Do all guitar forums suck?
Forums are forums are forums. Some are good. Most are bad.
I've seen a lot of forums come and go on the internet. I remember when people still used newsgroups (if you don't know what those are, don't ask.) On the world wide web, I've seen several different forum software types like YaBB, phpBB, vBulletin and so on. Heck, I've even operated a few forums.
I personally think most guitar forums just plain suck, and here's why:
Fact: Most don't work on mobile
Some (but damned few) forum operators have been smart enough to get their forums working on mobile web browsers, and I applaud those that have done that because they will be the ones that survive in 2016 and beyond. For those that don't, their user base will continue to get older and crustier, readership will continue to dwindle and the forum will eventually shut down.
Oh, and guess what, forum owners? Even for those that can view your forum on a mobile browser, mobile ad blocking is quickly becoming the norm. You'd best start monetizing those links.
Fact: The same cliques and same stupid arguments still exist
In every single internet forum, there's a clique. This clique is comprised of three tiers of users. Administrators, moderators and regulars. If you say anything that even remotely disagrees with an admin, mod or regular, you are banned because you rustled someone's jimmies.
In addition, most forums have a list of rules that's about a mile long. You can't swear, you can't speak your mind, you can't do anything.
In the video below, skip to 16:40 and watch until 22:50. Trust me, it's worth your time, because...
...absolutely nothing has changed.
The same crapola that happened back in the '80s and '90s is still happening today. Same cliques, flame wars, same stupid arguments, same everything. The only thing that changed is that it's now on the internet.
I think the best word that describes the way a forum operates is Draconian. You will not disagree with the admin or mods, and you will think happy thoughts. Big Brother is watching you.
Want to know how bad it can get? Some don't even allow you to say something "sucks", because someone's jimmies might get rustled from that (gasp!)
Are guitar forums good for ANY usable information?
I answer that one with a conditional yes, with the condition being that if you're willing to wade through page after page after page of worthless s--tposts, eventually you will come across some information that is actually useful to you as a player.
It is par for the course that forums are dead last when it comes to being a trusted information resource. What dictates this? Google. Whenever you search for something on Google, forums are rarely the first thing to show up.
The only time forums show up first in a Google search result is when you have an ultra-specific thing you need information on that only the forums have. But, of course, when you go to that guitar forum, it's most likely true the thread will be really old, and if there are any images accompanying the post, they probably won't work.
I don't hate all guitar forums (just most of them).
Most guitar forums just plain suck because of the Draconian rules. Sometimes it's for stuff not even related to what you post, such as the rules for what you are allowed to have for a forum signature. You can have a signature, but can't be more than X number of characters long, cannot contain links of any kind, no images, no colorization, no bold, no italic, no underline, no swear words, no mention of breasts, butts, etc.
A forum moderator would probably get a bug up his butt if you had your forum signature just as "butt" and nothing else. If you frequent a guitar forum or two, try that and see how long it takes before a mod 'disciplines' or outright bans you just for your one-word signature.
For the few guitar forums I do like, a few have asked me to participate and be a regular, but since I have my site here, I really don't see the point.
On a final note, what I notice is that for whatever reason, guitar forums with with the word talk in their name are usually the better ones, said sincerely. If you frequent guitar forums at all, you know the ones I'm referring to.