It is no secret to anyone that social networks kill entire communities, come on, I have seen blog and forum projects fall for the simple fact that it is easier to do things from a social network, to the same extent that I have come to see businesses that prefer to create a simple Facebook page or a Tumblr blog rather than create a true professional website, simply because it is simpler to handle, cheaper (much cheaper) and with the possibility of reaching millions of people with an investment equivalent to: 0$
Correct, it is a point in favor of social networks but what happens when this starts to look threatening for a community like FromLinux? Well, that makes admins like me stop worrying about being simple bastards operators from hell and question the future of the community with which they have worked.
Anyway, what I mean is that lately I have seen the almost overwhelming growth of the community FromLinux in G +, and I say overflowing by community standards, taking into account that in the community forum we have barely 624 miembros registered and the forum is almost a year old, while in the G + community we have 852 miembros in a matter of… two weeks? And that makes me think many things.
Clearly the forum, the community has already eaten it in all aspects, and it pains me to say it but it is obvious that the community is much more dynamic and easy to take everywhere (Android app, for example) and allows many more features such as the HangOuts or the events, comments, +1's, and a lot of integration in general. Of course it has disadvantages and one of them is clear, it sucks a lot to follow a thread of conversation, and don't tell me otherwise, because it bothers me to have to scrolling conversations a lot or search for them well down in the categories without having filters and stuff. It also lacks tools like BB code, which is incredibly beautiful when we want to structure a post with anything from lists to code.
But social networks are always going to have a greater impact, it cannot be denied, and I see it not only with the numbers but with the active users in the forum and how diminished the publications are in it, which were already low Now they are minors ... it is something complicated and sometimes it makes me think; What if it affects the blog? It is something that many have told me and the truth is that I cannot guarantee that it affects the blog directly, although I cannot be arrogant and allow the team to rest on its laurels, but I can say that they are two very different layers, the blog and the community / forum have little to do at the structural level and are all independent of each other, the thing is that within the community you can make really long and very good posts, but I doubt that to take away the role of the blog, simply There is not point of comparation… Aun.
Regarding the forum, I can only think of three possibilities:
- Close the forum and leave all the leading role to the community.
- Close the community and leave the leading role to the forum.
- Restructure and redesign the entire forum to make it really attractive to users.
And this is where I wanted to get with all this, for me it is not a bad thing to have these tools on social networks, they seem like a double-edged sword that you have to know how to use since the pressure of one motivates us to improve the other. The forum needs many things; a redesign to have true personality, a responsive and lightweight design that allows users to really take the forum anywhere, improve the editing tools so that they can be used comfortably from any device (touch or desktop / laptop), a single account integration (OpenID / Mozilla Persona) and improvements in the usability of the interface ... that would make the forum a more attractive tool to use but Is it worth improving one of our services to compete with, ironically, another of our services? That must also be questioned and see what really matters in the community; If the comfort and integration that G + offers (at the expense of having to be glued to Google) or the way of do it yourself but more complicated and with less acceptance of the forum (and that allows us to maintain control over our actions and data).
The truth is that all we have to do is not at all little, it really is not silly and we have to sit down and argue with force. Everything should be done via comments, I don't want to fragment the discussions between forum, blog and community, I want to have everything on neutral ground and be able to really debate, be able to get a better overview and perhaps create an action plan. It should be noted that any action that could be taken regarding this issue will not be immediate or simply nothing is done, this is purely my initiative and I lack the time and knowledge to do everything quickly, as well as the resources and time. involves the entire decision-making process, blah blah blah ...
From now on it is up to you to debate the issue.