Englisch The End of the Forum Era

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What do you mostly use (participate in)?
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Only chats/social networks
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Only chats, rarely social networks
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Chats/social, but little bit forums too
65,00% (13)
Everything equally
25,00% (5)
Only Chats/Phone
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18.07.20 20:51:14
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VADemon
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And right now, you're on one of the few remaining artifacts of that World Wide Web era.
It's incredible and we should be thankful to user DC for keeping his website and other projects up for over 15 years now.

It's been a while since a last meaningful discussion here in forums had taken place, it's good but also weird to see the thread offtopic Time limited free games be the only topic that stays at the top nowadays (also thanks everyone, I've discovered a couple extra free games, and sometimes been reminded to finally get a game before deadline)

I don't really understand what's so incredible about social media websites (fb, fb-owned instagram) or social media-like (reddit, security nightmare tiktok)?

Social media may have served their purpose up until ~2014. This kind of coincidences with the death of all popular InstantMessaging clients: ICQ, AIM, MSN Messenger...
Looking at the "My Status" functionality in my XMPP Client I wonder: who uses them anymore? Do you even remember their purpose, why people actually have loved to use them?

The internet was a novel, bizarre and a fun thing. LiveJournal (yes, that one) started as a small desktop program that allowed you to update your status - to be seen by your friends. And people updated their status by the minute (or really, by the hour) to "keep in touch" with their friends in this new reality:
LiveJournal website, 1999 hat geschrieben:
What is LiveJournal.com?
LiveJournal.com is a free service here on the Internet that allows you to create and customize your very own "live journal" ... an up-to-the-minute log of whatever you're doing, when you're doing it. It's free, it's fun, it's easy to use!


See, the most important were friends. How much of your friends do you see in your Facebook feed now? Or is it all ads, memes and some news and outraged people arguing under these news?

Instagram posts or Whatsapp status updates? Do "friends" (actually acquaintances) post some meaningful or friendly messages there, or use them brag? New car/new thing, or, look at beautiful me, I'm on vacation enjoying the sun! (...and you don't, sitting in the office)

Same goes for sites like reddit, they are time sinks. They have an endless stream of "fun" content, "educational" content - but the "TodayILearned" is not educational content. It does not inspire thought. It doesn't actually teach you something new. It's just fact bits (the modern word is: "factoid").

It's faceless. Facebook for the most part, too, turned faceless.

In contrast to sites like reddit, forums actually resembled communities of people. Forums were not as "hyperfocused" as subreddits are. There were always broad spectrums of topics allowed and discussed on most forums. Like this off-topic category. And each community had a healthy amount of different opinions carried by people. A "filter bubble" in 2006, anyone?

Some local forums that had many people from one country led to formation of actual real life friendships. Community meeting events: parties with beer and music, LANs for gamers etc.

Maybe the usual forums don't have the best design to lead a discussion (sometimes topics derail to offtopics, sure), but compared to everything that has come after them - forums are still the gold mine of acquired knowledge.

Some legendary forums like that of xda-developers for Android are the go-to places for any question.
Minecraft forums used to be pretty epic too: many user creations from texture packs, mods to adventure maps, tutorials and modding guides used to be posted there, until one day the company decided to delete 30% of its content (due to poor lawyer advice and GDPR)

UnrealSoftware has also had its bright creators in the community and their gems. Only recently have I linked someone outside to user Starkkz's Lua tutorial (very dry and technical, but gives a great overview). Whom have I forgotten? [s]Comment[/s] add your contestants and great people below!

And sure, we as a community, had our clowns and memes too, whom we know and love (or hate)... ohhh the Anal Bagels!

As everyone leaves forums to hide in the depths of a chat app (be it Telegram or Discord), we lose the most important asset that has existed on the Internet for 20 years: Accessible Knowledge.

Google won't find you an answer by some competent lad in an obscure chat group of 30 people. Maybe it was the exact info you were looking for, but nope. Chats are the black holes for information of today, they are not indexable.

We still profit off of fading and less popular today forums. Their place in search engine results is replaced by poor articles, "news articles" and copy-written "news articles" (press releases basically, where the exact same thing appears on hundreds of themed sites).
If you are an IT guy, you will know how concise and unique StackOverflow is in todays world.

Unlike social media, forums didn't try to trick your body to release more dopamine. They didn't distract and annoy you with emails and notifications to waste more time on them (Looking at you, Facebook, Youtube, Twitter apps).
Forums were just places to talk and discuss with people you knew by name (or nickname), have fun: meme or troll; and then turn off your computer and proceed with your life.

It's pretty obvious how the Age of Forums has been ending, just look at the German section of us.de forums and how there hasn't been any fresh blood there for maybe a year. And posts are months apart.
user DC too feels this and didn't waste his time to update the german server move news, only the english version. (idk if links will work without switching languages)

Or am I just weird to not understand the beauty of social networks?
Though really, I can go look at naked butts somewhere else, not Instagram. I don't seek attention or upvote-approval people get from social networks: "Oh look at this thing > I < found!!1" with ten thousands virtual "+approvals". Do you? Answer honestly.

I think with the end of forums, as places of discussion and exchange, we will lose so much, most don't even realize yet.
And frankly, most won't care. They're content with by-the-minute discussion of the recent Twitter outrage.
4× editiert, zuletzt 18.07.20 21:24:23
19.07.20 08:27:17
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Sparty
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nah just leave it and just smoke some weed homie
user DC hat geschrieben:
@user omg: Actually a pretty good idea...
19.07.20 08:46:15
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ohaz
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It's really hard for me to have a good opinion on this topic. I have never been a huge fan of forums, in fact unrealsoftware has always been the only forum I was actually invested in. I hated most forums. I don't really know why though. Nowadays I use Twitter, Reddit, Telegram and Teamspeak.

Yes. Forums were a fountain of knowledge. Of knowledge that survived the next 24 hours most of the time. However, with the influx of forums, at some point this broke down. Most "knowledge" questions (the ones you found when you were googling) were either "how do I do X? ... 1 answer: I figured it out myself (no explanation what to actually do)" posts or "How do I X? ... 1 answer: this is a duplicate question, go to http://y to figure out (link is dead / leads to a forum that doesn't exist anymore" posts. At that point, all knowledge was gone and buried behind thousands of thousands of questions that should just be forwarded to that "knowledge post" but are not because forums don't support that functionality.

Instant Messaging Services died because they were not optimized for mobile phone usage. Why should I ever use an IM if my messages were not instant as I had to boot my PC first? Whatsapp and Telegram and similar are much more "instant". You always have your mobile phone nearby and booted!

The thing about social networks (or stuff like tiktok) is that they abuse two things about the brain: "Instant Gratification > Delayed Gratification" and "Tons of small bits of gratification > one large bit of gratification". Both are biologically ingrained in our brains. For the human a few thousand years ago, delayed gratification was absolutely useless as they didn't know if they were still alive a day later.
Social Networks abuse this. TikTok abuses this. Reddit abuses this. Twitter abuses this. Instagram abuses this. Just tons of small bits of entertainment (aka gratification) for everyone who is watching and equally many small bits of reward (aka likes aka gratification) for the one who uploaded it.

People say we live in the age of information. During work you have to ingest so much information that after work you don't want any huge blocks of information anymore. You want short bits that make you smile or laugh and that you can throw out of your brain 5 minutes later. Most people just want to chill after work. I think software developers are one of the few jobs who do what they do for work also as a hobby. Most others just don't want to even come close to what they do as a job after work. That's why we have time sinks.

You may not seek the attention of instant likes. Maybe you find your instant gratification elsewhere. But for most people, this way of instant gratification is exactly what they yearn for. You try to get more and more and more likes because you want some kind of gratification. You want to be appreciated. Yes, this is a very shallow kind of appreciation. But it works. Our brain is wired that way.
https://ohaz.engineer - Software Engineering
19.07.20 12:41:31
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The Dark Shadow
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user VADemon hat geschrieben:
I don't really understand what's so incredible about social media websites (fb, fb-owned instagram) or social media-like (reddit, security nightmare tiktok)?
There is nothing incredible about them, Reddit is a da*n sh*t, It hurts your eyes only I never liked it I don't even know why it exists. Also, about Instagram It's also another sh*t there is no reason to use it. Most people are just fu*ked up we have got so many ignorant people these years. Personally In my school there is nobody more than me who knows programming everyone is just playing, eating, and fighting that's all their life. About TikTok It's the worst one, Nolifers watch someone who moves their bu*t to left and right that's all about TikTok.

