Personally, I think the appeal for forums has just disappeared. I remember growing up through my teens and I could not wait to get home from school to check all of the forums I was a member on to chat with my online friends. The communities were fun and there were always jokes, it wasn’t a super serious environment, people could take a joke, and most importantly people were super passionate about what they were posting about.
Passion. I think that this is a key term that has left people’s dictionaries. Why start a website if you have zero passion or ideas about why you want a site? I mean I remember my old sites: GFX-Core, ClassicRockArena, 007-talk, Music-Junkies, etc. The common theme between all of my old forums is that I have a super serious passion about all of the subjects reflected in the site’s name. I mean I die with passion for classic rock, James Bond, and overall MUSIC. I think there is a lack of passion. People just want to create websites and want them to be successful right away. Well let me tell you something folks, day 1 success doesn’t happen with any website. It takes hard work, a lot of criticism, restructuring, and doing things that you don’t necessarily agree with, but things that are necessary for your forum/website to move forward with.
My advice to all of you, be passionate about what you do. Before you say, “Let’s making a general discussion forum because I want to run my own site!” sit down and think about what you really are passionate about. Passion is what brings out creative content, creative games, creative competitions, etc. You get the point. People will be intrigued to find topics and discussions about controversial things, brand new news and information about your topic (good SEO booster) and most importantly it is something YOU will not get.
So in a final plea to future web developers, forum owners, people that just want a website – be passionate and plan out exactly what you want to do. Good things come with time and sometimes it takes months to perfect the perfect website to launch. You don’t have to do it in a day. Re-fired passions and originality might be the only way to bring back the old forums I used to love to be a part of. Best of luck.