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    UK Avalon Founder Bill Ryan's Avatar
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    Default The Future of Internet Forums

    I posted this under The Internet. But it might also belong in The Human Condition.

    The thread title is perfectly descriptive, but I'd also like this to be a consultation. A number of other forums are becoming more and more inactive, and some have closed. But I'm not actually a member of any other, and maybe those of you who are can report back more specifically about how others are faring.

    Why? Well, recently on my Personal Q-and-A thread I wrote:
    The main problem, as I see it, is that forums are far less popular than they were in the earlier days of the net. Even though those early 1990s 'bulletin boards' were a 'fast-food' way of communication, so to speak, people now living almost their whole lives on cellphones and tweets make forums look (to some) as thick and weighty as a heavy book. And even Facebook seems rather cumbersome now.
    I've posted on a couple of other threads about Alvin Toffler's seminal and prophetic Future Shock, written in 1970. Toffler noted that the pace of change was steadily accelerating, and predicted that within a generation we'd all start to be overwhelmed.

    The 'future shock' that he coined would be a personal response to this... to shut things down, go into emergency mode, and only deal with the information input that was necessary.

    In practice, we see now, that means:
    • Feeling that any video beyond 20 minutes is 'long'.
    • Skimming books rather than reading them. (and often not even doing that)
    • Sending and receiving shorter and shorter messages. (though, ironically, more and more of them)
    • Sending two-line SMS texts in place of what 100 years ago might have been a carefully crafted 4-page handwritten letter.
    In this Brave New World, an internet forum is a luxury, and (like a good book you can hold in your hand) something that might feel attractive as an idea but in practice takes quite a lot of time and effort to engage in.

    I've written elsewhere, also, about how so many new members just have a post count of 2. (Look through the Welcome to Avalon! thread for a few seconds.) Their application, and their Welcome thread message. Then, 50% of them never post again.

    Why? Well, it's a good question. One answer might be because learning to navigate the forum takes some time, maybe a lot longer than most people are willing to spend with their 2019 limited attention spans.

    One can learn how to open a Facebook page and start adding content, or open a Twitter account and start tweeting, in minutes. I suspect for at least some new folks here, the forum can't be grasped and assimilated in that same short time, and so they simply give up, bounce off, and return to other social media where communication is much easier.

    In a phrase: it's about fast food. And all internet forums, not just Avalon, require a lot more time to prepare, think about and digest than grabbing a quick burger on the run.

    So, here are two interesting questions.
    • What's the current health and membership of other forums out there?
    • What will the future bring to us all?
    Last edited by Bill Ryan; 15th February 2019 at 21:42.

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    Finland Avalon Member Arak's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Future of Internet Forums

    I am and have been a member of many forums in the past 20 years. Much of the general discussion has moved to social media, but those topics which are best to keep anonym still thrive on forums. Social media tends to be very shallow and polished.
    "Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere."
    - Albert Einstein

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    Default Re: The Future of Internet Forums

    I despise social media so I'm not involved in it, but as is quite interesting to note, I'm less involved in forums than I used to be as well.

    Hard to say what the future will bring maybe it will evolve to sending pics to each other rather than Twitter or SMS and then telepathy! lol

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    United States Avalon Member Valerie Villars's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Future of Internet Forums

    I was only on one other forum, back in the 2004's or so, where I found the depth and level of discussion on the same par as this forum. Back then, though, that was a fairly new type of platform and certainly was NOT bombarded with videos and news from every person on the planet.

    What happened was one or two gleeful trolls came in and started to disrupt the forum by goading members and then delightedly sitting back while all hell broke loose.

    One enlightened being meditated and invited a group of us to move to a new forum he started and all was fine. As life got busier for me and Katrina hit, I lost touch.

    The only other forum I tried to join after my intense spiritual awakening was cassiopaea.org. I found it to be pedantic and very intolerant. Every once in a while I check back on it and it's just the same. It's just on a different level than this one and I find nothing new and exciting there, though I do have respect for the news site connected to it, SOTT.

    Every single day I find something here new, different, exciting, thoughtful, open minded and an esprit de corp I have never seen anywhere else. Some of the input on this forum makes my mouth hang open. What a place. How special it is.

    I know that doesn't really answer your questions, but it's my own observation after having been here for over a year. It's my starting point for almost everything I read or find and just about the only place I have to voice my unconventional understanding of the world.

