I really like forums - but have recently realized that the vast majority of the growth in the “discussions” market has gone to Linkedin, Facebook and Google - who host free discussion groups, and leverage the network effects of their platforms to try to keep people more engaged in their sites. Linkedin had over 1.3 million discussions groups as of last year,
Facebook probably a multiple of that (type in the Facebook search bar “groups my friends are in…” and you’ll see the huge success of these groups).
So this all begs the question -
Why do you (or would you) use Discourse for your own forums?
Why don’t you want to use Google, Facebook or Linkedin for your own forums?
What does this mean for feature prioritization for Discourse?
The answer to this question could really help Discourse the company refine their product and make sure it meets a very targeted and important need.
I use forums like discourse for the following reasons:
It helps form community and should help increase the number of return visitors to my site - which ultimately helps in revenue by generating page views (and ad sales which fund the site).
The key thing here is it increases engagement on my site. So everything that Discourse can do to improve user engagement is very important.
It helps in SEO for my site - lots of User Generated Content that is part of my web site and that isn’t under the control of a 3rd party. The key issue here is site-relevant SEO. So everything that Discourse can do to improve SEO is going to be very important.
It helps me monetize my web site - by allowing me to put ads in both mobile and web visitor’s view. So - everything that Discourse can do to help me monetize the site will be very important and helpful.
Other thoughts? Why do you use Discourse?