70%+ of people are useless they are just eating, drinking, sitting, playing, sleeping and damaging that's all they do.
2× editiert, zuletzt 19.07.20 16:59:29
19.07.20 13:06:57
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Bowlinghead
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Hey, I didnt noticed the dieing forums yet.
The lack of public information as you described is a major concern in my eyes. And you are probably right about this.
On Facebook there are also technical groups like Raspberry Pi helper groups. The same noob questions are asked over and over again and people sometimes get angry (Like when someones asks: How do I exec cute LUA? has eror pls halp by me). So yeah, thats exactly the problem you described (Lack of public google-able information).

Offtopic Why Social Media Is Bad Like Every Other Technology >
Share time limited free games here
19.07.20 14:29:08
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ohaz
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I'm ok with most of what you're saying but this:
user Bowlinghead hat geschrieben:
Self-driving cars - only because there are so many accidents. Do you really trust an AI or an healthy human with enough experience, discipline and knowledge?
is just plain wrong. Computers / AI ARE better at driving cars than humans are. Driving cars is a purely algorithmic thing. And computers are better at algorithms than humans are. Humans are good at being creative, computers are good at calculating things. Being scared of self-driving cars is completely unfounded and anti-human (as humans kill way more other humans by driving cars than self-driving cars would).

You really are at the point where you're scared of new technology, but that's (sorry for that) dumb. Most new technology is good. Medicine has improved a lot. We can cure sicknesses and illnesses in record time. Living-Conditions everywhere on earth have improved by a lot thanks to technology. You don't have to freeze to death, you get fresh food daily. You get to visit others even if they live far away, or you can talk to them without having to visit them. We start generating energy from completely renewable resources. New technology is awesome
https://ohaz.engineer - Software Engineering
19.07.20 16:08:03
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Bowlinghead
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Thanks for your reply. At first I want to say that I aint an expert in all things I did wrote.

AI-cars:
Self-driving cars do have the risk of failing duo to technical errors,
evil hackers, unknown new situations. The new AI technology also is not based on rational decisions but reward driven behaviour. That scares me!
You dont run over a human because you dont want to kill people.
The computer doesnt even understand what that means and only wont do it because it learned that it gets punished.

Of course computers do have the potential to be better - faster reaction time, "more eyes"/faster information processing, etc.
That can be compensated by driving more slowly, using traffic lights etc.
Humans however can make decisions for situations they never have been and are therefore the better driver.
Proving that all factors are calculated inside that algorithm sounds impossible.

The major problem I see is that the humans underestimate the danger of driving in general. Many accidents happened because the human underestimated the situation. People need to be more aware of the danger of driving. As long this is not the case then Yes - self driving cars will be absolutly superior.
Also my argument only really count if we ignore the fact that the stuff in the car can get damaged while driving which leads into an undoubtedly accident - both on AI and human cars. (Like my first argument, AI-cars can do bad decisions based on technical errors). Of course, AI can handle this better than humans as well.

I rather take my life into the hands of a non-psycho healthy and concentrated human than some kind of computer that isnt aware of itself.

Technology:
I like your point of view and yes, I didnt think too much about that at all. For me I cant imagine a world without technologies (and what is technology: Does making a fire like the first humans did count?). I refered to the western culture time saving things like cars, vacuum cleaner, air conditioner, computers. Trivial things that count much into survivalbility. It changes the way we life and see live.

Imagine you want to know something - then you can google it. Without the internet you would have gone into the library and search for some book with the information given. This is work and time you have to invest. You get to feel a real reward for putting so much effort in it. Doing so nowadays seems to be a waste of time. Even though I dont have to use the technology, I feel forced to do so.
Like when cheating in games: You are the best player but you dont feel any reward because you didnt put much real efford in it.
But if everyone cheats then I kinda have to do so too.
I can see my friends that live far away, yes. But it aint something special anymore unlike the yearly visit earlier.

