The future of Forums

It seems to me that the future of the forum concept is uncertain. This is now the only forum that I follow. Yesterday I logged in to the two other forums still on my favourites list. Once very active but they are now virtually moribund. Both have notices saying closure is imminent

Facebook has chased the forum almost into the shadows. It is not, in my mind, because it is better. As far as I can see, from the brief period when I used it, it is designed to be quick fire. Topics have a short life expectancy. Depth of content sacrificed on the altar of commercial gain.

I don’t have a lot of free time to spend reading everything on here. If a thread looks interesting I will open it. Very often it has attracted a multitude of replies and I have nothing to add. Or it has drifted off on a new path that has no relation to the title. I can’t help noticing that this forum has a hard core who seem to be able to comment on almost any subject and appear to account for a very large percentage of overall activity. In the wrong circumstances this can give a very negative signal to would be new contributors.

I don’t expect anybody to agree with me. But I would hate to see yet another forum wither away.



This is true. It seems to be the case with all the fora I have visited. I guess it is ‘in loco taverna’ or village pump. There will always be the regulars. Others come and go.

Personalities emerge and a virtual community is established. No bad thing, I think, given the nature of the members and the setting - ‘strangers’ in a large, strange land with a varying grasp of the language, of understanding local culture and mores.

I myself contribute if I think I have some useful to add or simply because I enjoy writing, so will burble on, hoping to provide a moment’s amusment …


Forums always have a core of active individuals that make a community - the community is what keeps the forum alive.

I am still part of the harmony Central community. in the early 2000s it had more than 100,000 members and many thousands who were active on a daily basis to the point where forum threads were more like a chat-room, with some topics getting 20-30 replies per minute. What killed that was a need for funding (the forum was sold, several times) to maintain such a busy site, then poor software management with the software platform being changed from the original (ecellent but not designed for such traffic) to something that simply didn’t work well, and finally requiring the site to be PG-13 and banning discussions of an adult nature.

Many of the guys that used to be regulars ended up starting their own forums - The fretboard is one well-known example.

There are a few guys that post occasionally. The mods know the site has been sold again, but the new owners aren’t talking to them. However the servers are still running so someone is paying the bills, and as long as it’s up, they’ll keep checking and modding. I reckon many areas of the forum get no more than one or 2 posts per day now.

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This is the only forum I participate in Gus, I don’t like so called social media. If this went I just wouldn’t bother. The good news for me though is that Facebook is dying :slightly_smiling_face: People under thirty think it’s an old folks home.


I tend to agree Gus. Can I ask which others you participate in ?

I agree with Gus but only to a point. There are several reasons why people post on a forum such as this one and I think the first reason is that it is a noticeable cluster of people with personal experience of operating in or being connected to France. I think many (most?) of us arrived because we had questions to ask of such people.

Of course, for people who have been on the forum for a while, general chat may become more dominant and it then becomes more like other social media. Nothing wrong with that of course and such people usually have the knowledge/experience to put at the disposal of, perhaps, newer members with questions. And so it continues.

If this forum were to die, and I don’t see any particular reason to suppose it will in the near future, then the possibility of chatting generally with others could well be replaced by other social media. However, I, for one, would struggle to find a platform on which I was likely to get similarly useful answers to diverse questions about France and French life.


Would you suggest they stop posting as much then :face_with_raised_eyebrow::wink: people like myself have more time to reply than others as we are retired and spend more time on the forum due to this, it’s simple, if the topics are not replied to or no one posts people will go elsewhere or the forum will die.


I’ll shut up.


This forum is (for me) Questions & Answers first and foremost.
If someone asks a question, I like to share my experiences and knowledge… to give them (I hope) a helpful answer.
If I can’t answer, I leave it alone and watch how things progress.

However, this forum is also a place where folk can share thoughts/preferences and sometimes folk need a little support… of one sort or another.
I reckon this forum offers a fair share to all-comers.

I don’t expect anybody to agree with me, either… :rofl: :rofl: but I reckon some do… :wink: :wink:


Oh no you won’t! :wink:


Please don’t!


Reasons to be cheerful for a forum Part 1.

Got brexit done (WA CDS)
Got health done.
Got the tax returns done.
Found out duolingo is fortunately not the end…
Why to buy a car in France
Why to buy a car in the UK and how to register it here
Why no need to bother about UK driving licenses
Why to get a mutuelle, and why not to get a mutuelle
how to buy a house
things to look out for when buying a house
Edible art
The need for a crit air sticker
Interesting places to go live
What the weather is like at the moment across France
Why not to buy a house with a pool
What to look for if buying a pool
The importance of paying attention and getting place names correct
Places to get car insurance
All things frontalier
A handy guardian newsfeed :slight_smile:
The law
How to contribute to a forum and good etiquette
Jokes (the good, the bad and the silly)
Where the captain lives
Bands I haven’t though of for years and need to dig their records out
Good France bank accounts to save in
Things not to order in a restaurant
Forumites :heart:

edited - a heart seemed good to add here

As well as Ian Dury, Abba often has a song for the mood, perhaps ‘Thank you for the forum’?


Well, that seems an awful(?) lot so maybe we need more fora, rather than fewer or none at all. Actually, SF is my only forum and for me at least, it functions so well in so many respects. But from the above posts, I’m obviously not the only SFer with that opinion.


Don’t think I’ve previously encountered that conjunction…


Because of the time required to really participate in a forum it’s hard to play an active part in more than 2 or 3 at once and keep a full time job.

Good point! Reflecting on what would they have in common? Segueing to Google came up with the following Wikipedia item -

ABBA played to packed crowds at London’s Wembley Arena from 5 to 10 November, as part of their North American and European Tour of 1979, Music stars such as Joe Strummer and Ian Dury were among the audience, and backstage.

Hey, everyone’s an abba fan now, right? Google mentioned Spanish Bombs from London Calling was said to be influenced by ABBA. (Surely another thread).

Ian Dury BTW in my opinion much more true than Abba, who can forget sweet gene vincent - or all of it really, It’s just who can resist an abba when breaking up… and I’ve seen TV progammes exploring the complexity of their music.

Now having done this googling I now know more, and that’s another reason to be cheerful, Part 2!

PS as Ian was an art student, you never did encounter him in any way in that regard?

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PS as Ian was an art student, you never did encounter him in any way in that regard?

No, but we’re both Royal College of Art alumni. Hé’s possibly the only RCA pg to become a rock star, rather than an art star - but if you look at art school ugs, there’s loads, perhaps most notably most of Roxy Music who did Fine Art at N/c Univ, but would welcome other suggestions…

I’m sure it could be daunting. Like walking into room where everyone is chatting and knows one another and then trying to get a word in edgeways.

That’s only the chatty side of the forum, but IMO the real strength is the wide range of valuable, empathetic and accurate advice available. As @larkswood12 eloquently explains.


Please don’t. Your input has been invaluable to our adjustment to life in France.


Of course she won’t :face_with_hand_over_mouth: