September 2010 posting at benphoster.com:
Data from Facebook and other sources
|Dec-04||1 million users|
Message board MonroeTalks.com began in the Spring of 2007. It's owned by the Monroe Evening News. It has been a very active message board, considering the population of the area that the board serves. The Monroe Evening News also supports the BlogsMonroe.com blogging network. But the following concerns the message board.
How did the MonroeTalks.com message board get so active so quickly? Was it due to the site being owned by the Monroe Evening News? Was it due to excellent board moderators? Was it due to the design and functionality of the message board software? All of the above and/or more?
MonroeTalks.com is powered by the Simple Machines forum software app, and the look and function of MonroeTalks.com is similar to traditional message boards that have been around since the 1990s.
Excerpts from the MonroeTalks.com detailed stats page
To me, the above represent an impressive number of threads and comments at MonroeTalks.com in less than four years of use. But for some reason, the site has experienced a dramatic decrease in postings since 2008 after the site experienced tremendous growth in its first 20 months.
Is it a coincidence that Facebook's user membership exploded in 2009 and 2010 while MonroeTalks.com's posting activity decreased dramatically during those two years?
Facebook opened its doors to everyone in the late summer or fall of 2007. Maybe many of the MonroeTalks.com users from 2007 and 2008 joined Facebook in 2008-2010, and they have been spending more time at Facebook than on the message board.
I other message boards and blog sites have experienced similar activity as MonroeTalks.com due to Facebook's explosive growth. But in my opinion, that does not mean the end of message boards. It could mean that old-style message board apps will need to change. The software will need to maintain obvious message board qualities while looking a bit more like the newer social networking sites.
Here are two message board or forum software projects that have been created from scratch with a new look and feel:
I prefer the all-threads view at XenForo (What's New?) instead of the landing page that lists all the forums or categories.
bbPress is a simple, lightweight message board app from the creators of Wordpress.
Here are a few relatively newer community sites that are not technically called message boards because they contain some of the more so-called modern social networking features:
Other somewhat related but incomplete Toledo Talk postings: