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 and Reddit.
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References in periodicals archive ?
"Our findings indicate that patients should be advised that discussions on these online message boards can provide some good, basic information, but more complicated and in-depth advice may be problematic," Knoepke said in a statement.
Palatine requires a business to seek the special-use permit for an electronic message board if it is to be built within 500 feet of another.
Gaggle sent a cease and desist letter to Factyle, publisher of the "Gaggle-Local Message Board," on April 15.
Parry added: "When I talk to other managers most of them say they don't look at the message boards. There will be very few who read them and take them seriously.
While the study investigated rumors from known sources (i.e., the brother-in-law or The Wall Street Journal), the message board postings that I investigated in the current study come from unknown sources.
A poster on the al-Faloja message board said: "The next target is to invade Facebook.
Randall Vallee, a Bronze Star awardee and disabled veteran from the Gulf War was not looking for charity when he posted a message on the Ducks Unlimited Waterdog message board searching for information about where and how to buy a new puppy to hunt with he and his family.
To join in this week's debate online, use our message board by logging on to www.liverpooldaily and click the message board link.
The format will provide a more user-friendly experience for people navigating the Bass Tour page, including direct access to the message board, schedule, articles, photos, updated standings, and new features and information.
But the rancorous nature of his departure and subsequent postings on the club supporter's message board dissuaded him from returning.
The council on Diagnosis and Internal Disorders of the ACA has established a clinical message board for DABCI's, DABCI students and practitioners of functional medicine.
Whole Foods' board of directors said it has formed a special committee to conduct an independent internal investigation into the online financial message board postings related to Whole Foods and Wild Oats.