    Last edited by Valerie Villars; 15th February 2019 at 22:21.
    "The only true currency in this bankrupt world is what we share with someone when we are uncool." From the movie "Almost Famous""l "Let yourself stand cool and composed before a million universes." Walt Whitman

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    Default Re: The Future of Internet Forums

    Oh, this is meant just as an Observation but I'd propose that one reason for the rise in the use of Social Media is now because of the apparent Dominance of the "Materialist Reductionist" world view ... where there is simply no need to consider questions (or realities) outside of its remit that only the "Material World" is truly real ... perhaps our Survival Instincts have come to the fore and spending "time" on non-survival issues seems superfluous or rarely see the "light of day" in our Consciousness eh ?

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    Default Re: The Future of Internet Forums

    Quote Posted by Valerie Villars (here)
    ...Every single day I find something here new, different, exciting, thoughtful, open minded and an esprit de corp I have never seen anywhere else. Some of the input on this forum makes my mouth hang open. What a place. How special it is.

    I know that doesn't really answer your questions, but it's my own observation after having been here for over a year. It's my starting point for almost everything I read or find and just about the only place I have to voice my unconventional understanding of the world.

    Yes, I very much agree with Valerie.
    I am not an active member on other forums, just a reader/lurker
    That said, I do feel a bit of the Future Shock syndrome; however, for me it has resulted in a preemptive form of whittling away the chaff, so to speak. That is, I simply pick and choose with greater discrimination what I am going to read or look at.

    I still love to read books and I watch whatever I feel might be of most interest to me (which is, granted, quite a lot). I think like this forum, and as you posted elsewhere, itís about quality over quantity for me. Yes, I am being bombarded with more and more options, but have simply had to be more discriminating about what I will invest my time in.

    The exception being writing, unfortunately. I donít generally write letters anymore, with the infrequent exception of the lengthy email, an electronic letter. Those would only be directed to close friends who I feel would actually take the time to read it, as they would have read a letter if they had received it from me.
    "Love is the only engine of survival.." Leonard Cohen

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    Default Re: The Future of Internet Forums

    One other thing I notice about social media, is that it doesn't want your intelligent thoughts, it wants your reactions, it wants your emotions. If you have a long complex idea, Facebook hides everything that is longer than two sentences, but if you want to express something in seven words, it blows them up in big letters with a color background, taking up more space then six intelligent sentences. Twitter also dissuades real intelligence. The laws of social media reward hysteria and punish critical thinking.

    Just as the invention of the postal system, telephones, fax machines, text messaging have all changed how we communicate and how we think. I am an optimist and I think some of us humans will learn to resist the opium of thoughtless social media promoted by the world's Zuckerbergs and Bilderbergs, and some how figure out how to express our intellect in other ways.

    I would like to say more on the matter but since I now live in the age of social media, I will leave the rest of my thoughts to be represented by a few carefully chosen emoticons:


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    Australia Avalon Member Anchor's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Future of Internet Forums

    People still write long posts. I read reddit a lot and some of the longer posts often have "TL;DR" (Too Long Didnt Read) summaries at the end, a sort of one or two sentence short form summary of the post, it is almost considered etiquette these days for posting longer posts and if you fail to provide one, say for a story you were trying to tell, you might get people pressuring you to add one!

    I noticed some people use that form on this forum and there have been some threads also advising people to do it.

    For example:
    http://projectavalon.net/forum4/show...er-of-a-thread.
    What is interesting about that thread is that the OP (Original Poster) used a lot of acronyms in common use on social media form and got told off for it - including tl;dr
    Those of the positive polarity are of service when by action or thought or even intention, another entity or the self is freer to seek his or her own path than before the intended service was performed. --L/Leema

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    Default Re: The Future of Internet Forums

    Quote Posted by Bill Ryan (here)
    I posted this under The Internet. But it might also belong in The Human Condition.

    The thread title is perfectly descriptive, but I'd also like this to be a consultation. A number of other forums are becoming more and more inactive, and some have closed. But I'm not actually a member of any other, and maybe those of you who are can report back more specifically about how others are faring.

    Why? Well, recently on my Personal Q-and-A thread I wrote:
    The main problem, as I see it, is that forums are far less popular than they were in the earlier days of the net. Even though those early 1990s 'bulletin boards' were a 'fast-food' way of communication, so to speak, people now living almost their whole lives on cellphones and tweets make forums look (to some) as thick and weighty as a heavy book. And even Facebook seems rather cumbersome now.
    I've posted on a couple of other threads about Alvin Toffler's seminal and prophetic Future Shock, written in 1970. Toffler noted that the pace of change was steadily accelerating, and predicted that within a generation we'd all start to be overwhelmed.

    The 'future shock' that he coined would be a personal response to this... to shut things down, go into emergency mode, and only deal with the information input that was necessary.

