A lot of the people that were active here back in the day are either too busy to spend much time (here) or left domaining altogether. There are also a lot more end users out there so anyone with decent domains has much less interest in selling to resellers.
When questioning what happened to DNF, I mostly wonder how much the individual has contributed to the forum. A forum is a collective body of individuals with the same interests. Typically a forum's success is directly tied to the members' participation. As a whole, the number of members does not indicate the success - especially when looking at longevity.
The global recession, I would say. Going back 4-5 years, people had a lot more spare cash, and could quite happily blow $200 - $300 each month on renewals or new registrations, etc. Many of them were college kids, and many of them, like me, never even really made a profit, just traded domains for a hobby, like some kind of adult baseball cards. Now days, people have a lot less spare cash, plus the cost of renewals has more or less doubled, (I used to pay $7 everytime, now it's more like $13). So I guess only the serious domain traders can afford to cover their costs, and most "hobbyists" have been driven out of the game. Just my opinion... nothing more.
Edit: I've also noticed a big drop in the value of "low end" domains. Two word dot.com's that would have fetched $60 - $70 a few years back are now selling for $20 - $30. Domains that would have sold for $20 on here are now just dropping because nobody wants them.
Its not just dnf itself... but forums in general. Places like facebook and twitter have captured the interests of web eyes even though the use promotes ignorant postings in 160 characters or less. Its the dumbing down of the visitors en mass.
Forums by design promoted intelligent conversation. But that is too much work for the weaker minds that just wish to post their selfie and change their location and mood.
A lot of noobs quit after just months or around their 1st renewal time. I've never found Twitter or FB really suitable to do serious domaining, the same goes for LinkedIn. Forums are as good as the ppl who frequent them. A great owner like Adam, and even if the mods are good, that's still not enough if the crowd that comes here is not interesting and there are no good discussions
Forums need constant "new blood" so to speak, to survive and grow, as well as long term members who act in the capacity as the forum's base. Has dnforum ever considered letting existing members use affiliate links on some of their numerous websites to attract new members/make a little extra money after a new member joins?
I think it can be highly beneficial if forums are combined, for example I would make:
Domain Name News
Domain Beginners and Newbies
One forum not have it 3 separate
Same goes with other sections, consolidate it so there is more action.
The herd mentality applies to forums as well. People see actions they take part in it, if they see recent posts with 2013 dates, they just move on.
Another popular forum has also slowed down lots in the past few months so I dont think it's a DNForum specific issue. But without a doubt consolidation is a must, if people see aged dates on the first page they just get discouraged.
i some bin very new in this business in this forum, like this forum in general, i miss some more interesting article like "Michael from Whizzbangsblog" or Theo' s humor
here in forum. Interesting discussion about new ideas, products, visions of the future, "Hot news" from around the world. Live the domain industry not by visions, news etc.? It's fast that it is a boring, if woman or man every day, always reads the same. "make on offer" "bump" ...
people join DnForum with high expectations, then they start to post with different motivations:
1. sell their domains
2. acquire some knowledge and interact
3. promote their own business
after a few posts, you realize that DnForum is managed by Forums Cops-Moderators;
and "Forums Cops-Moderators" are the enemies of forums in the first place
that's why you find posts locked each and everyday, even when there are very few posts in the first place
if this forum was managed with a more opensource free minded policy, the content can take up
so now, put yourself in the place of the forum poster, who is busy with his business/work.
after you have a couple of posts locked, you loose all motivation to contribute to this forum
you will find another place to advertise or promote your domains and service
PS: it is difficult to translate emotion when posting text, so to clarify,
i made this post in a sense to contribute positively, so that the moderators/owners may read it and question the policies they have in place. it was never my intention to attack or critic anyone in particular