In fact, I think we're overdue.
Anyway, at least forums were actual communities, where you recognized people's usernames, people had reputations instead of likes or karma, and people made up their own mind about things instead of having signals tell you what to think.
What we have with social networks are too many people spewing their worthless opinions with such velocity that any meaningful discourse or information you might hope to extract is drowned in uneducated or uninformed quips and blurts.
Instagram is great for sharing quick stories of interesting things throughout your day and for photographers who want to showcase their work to a casual audience. Snap is great if you're younger and want a more contained experience.
If I want to get rid of something that I don't use anymore or get a quick pulse of my neighborhood, I find Nextdoor very useful since everyone is verified.
LinkedIn is still great for getting a quick pulse on a company, team makeup, how they're growing, etc. It's not great, but it's better than nothing.
Pinterest is still a great way to collaborate on creative projects with other people. Especially if you're exploring something very visual.
Reddit/Twitter still have great interest-oriented content though you have to dig a bit to find the signal amongst the noise. Once you tune your subreddits and twitter feeds, they can be productive places.
The point I'm trying to make here is that there's no ONE social network that'll be great for everything. Just like there's no ONE social circle or social structure in real life that you rely on for everything.
Each of these networks have their issues but if you take the time to extract the value out of them, it can be productive. Of course, they can be used in unproductive ways as well. I've experienced both extremely productive and unproductive sides of each.
It's quite interesting making tweaks to a social website, as there are usually all sorts of unpredictable second-order effects. I have a bit more respect for why websites like Twitter don't change much.
On Indie Hackers in particular, one thing I've noticed is that people tend to be kind without much moderation. My leading hypothesis at this point is that almost everyone has skin in the game. You're less likely to bash someone else's project if you know you'll be posting about your project soon, so norms have developed around being constructive and encouraging.
By contrast, HN has a norm around finding fault with whoever you're responding to, which is great for informative debate and conversation -- I learn a lot here from reading so many different opinions on each issue.
I read the other day a New Yorker's article  about the 2 Hacker News moderators and how lonely and emotionally draining their work is. Here rapid growth and anonymity lead to people being more ready to give fast feedback or opinion which sometimes causes bickering, misinterpretation and insults.
So a thriving network has to have:
- The right mix of a moderate velocity and growth - just enough new content so it doesn't turn into a ghost town or echo chamber, but not too much so the quality is not diluted.
- Self-moderation or non-stop moderation if necessary.
- The right incentive built around a common interest for the users to create meaningful and constructive new content - seems like the hardest part.
I think that reddit has a foothold with subreddits, but they’re just not the same. As of now, I’m searching for decent aviation forum communities to explore as it’s my new learning focus.
Never heard of lobster, looks neat. If it doesn’t bother you, I’d love an invite to that so I can check it out.
Overall, I think a singular place where all of humanity “socializes” isn’t realistic. We need our corners and groups that belong to us individually.