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A forum with an odd twist as an experiment?

#1
Undoubtedly, social networking has become much more popular in recent times. The popularity of traditional forums seems to slowly be decreasing as a result, and I think that the market for something "new" is growing stronger.

Software options such as Xenforo have been new and innovative, but options such as discourse or oxwall seem to be redefining what forum software is. I will say, I'm not personally a fan of discourse, but I do like the innovation that's going on. Forum software today is just too complicated, and all of the extra features get in the way of pure discussion.

I was thinking about either downloading a very simple forum software solution and modifying it, or building a custom forum software solution to have only the absolute bare essentials. I think it would be interesting to see what would happen if everything about the a forum was centered around discussion, and only discussion. I'd also like to try it as an experiment as far as community management when decisions are all brought to a public petition.

Obviously, this is only an idea, but I would definitely be interested in seeing what could be done if a complete rethinking of forum software were to take place. What do you think would make such an experiment successful? In what ways could forum software today be improved for a modern world?
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#2
Edit: Forums are just fine the way they are IMO. I don't know why but most social networks are just bad. I don't like them. I have no idea what could be done to improve forum softwares but removing features to make the software simper is not the solutions. Xenforo is indeed a little more unique and different than any other forum software and that's why it got so popular, so fast. I'd really like to hear what others think about this...
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#3
I like how forums work, but I guess change could be good but it would have to be in a way where it wont be too much of a culture shock for the users to grasp.
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#4
(August 21st, 2013 at 3:26 AM)forthwall Wrote: I like how forums work, but I guess change could be good but it would have to be in a way where it wont be too much of a culture shock for the users to grasp.

I agree. That's part of what I don't really like about discourse. Discourse is meant to bring new life to the concept of the forum, but it changes so much that users can't really recognize it.
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#5
Speaking for myself I prefer the forum format to social networking sites although some things about the latter are great, such as the ease with which you can share.

I do really belive that there will always be a place for both but that doesn't mean there isn't a place for something new. It is just difficult sometimes, without an ability to see into the future, to work out exactly what you do want. I remember in the early 1980s some IT people coming to the place that I worked and telling us that we were going to get computers and what did we want to put on our wish-list. Because we were all new to computers we didn't really know what to say - we didn't know what might be possible.

To some extent it must be the same with all new technology but there are some people who do have that sort of vision and it is only when the 'NEW' becomes available that the majority start to recognise the advantages and perhaps at that stage feed into the process to refine it.

DA probably does have the vision - I will be one of those waiting to see what comes out of it and maybe find that it was what I needed all the time but just hadn't realised.
Agandl

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#6
(August 21st, 2013 at 12:53 PM)Agandl Wrote: I remember in the early 1980s some IT people coming to the place that I worked and telling us that we were going to get computers and what did we want to put on our wish-list. Because we were all new to computers we didn't really know what to say - we didn't know what might be possible.

To some extent it must be the same with all new technology but there are some people who do have that sort of vision and it is only when the 'NEW' becomes available that the majority start to recognise the advantages and perhaps at that stage feed into the process to refine it.

Exactly. Who would have thought, back in 2000, smartphones would exist, let alone be as huge [popularity wise] and as feature rich as they are now?

I think there'd definitely be a market for something like this. Smile
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#7
Be interesting to see what the future brings and how many prototypes there will be before something new takes off.
Agandl

bigging up the little terrier Heart http://www.pawsitivelyterriers.com
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#8
I heard about Discourse a few months back before it was released, and after hearing it now, I just checked it out for the first time, and I don't seem to understand what makes it better than software like IPB and Xenforo.

Oxwall looks nice, but seems to fit under the category of social network software than forum software. I've seen many php scripts for social networks, how is Oxwall different from them? I did notice Oxwall has a forum section. I think what would be nice are the features of a social network (for example, BuddyPress on Wordpress) with the advanced features of premium forum like Xenforo.
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#9
(September 18th, 2013 at 11:10 PM)AtlasWest Wrote: I heard about Discourse a few months back before it was released, and after hearing it now, I just checked it out for the first time, and I don't seem to understand what makes it better than software like IPB and Xenforo.

Oxwall looks nice, but seems to fit under the category of social network software than forum software. I've seen many php scripts for social networks, how is Oxwall different from them? I did notice Oxwall has a forum section. I think what would be nice are the features of a social network (for example, BuddyPress on Wordpress) with the advanced features of premium forum like Xenforo.

I agree. I guess I've always been a fan of the simple, classic model for forums that has existed for a long time, so options such as Oxwall and especially discourse have never really stuck out to me. They aren't really based on a model that can easily be compared to forums.
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#10
I have no idea what Discourse is, but I highly doubt that a forum software with less features would be a success. Everyone seems to be choosing forum scripts that offer the best and most features. Yes, I know that forums should technically be all about discussing, but let's be honest, users want to personalize their online persona as much as possible, and a lack of posibility to do so might not be what they are looking for...
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