    In practice, we see now, that means:
    • Feeling that any video beyond 20 minutes is 'long'.
    • Skimming books rather than reading them. (and often not even doing that)
    • Sending and receiving shorter and shorter messages. (though, ironically, more and more of them)
    • Sending two-line SMS texts in place of what 100 years ago might have been a carefully crafted 4-page handwritten letter.
    In this Brave New World, an internet forum is a luxury, and (like a good book you can hold in your hand) something that might feel attractive as an idea but in practice takes quite a lot of time and effort to engage in.

    I've written elsewhere, also, about how so many new members just have a post count of 2. (Look through the Welcome to Avalon! thread for a few seconds.) Their application, and their Welcome thread message. Then, 50% of them never post again.

    Why? Well, it's a good question. One answer might be because learning to navigate the forum takes some time, maybe a lot longer than most people are willing to spend with their 2019 limited attention spans.

    One can learn how to open a Facebook page and start adding content, or open a Twitter account and start tweeting, in minutes. I suspect for at least some new folks here, the forum can't be grasped and assimilated in that same short time, and so they simply give up, bounce off, and return to other social media where communication is much easier.

    In a phrase: it's about fast food. And all internet forums, not just Avalon, require a lot more time to prepare, think about and digest than grabbing a quick burger on the run.

    So, here are two interesting questions.
    • What's the current health and membership of other forums out there?
    • What will the future bring to us all?
    can we add to the questions? how can we help new comers: How can we make the forum better?

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    Default Re: The Future of Internet Forums

    Bill, I like the fast food analogy. It covers the rushing aspect of present day life as well as the toxicity of most social media
    as well as burgers and fries.


    John
    "I am fascinated by religion. (That's a completely different thing from believing in it!)" Douglas Adams

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    Default Re: The Future of Internet Forums

    I was invited to join a new forum two-three years ago. It was the only one other than Avalon Iíve been a part of. I lasted three days, maybe four. The main reason why someone open it was for this prolific author which will remain nameless.

    It took a couple of threads to see that whatever anyone wrote it was wrong because it wasnít in line with his vague OP that went on and on and without a central theme. The members more or less brainstormed their thoughts. Heíd come back and let everyone know how off topic they were and repeat the same gibberish from the OP and expected something different. I couldnít believe how some would even bother to give it a second or third go.

    The forum wasnít a good fit for another reason. You could only modify your post 2-3 times before you were locked out. Thatíd never work for me. I still catch posts from years ago that need spelling and grammar corrections. A couple of months later, I went back to unsubscribe only to discover the forum folded.

    Heís since went on to create a PayPal forum. I signed up and lasted a few days into the second payment cycle. It wasnít worth my time to even try to make it to the end of the month. The members would regurgitate back what he said. Then heíd cycle into how no one was responding to his remarks and questioned why he even bothered to continue. There was a clear and recognizable pattern to his behaviors. It was strange how a bright man couldnít see it.

    I like that I can be RunningDeer on Avalon. Sometimes, thereís a quirky side and sometimes not. Iím appreciative that most donít poke at the quirky. If I canít be that then it ainít fun.
    ................

    NOTE: I do understand and respect thereís a time and a place for it.
    Last edited by RunningDeer; 15th February 2019 at 23:17.

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  23. Link to Post #12
    Philippines Avalon Member
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    Default Re: The Future of Internet Forums

    Quote Posted by RunningDeer (here)
    I was invited to join a new forum two-three years ago. It was the only one other than Avalon Iíve been a part of. I lasted three days, maybe four. The main reason why someone open it was for this prolific author which will remain nameless.

    It took a couple of threads to see that whatever anyone wrote it was wrong because it wasnít in line with his vague OP that went on and on and without a central theme. The members more or less brainstormed their thoughts. Heíd come back and let everyone know how off topic they were and repeat the same gibberish from the OP and expected something different. I couldnít believe how some would even bother to give it a second or third go.

    The forum wasnít a good fit for another reason. You could only modify your post 2-3 times before you were locked out. Thatíd never work for me. I still catch posts from years ago that need spelling and grammar corrections. A couple of months later, I went back to unsubscribe only to discover the forum folded.

    Heís since went on to create a PayPal forum. I signed up and lasted a few days into the second payment cycle. It wasnít worth my time to even try to make it to the end of the month. The members would regurgitate back what he said. Then heíd cycle into how no one was responding to his remarks and questioned why he even bothered to continue. There was a clear and recognizable pattern to his behaviors. It was strange how a bright man couldnít see it.
    .
    ................