I would be proud for every technology: Robots that do our shitty work noone wants to do, rockets that can fly into the universe making it possible to expand the human race and conquer every planet, telescopes and math which grant us deep information about our universe.
But there are people that do get scared of robots because they "steal" their jobs, people wont get work and become poor.

Washing machines that get declared as ruined while there is only one little capacitor broken (because the evil producer wanted to... I mean because they did save some cents for making the wiring too small because they precisly calculated the thickness duo to the current without factoring the small changes in environment like the temperature is 1 degree above the average in that case).


Renewable energy aint that renewable as they might seem.
The solar panels you mean need toxic materials that some poor children have to handle with combined with much recycling efford.
The wind turbines which change the wildlife around them and kill billions of bugs every day.
So yes, I am scared about most technology. For example: We do not know what bugs do to the environment and we slaughter them on mass. The effects maybe occur in 20years when its way to late and then maybe there is no way of going back.

Thanks for reading, and ehm.. dont ban me for offtopic?
Share time limited free games here
19.07.20 21:52:23
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VADemon
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user The Dark Shadow hat geschrieben:
Nolifers watch someone who moves their bu*t to left and right that's all about TikTok.

The christian religion has its morals written down as commandments and one of them says to not have any other gods (the orthodox christian version sounds like: "Do not create any false gods"). Though this is all Influencers are about.
user The Dark Shadow hat geschrieben:
70%+ of people are useless they are just eating, drinking, sitting, playing, sleeping and damaging that's all they do.

The paraphrased version of "Eat, sleep, repeat" says "Work, buy, consume, die"

user ohaz hat geschrieben:
I have never been a huge fan of forums

Me neither, but now that I look back at it: there are quite some aspects they are better in.
Your example with useless threads of people pointing to dead websites... well places like reddit are filled with little less than completely with repeating questions, opinions (can't call them solutions) from vastly less knowledgable people (compared to my usual forum experience). And this repeats day in, day out: lazy people asking lazy questions, receive either no or poor answers because everyone else is tired of repeating the same crap again. Only leads to degradation of answers → degradation of users → repeat this cycle.

Hardware and overclocking forums are still awesome and the go-to places in search for me. Search engines yield so many crap answers, I sometimes add "forum" to my search question to find answers from real people rather than copied articles.
user ohaz hat geschrieben:
During work you have to ingest so much information that after work you don't want any huge blocks of information anymore. [...]
But for most people, this way of instant gratification is exactly what they yearn for.

But then every free minute, every free second people grab their phone to consume even more information. Memes too are information - our brain needs to process them. Doesn't it too make one more tired?
I myself enjoy TV too even if it's mindless. I started to be negative to "memes" in scrolling feeds recently, I discovered scrolling for hours, wasting hours of free time on a sunday made me feel depressed, not happy.

There are other sources of happinness and fulfillment: when you create something with your hands. If you have space and instruments you could build home furniture! Or bake bread Why not?

user ohaz hat geschrieben:
Yes, this is a very shallow kind of appreciation. But it works. Our brain is wired that way.

Made me think of Freud. Why not resist this basic, reflexive temptation and do something of higher moral value?
I've finished reading 3 "general" books (~400 pages each) and 3 programming books since the quarantine began, much more other reading too (articles and whatnot).

@user Bowlinghead: your text in "Offtopic Why Social Media Is Bad Like Every Other Technology"... are you my twin brother? Want to marry me? I agree with almost everything you said.

I just don't agree with AI cars. Humans will always be better in chaotic situations, but too many car drivers make mistakes: from dangerous speeding to falling asleep. We lost a classmate this way.

If car makers cared about safety (for real) they would install sensors for emergency brakes in every new car. This would reduce the amount of injuries and fatal injuries by a lot! But they sell it at as an overpriced extra. And then the media continues to preach how "human lives are pricesless"

Self-driving cars probably won't be a mass thing for another 10-20 years (due to bad road markers etc), but the level they're at today already saves their drivers from a lot of accidents on roads. Just watch any "Tesla avoids crash" compilation on Youtube.
19.07.20 22:58:00
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TimeQuesT
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user VADemon hat geschrieben:
Google won't find you an answer by some competent lad in an obscure chat group of 30 people. Maybe it was the exact info you were looking for, but nope. Chats are the black holes for information of today, they are not indexable.


