I too prefer forums but whether itís the longer form nature (which I prefer as it lets us get in depth) or that the interface isnít as clean and modern as apps, forums definitely seem to be on the decline unfortunately. I donít use FB and begrudgingly use Instagram, but i find IG is very surface level and curated pics.
I feel like reddit is a good compromise, itís got good activity and you can get a bit deeper but has more modern UX: r/PlantedTank.
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I tried Reddit: r/PlantedTank --but, didn't care for it. ( Same with Facebook, Instagram). It may have a more modern interface which appeals to many, but I could not get it to work for me. With "work" I mean give me the satisfaction that I receive from a forum type format. I need the feel of "a community"- no other interface gives that to me as well as a forum-based model. Not saying that others cannot find this on social media, but it is not the format for everyone.
Im also tend too be very long-winded.
I believe that when you answer someone's request for information, for instance, in a post about fish health/illness- you tell the whole story: when, why, how, - not just what. Look at Facebook and you will know what I mean. Someone posts a picture of a sick fish and you get 5 different 2-3 word answers ( Its Ich! That is columnaris! Thats fungus!).
I can rarely help someone out with a picture alone. It takes questions to find answers, not just pictures.
While its true --overall --that forums have lost many to social media type apps/formats, this does not make them a "dying" format. That implication irks me.
Why? Because there are a large group of people that have/do consistently come back to this forum daily ( sometimes several times daily), weekly, monthly, for the last 3 years Ive been on TPT. We know each others aquarium struggles, successes, projects. Some of us even go further- we communicate regularly through PM to get to know one another or even visit with one another beyond this virtual format.
This forum is still a living, thriving community. It may have lost some members to social media-- but, that doesn't mean it has lost its value.