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Are Internet car forums dying?

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Not specifically referring to PFA, but certainly including it. I don't have stats to back it up.

Am I wrong?

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You could be right, but with regard to PFA I feel it is more than a Forum, it is more a Social Club.  I love the social element of it and PFA offers so much more than an on-line forum.

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Interesting that last comment and agree as I’m on a motorbike closed group on FB. Easier to post photos and good banter.

Specialised categories are more challanging. Would love to see PFA on a closed group too if that was possible

Edited by Doish13

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They are definitely less popular than they have been in the past, this is not to say there isn't still successful/popular ones. Rennlist for example still has a strong following, but its very long established board. 

Whilst I am on a few FB groups, I don't really like it, sure its easier to post on, but to me, that right there, is a large part of the problem... its too easy, so many people will just post and not necessarily provide a considered response or constructive content! But then again it is called "Social Media" for a reason... 

I much prefer the structure of forums for following my interests, particularly when there is a technical aspect! 

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Yep. Instagram seems to be the place lately from what I've seen, and I use it frequently. Easier to just post a pic or 2 and usually no comments 👍

 I think people are just bored with forums in general 

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I've been using forums since the 90s. It won't change any time soon.

I agree with Edgy - sites without moderation (or limited) like social media, even closed groups on facebook, become painful to be a part of after a while. The constant stream of low quality content coupled with trolls being given free reign means I generally avoid it like the plague.

I was on newsgroups before forums and it was a troll fest. Forums solved that issue.

I've no interest in facebook or insta other than as a marketing platform if I'm honest.

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Facebook.

Recently my work performance was commented on with lies added to make it interesting. I came out of it looking better than ever within my closer colleague circle and importantly my boss, but it created a huge issue for a while. All because one of the clients workers was following a facebook site that supposedly benefits locals. The platform allows ppl to vent and add dragons to stir negative emotions with zero fact check.

As said, I answered the charge successfully and made the point that facebook should not be considered a legitimate source for public complaints. We'll see more of it though because some ppl love controversy. 

Forums are much better and this is one of the best I've been a part of.

 

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I am not very forum experienced and the main reason for that is how quickly the commentary gets out of control and nasty. Then you see the same protagonists on multiple threads and it all gets a bit depressing after about the fifth comment.

PFA is different and seems to have a more self regulating “community” feel. I can only remember one or two threads getting silly and then shut down.

I used to read car advice a lot, before it was sold, and it used to be great with some excellent comment threads and had a broad church of enthusiasts. Now it is just a troll fest. 

I suppose in the end we/the forum are only as good as the behaviour we tolerate. It would be a shame to lose this to Facebook as I won’t go there. Closed groups on FB seems to be the forums of the future though. 

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I can only see Bookface as a grandstanding platform for one to acquire 'likes' so as to boost their own ego's, plus I don't need reminding how many days there are until Christmas..  Instagram is similar, but has a more encompassed feel to it.  Maybe that's something to do with the lack of advertising unlike Bookface, where every 4 in 5 items in a feeds seems totally irrelevant.  Maybe I need to explore the Market Places more, but for mine they seem to be littered with illiterate bogans peddling crap with lots of time wasting and endless, pointless questions..  

Forums are (mostly) a lot more considered and respectful, you sort of get to know people better, and get a better feeling of them.  Give me context and structure so I can interpret as best I can the message, rather than a bunch of hashtags and similes that really tell me SFA about anything other than 'look at me'..

 

Long live the forum(s)..

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Forums are dying but may have died as much as they ever will already. May have a resurgence?

Facebook is a platform where you can be a part of many forums (pages), connect and share with friends etc with no cost other that your privacy, your soul!

Quantity up means poor quality comes in. 

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The best part of forums is the ability to go back in time and look stuff up. And add to it if deemed worthwhile new content/commentary.
Banter is banter. Often fun,  but ephemeral. 

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I’m a big forum fan for tech knowledge and support. I have used a number widely for historic info when lookingnor buying classics and contributing where my skill allows. Like a few here I am not a fb fan or really engage with it other than to follow points of interest.

