Internet forum

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Internet forum

A website 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 ?
CARDIFF City supporters have been warned police have stepped up surveillance of fans' messageboards in the wake of recent "racist, abusive and inappropriate messages" being posted online.
Viewers lined up to criticise the BBC programme on its own messageboards when it showed "live" results actually recorded after Saturday night's performances.
Followers of the Radio 4 soap took to BBC messageboards after the first of 13 episodes of Ambridge Extra went on air.
The onward march of modern technology may be ensnaring many more victims on a minute-by-minute basis, but the authorities will always take a while to catch up - by which time those who abuse internet messageboards and social networking sites will say "What's the problem?
The Chinese-owned parent group issued a statement to the Hong Kong Stock Exchange which led to feverish speculation among Blues fans on messageboards in the UK.
If people want to write things on messageboards there is not much I can do about that.
I've had guys posting on messageboards telling all and sundry they met me at about 10pm on a Saturday night in St Mary Street and I was slightly drunk.
In addition we've also launched Gazettelive messageboards, where residents can debate issues online.
The talent show was criticised on the BBC's own messageboards for broadcasting "live" results recorded the night before.
Cole, 35, is currently a free agent and website messageboards have been alive with rumours that he has been spotted at Ninian Park.
The state-of-the-art messageboards have been designed to inspire debate and discussion about news and sport in Coventry and Warwickshire.
Readers will be able to interact with the Mail via the new website either on our news and sport messageboards or via our Snap Happy picture texting system.