The Demise of the Traditional Forum

  • GTROC Admin

    Before social networks took over the internet message boards – or forums – were perhaps the most essential way for people to come together online & talk about whatever was on their minds. Discussion spaces have evolved dramatically, though — message boards / forums aren’t as important as they used to be thanks to the decade-long onslaught of Twitter, Facebook, Reddit & many others. Many formerly prominent destinations have closed up shop many of those that ran successfully for over a decade.

    The Foo Fighters postboard for example after 20 years is now just an earnest thanks-for-the-memories message. A stadium rock band that brought people to the virtual dance floor now gone.

    Sony also closed down their official PlayStation Forums on the February 27th this year – 2020 – after being a helpful resource for gamers from far & wide. Whether to troubleshoot issues with their console or PlayStation services, not to mention a place for players to discuss games with their peers. Sony hopes the conversation will move to Facebook, Twitter & comment sections of PlayStation Blog posts – time will tell.

    The GTROC from its conception was also part of a forum for those who remember. Without a massive history lesson the forum we occupied was not owned by the GTROC & was basically a separate entity – but with both parties working together. Obviously it helped that the GTR Register was started by one of the clubs founding Members, a nice chap called Cem who basically had an I.T company. So thus he created & began what is the GTR Register. This forum was used by many people & not just GTROC Members. It use to cause massive confusion as people who signed up to the free of charge forum thought they automatically became GTROC Members too! Obviously not the case.

    Today the forum as mentioned is still there, but was bought out years ago by a massive Canadian conglomerate that hosts & owns many forums. It is of interest to note as well that for the last few years a small off cut club now use the register as the GTROC once did!

    Facebook & Twitter though aren’t as effective for keeping up with multiple discussions over an extended time frame compared to forums. Reddit is a relative of traditional forums, but you won’t see threads that stay active for over a decade or any that have a pulse longer than a day or two on busier subreddits. You can’t exactly bump a thread to resuscitate it there either.

    However, its not say that you can’t find your community on social media as many, many folks have. Facebook Groups for one thing are thriving. So when did the GTROC start its own forum where you are reading this?

    When the GTR Register was bought out by the conglomerate it was decided that the GTROC should have its own simpler forum. The two main reasons were the lack of financial support to the Club from the new owners, plus our then new focus to embrace the emerging social media platforms which we have done very successfully.

    The GTROC’s own forum is more of an information centre now for its Members. In terms of general chat, things are very ‘Q’ & this occurs more on our social media platforms now anyway. Also much of the content, such as events – can also be run on our GTROC Facebook Page or Group. The forum however is handy for Members to log in to see up & coming events, chat about it & make arrangements. Also seeing previous events the Club has attended often with photos & what they liked or disliked. There is a section for various articles & guides that could be useful as well seeing what discounts & offers as a paid member they can gain from our ‘GTROC Partners’ – or as some other places call them ‘official club traders’.

    It is also of note that to a non GTROC Member won’t see a lot of the Clubs forum either. Many of the sections are for only our Paid Members only too.

    I hope this explains to you why our forum is the way it is & is not the social hub that forums use to be.

    10 months, 2 weeks ago
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