Is Facebook killing the forums?

Discussion in 'The Tavern' started by biknut, Apr 22, 2017.

  1. biknut

    biknut Active Member

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    I'm starting to think Facebook is slowly killing the bike forums. It seems like every major bike forum I'm a member of has gone downhill as far as traffic is concerned in the last few years.

    In that same time, I've witnessed an explosion of new Facebook bike groups.

    Is this real, or do you think it's just illusion?
     
  2. Ludwig II

    Ludwig II Well-Known Member

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    I think migration to a place where more networking and interlinking is available is happening with a lot of fora (see that, that's Latin, yer know, means forums). Some forums like this are robust because they form a sort of cosy and private clubroom.
     
  3. KCvale

    KCvale Active Member

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    I only visit FarceBook once every month or two, I am on the bikes forums most every day.
     
  4. MotorBicycleRacing

    MotorBicycleRacing Active Member

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    A few years ago there were 250+ members here everyday,
    today was a bit over 100.......
     
  5. biknut

    biknut Active Member

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    This has a lot to do with why I ask the question.

    I don't think interest in motor bicycles is dropping as much as the forum traffic seems to be, so the question becomes, where did it go, and why?

    Just thinking out loud, Facebook is probably responsible. My personal observation about FB is anyone can easily start a FB group, but not their own .com Forum. FB is very easy to post pictures, but most forums not so much.
     
  6. dogcatcher

    dogcatcher Member

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    I am on several other forums, hunting, woodworking, game calls etc.. They have all experienced a loss of traffic on the forum, and the corresponding Facebook discussion groups have surged in activity. The information a new person needs is lost in the confusion of the design of Facebook.

    On one callmaker forum, the oldest on the Internet on a good week it might get 2 posts, where 3 years ago there would be up to a hundred per day. Partly because of Facebook, but another culprit are the free forums, where a person can create a rinky dink forum for his followers at almost no cost. On the pipemakers forum, it used to be 30 to 40 post a day, in their moment of wisdom they created a Facebook page today they get 4 to 8 posts a day.

    I can click on Facebook, and get a list of all activity from several groups, family and friends. Simple, but the FB system loses the information if you want instant recall.
     
  7. biknut

    biknut Active Member

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    Dogcatcher, I think your observations are pretty accurate. I've made the same comments about the difference between the FB owners group, and the Sondorsforum.com. I even placed a pinned post at the top of the FB group explaining why the forum is better for specific topics, because over time they're much easier to recall with the forum format. So far though it's an uphill battle trying to peal people away from the FB group which seems to have more than 10x the traffic. And even though I know better, I find myself just as guilty as everyone else.

    I may need Facebook intervention lol.
     
  8. 2door

    2door Moderator
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    It is surely an age-specific subject. Older folks will prefer the forums because it is more like a group of humans, sitting and conversing about a subject they have in common. Members of the younger generation all seem to gravitate to a place where they can focus more on themselves. They want everyone to know what THEY are doing, what THEY think, where THEY are going and those 'social media' venues, like FB, Twitter and others cater to that 'ME' mentality they all want and seemingly need today.

    The older folks are getting older and finding hobbies like motorized bicycles not as attractive as it was when they were younger therefore forum activity is in a decline. When you get to be my age you see the trends we once knew and cherished being lost and overrun by a younger viewpoint. This can be seen as either a good or a bad thing depending on your age and outlook. Like every generation before, we tend to see the 'old ways' as better and the youngsters believe their way is best. One day, years from now, these young people will be decrying the loss of what they now consider sacred as they are replaced by a new concept embraced by a newer generation...And the beat goes on.

    That's just an opinion, not carved in stone.

    Tom
     
  9. biknut

    biknut Active Member

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    This thing that's happening is not easy to get a handle on 2door. I'm 63 yrs old, and when I joined this forum, what was it, back 6 years or so, I didn't even have a FB account. I know when we've done polls here on the forum, the average age is usually in the 50s. Polls we've done on the FB owners group reflect almost identical age group. If anything, maybe even a little older. I know there a few members in their 90s. Typical comments heard over, and over are, "I wasn't able to ride a bicycle for the last 30 years, now I can again"

    There are a few members in the owners group that migrated from gas motor bicycles, to electrics like myself, but we're in the vast minority. A somewhat larger group, but still small in comparison are experienced but aging motorcycle riders. By a huge margin most Storm owners are first time eBike riders that haven't ridden bicycles in many years for various reasons.

    As far as Facebook is concerned, I don't know how true this is, but I've read that younger people are abandoning FB, and it's become a platform more for the middle aged
     
  10. dogcatcher

    dogcatcher Member

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    I use Facebook mostly for keeping up with guys that I served with in Vietnam, I get to hear first hand about the latest in their world. You can guess the age from that, the only other use of Facebook is family, easy to keep up with grandkids. I retired 17 years ago because of injuries sustain in Vietnam, and a few medical rounds of dancing from the results of being sprayed by Agent Orange. I am pretty well crippled up, riding a bike with 2 bum legs is possible as long as I keep the ride to a couple of blocks. I had a small homemade version of a sidecar to haul my walker on. But got rid of it after a triple bypass. I stumbled on this forum while surfing, and it put the urge back in me to ride a bike again.

    Facebook is great for visiting and show and tell. But when you need help or want to help someone, having to look for stuff to keep up with a thread is a pain. I mentioned game calls and their forums, I have been a duck call maker for 52 years, as long as Duck Dynasty's Robertson. After the migration to Facebook, I sort of quit answering questions, too many accounts, too many mickey mouse forums to keep up with. Then people started sending emails, finally put a stop to that, if they want an answer from me they have to go to the forum, but that only works part of the time.

    As to motorized bicycles, my first was a "contraption" to run around my grandpa's ranch. An unknown brand bike with balloon tires, a small B&S motor with a slip clutch using a long arm to tighten the belt to get power to the wheel. That was in 1963, never saw it again after that summer. I am here now to find out the latest gadgets. Not looking for speed, just reliability, if I need to get there in a hurry I will use the car.
     
  11. biknut

    biknut Active Member

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    Show and tell, that's a pretty good description of what's typically going on in the owners group. In an effort to try to make it a little easier to find information we ended up with 3 Sondors groups. The main group which is the largest, a group dedicated to modding, and a swap and sell group. It's still a lot like trying to manage cats though.

    Besides our 3 groups, there's also at least 4 other independent Sondors groups that I know of. One for local LA owners, one dedicated to European owners, one for owners living in Hawaii, and there's a second independent modders group.

    Then there's the Sondors forum made by a young Sondors owner in Germany who also helps moderate the main FB group. He's gone to a lot of trouble to make his forum very easy to navigate, and it's been redesigned and upgraded several times now in an effort to make it even more user friendly, and fast. This kid is really smart, and he's copied many of the features found on FB, like easily being able to post pictures on the forum from your desk top, and still it sits mostly idle compared to the FB group.
     

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