Great Question g-dubz.
I felt that way about forum tech for quite some time... but have recently started to go full circle on it. First gen forums definitely aren't what they used to be, and I agree that social media sites like reddit have put quite a few nails in their coffin... Although most have gone dodo style, there are many examples of good ones that have been able to maintain strong signs of life.
On the flip side, I think there is growing backlash against these social sites, as:
- few, if any, have any regard for people's privacy
- they don't tend to preserve posts for more than a day
- they have very little quality control, and tend to be recycling mills
- they tend to be very sensitive to the demands of their sponsors
I wouldn't be surprised if we had a full shift back to smaller sites in the near future.... I've already closed my personal FB and Linkedin accounts years ago... and value reddit less each day. None of the other social sites have ever offered me enough to want to bother signing up.
Re: this forum specifically... I've got quite a few more social like features that I would like to add... ex: subscribing to threads, following members you like, voting (it's already there but i have it off atm), threaded discussion (also built already but not activated). I'm going to be moderating the hell out of it to stop duplicate and low quality ones... while making a much greater effort to make sure the best get the visibility they deserve. Lastly, I'm coding this forum myself, so I can make it fit our needs without all of the problems that haunted the previous 3 versions... (ikonboard, vbulletin, and saddest of all: Drupal forum).
That said, I don't want millions of members in the forum... as that becomes a nightmare to deal with... I would much prefer a smaller community of like minded people that want to learn from and share with each other. Further, when it comes to sexuality, I think people will want more private places like this as they slowly realize just how much of their data is being collected.
I have one more position expansion that I want to do, first ~20 are already created but not published yet. Once these ~40 positions are added, I'm going to put together ebooks and will most likely kill the ads altogether.... as the world is getting pretty sick of those too. On that note, if you want a preview, there is a post on twitter and facebook with a sneak peak of them... ironic hey? lol. Another point for image functionality in this forum being added soon!
The biggest dilemma I'm facing is finding a suitable replacement for Google analytics... as that's the only privacy leak present and in my control that I'm aware of... and as much as I dislike the Goog's disregard for privacy, I haven't been able to find anything that comes close to the reporting detail for a reasonable price. In a related story, I actually bought a very expensive license for Urchin analytics, took nearly the full bank account at the time, right before google bought it and turned it into analytics. :/
Posted: 02 Jan 20:20