Discourse forum vs Social media


I’ve been interested in adding a forum to my site for many years now, but haven’t done it because of the social media sites. I’m seeing a lot of big sites not having much traffic on their forums anymore. Has instagram, facebook, the likes taken over so much that a forum is doomed if it was started now?

My niche is Geek Culture and we focus on gaming, books, comics, and cosplay. I’m thinking that it could make a great community…



I wrote this a few years back but it is still relevant.



Thanks. I’ll check it out.

(James Mc Mahon) #4

Nowhere near doomed. But you will have to give it a reason to exist in a world full of social media noise.

(Erlend Sogge Heggen) #5

I also wrote this to someone who had a similar question in private a while back:

Discourse is commonly used to facilitate feature discussions wherein product developers and users can engage in many-to-many discussions. Using this method, the vast majority of valid use and edge cases will be unearthed in a matter of days.

The major edge we have over platforms like FB and TW is that Discourse puts you in sustained conversations with your users. Unlike most social platforms which are highly ephemeral, Discourse intentionally discourages drive-by comments with features like minimum word counts, similar post detection and topic-driven conversations rather than obtuse algorithms that bury good ideas.


First off, Discourse is a social medium :wink:

Second, take a look at my stats:

In summary, don’t be put off by the competition from inferior (if free to use) “Groups” features on the main platforms, just do it!

If you fail, if, you at least will have tried!

(Fábio Machado De Oliveira) #7

That’s a key distinction I like in a forum. A reddit post is quickly phased out, and if it’s a day old it’s already harder to receive an answer to your post or your comment.

A forum topic will can stay alive as long as it’s relevant.


Yep, the popular FB groups are terrible for that … and then you get repeated posts … just awful … just broken


Yes, that’s exactly what I was thinking. Social media platforms are just not the best places for discussions. What’s the best way to help retain folks to a the forum? What will make it some place that people want to visit outside of the topics?

Also, what’s the best way to atrract people to help promote engagement and then reward them for bringing in new members?