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 ?
Through an experiment, I tested the influence of a set of message board postings on MBA students' (proxy for nonprofessional investor) investment decisions.
That's because the Internet provides an unprecedented number and variety of meeting places, from message boards to instant messaging to so-called social networking sites such as myspace.
Message board comment: I thank God for those leaders that have brought us this far, but the sooner we can admit a huge portion of our dilemma as a people is the result of "group think," the better.
At a Portland Indymedia message board, someone quoted an anti-drug message they'd found on Freevibe: "EyeHeartJesus--Once I was asked to smoke a joint rolled in Bible paper.
Through web-based message boards, sample examination questions, and chat rooms, they have established online venues for meeting and interacting with other KB/KGs who are also struggling with the difficult work of completing 'The Knowledge'.
com message boards affiliated with Pest Control Technology (PCT) magazine, a GIE publication.
Data from all 30 NFL teams' message boards was collected on a single occasion to provide an additional examination of sport fans' message board use during the regular season.
com, the online site of the Los Angeles Times, shut down its message boards.
Instant access to message board content allows users to sift through messages quickly and efficiently, and view all the Web's top message boards in one place.
The Santa Clarita Athletic Club electronic message board - which passing motorists have to struggle to miss as they travel along the Golden State Freeway - must come down because it violates the city's sign ordinance.
While an e-mail written in the privacy of one's home has the illusion of a private correspondence, it's actually a public document when it's posted on a message board for the world to see, Spitzer said.
One electronic message board, 5 feet by 8 feet, is already in place at the north entrance and two larger extension boards, likely to be 6 by 15 feet, should be in place at the south and west entrances by the end of the year, said John Haire, the base's chief of media relations.