I don’t know, I think forums will be less and less relevant with each new generation. The next generation to use the internet probably couldn’t even fathom the idea of typing a post on a forum, then waiting days, hours, or even minutes for a response. Heck, I’ve even seen evidence of that a couple times (people bumping there post after a couple of hours).
And according to my younger brother, who is 25, even Facebook is “for old people”. These days it seems to be all about the formats that lend themselves to an ever shrinking attention span; Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat. That’s not to say forums can’t make a comeback, or that they’ll die out completely. Discourse goes a long way to revitalizing the format, for sure! However, my money would be on another new format appearing that makes it even easier and quicker to get: help/information/news/insta-gratification.
All I can say is @bartv, it would probably be smart to keep an eye on the trends and demographics over the next 5 to 10+ years. I imagine you’re pretty savvy in this regard, though. I mean, you did run one of the first crowdsourcing campaigns on the internet, after all.