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Encyclopedia > Internet forum
A typical Internet forum discussion, with common elements such as quotes and spoiler brackets
A page from a forum showcasing emoticons and Internet slang

An Internet forum is a web application for holding discussions and posting user generated content. Internet forums are also commonly referred to as web forums, message boards, discussion boards, (electronic) discussion groups, discussion forums, bulletin boards, fora (the Latin plural) or simply forums. The terms "forum" and "board" may refer to the entire community or to a specific sub-forum dealing with a distinct topic. Messages within these sub-forums are then displayed either in chronological order or as threaded discussions. Image File history File links Size of this preview: 800 × 560 pixelsFull resolution (1024 × 717 pixel, file size: 164 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) This is a screenshot of a copyrighted web page, and the copyright for it is most likely owned by owner of the website. ... Image File history File links Size of this preview: 800 × 560 pixelsFull resolution (1024 × 717 pixel, file size: 164 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) This is a screenshot of a copyrighted web page, and the copyright for it is most likely owned by owner of the website. ... Look up quote in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Look up spoiler in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Image File history File links Size of this preview: 696 × 581 pixelsFull resolution (696 × 581 pixel, file size: 42 KB, MIME type: image/png) Screenshot of some random forum hosted here: http://jjb. ... Image File history File links Size of this preview: 696 × 581 pixelsFull resolution (696 × 581 pixel, file size: 42 KB, MIME type: image/png) Screenshot of some random forum hosted here: http://jjb. ... An emoticon, also called a smiley, is a sequence of printable characters such as :) or :-) that is intended to represent a human facial expression and convey an emotion. ... Ttyl redirects here. ... In software engineering, a web application is an application delivered to users from a web server over a network such as the World Wide Web or an intranet. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... For other uses, see Latin (disambiguation). ... An order is a way of sorting entries, also called elements, in a list. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ...


Such forums perform a function similar to that of the dial-up bulletin board systems and Internet newsgroups that were numerous in the 1980s and 1990s. [1] Early web-based forums such as UBB.classic date back as far as 1996. A sense of virtual community often develops around forums that have regular users. Technology, computer games and/or video games, fashion, religion, and politics are popular areas for forum themes, but there are forums for a huge number of different topics. Internet slang and image macros popular across the internet are abundant and most widely used in internet forums. A bulletin board system or BBS is a computer system running software that allows users to dial into the system over a phone line and, using a terminal program, perform functions such as downloading software and data, uploading data, reading news, and exchanging messages with other users. ... A newsgroup is a repository usually within the Usenet system, for messages posted from many users at different locations. ... The 1980s refers to the years from 1980 to 1989. ... For the band, see 1990s (band). ... At one time the hallmark of all message board software, UBB.classic has seen its market share steadily decline. ... A virtual community, e-community or online community is a group of people that primarily interact via some form tim of mechanism such as letters, telephone, email or Usenet rather than face to face. ... By the mid 20th century humans had achieved a mastery of technology sufficient to leave the surface of the Earth for the first time and explore space. ... A computer game is a game composed of a computer-controlled virtual universe that players interact with in order to achieve a defined goal or set of goals. ... “Computer and video games” redirects here. ... For other uses, see Fashion (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see Politics (disambiguation). ... Ttyl redirects here. ... An image macro illustrating a wordplay on the similar-sounding ROFL (pronounced as roffle) and waffle. An image macro is a picture with digitally superimposed text, often for humorous effect. ...

Contents

Membership and anonymity

Anonymous forums may offer full anonymity or pseudonymity, allowing posts without registration. Captchas, e-mail authentication, and tripcodes are often used to prevent comment spam on such forums. Look up anonymous in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Pseudonymity is a word derived from pseudonym, meaning false name, and describes a state of disguised identity resulting from the use of a pseudonym (also called nym). ... Early CAPTCHAs such as these, generated by the EZ-Gimpy program, were used on Yahoo. ... Ensuring a valid identity on an e-mail has become a vital first step in stopping spam, forgery, fraud, and even more serious crimes. ... Tripcodes are a method of authentication that does not require registration. ... Link spam (also called blog spam or comment spam) is a form of spamming or spamdexing that recently became publicized most often when targeting weblogs (or blogs), but also affects wikis (where it is often called wikispam), guestbooks, and online discussion boards. ...


Registered members of a forum, who are identified by unique usernames, may have additional privileges, such as the ability to edit their previous posts, start new topics, and control their individual settings and profiles. The profiles tend to include graphical avatars and signature blocks which are appended to their future posts, sometimes consisting of elaborate shoutboxes. Members also have the ability to send personal messages to each other. In certain cases, members have been given the ability to close their own topics, edit previously posted comments, or delete posts in topics they have started. User in computing context is one who uses a computer system. ... An avatar (abbreviations include AV, ava, avie, avy, avi, avvie, avis, and avvy) is an Internet users representation of himself or herself, whether in the form of a three-dimensional model used in computer games,[1] a two-dimensional icon (picture) used on Internet forums and other communities,[2... A signature block (often abbreviated as signature, sig block, sig file, or just sig) is a block of text automatically appended at the bottom of an e-mail message, Usenet article, or forum post. ... A shoutbox, saybox, tagboard, or chatterbox is a chat-like feature of some websites that allows people to quickly leave messages on the website, generally without any form of user registration. ... A PM is a personal message from one Internet user to another. ...


Western-style forums place heavy emphasis on identity and user registration. This makes the tone of discussion very different from the more anonymous 2channel style boards. The burdens of status and persona encourage both highly formal discourse and close personal relationships, depending on the tone given a forum by its moderators and heaviest users. The permanence of messages on many western-style forums can encourage users to self-moderate. Precursor systems like Usenet have been archived as far back as 1981 by Google Groups (formerly DejaNews). “DQN” redirects here. ... Usenet (USEr NETwork) is a global, decentralized, distributed Internet discussion system that evolved from a general purpose UUCP architecture of the same name. ... Year 1981 (MCMLXXXI) was a common year starting on Thursday (link displays the 1981 Gregorian calendar). ... Google Groups is a free groups and mailing list service from Google. ... The Deja News logo as it appeared in 1997. ...


Administrators and moderators

A forum administrator typically has the ability to edit, delete, move or otherwise modify any thread on the forum. Administrators also usually have the ability to close the board, change major software items, change global skins, modify the board, and ban, delete, or create members. Moderators have a subset of these powers, which may include editing, deleting, and moving threads, mass pruning, warning members for offences, and changing minor forum details. It is often possible for moderator privileges to be delegated to other forum members. Forum administrators are normally the highest ranking and most powerful members on an internet forum. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ...


A board's moderation system can include moderation of the moderators via a meta-moderation system. The board software may also allow administrators to create wordfilters, automated scripts which strip undesirable text from users' messages. Other features may include sticky threads, allowing moderators and administrators to cause significant threads to display at the top of the forum's index. On Internet websites which invite users to post comments, a moderation system is the method the webmaster chooses to sort contributions which are irrelevant, obscene, illegal or insulting from contributions which are useful or informative. ... A meta-moderation system is an arrangement used on some Internet websites (such as internet forums, blogs and news websites) which invite user comments. ... Wordfilters are scripts that change one word or phrase into another. ... Sticky content refers to content published on a website, which has the purpose of getting a user to return to that particular website. ...


Features

Forum software packages are widely available on the Internet and are written in a variety of programming languages, such as PHP, Perl, Java and ASP. The configuration and records of posts can be stored in text files or in a database. Each package offers different features, from the most basic, providing text-only postings, to more advanced packages, offering multimedia support and formatting code (usually known as BBCode). Many packages can be integrated easily into an existing website to allow visitors to post comments on articles. A programming language is an artificial language that can be used to control the behavior of a machine, particularly a computer. ... For other uses, see PHP (disambiguation). ... Wikibooks has a book on the topic of Perl Programming Perl is a dynamic programming language created by Larry Wall and first released in 1987. ... “Java language” redirects here. ... Active Server Pages (ASP) is Microsofts server-side script engine for dynamically-generated web pages. ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged with Plain text. ... This article is about computing. ... Look up Multimedia in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... BBCode is an abbreviation for Bulletin Board Code, the lightweight markup language used to format posts in many message boards. ...


Several other web applications, such as weblog software, also incorporate forum features. Wordpress comments at the bottom of a blog post allow for a single-threaded discussion of any given blog post. Slashcode, on the other hand, is far more complicated, allowing fully threaded discussions and incorporating a robust moderation and meta-moderation system as well as many of the profile features available to forum users. Full content management systems such as Drupal or Mambo can also incorporate full-blown forums as plugins or basic features of forums in other portions of their website. A weblog (now more commonly known as a blog) is a web-based publication consisting primarily of periodic articles (normally, but not always, in reverse chronological order). ... Slash (a backronym for Slashdot Like Automated Story-telling Homepage) is the open source collection of Perl scripts which runs Slashdot, one of the oldest and most popular collaborative weblogs around. ... A Content Management System (CMS) is a software system used for content management. ... Drupal (IPA pronunciation: ) is a free and open source modular content management system (CMS) written in the programming language PHP. A CMS is a tool used by Web administrators to automatically track online visitors and prepare customized content for consumption, usually as HTML-based Web pages. ... Mambo (formerly named Mambo Open Source or MOS) is a free software / open source content management system (CMS) for creating and managing websites through a simple web interface. ...


Comparison with other web applications

One significant difference between forums and electronic mailing lists is that mailing lists automatically deliver new messages to the subscriber, while forums require the member to visit the website and check for new posts. Because members may miss replies in threads they are interested in, many modern forums offer an "e-mail notification" feature, whereby members can choose to be notified of new posts in a thread, and RSS feeds that allow members to see a summary of the new posts using aggregator software. The main difference between newsgroups and forums is that additional software, a newsreader, is required to participate in newsgroups. Visiting and participating in forums normally requires no additional software beyond the web browser. An electronic mailing list, a type of Internet forum, is a special usage of e-mail that allows for widespread distribution of information to many Internet users. ... Wikipedia does not yet have an article with this exact name. ... ÄŠIn computing, a feed aggregator, also known as a feed reader or simply as an aggregator, is client software or a Web application which aggregates syndicated web content such as news headlines, blogs, podcasts, and vlogs in a single location for easy viewing. ... A news client, or news reader, is an application program that reads articles on Usenet (generally known as newsgroup), either directly from a news servers disks or via the Network News Transfer Protocol. ... An example of a Web browser (Mozilla Firefox) A web browser is a software application that enables a user to display and interact with text, images, videos, music and other information typically located on a Web page at a website on the World Wide Web or a local area network. ...


