Online Forums: A Place to be

Since the ancient times, people used to gather at one common place to discuss the issues they are facing. This commonplace is called forum. Forum word is first used in roman times, for a common marketplace where people used to gather and discuss. Time has changed, civilizations changed, revolutions happened, but he most prolific one happened to humanity is the revolution in the field of computers, especially the World Wide Web. Internet has opened the doors worldwide. It has taken us beyond geographical boundaries. And, with this worldwide approach comes a need for a common place to discuss issues, share knowledge, and hence come the concept of Online Forums.

Online forums are the specific websites, which offers a common platform or a message board for anyone sitting in any part of this world, to come and discuss. Anyone; as a user can log into these specific website with their personal ease, be sitting on their office PCs or at home on their personal computers or laptops.

Usually the way these online forums or discussion board works is pretty straightforward. It’s a hierarchical structure or nested structure. A forum can also be subdivided further. These are called sub forums. Usually all these forums need user to log in with their created account to access and use the space for discussion, though on some forums this can be done anonymously. A user must be aware of the terms and jargon associated with these online forums or discussion boards. Some of these terms are:

  • Moderator: These are users of the forum, who has the access to all the posts and content on the website. Their job is to run the board in a proper way and to maintain the overall quality of the forum.
  • Administrator:These are the few users, who have the technical approach towards the forum, be it maintaining the look and feel of the forum site, creating set of rules, monitoring (promoting or demoting) moderators, etc.
  • Thread: Thread is a discussion or collection of posts on a specific topic. It has a title and date associated with it and usually displayed in order from newest to oldest or vice versa.
  • Posts: Posts are the messages contributed to a particular thread by any member or user. Member’s name, posting date and time are associated with any post. Usually users (members) are allowed to edit or delete their own post.

There are few more terms associated with an online forum, such as PM (Private Messages), Emoticons, etc.

Online forums have many benefit, such as people don’t need to come face-to-face, don’t have to be at a same place on same time to discuss on particular issues. Many online forums such as are doing tremendous job of letting people come to a common platform to discuss and share the knowledge and contribute to help each other.

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