• Hey everyone! The Writer's Workshop is hosting an exciting event, Trainers of Fanfiction! It's a community event focused around your characters!
  • Hello all! The staff is planning a restructuring to the forums on April 11th. Please see this announcement thread for details.
  • Do you use Discord? Do you like catching Pokémon? Have you heard of Elaria? If you answered yes to the first two, you should give it a go! Professor Tilia is always looking for new people to help fill her Living Dex!

    It just so happens she is hosting an event right now, where you could even get your own Pokémon form added into the game! Details can be found over in the Elaria discord server, right here:

Why I like forums more than social media: or, it's thinking o'clock

pained as it rages around in search of light
Joined
Mar 28, 2019
Messages
498
Reaction score
601
Disclaimer: If you use social media, this article (piece of writing? post?) is not accusing you of being stupid or spiteful or anything; this is aimed at the social media platform in general. By social media, I mean tumblr, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, etc.

===

Are forums dead?

... I mean, we all know they are dead in comparison to Twitter or tumblr. They're not a popular form of communication any more. I myself wasn't around to see the golden age of forums - in fact, I only began participating on forums in 2019, although I was a lurker for several years before.

Anyway, I like forums more than social media. Forums tend to have a friendly small-town feel. It's very different to, say, Twitter, where you're thrown into an ever-changing sea of people and have to seek out other people/communities yourself. Other forum users welcome you when you're new, and there's a whole community waiting for you to join. You get to know the mods and talk with them as if they were just another user, rather than having faceless algorithms or company representatives to speak to. And if the mods are doing their jobs, the forum will have focused, civil conversation. The slow speed of discussion also suits me better than something like a live chat, but that's just my preference (and it seems to be a rare one; probably why most people prefer to use Discord to hang out with other fans.)

That's quite a rose-tinted view, of course - whether or not a forum fosters a welcoming culture is up to whoever is managing and moderating it. The thing is that spaces such as tumblr, Twitter, and other social media don't even try to foster anything. Anything other than the optimisation of ad revenue, that is, which leads to all sorts of ill effects on the communities using them. Fandoms being ousted because their content is "inappropriate" and doesn't turn a profit, algorithms promoting divisive, extremist content because it gets more views and clicks, the rise of cancel culture and people living in fear of being the next victim of the hivemind... you know the drill. I would use social media more if they bothered to prevent their communities from devolving into situations like that.

What do you think? I'd love to hear your thoughts on this.
 
Well-Known Member
Joined
May 27, 2018
Messages
7,068
Reaction score
9,098
I do prefer forums, too. I feel they are more organized and it's easier to follow different threads there. Facebook doesn't really have threads in the traditional sense (and they can get lost easily), Twitter has that character limit that can get problematic when expressing long ideas (I don't like seeing various short posts about something instead of one paragraph), Tumblr is Tumblr and I don't know if it's just my computer, but Reddit tends to go the main... erm... group? instead of staying where I want to if I click anywhere that is not a post, which is problematic when I do that so I can scroll down using the keyboard's arrows.

Also, what's cancel culture?
 
Movie Star
Joined
May 14, 2010
Messages
29,329
Reaction score
2,418
I dont like the culture of social media that is all about like screaming into a large void. It doesn't feel like a community to me at all. Its also way too much of a free for all because its generally unmoderated so abuse gets largely ignored, which is really a huge problem. I've seen real scary stuff on social media sites, and Id rather have a bit of peace of mind here knowing the staff is here and watching over things and involved.
 
pained as it rages around in search of light
Joined
Mar 28, 2019
Messages
498
Reaction score
601
@prog rocker
Cancel culture is when a social media community collectively shamed an individual for past transgressions. It may or may not be justified.

@Shiny Celebi
That’s how I feel, too. I hope that social media will improve this situation in the future, but the pessimist in me says it’s gonna take a while.
 
Snom
Joined
Aug 29, 2019
Messages
1,750
Reaction score
436
Personally, it depends what I'm in the mood for.

Reddit tho is both good and bad
 
怪しいことも何一つない。
Joined
Aug 14, 2008
Messages
8,974
Reaction score
6,977
I guess you're bound to have a biased sample here, but I definitely (and by a loooooooong stretch) prefer forums to social media. I think @Shiny Celebi is spot on about the screaming into a void thing. Social media is so much about popularity (how many followers, likes, shares .etc) that the value of what you contribute becomes much more about meme-ability than sparking interesting dialogue.

I think I'm lucky to have gotten to experience a golden period of forums, 2005-6 in my first fandom and 2007-09 here, where there were very few other places for fans to hang out. LiveJournal was around but had its own niche, and social media sites were not AT ALL fandom spaces. It was pretty sad to return here in ~2015 and see the anime and shipping subforums so quiet. It wasn't that there were no fans at all, but they seemed to have mostly gravitated towards Tumblr/Twitter, where you can't actually talk. I missed that sense of community, because you do get to know people to some extent even if you're just talking about Pokemon, and of discussion as opposed to just sharing pictures.

