John Carcutt wrote at Search Engine Journal that "real SEOs don't go to forums." That said, we here at Search Engine Roundtable cover only forum discussion, so we ask the question: are SEO forums really needed? After all, blogs have replaced forums (but this blog is a combination of both!)
After reading through his detailed analysis of whether SEO forums are needed, one can come to the conclusion that SEO forums are useful to unite people on a common ground (SEO, of course), but that there are still errors of judgment that can be made. A lot of people who post on forums really don't know the right answer to the questions. The same goes for blogs, though. There are a lot of blog posts that have been argued time and time again based on [mis]information.
Still, however, for many of the prominent SEO bloggers, forums were a staple of education and provide value for the beginners. John explains, "All in all, if you leave the forums out of your everyday SEO life you are not living as full of a life as you could be."
The discussion moves onto Cre8asite Forums where many echo the sentiment that some of the larger "SEO" forums don't actually feel like a community. There are just so many members that one can get lost in the sea of new faces. Others agree with John's assessment that forums are a wonderful place for a beginner to ask new questions and get answers from people already "in the know."
A.N.Onym makes an interesting statement regarding forums:
For me, the forums replace a chance to just talk about the topic with my colleagues. It could be discussing the latest G quirks, tactics or just bouncing off ideas/approaches. You don't get that on social sites, unless you specificially ask about it on LinkedIn or smth.
The discussion moves on and has some great insight from Ammon Johns on why SEO forums are needed. I suggest you give it a read.