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  • Death of Internet forums

    Probably nothing new to add here. I'm recent enough to backroads but pleased there still is a decent amount of traffic here to maintain it. I have been interested in Internet forum message boards for the last say 15 yrear but most of may favorite ones are grinding down to a slow death or dead altogether.

    I mostly enjoy browsing build threads. My question is where has all the traditional traffic gone ? Facebook is good for instant gratification and instant fed back if you post a genuine question in specific groups but there is no legacy posts or filtered categories to look into.

    There are too many idiots(no digs at anyone here intended) on YouTube making very boring vlog too about basic stuff or the higher end stuff quickly becomes over produced and I can't help feeling like a target consumer watching it and getting brainwasher by their forced sponsorship and is all seems like a bit of a commitment. . I'm not on Instagram, snapchat or tiktok so dont know what goes on there.
    So my main question is where is all the content going now ? Maybe in just getting on a bit

  • #2
    A good reminder for people to update their project threads.

    I do miss those epic build threads that used to pop up from time to time on the likes of piston heads, detailing world etc. you could loose days reading them and it was interesting too rather than some of the watered down crap on TV.
    Poor punctuation and spelling via iPhone keyboard & odd words here and there via autocorrect

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    • #3
      its weird, but I'm actually wondering if they're not starting to see a bit of an uptick? maybe it's a covid and everyone is bored thing, or maybe I'm imagining it, but I think some forums I'm on are a bit better than they have been in a few years.

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      • #4
        I think a lot of people who actually are doing proper builds, are documenting them on Instagram.
        And a good few like myself just don't bother uploading to the forums any more.

        And the younger generations in their 20s, who historically were the best at using forums, are (a) largely driving cars that don't really create a "build" thread, (tdi choochoo passat, anyone?) and (b) prefer the immediacy of Snapchat, insta and FB.

        A build thread to me, is something like Paddy McGraths mk6 or e30mclow's Lunatic e30.

        Not a car that gets a set of lowering springs, a bit of ecu coding and a remap.


        Yes, I am showing my age.



        Clubgti.com is where I spend most of my forum time, and it's only a small percentage of the amount of time I used to spend online on Driver.ie or even Autostadt.
        ​​​
        www.PatHoranMotors.com

        E39 M5, Mk2 GTI, Mk1 GTI, E30, Caddy vanyadda yadda

        Stupid questions are better than stupid mistakes.

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        • #5
          There is so much competition for people attention now compared to 2004 etc. This is the only Forum I randomly visit nowadays - other forums only if I have a specific problem that needs solving. You Tube has taken over big time.

          The attraction of this forum for me is the wide variety of topics. My idea of classic cars was very primitive and fuddy duddy before coming on here and I probably would not have got into motorcycling or even serious pedal cycling were it not for this forum.

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          • #6
            Lots of forums are just about dead these days - I think its a shame. Facebook is full of groups now, but functionality wise, its completely crap. Someone posts a question up there, they might get an answer - but then its lost. Same thing happens on a forum and it starts building up a great knowledge base. Still use E30zone regularly for this reason - but I don't think theres a single other BMW forum thats active which I frequent.

            There was a decent UK CRX forum - but again its died off, and the admins don't maintain it, its all on Facebook. Found lots of threads which might have helped me with my build, but they bring up database issues etc. Really highlighted for me how important manufacturer specific forums are for this sort of stuff.

            Posting on a forum always takes a bit more effort - so I'm guessing as people get lazier they don't want to invest the time.

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            • #7
              It's a shame because unlike Social media where it's hard to archive content or they can just pull services at a whim (looking at you Google!), Forums can be ongoing references for people for years if maintained and hosted properly. Youtube is great, but not always an effective reference method for every sort of problem - sometimes you want a quick answer like a specific spec for something rather than sitting through a video tutorial to try pick out the one bit of info you need.

              The UK Cappucino Owners club SCORE seems to be slightly broken at the moment and I can't register for it - which again is a bit of a shame, I have to turn to facebook groups, but that can be chaotic and you don't always see everything. Anyone here still on it?

              BR is still going - though whether younger enthusiasts will come along is another question, a lot of use here are old farts now.

              RetroRides forum is also going very strong too.

              A lot of Irish forums were either sold to folks who really didn't know what to do with them (such as the VAG forums) or they were run by one or two people who got tired of the endless hassle and aggro that goes with running a forum where some (not most, but some) people believe its some sort of public service that should cater to their whims, or they just grow out of it. This community might have met that end had there not been a couple of heroes willing to take the baton. Flet/TJ/Kingers very kindly opened up a transition home for the community until we could establish Backroads.ie which has a number of people to spread the load but is still run on a voluntary basis of people donating their time and even money to keep it running.

              https://www.instagram.com/diecast_1_64/

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              • #8
                Yeah I've really notice a big decline in forums the last few years.. I'm on a good few Facebook groups for specific cars & they are good for asking questions, but I love build threads both reading & writing & you can't really do that on FB.

                At one point a few years ago I had my build threads running on 6 different forums & over time the sites just died off... now I only update my builds here & on Boards.

                I've contemplated starting a YouTube channel a few times, but I think I'd just end up disappointed with the number of views vs the effort to make & edit the content... so hopefully this place hangs around long enough for me to get all my shitters back on the road.
                Speed is just a question of money, how fast do you want to go

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                • #9
                  build threads is a two way street, if the forums are quiet and no one posts any feedback or questions to drum up an interesting conversation on build threads, then the op is not going to be very encouraged to keep it up. i keep mine going for my own records if nothing else.

