Why I Left Big Community Forums for Facebook and Twitter

Do you spend your time here?

Is this you?  You sit down at the computer, ready to start getting stuff done, but instead you spend 30-40 minutes checking in at and participating in community forums.  For a long time this was me, I would spend the first half hour of my “online time” checking in at a number of forums, and going through and participating actively in those forums.  As I’ve worked to better manage my time, I realized that I was squandering a good portion of time away in these community forums.  It had to stop.  I made the decision to leave the “big” community forums, and focus my efforts to a few store forums and Facebook and Twitter.  What I was surprised to learn is that my decision would closely mirror a growing trend in the digi industry.  The rise of Social Media has started to overtake the idea of community forums, and soon we’ll all find that more and more of our friends aren’t in the forums any longer…they’re out in the social media world.  Here are a few things to consider about the future of community forums.

Store forums are still key. I still frequent two store forums, one at the store where I sell, and one that I’ve been a part of since I started digi three years ago.  Store forums are still ripe with activity and participation, and remaining part of them will keep you in touch with the people you most want to talk to.  Store forums are a more close knit group, which usually means that people stick around for a long time.  If you know all of your friends are going to be at the mall, then you go to the mall when you want to hang out with them.

Social Media is where it’s at – for a number of reasons. Whether you are on Facebook and Twitter or not, you can’t deny the fact that they are quickly becoming an integral part of the digi community.  With Twitter and Facebook, it’s easier to connect with more people…people who you may have not found in a community forum.  Plus, Twitter and Facebook move at lightening speed sometimes.  Some argue that that’s the drawback of these social media outlets, but as someone who is always looking to save a few minutes, I can tell you I appreciate this more than anything.  Add in the ability to keep up with latest news and announcements on sites like Facebook and Twitter, and you’ve sold me.

Not everyone is ready to move – yet. While more and more people become active in social media each day, Facebook and Twitter still scare people.  Some people find them to be confusing and difficult to navigate, and for some people, it’s not the right fit.  As time goes on, people will start to understand more about Social Media, and will embrace the ease and usability of those sites, but right now…the transition is still in process.

How does Social Media affect your time in the digi community?  Where are you spending your time?

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5 Responses to Why I Left Big Community Forums for Facebook and Twitter

  1. Great post! I find that twitter and facebook, although fast moving, provide a deeper, more connected relationships for me. Filtering with # hashtags has helped make it even more specific to the areas I’m most interested in.

    I love too, that I’m no longer limited to a few stores ideas and products but a much wider view of the digi/scrapbooking world.

  2. Aly says:

    i have just started dealing with this issue and trying to figure out how to balance it all and came to pretty much that conclusion. SM is my primary focus (Blog, FB, Twitter) I am going to limit my time at other places to a certain amount of minutes every other day or something. With kids, trying to move, etc. prioritizing is important

  3. Jennifer (wearing her DST hat) says:

    Your points are solid Aaron. Makes it all the more important for those managing and working at the big communities to really dig deeper into integration with social media to 1.) keep the old timers around and 2.) help the newcomers become more comfortable in both settings.

    • Anonymous says:

      I agree Jennifer…integration with social media is key for keeping sites like DST alive, and I love the idea of working with the members to get more comfortable with both settings!

  4. Melissa says:

    I am toying with this idea too – I’m only frequenting DST and Scrapbookgraphics these days – but part of my role over at the Daily Digi is to find where people are talking scrapbooking, on FB it is so fragmented – every designer and store has a page!

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