I seriously wonder: where do people get their information?

I grew up at the beginning of the internet in the 2000s. Around 2005 to 2010 we had flourishing forums and blogs. I think a lot of us like this time when everything felt more free. If I had a question, I headed to the forums and read through the threads for hours.

The funny thing is: if I have a question / problem today, I do basically the same! Maybe with the addition of a few YouTube videos and some Reddit threads.

I seriously wonder why so many forums and other groups are dying? Where do people get their information? I cannot see how you get anything valuable from instagram, tiktok, facebook. Perhaps some chunks. But it seems to me more like entertainment.

So, where are these people gone?

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I think it’s a combination of factors.

Facebook groups gobbled up a lot of the attention with mainstream users.

That shift really took off around 2017 when FB prioritized groups as a product. I’m in FB groups for everything from Marvel memes to toddler parenting, for example.

Reddit’s the same, but with a more tech-savvy crowd.

There’s also the rise of creators and influencers. They’re not new - every community has their regulars and celebrities. I.e. old school forums are text centric. Strong written communicators would cultivate a following with a limited audience.

Social media opened that up to a wider range of media formats + a potentially global audience.

For those of us who came from the BBS and message board days, at least some of us anyway, we look at these new platforms with some skepticism.

But like it or not, over the last 12+ years, these “new platforms” became the norm.

TL;DR = Your average person gets their information from a mix of YouTube, Facebook, and more recently, TikTok.

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What themes are the forums on that you still visit? My struggle is I don’t really go to other forums, because there aren’t any on the topics I want. (:cry:)

I mostly subscribe to blogs, podcasts and some YouTube stuff.

I find that TikTok can be superficially interesting, but it lacks any depth.

And as much as I hate FB (groups) and Instagram, they are a lifeline for more non-professional stuff—for me mostly around local, parenting and specific health/special needs that I or my family seek more info on.

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Same here. Facebook Groups, Marketplace, and Messenger are the connective tissue for our neighbourhood and local businesses.

There’s a lot of crap and noise, but if something happens in the area, I guarantee our local residents group will have a topic on it within minutes. (Power outages, storms, accidents, closures, etc…)

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