Lately when I’ve paid my favourite discussion boards a visit they all seam to be flooded with SPAM. As a result I’ve now more or less stopped visiting them and most certainly lost interest due to the fact that they appear messy and that proper information is hard to find/get.
Earlier when you got notified about a response there would actually be someone trying to help, or give a related comment. Now all you get is highly irrelevant information about some obscure stock or a pill for specific purposes.
Turning the discussion boards (forums) to “members only” with insane security measures doesn’t quiet work as intended in my mind as information no longer are shared with the public. Therefore it puzzles me that the developers haven’t come up with something similar to the comment filtering in WordPress (Akismet). I for one can sit back and relax while my comment feature is wide open knowing that SPAM will be treated as SPAM and never displayed.
Web 2.0 and the websites that came out of it has also provided new ways of forwarding/sharing information and displaying it much nicer, leaving the rest left way behind. As a consequence I believe that without some drastic measures the good old discussion board are digging its grave faster and faster.
I had a look at the Alexa ratings for the 2 most popular software developers, but there’s no obvious trend except that they both seam to have fallen slightly during the first quarter this year (phpBB, vbulletin).
I would very much like to get your opinion on this as I’m currently seriously thinking of removing my old phpBB support forum off the site for good.