Forums are Dead! Long Live Forums!
Forums were the original social media destinations. Before Facebook and Twitter, topic-focused forums were everywhere and were an integral part of getting the word out about a product or service and interacting with others including prospective customers.
With the rise of social media however, forums have for the most part simply fallen out of vogue. The most savvy vendors of forum software however are building applications which integrate with the new iteration of social media sites including Facebook. Case in point, leading forum software vBulletin (a product WM recommends and which was mentioned in some detail on my book Web 360) has just released a customizable Facebook application that allows vBullletin forum operators to engage existing members and attract new ones on Facebook.
Community members on forums with the application activated are able to interact with the forum while logged into Facebook, and new "discover" and "explore" tabs provide content recommendations to members that analyzes interests and connections of users on Facebook. Members on vBulletin platforms can also showcase their forum activity on Facebook itself.
"Facebook is an amazing ecosystem and is a hub of social online activity for over 800 million people," said Joe Rosenblum, chief technology officer at Internet Brands, the parent company of vBulletin. "Our customers have been asking us for a solution that gets their forums in front of their members while they're on Facebook in an easy, organic way. We developed this application in direct response to these requests."