I have to say, I even dislike the 'reaction' function on the forums because I do think it encourages people to deliver punch dialogue as opposed to interacting on a genuine level with previous posts. But I think I'm more or less alone in this tbh and hypocritically 'like' posts like anything :p
 
Well-Known Member
Joined
May 27, 2018
Messages
7,068
Reaction score
9,098
I have to say, I even dislike the 'reaction' function on the forums because I do think it encourages people to deliver punch dialogue as opposed to interacting on a genuine level with previous posts. But I think I'm more or less alone in this tbh and hypocritically 'like' posts like anything :p
Maybe it's just me, but I don't do that. If people like what I post then it's alright, and if they don't then it is also alright. At least with my posts I see it more as an "I agree" button than anything (or a "wait, what?" button in the case of Lapras).
 
Looking for a way to be whole again.
Joined
Apr 30, 2018
Messages
2,635
Reaction score
4,588
In my honest opinion, forums are 100% better than social media. Heck, I haven't used my Facebook account in like 3 years because I just find it too boring and disorganized. And yeah, I find cancel culture completely disgusting because of the potential of ruining someone's life in general. I have seen many people having their livelihoods taken away from them just because of some sad individual who didn't like their opinion. Not to mention all of those bullcrap smear campaigns being done just because a group of individuals didn't like a specific person's opinion or lifestyle.

A human is a human and should be treated with respect when that human needs it.
 
Last edited:
Minty fresh.
Joined
Oct 16, 2013
Messages
9,112
Reaction score
2,766
What do you think? I'd love to hear your thoughts on this.
To be honest, I just don't see the point in social media. I mean, I have a Facebook and twitter account... But the amount of time I've spent on those in the past few months is tiny. "fan" groups on Facebook, I have noticed, tend to usually gravitate to a single opinion or area of opinions... and if you deviate from that generally accepted opinion, you can get harassed quite badly.

There's also the real name aspect of Facebook that is a turn-off... And many many many accusations of privacy breaches.

You get to know the mods and talk with them as if they were just another user,
Before I became a staff member, I remember having a lot of conversations with the staff members and... you're absolutely correct, they felt like just other users to me. I've had disagreements with them, I've had arguments with them, over differing opinions.

Now that I'm a moderator, I hope that people only take my staff badge into consideration when I have to do my job. I'm still one of you. I'm someone that came to the site out of a love for Pokemon, and a desire to discuss one of my favourite franchises.

I feel like... I can be myself here, just little ol' Snowy... I don't have to always be on the defensive like I do on Facebook.

And if the mods are doing their jobs, the forum will have focused, civil conversation.
We try our hardest. Feel free to contact us if you ever have any questions or concerns. I'm a Fun and Games Moderator, so I can help you over there or you can find a list of moderators in each sub forum.

I dont like the culture of social media that is all about like screaming into a large void. It doesn't feel like a community to me at all. Its also way too much of a free for all because its generally unmoderated so abuse gets largely ignored, which is really a huge problem. I've seen real scary stuff on social media sites, and Id rather have a bit of peace of mind here knowing the staff is here and watching over things and involved.
This is another problem with social media. I mean, most Facebook groups have active moderators... but if those moderators agree with a position, or just don't care, they don't do anything about it even if it's bullying. And for the site overall, who moderates that? We never see them, never interact with them, never know who they are, and how well they're doing their jobs.

There have also been times when I feel like it's an AI script that is doing the moderation, as I have reported stuff that clearly qualifies as bullying and got back "this doesn't violate our terms of service".

In my view, forums aren't dead. They're very much alive, and kicking... and they will be as long as everyone here continues to come to Bulbagarden.
 
Well-Known Member
Joined
May 27, 2018
Messages
7,068
Reaction score
9,098
In my view, forums aren't dead. They're very much alive, and kicking... and they will be as long as everyone here continues to come to Bulbagarden.
I hope so. The other forums I used to go to (as a lurker) are either dead (Rock Band) or borderline inactive (Starmen.net), which makes me sad. Then again, Pokémon has a way bigger fanbase, so I guess it means we're safe.
 
Minty fresh.
Joined
Oct 16, 2013
Messages
9,112
Reaction score
2,766
I hope so. The other forums I used to go to (as a lurker) are either dead (Rock Band) or borderline inactive (Starmen.net), which makes me sad. Then again, Pokémon has a way bigger fanbase, so I guess it means we're safe.
The way I see it, online communities - be it social media, forums, or chat rooms - work the same way as real-life communities. As long as people keep coming, and those running it keep caring, the community will survive. :)
 
Well-Known Member
Joined
May 27, 2018
Messages
7,068
Reaction score
9,098
The way I see it, online communities - be it social media, forums, or chat rooms - work the same way as real-life communities. As long as people keep coming, and those running it keep caring, the community will survive. :)
Well, in the case of Rock Band, it was because they thought Twitter, YouTube and Reddit were better places, and knowing how toxic the community is when uncontrolled, I feel it was a bad move no matter how active they were.

In the case of Starmen.net, there's not much to talk about Mother considering almost every single topic has been covered already, although I did find an idea for a mafia game that I might try in the future.
 
Looking for a way to be whole again.
Joined
Apr 30, 2018
Messages
2,635
Reaction score
4,588
Squidboards is currently only having a few of the remaining active members there. But that's because there isn't the presence of a new Splatoon game (which won't probably be in the Switch's life cycle since Splatoon 2 was released on it unless there is a spin-off). Part of what makes fandom forums active is the release of a new game in the series, DLC story or pretty much anything majorly new is released.
 
pained as it rages around in search of light
Joined
Mar 28, 2019
Messages
498
Reaction score
601
Interestingly, the other forum I've regularly been on - Serenes Forest - has only grown more active, maybe because Fire Emblem has experienced a recent boom in popularity.

Pretty sure it's an exception, though - even large sites such as Serebii have seen their forums lose a lot of activity.
 
Praise Euterpe
Joined
Sep 23, 2013
Messages
1,485
Reaction score
1,398
Pretty sure it's an exception, though - even large sites such as Serebii have seen their forums lose a lot of activity.
TBH, I can't even remember the last time Serebii was active. Funny, because it is such a large Pokemon fansite that people go to for news, but the forum has not been active in a very long time. Other Pokemon fansites like this one keep up active forums. It is a bit odd.
 
ᴡᴀɴᴅᴇʀᴇʀ ʟɪᴋᴇ ᴍᴇ
Joined
Oct 9, 2011
Messages
2,205
Reaction score
1,421
so, this is something that im especially passionate about given i've been on forums since.... goodness... at least 2005 or so. i've seen the high points and the low points, and it honestly really does bum me out that forums are losing out to more popular forums of social media like Reddit. to be honest, i don't personally have anything against Reddit, but it's not necessarily my cup of tea.

still though... i mean, google "pokemon forums" if you'd like. we're one of three that's still standing (counting Serebii here, even if they are inactive). i remember about 10 years ago when smaller pokemon forums were pretty much the norm that you'd find every now and again. they'd never get super big or anything, mind, but they had that advantage of being small and home-y compared to the bigger pokemon sites. i really did take for granted my time in smaller pokemon boards because they're pretty much nonexistent, now. shame.

if i'm going to be frank, i don't know what the future of forums are going to be. at least as far as pokemon forums ago. i feel like, as soon as you beat pokemon games, you kinda just... fizzle out of the discussion most of the time. you did most things that the game has for you, and there's only so many things for you to talk about before it starts getting stale. Fire Emblem has constant memes about the different lords, and the characters (to my knowledge) have their own, unique distinct personalities worth talking about and there's enough content and ways to play FE that you can keep discussion going on for eons. pokemon doesn't really... have that as much, unfortunately. yes, you have speedruns and nuzlockes, but those aren't big discussion material on pokemon forums and as such they don't tend to get much attention.

iirc if you're into the TCG, there's sizeable communities out there considering the TCG scene is very much alive and kicking, but not for like.. general pokemon discussions in the likes of bmgf and serebii.
 
Dr. Fuji?!
Joined
Mar 14, 2005
Messages
18,748
Reaction score
12,331
1. I don't use social media.

2. I obviously use this forum and another one (pretty rarely) for non-Pokemon games. I'd be lying if I said that I really enjoy this platform all that much anymore as I find that I am not so tolerant of other people's priorities/interests if they barely overlap with mine, but I do like the idea (illusion?) that some people read what I have to say and that it resonates with them to some extent. Sometimes I learn new things, too.
 
Just call me EC!
Joined
Mar 9, 2010
Messages
736
Reaction score
232
It does seem like Discord and Reddit, to a lesser extent, have taken over for forums in this day and age. I'm always grateful when I can find an active forum that I can slot right in on and get to posting and making friends.
 
Praise Euterpe
Joined
Sep 23, 2013
Messages
1,485
Reaction score
1,398
It does seem like Discord and Reddit, to a lesser extent, have taken over for forums in this day and age. I'm always grateful when I can find an active forum that I can slot right in on and get to posting and making friends.
Ugh Discord. I really dislike the fast-paced, free-for-all nature of Discord. Any time I feel like posting on Discord, it brings up my social anxiety (which is one thing I came to the internet to get away from!), as I always feel like I'm interrupting or out-of-place.

I have no clue how a chat service has become so enormously popular that people are calling it the death of forums. Chat services have existed forever. They have existed alongside forums for as long as I can remember (so, at least, the early 2000s). I don't understand why one has suddenly surged in popularity, when both have always been there.

Please live on, forums. The internet would never be the same. Social media has its place, but forums also have their place.
 
Looking for a way to be whole again.
Joined
Apr 30, 2018
Messages
2,635
Reaction score
4,588
I would really hate for chat services to replace forums. In my experience, the only good RP's done on chat services are things like Dungeons and Dragons and other tabletop roleplaying games (and even then, only on voice and done with a combination of other sites). Fan-created RPs like the ones that you see are much more suited for forums due to the nature of the forum providing a way for the host and the players to find what has happened previously without having to deal with the same page having load constantly. That and having Enter being the key that sends the post really discourages detailed posts because separating walls of text is really important so the reader doesn't become overwhelmed with just a glimpse.
 
Top