The Community Club

Discussion on: Does anyone actually use forums?

michaeltharrington profile image
Michael Tharrington

Awesome discussion topic!

First off, disclosure: I work for a company called Forem and actually the Community Club uses our platform to run this site — in other words, we're on Forem right now! 😀

I think the main difference between forum-based communities and Discord/Slack is that forums are meant to be more async-friendly, whereas Discord, Slack, and other chat-based communities are very synchronous.

One of the primary things that you don't get with chat-based communities is searchable history over search engines like Google (there is no SEO). The cool thing about, for instance, is that folks can more easily discover this community through searches online. They wouldn't really be able to easily do that if the community solely lived on Discord or Slack.

Another thing that at least our platform, Forem, works well with is long-form content. Trying to write a long post with images and dynamic content on Slack or Discord is, in my opinion, a bit of a pain. Also, if someone was to do that, it might just disappear in the chat history. On Slack, you can pin messages to the top of a channel or use bookmarks to link to content, but it's not as easily searchable/categorized as content here on I've used Discord a bit, but I'm honestly not well versed in how you would highlight or save long-form content. Here, I can follow the tags (people or orgs) that I'm interested in and my feed will continuously suggest posts to me. If I like someone's posts, I can visit their profile and see everything written by them. I also have the ability to add posts to my reading list that I can read later. As a writer, I can access the editor where I have lots of options for embedding rich content (tweets, YouTube videos) and I can place images within the text. Then I can easily save a draft to work on later. I think Forems generally offer a better system for writing and consuming long form content.

These are a couple of quick ideas that came to me, but I might pop back in here later to offer more perks when they come to mind!