    NOTE: I do understand and respect thereís a time and a place for it.
    Hi Paula, may I offer an explanation to his behavior. His behavior is typical of that a salesman. Insistent in not so obvious way. Ironically we can also learn from him. Maybe he is following the logic of "lies repeated equals truth" same logic and means that have many of people become sheeple. And my logic says that maybe we can undo the brainwashing the same route "truth repeated equals truth" hope youll have a sunny day today inside and out. Well tomorrow is another day
    Last edited by Bubu; 16th February 2019 at 00:14.

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  25. Link to Post #13
    Philippines Avalon Member
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    Default Re: The Future of Internet Forums

    Quote Posted by Bubu (here)
    Quote Posted by Bill Ryan (here)
    I posted this under The Internet. But it might also belong in The Human Condition.

    The thread title is perfectly descriptive, but I'd also like this to be a consultation. A number of other forums are becoming more and more inactive, and some have closed. But I'm not actually a member of any other, and maybe those of you who are can report back more specifically about how others are faring.

    Why? Well, recently on my Personal Q-and-A thread I wrote:
    The main problem, as I see it, is that forums are far less popular than they were in the earlier days of the net. Even though those early 1990s 'bulletin boards' were a 'fast-food' way of communication, so to speak, people now living almost their whole lives on cellphones and tweets make forums look (to some) as thick and weighty as a heavy book. And even Facebook seems rather cumbersome now.
    I've posted on a couple of other threads about Alvin Toffler's seminal and prophetic Future Shock, written in 1970. Toffler noted that the pace of change was steadily accelerating, and predicted that within a generation we'd all start to be overwhelmed.

    The 'future shock' that he coined would be a personal response to this... to shut things down, go into emergency mode, and only deal with the information input that was necessary.

    In practice, we see now, that means:
    • Feeling that any video beyond 20 minutes is 'long'.
    • Skimming books rather than reading them. (and often not even doing that)
    • Sending and receiving shorter and shorter messages. (though, ironically, more and more of them)
    • Sending two-line SMS texts in place of what 100 years ago might have been a carefully crafted 4-page handwritten letter.
    In this Brave New World, an internet forum is a luxury, and (like a good book you can hold in your hand) something that might feel attractive as an idea but in practice takes quite a lot of time and effort to engage in.

    I've written elsewhere, also, about how so many new members just have a post count of 2. (Look through the Welcome to Avalon! thread for a few seconds.) Their application, and their Welcome thread message. Then, 50% of them never post again.

    Why? Well, it's a good question. One answer might be because learning to navigate the forum takes some time, maybe a lot longer than most people are willing to spend with their 2019 limited attention spans.

    One can learn how to open a Facebook page and start adding content, or open a Twitter account and start tweeting, in minutes. I suspect for at least some new folks here, the forum can't be grasped and assimilated in that same short time, and so they simply give up, bounce off, and return to other social media where communication is much easier.

    In a phrase: it's about fast food. And all internet forums, not just Avalon, require a lot more time to prepare, think about and digest than grabbing a quick burger on the run.

    So, here are two interesting questions.
    • What's the current health and membership of other forums out there?
    • What will the future bring to us all?
    can we add to the questions? how can we help new comers: How can we make the forum better?
    Actually there is a thread here http://projectavalon.net/forum4/show...The-last-laugh
    that goes way off topic but delve into the question I asked and seems to be not so interesting to many and tasteless to most so never mind.

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  27. Link to Post #14
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    Default Re: The Future of Internet Forums

    Avalon is not a narrow focused Forum, thus to post often you must have knowledge worth sharing in multiple subjects. It takes time (many years) and researching consistently to provide relevant information. Thus many new to these ideas discussed may feel they donít have that level of knowledge yet. They came to learn and will engage at a letter date. Thus it its not the platform that is overwhelming but the subject.

    In social media you can be outed fairly soon if you pretend to have in-depth knowledge that is actually very shallow. Many wisely just lurk, learn and leave. Some threads can be rather intimidating because itís clear those posting really know what they are talking about (even opinions are informed ones). However I think thatís rather a good thing, I donít have to weed through a bunch of posts that that donít say much (aka redit).

    I my opinion I think people remain at Avalon because:
    Multiple topics and one is bound to interest you
    Good moderation that helps stop trolling and abuses
    Informed participants that have been screened before giving them membership

    So it maybe not posting is not an indication that Avalon is a dinosaur on its way out. The posts have changed to those posting videos or quick replies that can also be very valuable. Thus as the participates change so will how they engage in the platform, that will remain the same.

