An Internet forum is a forum using Internet resources. The terms “Internet forum” and “web forum” are synonyms to use the web forums. The term “discussion forum” is also used to identify internet forum.
Nature of an internet forum
This place of meeting and exchange forum on what the Internet can be a website full, or just one of its components. It offers the same opportunities for discussion as Usenet, but the form and scale of a website. They are accessible via a web browser, and offer an interesting interactivity.
A forum is primarily an exchange site, through messages, as these are available on the Internet or on an internal network as an intranet or extranet. Discussions will take place in the form of “son” of messages, instant publishing or deferred; this publication is often unsustainable because the messages are not deleted. It is by nature the result of several authors. In some forums registration, messages can be changed retrospectively by their authors.
The features offered by the various forums (quotation, there are securities or not, layout / indentation, administration / permissions, moderation, a priori or a posteriori .) can vary, and may treat different forums posts: and some allow only respond comprehensively to a topic, while others can respond to a particular message.
Forum needs a code of conduct
Most boards will require acceptance of a charter prior to participation. This charter governs the use that can be done on the forum. The webmaster is normally a function of administrator and moderator, the latter may be delegated to one or more regular users of the forum. Moderators are responsible for ensuring compliance with the Charter and limit the potential tensions between participants (eg, by editing the message generating tension or prohibiting the sending of new messages to one participant). Some countries have adopted specific legislation that requires managers forum preventive monitoring of the content of any message.
Historically speaking, the forum is one of the oldest applications available on the Internet, and one of the most used. The great diversity of technical internet forum reflects its intrinsic vitality as a medium of communication between the modern way of communication between people of the world.
Failure to comply with the charter to use a forum (insults, xenophobia, flam, etc.) can lead the moderation team to remove an account and prosecute to the ISP that will delete the user account of the person.
Organization of discussions and messages
The whole discussion is generally seen by its participants, and possibly by forum members or even anyone on the Internet.
Most forums are organized by the son of discussion (threads or topics, by amalgamation with topic, subject, in English) and displayed with an indentation. An original message launches a new thread. Then, every new reply to this thread implicitly chronological opens a new thread, as a response to a previous message. The indentations and titles of messages visualize the course of reading possible in the form of a tree, like a file manager organized into folders and subfolders.
There are two distinct possibilities of presentation: a time series model, where each message is the same and merely follow or precede another message in time, a hierarchical model, where each message is seen as a response to an earlier message.
All the sub-items of discussions are often grouped thematically, a forum that can accommodate even more thematic or even several thematic groupings.
On some forums that could be called “progressive”, an initial message determines a single thread in which all messages will follow chronologically.
Importance of animation
A key feature of a forum is its interactivity, related to the number of people express themselves, but the number of people who read these exchanges, without necessarily reacting, is very important (they are called lurkers).
Just as the conduct of a meeting includes significant presence of a “facilitator”, the forums are sometimes “inspired” by facilitators to promote / raise trade. The hosts are also usually moderators.
Some key factors for success
Wrong forum launched quickly threatens to wither for lack of adequate input to get many responses and attract readers. Factors favorable to launch a forum include:
- Obtaining a critical mass of contributions: below a minimum number of messages, one that will connect for the first time the forum is likely to find little interest in returning. However, once a sufficient number and variety of messages are least affected, the chance that everyone can find something that interests him is strong. The reverse will occur: acceleration by positive feedback: participants will talk about them, to communicate this forum, etc.
- In contrast, some forums have too many participants. Thus, the son of discussion are too numerous and are growing too quickly for participants to respond. Participants experienced generally respond to this by creating sub-sections of the forum. By cons on the forum too infrequent, there is a reduction in the number of sections so as to maintain a good level of animation.
Many forums are forums for publicity, whose aim is to help increase attendance at forums that it presents.
There are ways of using technology forum computer networks:
- Public forums: forums news (newsgroups, usenet), accessible from a mailer;
- The private forums, accessible to a small group of people, e.g., on a specific site, as Mayetic Village or Yahoo groups, to create, temporarily or not a forum;
- Forums intranet and extranet, often created (intranet) within a company, organization, or team-project, but may meet (extranet) participants from various organizations, companies and associations;
- Forums Audio (on teamspeak);
- Micro-forums, simplified version of traditional Internet forums.