A similar discussion is occurring on a local German car forum I frequent as do a few others here. The key issue there is it’s free, unsponsored and  the cost of running the forum by one individual and their capacity to sustain it. So much historical technical content could be lost,  so the members are now debating a membership model much like pfa  to retain the forum and its data. 

PFA for me is still the best forum I’ve used for a good mix of banter, tech advice and Social catch ups.

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PFA is a a very unique and special forum, it has and maintains all the good qualities of a forum with none of the bad. An extremely hard position to achieve and maintain, a great blend of all info related to Pcars and social banter and real life occasions as well. It's the only social media I'm interested in these days. It self regulates better than any forum I've seen and everyone pretty much plays by "life's rules of do the right thing" on here. A great bunch of blokes and mates - I know a few and I feel like I know many and the ones I don't know, well they're just mates I haven't met yet ...

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I’ve joined FB groups and inevitably leave without ever contributing.  I still follow the Porsche for sale one bug that’s in danger of removal because of the crap.

PFA and the others like it are a unique resource.  The effort it takes to post is an effective deterrent against low quality, even if it means the forum misses out on the quick update Instagram style pics.  But everyone is trying to be Magnus Walker on IG.

i don’t know what the stats are like but I find YouTube has increasingly been my source of entertainment.

its been well over twelve months since I watched any TV show - including a news program - at all.  Prob 2 years since I read s newspaper.  That ought to scare the crap out of people invested in those industries.

Compared to that forums are going ok.

The FB bubble will pop one day.  The reason will be egregious violation of privacy coupled with unprofitability.  

Google used a security breach excuse to kill its own social network.  It was looking for a reason as it was dead.

Forums are an important resource - it’s worth posting and answering to keep it going.  The underlying costs are pretty reasonable for what it is.

 

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16 hours ago, Coastr said:

But everyone is trying to be Magnus Walker on IG.

I tend not to follow those pages that seem like its not organic, I tend to see Instagram with the view of it being snapshots of your every day life.. of course cherry picking the good, the bad the ugly... but when an account is the same car posted 1000 times over, or there is blatant product placement, I tend to see through that shit really quickly and its a good deterrent, a lot of the accounts and people I follow are friends, family acquaintances and you can just tell the passion behind their posting and they don't have 10 million followers etc, I like a broad spectrum of content, think of it as lifestyle postcards. 

 

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It is a relevant and interesting discussion....................

Each platform has there own pros & cons and as a user of instaglam, FB & forums I tend to break it down into the following (over simplification); 

Instaglam - Window shopping. Purely visual stimulation, no chit chat, shortest attention span required. 

Facebook - Very noisy and typically over crowded bar/nightclub. Visual & marketing driven. Not an ideal platform for deep discussion as it's too loud, too many people trying to talk over one another so the point it typically gets lost in the vast (and fast moving) social media cycle. 

Forums - Bit old fashioned. Conversation driven. Platform for more robust discussion due to users larger attention span (time spent on a page) and space for allowable text etc. 

Depending on your mood and requirements each have their place but I don't see one as being a substitute or being equivalent to another. Some people like to stop and chat, others prefer swiping - each to their own but I see the ultimate benefit is understanding the key differences and being able to use them to cater for your own needs. 

At my last count I'm on (and involved with) 12 separate Porsche FB pages alone. As the platform allows anyone to create their own page etc. Creating a forum or space like this though is different and does come at a cost as the platform, hosting, storage etc. is all something that has to be purchased (unfortunately nothing is for free!)

I've been on here for almost 10 years and the friendships I've made and the people I have met is something I'm very grateful for. To me, the forum has been a key part of my Porsche ownership and being able to share it with like minded people. I'd struggle to imagine managing and making the valuable connections I've made (and continue to make) without it. 

Maybe I'm just being old fashioned but I still see forums as being as relevant as ever - like anything, its about the people using it and I'm very glad to be a part of this particular forums community. I don't anticipate living without a Porsche or PFA anytime soon thankfully! :)

 

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I'm really old fashioned as I used to actually meet up with people and talk to them. Now with forums though you can get involved in banter and in depth conversations that hold your.....um... ah...

What was I saying?

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What Hugh said  !

