I have decided to retire the E-Learning Technology and Development Google Group. It supported 1070 members and 783 discussions from 2009-2024. 15 years!
Prior to Google Groups, I had hosted a private e-learning development forum on pipwerks.com for about a year. It was a nice enough site, but the software I was using became the target of hackers, and the site was compromised a couple of times. Switching to Google Groups made sense, not only because it was more secure, but it low-friction: it was easy to manage, easy to find, and easy to join.
The group’s heyday was 2010 to 2014. Conversations tapered off around the same time the blogosphere succumbed to social media. In my estimation, the death of Google Reader hastened the decline of blogging, which had a downstream impact on our group posts; Long-form blogging was replaced by short-form posts on social media, and forums/groups like the E-Learning Technology and Development group gave way to conversations on social media sites like Facebook groups, Reddit, Stack Overflow, and more recently, Discord.
With the rise of AI, I suspect technical forums will continue to dwindle over the next few years. Commercial forums such as the Articulate and Learning Guild communities will surely stick around, but most folks (myself included) will likely use AI (e.g. ChatGPT or Copilot) first, and only look elsewhere if we’re really stuck.
A hearty thanks to everyone who contributed to our discussions on Google Groups over the years, I appreciate everyone coming together to help one another as a community.