                  I much prefare Forums to social media, but unfortunately the traffic isnt on them anymore, so you get answers to questions faster on facebook groups etc, so you're pushed to go there.

                  Even here, as probably one of the most active forums, very rarely these days has much actual interesting 'car enthusiast' topics, very little technical discussion, or petrol head stuff.
                  Most active topics on here are donedeal, watches, EV junk, coffee or some other b/s. might upset some people but even as ireland premier (only?) motoring forum left, its mainly a lifestyle forum with a motoring flavour
                  looking back now, I think that maybe, every now and again, I should have braked a little earlier

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Mark2 View Post
                    Even here, as probably one of the most active forums, very rarely these days has much actual interesting 'car enthusiast' topics, very little technical discussion, or petrol head stuff.
                    Most active topics on here are donedeal, watches, EV junk, coffee or some other b/s. might upset some people but even as ireland premier (only?) motoring forum left, its mainly a lifestyle forum with a motoring flavour
                    I'd agree completely, but its probably on of the reasons this site is still so active - its not really a motoring site per se. Its more a site for people who are interested in cars to come on and talk shite.

                    Some of my build thread updates (quite rightfully) get zero interaction, but on a manufacturer specific forum they're of more interest to people. I generally write them up on one site and copy across - so its not much of an effort. If this was the only place people were putting updates, and there was virtual tumbleweed blowing, I'd imagine it would get tiring quickly.

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                    • #11
                      Nowt wrong with wanting to talk crap about cars, it's something lots of people can contribute towards because sometimes your real world car exploits have stagnated or are on hold for various reasons.

                      Build threads are great, but not everyones going to be able to give much response to every update other than "good job" especially if they're not working on something similar. Doesn't mean they're not appreciated though.

                      I'd love to put some updates for Cappuccino progress, but I haven't made much, aside from my procrastination at the best of times been some family things to deal with and then everytime you get back to a project, you find theres some dumb thing to be done first. Went back into my shed to find the wood in the Garage shelves all covered in mould. No mould or damp anywhere else in the garage, so this wood probably had it before I even bought it lurking in it, but it still means moving everything around, cleaning it safely with appropriate projection, painting it with anti-mould paint before moving back on. I'll get on it eventually... I promise!

                      Added to that.. without a fun car on the road, I don't even have driving adventures to report on and I'm limiting myself not to buying something else for now (though who knows what temptations may come) and get even further distracted from the Cappuccino.

                      None of that makes great forum content sadly and I'm sure others are in a similar state of malaise.

                      EVs are cars too though, soon might be the only sort of car you can buy, it'd be daft to ignore them as not being "real car stuff", but yeah, the coffee and other threads are fluff, I like to yak on about games sometimes, but at the same time Gran Turismo and Forza main outlet for a quick car fix these days. ..but yeah, it's a reminder to try not go too far down those rabbit holes.
                      https://www.instagram.com/diecast_1_64/

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Mark2 View Post
                        Most active topics on here are donedeal, watches, EV junk, coffee or some other b/s. might upset some people but even as ireland premier (only?) motoring forum left, its mainly a lifestyle forum with a motoring flavour
                        I'm of this opinion too. If I come across a thread title that hints at politics, or EVs, cycling, or other stuff like that, I keep scrolling. Enough of that sh1te on every other media source.

                        I have always come to forums for the build threads mostly. I love sitting down with a cuppa and catching up on how some someone is getting on with their project. On here is great because I get to learn about so many different makes and models I wouldn't normally be interested in. In a previous life, I was on the likes of e30owners.com and Toyota owners... Xwork's m3 build is still probably my all time favorite, along with mad builds like that guy up north who cut the floor out of a GT4 Celica, welded it into a 94 corolla, and gave it 900hp! When them forums died, I went a couple years without being on any forum until I found this place a couple years ago. I remember being amazed and delighted I found a forum that was still so active!

                        I'll admit I can be bad at replying to some build threads any more, even if I've loved the update. But I try to keep all my builds up to date with the hope more people will join with their threads. It can be a bit disheartening if you get no replies sometimes, but I love it when somebody starts asking questions about "how did you do this", or "would this way no have been better" or even "what's next?".

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by crank_case View Post
                          I'd love to put some updates for Cappuccino progress, but I haven't made much, aside from my procrastination at the best of times been some family things to deal with and then everytime you get back to a project, you find theres some dumb thing to be done first. Went back into my shed to find the wood in the Garage shelves all covered in mould. No mould or damp anywhere else in the garage, so this wood probably had it before I even bought it lurking in it, but it still means moving everything around, cleaning it safely with appropriate projection, painting it with anti-mould paint before moving back on. I'll get on it eventually... I promise!
                          On this note, I also think we need more garage build threads as I love seeing peoples sheds big or small and how improve on them

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                          • #14
                            I have given up to a large extent of updating build threads. Interaction is very few and far between so I take it as no one interested anymore.
                            Like Mark4 above, at this stage it's more for my own use to document them. Makes for sale posts a lot easier!

                            I'd rather see a handful of build threads on affordable cars rather than the exotic threads that's unobtainable for 99% of us. I only hope the fear of criticism isn't holding anyone back from baring their soul, pride and joy.

                            Sent from my IN2023 using Tapatalk

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by miller View Post
                              I have given up to a large extent of updating build threads. Interaction is very few and far between so I take it as no one interested anymore.
                              It's funny, sometimes I post up a big update on a project that I think has covered some really interesting topics & no one makes a single comment, then other days I post up what I think is a nothing update & I get 4 or 5 responses, it's a lottery in a way.. but until my account is banned I'll keep spamming my threads
                              Speed is just a question of money, how fast do you want to go

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