Have been on this Forum since it's inception and it just keeps growing under Kerry's and the moderators stewardship. You can present your own ideas and share the fun with others.

I guess their are only so many Porsche cars and owners in Oz but when you get increasing numbers getting involved in SMT's, Hill Climbs, Hanger Bangers, Porsche by the Bay's, Coffee's, Dinners and Interstate meetings with various discussions on the many forum topics you know this PFA works well and is enjoyed by all onboard.

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On 05/12/2018 at 17:06, LeeM said:

ALWAYS hit the nail on the head you do @hugh

 

Agree with that Lee.... the forums only  “appear” to be dying I feel  as they’re all just becoming more specialised (as per @hugh commentary)... the tourists and window shoppers will gravitate to IG and the deep tech conversations will move to the forums. Being a novice technically, this forum has taught me heaps ... that was my only expectation joining up. But since, have actually met people (Yoiks!) and I think I may hav made  a friend or 2... via some social activities to boot!  What a bonus, there’s other idiots who pamper and enjoy driving a car like me. who wooda thought.... happy days for me here at PFA...  oh btw, and no trolling idiots! 

Good post @9fan !

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It's a very interesting questions. Not sure what the global trend looks like but there are some interesting stats out of Germany showing that, over the past four years, forum participation has in fact been declining - but not exactly at an alarming rate. For me personally I think there are quite a lot of areas where forums offer something that things like Facebook pages can't offer. While i'm a member of some FB closed groups, I don't see nearly as much value in those groups. Here's why:

Posting something in a forum actually creates a conversation that can be searched for or revisited at a later stage, very easily. This is particularly helpful in technical areas. On a forum like Rennlist - where the reach and membership is so vast, it becomes a real treasure trove of information. Search functions allow to really find what you're looking for. Even if the last post about why an ABS warning light in a 964 is suddenly illuminated every drive was made in 2014, the information is (most times) relevant and can often provide real depth.

The love of P Cars is a special interest. Within that interest group, there are many different tastes and flavours. Forums, with their well defined sections, allow you to easily direct your attention to areas that interest you. This is less possible in Facebook groups - unless the group is niche (Australia 964 Owners page comes to mind - although that page hasn't had any activity since September).

Relationships with like-minded individuals. Through the depth of conversation on forums, over time you gradually get to identify the people with a similar outlook and friendships are formed. I'm not saying this isn't eh case with closed groups, but i do just find the discourse in a forum like the PFA gives a sense of the people behind the keyboards. Many of whom I've spent a reasonable amount of time with over the past 18 months and now consider friends.

With Facebook, relevant posts are mixed with the white noise that is the Facebook news feed. This makes it far less relevant to me as I need to sift through the chaff to see things. In addition, because there's no segmentation, I might go days at a time without seeing anything relevant.

Move away from Facebook - in spite of what the media will tell you, Facebook usage continues to grow. That said, young users are turning away from Facebook in droves. Even for me in my mid 40's, Facebook is now something my parents use. If I'm on social media, I'm looking for the instant gratification that comes from a high number of likes to a photo I've posted on Instagram. And I like the morning scroll for my fill of car porn. Instagram is the Victoria's Secret Fashion parade of the social media world. Great to stare at without really thinking. But Facebook can feel like the wild west. Little or no moderation of discussion, hidden replies etc. I just think Facebook as a platform has deteriorated over the past few years and am less inclined to want to spend time there.

Social media has its place and - if I'm honest - I'm consuming content voraciously across all mediums. I still think the relationships and the sense of community that a forum - this forum in particular - can deliver make it my preferred option for conversing and sharing thoughts, ideas and questions. 

 

 

 

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I think forums are best for technical talk but FB and/or WhatsApp are handy for creating private groups and events quickly and easily. I only ever post privately in FB but find it essential for organising trips etc

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Big fan of watts app. we use it exclusively for car events and trips to communicate while we are all somewhere and post photos to tease those that aren’t with us 😝. Much easier  than sms and FB not having to log in all the time. Great when overseas for keeping in touch, both those at home and the travelling group with free wifi that’s everywhere. Last year we had a party of 16  skiing, it was the best way to track stragglers and kids in and out of ski school for pick ups.  

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