Why you can't live without running your own forums?
Nowadays blogs and social networks may be considered as a massive fashion happening, but any of these can become obsolete once their authors lose interest, which actually is a question of a short period in most cases. At this time, a virtual community of a common interest, also called online forums, or a bulletin board system, or a discussion board, will be always requested by a wide group of people. Such form of discussion activities exists since ancient times, having a big social importance. It is the only form of communication allowing EVERYBODY to spread a public opinion. "Vox populi - vox Dei" - remember that saying?.. It means "The voice of the people is the voice of God"; further to that, it means if you provide people the voice, you actually open God's mouth to your ears.
Forum software stands for this mouth's lips, tongue and gumses. But in times it becomes even more universal, it can be used not just for an always opened communication, but also to provide customer support, to publish news and announcements. It builds a platform for opinions and advices exchange between experts and beginners, it may work as a guest book where visitors may post their impressions, and... it prepares the useful content basis for you on-the-fly and absolutely for free, becoming (under proper moderation) a "knowledge base" closely related to your own interests area.
If you already own, or plan to build a website closely related to your business, or hobbies, or anything else, attaching the forum to it is the most simple yet most time-proven and effective method of attracting a new audience. If you run your own specialized forum, you also stand a head over your competitors who probably may not even have any idea what it's all about. And hopefully you have them!..