Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Has Facebook Replaced Forums for Conversation?

After attending the American Society of Journalists and Authors annual conference on Friday and Saturday, I went online Monday morning to plug into the conference chatter on the forums at Freelance Success and ASJA sites. I had attended a few excellent workshops and wanted to congratulate and thank the speakers publicly so that those who order the conference recordings had input from an attendee about the sessions that were "worth" purchasing. I also wanted to learn more about the quality of the panels I couldn't attend so that I knew what to listen to when the recordings become available.

Usually, by the time I get around to this, there are a few "what did you like about ASJA?" threads already in the works. This year, there were none. N.O.N.E. One showed up on Freelance Success later in the day, but I still can't find anything on the ASJA site where members are talking about "good" panels that will guide those who want to listen to the recordings.

But there's a lot of chatter on Facebook among those who did and didn't attend, with people asking about conference highlights, insights, tips from the panels, and so on. So I'm wondering: Has Facebook replaced forums for conversations? Are those of us who have become accustomed to networking with colleagues in a forum environment shifting our chatter to Facebook? It's certainly working that way for me. And based on what seems to be a decline in volume of threads on the forums where I've been active in the past -- and this is an anecdotal observation only -- I think I'm not the only one who is doing less professional chatting in forums and more on Facebook.

What about you? Are you using forums less to ask questions, learn, and share information and using Facebook more instead? Why or why not?

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