Wikis, unlike conventional forums, typically allow all users to edit all content, including each other's messages. This level of content manipulation is reserved for moderators or administrators on most forums. Wikis also allow the creation of other content outside of the talk pages. On the other hand, weblogs and generic content management systems tend to be locked down to the point where only a few select users can post blog entries, although many allow other users to comment upon them. Look up Wiki in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Shortcut: WP:TP A talk page is a special Wikipedia page containing discussion about the contents of its associated subject page. ...


Forums differ from chat rooms and instant messaging in that forum participants do not have to be online at the same time; forums also usually deal with one topic and personal exchanges are typically discouraged. Messages posted to a forum or Usenet are publicly available for some time, which is uncommon in chat rooms, with only few exceptions. A chat room or chatroom is a term used primarily by mass media to describe any form of synchronous conferencing, occasionally even asynchronous conferencing. ... // Instant messaging (IM) is a form of real-time communication between two or more people based on typed text. ... QDB redirects here. ...


Forum netiquette

Main article: Netiquette

Netiquette, a portmanteau of network etiquette, is the convention on electronic forums (Usenet, mailing lists, live chat, and Internet forums) to facilitate efficient interaction. ...

Multiple posts

One common faux pas on internet forums is to post the same message twice. Users sometimes post versions of a message that are only slightly different, especially in forums where they aren't allowed to edit their earlier posts. Multiple posting instead of editing prior posts can artificially inflate a user's post count. Multiple posting can be unintentional; a user's browser might display an error message even though the post has been transmitted or a user of a slow forum might become impatient and repeatedly hit the submit button. Multiple posting can also be used as a method of trolling or spreading forum spam. A user may also send the same post to several forums, crossposting. This problem was inherited from Usenet and is a common complaint in many forums. An Internet troll, or simply troll in Internet slang, is someone who intentionally posts controversial or contrary messages in an on-line community such as an on-line discussion forum with the intention of baiting users into an argumentative response. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... Crossposting is the act of posting verbatim copies of one message on multiple message centers, without customising each copy to suit the audience or forum. ...


Spamming

Main article: Forum spam

Forum spamming is a breach of netiquette where users repeat the same word or phrase over and over, but differs from multiple posting in that spamming is usually a wilful act which sometimes has malicious intent. This is a common trolling technique. It can also be traditional spam, unpaid advertisements that are in breach of the forum's rules. Spammers utilize a number of illicit techniques to post their spam, including the use of botnets. This article does not cite any references or sources. ... Look up spam, SPAM in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Generally speaking, advertising is the paid promotion of goods, services, companies and ideas by an identified sponsor. ... This article needs cleanup. ...


Trolls

Main article: Troll (Internet)

A troll is a user that repeatedly and intentionally breaches netiquette, often posting derogatory or otherwise inflammatory messages about sensitive topics in an established online community to bait users into responding. They may also link to shock sites or plant images on networks that others may find disturbing in order to cause confrontation. Trolls known as gravediggers purposefully post in old and irrelevant threads simply to bring that thread to light again. An Internet troll, or simply troll in Internet slang, is someone who intentionally posts controversial or contrary messages in an on-line community such as an on-line discussion forum with the intention of baiting users into an argumentative response. ... Netiquette, a portmanteau of network etiquette, is the convention on electronic forums (Usenet, mailing lists, live chat, and Internet forums) to facilitate efficient interaction. ... A word or phrase is pejorative or derogatory (sometimes misspelled perjorative) if it expresses contempt or disapproval; dyslogistic (noun: dyslogism) is used synonymously (antonyms: meliorative, eulogistic, noun eulogism). ... A shock site is a website intended to be offensive to most viewers, usually containing frightening and/or incredibly distasteful and crude content. ...


See also

Internet Portal

Image File history File links Portal. ... This is a comparison of the features of various Internet forum packages. ... 3 major imageboards: Futaba Channel, 4chan, and iichan, along with the Overchan index. ... Online consultations or e-consultations refer to an exchange between government and citizens using the Internet. ... Online deliberation is a term associated with an emerging body of practice, research, and software dedicated to fostering serious, purposive discussion over the Internet. ... A shoutbox, saybox, tagboard, or chatterbox is a chat-like feature of some websites that allows people to quickly leave messages on the website, generally without any form of user registration. ... It has been suggested that History of social software be merged into this article or section. ... Userbars are small rectangular images that are designed to be put in an Internet forum signature block. ... Forum administrators are normally the highest ranking and most powerful members on an internet forum. ...

References

External links


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