Internet forum

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Internet forum

A Web site that provides an online exchange of information between people about a particular topic. It provides a venue for questions and answers and may be monitored to keep the content appropriate. Also called a "discussion board" or "discussion group," an Internet forum is similar to an Internet newsgroup (see below), but uses the Web browser for access. Before the Web, text-only forums were common on bulletin boards and proprietary online services. However, Internet forums include all the extras people expect from the Web, including images, videos, downloads and links, sometimes functioning as a mini-portal on the topic.

Forums can be entirely anonymous or require registration with username and password. Messages may be displayed in chronological order of posting or in question-answer order where all related answers are displayed under the question (see message thread).

Forums/Newsgroups Vs. Chat Rooms
Forums are like Usenet "newsgroups," the original Internet discussion groups, and both systems keep postings online for some period of time. Users can scroll back in time and do not have to be logged in the moment they are posted. In contrast, chat rooms are interactive, real-time sessions, and users must be present to read them. See newsgroup and chat room.

Turn a Site into a Forum
There is a variety of forum creation software for the Web, typically written in Java, PHP, Perl or ASP. The software can be used to create forum-only sites or to add a discussion section to any Web page. See Google Groups.
References in periodicals archive ?
From the days when computer bulletin board services run by hobbyists ruled the online roost, people have shouted at and down each other using their computer keyboards.
He was a spiritual godfather both to the Homebrew Computer Club of the '70s that gave rise to the Apple personal computer and to Wired's libertarian techno-optimism of the '90s; in-between, he helped launch an early and extremely influential computer bulletin board, The WELL (Whole Earth 'Lectronic Link).
This week in 1978 the very first computer bulletin board went on-line in Chicago.
NAN has received help from the technology services organization K-Net, which provides computer bulletin board and e-mail service to NAN communities.
I've heard this or some variation several times lately, often as a post on some shooting-oriented computer bulletin board.
They all met via a computer bulletin board on MS and over many years have become very close, particularly when they discuss problems and triumphs in living with the "MonSter," as they call it.
Following his lead, a group of IBM engineers in San Jose established a computer Bulletin Board System (BBS) in 1991 to upload recorded data from their home computers linked to homebuilt seismographs.
Since 1991, Robert Thomas and his wife Carleen Thomas had operated the Amateur Action Computer Bulletin Board System (hereinafter AABBS) in Milpitas, California.
Prior to the week-long session, students engage in two to three weeks of distance learning through a web-based computer bulletin board system.
Initially, they partnered to launch a computer bulletin board, but in October 1995, the idea for a subscription-based on-line matchmaking service hit them.
In the early 1990s, the LAPD realized people were using computer bulletin board systems, or BBSes, to distribute child pornography and obscenity, as well as solicit sexual acts from minors.
Secret Service, which held that computer bulletin board operators accused of hacking are protected from search and seizure under the Privacy Protection Act.

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