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  29. Link to Post #15
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    Default Re: The Future of Internet Forums

    Quote Posted by Bubu (here)
    Hi Paula, may I offer an explanation to his behavior. His behavior is typical of that a salesman. Insistent in not so obvious way. Ironically we can also learn from him. Maybe he is following the logic of "lies repeated equals truth" same logic and means that have many of people become sheeple. And my logic says that maybe we can undo the brainwashing the same route "truth repeated equals truth" hope youll have a sunny day today inside and out. Well tomorrow is another day
    Iíve read 25+ of his (their) books cover to cover; some of them two to three times and took notes. He made a lot of sense. I couldnít wait for his next book to come out. That is until his narcissist disposition outweighed any tidbits Iíd glean.

    As for taking time to read these days? Itís been a challenge to find anything that holds my interest. It all sounds the same. At the moment, my focus is on the health genre. The other focus is learning how to sit and take in the winter sun in my reading corner, feed the birds and explain to my ladybug friend that itís still too early to go out and play.

    Thanks, Bubu. You have a sunny day today and today and another today, too.

    Last edited by RunningDeer; 17th February 2019 at 02:49.

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  31. Link to Post #16
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    Default Re: The Future of Internet Forums

    Quote Posted by RunningDeer (here)
    Iíve read 25+ of his books cover to cover
    I know only one author, offhand, who has written so many books; I've only read about a dozen of those books so far, sorta mostly cover to cover (my reading style is oddly non-linear, like a humming bird working a flowering bush.)

    Welcome to the Nefarium .

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    Default Re: The Future of Internet Forums

    Quote Posted by Paul (here)
    Quote Posted by RunningDeer (here)
    Iíve read 25+ of his books cover to cover
    I know only one author, offhand, who has written so many books; I've only read about a dozen of those books so far, sorta mostly cover to cover (my reading style is oddly non-linear, like a humming bird working a flowering bush.)

    Welcome to the Nefarium .
    Iíve only read one of Joseph P. Farrellís books - ďRotten to the (Common) Core: Public Schooling, Standardized Tests, and the Surveillance StateĒ. It was spot on.

    Clarification: his and her books. Husband and wife complement each other in their knowledge.
    Last edited by RunningDeer; 16th February 2019 at 02:12.

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    Default Re: The Future of Internet Forums

    someone has to come along and make reading and writing cool again. that's what needs to happen. some eccentric iconoclast has to arrive and just do something atomic....some literary muhammad ali or something.

    we need a literary star. i don't mean that in some empty or superficial way either. i think we're at the point where we actually need something like a savior.

    i get text messages from my friends that look more like hieroglyphics than anything else. it is astounding. a mishmash of misspelled words with no breaks and no sensible arrangement. and here's the thing: when i tell them i can't understand the text and to please make it legible, they act as though i'm the one who is being unreasonable.

    we've reached a point where the articulate people are the misfits. it's cool to dumb everything down now. the world has unapologetically embraced it's stupidity..held it up as honorable and hip. that's why forums are becoming irrelevant, imo
    Last edited by Mike; 16th February 2019 at 02:33.

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    Default Re: The Future of Internet Forums

    Quote Posted by Savannah (here)
    Avalon is not a narrow focused Forum, thus to post often you must have knowledge worth sharing in multiple subjects. It takes time (many years) and researching consistently to provide relevant information. Thus many new to these ideas discussed may feel they donít have that level of knowledge yet. They came to learn and will engage at a letter date. Thus it its not the platform that is overwhelming but the subject.

    In social media you can be outed fairly soon if you pretend to have in-depth knowledge that is actually very shallow. Many wisely just lurk, learn and leave. Some threads can be rather intimidating because itís clear those posting really know what they are talking about (even opinions are informed ones). However I think thatís rather a good thing, I donít have to weed through a bunch of posts that that donít say much (aka redit).

    I my opinion I think people remain at Avalon because:
    Multiple topics and one is bound to interest you
    Good moderation that helps stop trolling and abuses
    Informed participants that have been screened before giving them membership

    So it maybe not posting is not an indication that Avalon is a dinosaur on its way out. The posts have changed to those posting videos or quick replies that can also be very valuable. Thus as the participates change so will how they engage in the platform, that will remain the same.
    Thank you Savannah, you wrote exactly how I feel as a new member....but I do enjoy lurking, liking others post, and jump all around Avalon, reading and learning, I am an avid reader of books and most anything I get my hands on, I am gaining a lot of good information here on Avalon and truly enjoy this forum.

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  39. Link to Post #20
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    Default Re: The Future of Internet Forums

    I'm a member of 6 forums and lurk on many more. It's where I get the news I consider important. I observe those who walk around in a zombified state looking at social media and quite frankly I'm not sure they'd be the awake types. They'd be the types who get all their news from the fakestream media.

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