With the mind-boggling (or is it mind-numbing?) proliferation of blogs, vlogs, flogs, blawgs, splogs, plogs, et cetera, we who are in the business of tracking and listening to conversations have been presented with a number of pretty good (and not so pretty) tracking tools. Some of my favorites, and those used most often by the Research Dept. here at Eastwick, include Technorati (natch), Feedster (when it’s humming), and PubSub. Google's blog search tool is also assuming a larger role in our arsenal.
But an often-overlooked venue, one that’s been with us for many years and is still very relevant to LOTS of people, is the message board. Now, thanks to BoardTracker.com we can search message boards and other forums with relative ease. As of five minutes ago, BoardTracker claimed to be tracking 16,149,892 threads in 26,016 forums. Not every community has jumped on the blogging/wiki train yet, so having a useful way to monitor these conversations is great. It gets me thinking, though, with all the innovations in social media, will Web 2.0’s forgotten step-brother—the message board—be on its way out?