I totally agree. Though search engines aren't working like they used to be. Today they work better with complete scentences than effecient, effective keywords - which makes me sad.

In general I would not support the thesis that forums are dying. Stackoverflow, Stackexchange for example are forums and are commonly used by coders (security issues in posted code etc. aside).
I think just the type of people using forums changed. Forums are mostly used nowadays by developers, artists and other 'specialized' groups, keeping in mind that these specialized groups can be small as we see here @ unrealsoftware.

Forums are not dying, they might just changed (to chats) place because of the supposed small community using them.

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Muh
20.07.20 10:38:08
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Hador
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user Bowlinghead hat geschrieben:
AI-cars:
Self-driving cars do have the risk of failing duo to technical errors,
evil hackers, unknown new situations. The new AI technology also is not based on rational decisions but reward driven behaviour. That scares me!
You dont run over a human because you dont want to kill people.
The computer doesnt even understand what that means and only wont do it because it learned that it gets punished.


That’s mostly bullshit.
Cars may fail due to technical errors, but humans fail rather frequently due to human error - and where we stand today, technical errors are many, many times less likely than human error. Just as an example, cars are never distracted by using their phones while driving, having arguments with other people in the car, raging, drunk driving, reckless speeding or simply terrible driving skills - imagine how much less accidents there would be without those factors?

Hackers are a constant threat, but planes are the best example for it being possible to build autopilots that are pretty much unhackable outside of physical manipulation, and that’s a problem we face with all cars. New situations are still an issue, but that’s why, currently, all self-driving cars require someone to be able to step in manually just in case.

All AI technology is based on rationality. There is no such thing as irrational behaviour in transistor based technology. As for reward driven behaviour, all intelligence is reward driven, no matter if biological or technological - without the promise of reward, there is no incentive to do anything, and without punishment there is no reason not to do something. With that in mind, car AIs are just as rational or irrational as humans, possibly more rational as they are purpose-built by driving and will not be distracted by other life goals while doing so. Also “You don’t run over a human because you don’t want to kill people” - that is unless you do want to kill people. The AI will never want to kill anything it identifies as human, with other humans that’s a question of their sanity, which is far from guaranteed.
21.07.20 02:17:54
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Ahmad
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I struggled to read the whole post, because twitter has definitely fucked my attention span
25.07.20 15:27:14
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Masea
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Late to the party, could catch it though because this is not Twitter or alike.

Forums, namely this one, taught me how to write better so whom you speak to will understand you better with shorter sentences and shorter text walls overall. Just like mails, being non-real-time, you probably do just hesitate to post more than a few a day. This makes you attentive for what you are typing. You start carefully choosing your words and if it is a lengthy one, even the order of sentences and paragraphs become essential to you.

Instant real-time messages, chats let words lose their value. Since it is really easy to communicate via typing now, you even forget many words. You start not to use them because you don't necessarily need them. You don't even care typo.

Forums are like small communities that sometimes can teach you stuff that may even change your life and I feel quite lucky I have been experiencing them.
Create your UI easy and fast: UI Framework | Go deeper into the darkness and test your bravery: file cs2d Outlast II Modification (28)
26.07.20 01:35:42
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VADemon
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user TimeQuesT hat geschrieben:
In general I would not support the thesis that forums are dying. Stackoverflow, Stackexchange for example are forums

I don't think they anyhow resemble forums. They're better for on point problem solving, but the Q&A sites have existed for over a decade and Stackoverflow are THE FIRST ONE to actually be useful.
More about Stackoverflow >

user Masea hat geschrieben:
you probably do just hesitate to post more than a few a day. This makes you attentive for what you are typing. You start carefully choosing your words and if it is a lengthy one, even the order of sentences and paragraphs become essential to you

I think this is the great thing about forums: the "comment box" is a little out of reach. It's a small barrier to people, if you really have anything on your mind to contribute to the topic - ONLY THEN do you start writing a reply:

rules §2.2 - Das Forum ist KEIN Chatroom! Verhalte dich dementsprechend! Inhaltslose/sehr kurze Beiträge vermeiden!

...is great. You either make your post long enough (and interesting) to be worth posting, or don't at all.
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