The End of Wikis, Blogs and Forums?

Have you noticed how little you see chat forums on web sites nowadays?  They’ve all but gone, replaced by messenger type applications on the desktop, or creative use of Ajax.

I’ve spent some time recently looking at the new breed of web sites coming along – things like UserVoice and StackOverflow and I’m starting to see an interesting shift in what people are producing.  In the past people have understood new technologies by the “badge” that’s applied to them, “does it have a wiki in it?” “It’s got forums, right?”  But now we’re starting to see lots of software focussed very tightly on solving a simple problem.  UserVoice for example, is a system for collecting requests and bug reports from your customers – rather than bolting the usual suspects together (typically a forum) it does it in a very simple, but very effective way by ignoring the usual suspects and developing something very specifically “built for purpose”.

At last!

This feels like the start of something different – tight, efficient, well thought out technology focussed around a single problem, instead of bolting a variety of established components together to come up with some half considered solution.  Is this the beginning of the end of what we now call wikis, blogs and forums, all to be replaced by a new breed of solution specific applications?

Now all we need is something to tie all these things together.  I once heard someone suggesting Shibboleth, but I think they must have been drunk at the time.

3 thoughts on “The End of Wikis, Blogs and Forums?

  1. Aww gee, Gareth.

    I could not have said it better. My partners & I had our own issues with supporting applications and this was our solution, “built for purpose” – only it seemed others wanted it too! And so the story goes…

    We appreciate your kind words, and thank you for seeing what others seem to have missed – we do one thing, but we aim to do it smashingly!


  2. Bloody good post mate – very relevant in this day and age. I think these tools (blogs, wiki’s forums) may just be too general for the enterprise – or rather the early and late majority (businesses at least) to be able pin point just what the benefits are for them. As they say – focus focus focus!

    Not heard of uservoice before – a very good example of focusing on a specific business problem.


    • Yes, they’re a bit too “techy”. Since Facebook, et al. has taken off in the home, folks are getting used to software that uses human terminology and very focussed feature sets. Generic behaviour and having to learn the idiosyncrasies of systems that don’t quite fit is not tolerated too much any more.

      Frog are now dangerously close to releasing a toolkit that allows these kind of applications to be built using drag/drop and a handful of lines of code (for those always needed special cases). I’m looking forward to seeing the ingenious ways that our customers put these things together over the next few months.

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