Future of forums

PRR

Member
Paid Member
2003-06-12 7:04 pm
Maine USA
In another place I noted that commercial forum owners are buying-out enthusiast-operated forums to cross-link and post ads. GroupDIY was recently (last May) bought-out by GroupBuilders. GroupBuilders approached the owner of freestompboxes.org, and was rebuffed (for now?). There are several forum-buyers, and true ownership is often obscure. Operating a forum today has become very labor intensive, and costs more than pocket-money.

In a different sign: DriveTribe will close. I must say, DriveTribe already missed a boat because I {a lapsed car-nut} had not noticed them in the 5 years they were operating. However they seem to have had a good run until recent chip-shortages and a drastic reduction in car ad revenue (cars are full of chips; at present they can sell any car they can make and without advertising).

While DIYAudio is not all about chips, several significant chip-using vendors pay significant dues. If they can.

Be kind to your forum operators. Leave tips.
 
Perhaps one way to stave off such is to not be so "showy" regarding certain statistics... Let's say you boldly put "1k members online!" right on the front page, well that just saved someone a little work regarding their ad platform investment payback. If you really wanted to sell the place, put up a graph showing that figure in hourly snapshots, with a running average for the week.
 
For the enthusiast that's created a forum, selling the forum to a "tech" company is better than winning the lottery. The idea of never having to work again is incredibly appealing. Of course the fact that it ever works out that way eludes them at the time. This isn't new. In my country there has been wave after wave of big companies buying out the small players for market share. Butchers, wine shops, plumbers, fruit and vegetable shops, builders, farmers, grape growers, hifi stores, etc, have all been bought up by the big end of town, who actually make their money on the stock market based on potential earnings from market share, not from actual earnings or actual product delivered.

The internet has allowed such speculation go global. A company can be losing $100s millions annually and still have $billions annual growth on the share market, just because they are eating small players fast enough. It seems to me that everything accessed through the internet that was ever any good has already gone, or is currently going through, the transition to uselessness driven by the marketing imperative of "tech" giants. I put inverted commas around the word "tech" because technology is not the underlying mechanism of growth, rather predatory market behaviour and speculation are; all that has happened is the internet has created a new way to rapidly exploit markets before we realise what is going on. We are simply "fodder for the machine" and it isn't going to end nicely.
 
Shouldn't we already buy diyaudio shares?At least this is what i actually understand from this topic.
That's certainly what the big end of town would like. The stock market is very effective at moving wealth from people who can't afford to lose it to people who don't need it, much like the horse racing "industry". But if you are focussed enough you can get in and out of the 'market' and make serious money - just ignore that no wealth was 'created' in the process, merely moved from somewhere else (and that includes future wealth).
 
Last edited:
The business model for GroupBuilders and their parent companies is not to buy forums for advertising targeted at the forum members since that's a non-viable financial proposition. Its far cheaper just to buy banner ads just like they do here at diyaudio.

What they are actually after is lots of searchable content that is easily found by webcrawlers and search engines to which they can insert their advertisements, this provides a far greater return as the exposure now is not just a couple of hundred online forum members but 10's of millions of people searching the internet.

This is why spammers target forums by creating accounts, some of the spam accounts I found here at diyaudio had their spam indexed in as little as 30 minutes.
 
The business model for GroupBuilders and their parent companies is not to buy forums for advertising targeted at the forum members since that's a non-viable financial proposition. Its far cheaper just to buy banner ads just like they do here at diyaudio.
I didn't realise there were banner ads on DIYaudio thanks to my ad blocker. What I find much more insidious is how Google now hides the real results for the items that users search for so it can instead profit from click through paid content as pseudo results. Google is practically useless these days.
 
Last edited:
Shouldn't we already buy diyaudio shares?At least this is what i actually understand from this topic.

Nope, it's all about gaming search engines and optimising the results to maximise visibility for advertisements. There is essentially no net worth or value in diyaudio, so you would be buying shares in a worthless entity (from a financial perspective).

The collective information however is inherently valuable as a resource for the members.
 
What I fond more insidious is how Google now hides results for the real items that users search for and instead substitutes advertising content. Google is almost useless these days.

Google is everywhere and not just via their search page, what you and I see when using google search is dependent on a number of factors, are we using different web browsers, types of devices (desktop or mobile), are you logged into a google account, are you using gmail, how did you search via the google search page or browser toolbar and even things like what internet sites you were previously viewing (embedded google analytics). This all accumulates and ultimately decides what type of advertisements you get served.
You can think of Google as being essentially an advertising broker masquerading as a search engine.
 
Ads help support this forum. Turning on ads here helps us continue. Contributors are also a big help and contributors don't see ads. Every little bit helps.
The DIYAudio banner ads are on my screen, I just don't 'see' them. For example, the banner ad at the moment is for Parts Connection, but I actually had to consciously look for it! The ad blocker is in my head - I just don't look at unsolicited advertising. If I need to buy something I buy what I need for the task in hand after researching the options. I do not buy something because someone wants to sell it to me, therefore advertising is irrelevant to me.
 
How is this news? Been this way for years. They've done what the FBI and CIA have been dreaming of doing for decades. The funny part is how rubbish the targeted ads still are.
Sadly Google did not start out this way. Google started as not for profit and was the first really good metasearch engine that collated the results of many other search engines, creating a 'one stop shop' for finding internet resources in the late '90s. Now it has turned into a 'one shop stop' deliberately blocking internet resources to instead direct users to it's business partners' sites.
 

Pano

diyAudio Moderator
Paid Member
2004-10-07 6:05 am
SW Florida
was the first really good metasearch engine that collated the results of many other search engines,
Are you sure about that? That's not what I remeber or what most history says. It was never a meta engine AFAIK, its power was its new way to rank sites. And it did not force "pay to play" like almost every other search engine. Ads and paid links were very clearly denoted.
 
It's a long time ago that I switched from Meta-search to Google (it may have gone by a different name originally) and as I recall there were no ad links in Google for some years after I started using it. I remember because there was quite a furore about ads when they were introduced, which resulted eventually in legislation to force disclosure of paid listings.

Edit: You are correct that most site with history about Google seem to differ to my account. However I was huge advocate for Google in the early days promoting it's use through the professional audio and entertainment industries in Australia.