Decay of Webmaster Forums
It is not usual to write only negative about particular topic, but this time, I simply couldn't find a single positive point to emphasize. It seems that it is a “wave” or a trend that match some ideas of entropy and that everything is going into chaos. In particular webmaster forums seems to suffer in terms of quality.
Lack of Serious Topics and Questions
Nothing new about it, in the last 4-5 years barely can find any serious discussion at any of the top online marketing forums. Nor can find a question to answer. It seems that only questions that reappear again and again are “What is SEO”, “What is HTML”, “What is email marketing”, “What is link building”, “What is the best CMS”, etc...
These are not questions, but whole branches of webmaster related issues....
Well, certainly at every forum there are newbies and people that try to learn, but if you want to find general information, simply Google it and read. This is a problem number one, but the story doesn't end here...
Ghost Forum Posters and Trolls
Haven't seen so many ghost forum posters at top webmaster or online marketing forums, excepts in two which surprisingly are in Google top 10 for very competitive keywords. In one particular forum, all threads seems to be started by 3-4 members, but it seems that writing style and systematic grammar mistakes make me thing that it is same person.
Too many trolls and grumpies everywhere though. If you want to find a mean person, just go start new thread at any top online forum and you can get one. It is simply frustrating.
SPAM, SPAM, SPAM
Assuming that you start serious and trendy topic, immediately 2-3 replies will lead you to some questionable service. Spam levels are simply at the top of the charts. No matter you try to ask or discuss graphic design, web development, social media or SEO, a service related reply will appear in a matter of minutes.
Buy, Sell, Trade, OMG
As it is expected, in every online forum, this seems to be the hottest section. You can get “super-ultra-mega high quality SEO” for 10 buck! Or native English writer for 0.001c per word. Though the last time, I've tried to hire one with higher price tag, the only native thing was emailusa@ email address.
I have to admit, I am very disappointed from visiting some of the top webmaster forums recently. I even open a conversation with one of the moderators, the excuse was that there are so many newbies, which I doubt, that might be right, but barely can find anybody with common sense. About 5 of my new clients last month, simply told me that they have been burned by webmasters, SEO, web developers, etc... in the past. Majority of them admitted that they have search through these forums or freelancer websites.
On the top of this, every advice is more misleading than descriptive and backed up with evidence. Not surprised that the whole webmaster related industry have terrible reputation. Again, to every webmaster, please find reliable source of information and people to follow! No wonder that our webmaster forum at WebmaisterPro is inactive, we simply do not tolerate SPAM, ghosts and trolls.