How can forums compete with Reddit?

Friday, December 25, 2020 by Frogboy | Discussion: Everything Else

I'll be honest with you.  I spend a lot of time on Reddit.   

One can see a direct correlation between the rice of Reddit (and to a lesser extent Twitter and Facebook) and the fall of blogs and forums.

And I think that's a shame because the nice thing about forums is that you get to know the regulars and there are many nice features on forums that Reddit doesn't have.

Still, the UI on many forums, including ours, is not as good as I'd like to see.  Which makes me wonder, what would it take to make forums more competitive to Reddit? What would they need for you to come visit more?

One reason I ask is that over the next 18 months Stardock is going to be releasing a lot of stuff and we'd like to get our forums in shape to hopefully offer a fun and useful place to spend time at.  

In 2020, we did a number of behind the scenes updates that regulars might have noticed (for instance, the entire backend got a huge upgrade making everything much faster).  But there's a lot of UX stuff that we don't have a consistent opinion on which shows. 

So we're asking you, what are 5 things you would do to these forums that would make you and other more inclined to visit?

Kazriko
Reply #1 Saturday, December 26, 2020 7:48 AM

There are subreddits I've been in where you get to know the regulars pretty well, but the examples I can think of were ones that moved from another forum to reddit. I only ever visit about 3 subreddits, and Discord is actually the social site I interact with most. I rarely use twitter, and Facebook is something I drop by once every 2 weeks to see what my family is up to...

I'm not sure what would make me browse forums directly, I actually have very little time for social media anymore. I think the thing that got me to stop using Joe User as a blog was mostly technical issues with the RSS feeds, but I can't remember the exact problems I was encountering. I mostly just moved to a Jekyll based blog, and Pleroma based Microblog.

Frogboy
Reply #2 Saturday, December 26, 2020 9:25 AM

Kazriko

There are subreddits I've been in where you get to know the regulars pretty well, but the examples I can think of were ones that moved from another forum to reddit. I only ever visit about 3 subreddits, and Discord is actually the social site I interact with most. I rarely use twitter, and Facebook is something I drop by once every 2 weeks to see what my family is up to...

I'm not sure what would make me browse forums directly, I actually have very little time for social media anymore. I think the thing that got me to stop using Joe User as a blog was mostly technical issues with the RSS feeds, but I can't remember the exact problems I was encountering. I mostly just moved to a Jekyll based blog, and Pleroma based Microblog.

Yea, I used to live on RSS feeds until Google killed their service with it.

 

Kazriko
Reply #3 Saturday, December 26, 2020 7:58 PM

Frogboy

Yea, I used to live on RSS feeds until Google killed their service with it.
 

There's plenty of other rss services that took over for google reader though. Feedly seems to be the most popular, but I use Newsblur myself.

Dcrew57
Reply #4 Saturday, December 26, 2020 10:29 PM

One thing I would like is ability to attached images in post as groups instead of one at a time. To be able to go to a library and select multiple images at once for upload.

Exenterator
Reply #5 Sunday, December 27, 2020 10:12 PM

I would agree that the priority should probably be Discord. Creating a community where you can post a question and there's people who will start discussing it immediately is great. It flows so much nicer than any forum could. However, the moment you want to go back and reference something, forums are far superior. I think there's colossal synergy between Reddit and Discord, which is what makes so many subreddits and servers thrive.

Jafo
Reply #6 Sunday, December 27, 2020 10:42 PM

Exenterator

However, the moment you want to go back and reference something, forums are far superior.

Yep....I really can't handle those systems that create branches in their conversations....they're a navigation nightmare being non-sequential as time-lines.

Conversations should be linear.  Time is linear...

Iben
Reply #7 Monday, December 28, 2020 10:33 PM

I use a program to write my message and then

paste it into the box on the forum.

It gets double spaced when I do this.

I do this because I use my spell check

and if the browser crashes I don't have to start over.

I would request a single spacing when I paste.

BlackSmokeDMax
Reply #8 Tuesday, December 29, 2020 11:12 AM


I use a program to write my message and then

paste it into the box on the forum.

It gets double spaced when I do this.

I do this because I use my spell check

and if the browser crashes I don't have to start over.

I would request a single spacing when I paste.

 

You may want to look into the program you are using. I used notepad and it doesn't seem to set double spacing when pasting into the forum for posting.
Test with new line that is not double spaced in notepad.

Manually double spaced this paragraph.

Iben
Reply #9 Tuesday, December 29, 2020 9:28 PM

If you like the way the spacing works, it is fine for me the way it is.

Jafo
Reply #10 Tuesday, December 29, 2020 10:40 PM


and if the browser crashes I don't have to start over.

Iben...all you need to do is type directly into the form....select all and copy....then press 'post reply'.

If it crashes...you have the lost text still...to repost...

Been doing that for yonks.

Jafo
Reply #11 Tuesday, December 29, 2020 10:41 PM


and if the browser crashes I don't have to start over.

Iben...all you need to do is type directly into the form....select all and copy....then press 'post reply'.

If it crashes...you have the lost text still...to repost...

Been doing that for yonks.

....and here it is...

admiralWillyWilber
Reply #12 Wednesday, December 30, 2020 2:09 PM

Well I think that forums are superior. Discord has a section for bug reports. There’s no reason we couldn’t have that hear, we just don’t. A section to explain the what updates do like discord would be nice. A section for known bugs would be nice. This would help. Make it easier to make a avatar. 
the forums have slowed down. More posts from your employees.

Frogboy
Reply #13 Tuesday, January 19, 2021 10:53 PM

admiralWillyWilber

Well I think that forums are superior. Discord has a section for bug reports. There’s no reason we couldn’t have that hear, we just don’t. A section to explain the what updates do like discord would be nice. A section for known bugs would be nice. This would help. Make it easier to make a avatar. 
the forums have slowed down. More posts from your employees.

We do have a forum bug reports forum, I just don't know which site it's on.

But fundamentally, what our forums need is a general overhaul/update.  The backend tech has been frequently updated over the years as you may have noticed how fast things are these days.  But the front-end is still essentially 2001 era.

Please login to comment and/or vote for this skin.

Welcome Guest! Please take the time to register with us.
There are many great features available to you once you register, including:

  • Richer content, access to many features that are disabled for guests like commenting on the forums and downloading skins.
  • Access to a great community, with a massive database of many, many areas of interest.
  • Access to contests & subscription offers like exclusive emails.
  • It's simple, and FREE!



web-wc01