Virginia Heffernan Considers the Rise and Fall of Message Boards

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Online message boards were a mainstay of early web communities. Now they have the challenge of coexisting with Facebook, Tumblr, and numerous other social networking sites. So how has their presence changed? Virginia Heffernan, writing for the New York Times, offers a survey of the rise and fall of message boards from declining statistics to personal experience:

Not to get too misty, but the board format itself might deserve a nostalgic embrace. The Internet forum, that great old standby of Web 1.0., has become an endangered species.

Many boards are stagnant or in decline, if they even still exist. Several once-thriving boards on the women’s site iVillage have closed up shop. Big fiction-fan boards haven’t seen real action in years. Last month, a once-popular eight-old-year British board about mental health went dark with a note: “The Internet has changed significantly.”

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