Form and function of an internet forum

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Internet forum is a web application which supports online discussions or opinions. This application is usually organized into categories containing forum threads.

A forum is an ordered tree structure. They are a kind of bulletin boards where opinions or information on a topic are exchanged. The difference between this communication tool and instant messaging on the forums is that there is no ” dialogue ” in real time.

Forums allow the analysis, comparison and discussion, for specific topics of interest to a group of people. Depending on the forum, you will need to register to comment or no registration is needed.

Usually Internet forums exist as an adjunct to a web site, inviting users to discuss and share information relevant to the theme of the site, in a free and informal discussion.

Discussions are usually moderated by a coordinator or moderator, who usually introduces the topic, formulates the first question, stimulates and guides, without pressing, calls bases and synthesizes the above explanations before closing the discussion.

Compared to wikis, you can not modify the contributions of other members unless certain special permissions are assigned. On the other hand,  forums allow a large number of users to participate in the nested discussions, similar to comments on weblogs.

Also, usually , forums tend to be more diverse with a varied amount of content and the ability to customize user level.

A forum on the Internet, commonly, allows the site administrator to define various forums on a single platform. These function as threads for the users to start discussions, other users may respond in discussions already started or start new ones as they see fit .

There are online and offline forums. The online forums are those in which communication is maintained constant. The offline forums are those which leave a comment and visitors can give their opinion.

Creation of online forums

Internet is full of sites created by companies that provide the ability to create a free forum. Generally promise various options that are already included in manual installation services on a server, but with the characteristic of being already included since installation.

On the other hand , installing a forum on the server is often the option chosen by most people who have basic knowledge of web programming. These forums are usually programmed in PHP, Perl, ASP.NET , or Java and run on CGI or Java.

The data is stored in the forum database (for example, a SQL type) or text files.

Some ways of creating forums (on the server manually) are: phpBB, vBulletin, Invision power board, MyBB, SMF, YaBB , Ikonboard, JavaBB and others.

Some CMS (content management system) like WordPress, Drupal and Joomla include their own forums or other forums integrated into their systems via plugins.

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