinent information about the value businesses can gain from having a user community forum: 6 Reasons to Consider a Discussion Forum for Your Website


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