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Encyclopedia > Message board
A typical Internet forum discussion, with common elements such as emoticons, avatars, and quotes.
A typical Internet forum discussion, with common elements such as emoticons, avatars, and quotes.

An Internet forum is a facility on the World Wide Web for holding discussions, or the web application software used to provide the facility. Web-based forums, which date from around 1995[citation needed], perform a similar function as the dial-up bulletin boards and Internet newsgroups that were numerous in the 1980s and 1990s. A sense of virtual community often develops around forums that have regular users. Technology, computer games, and politics are popular areas for forum themes, but there are forums for a huge number of different topics [1]. Image File history File links Download high-resolution version (632x874, 120 KB)A typical internet forum discussion, showing common elements such as smilies, quotes, and avatars. ... Image File history File links Download high-resolution version (632x874, 120 KB)A typical internet forum discussion, showing common elements such as smilies, quotes, and avatars. ... Emoticon (pronounced (IPA) ), a portmanteau of Emotion Icons or Emotion Iconization, an emoticon, also called a smiley, is a sequence of ordinary printable characters, such as :-), ^_^, ._. ... An avatar (sometimes AV, av, or avvie) is an icon or representation of a user. ... WWWs historical logo designed by Robert Cailliau The World Wide Web (WWW or simply the Web) is a global, read-write information space. ... 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. ... 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 examples and perspective in this article or section may not represent a worldwide view. ... See also 1990s, the band The 1990s decade refers to the years from 1990 to 1999, inclusive, sometimes informally including popular culture from the late 1980s and shortly after the year 2000. ... A virtual community or online community is a group of people that primarily or initially communicates or interacts via the Internet. ... By the mid 20th century humans had achieved a level of technological mastery sufficient to leave the surface of the planet 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. ... Politics is the process by which groups make decisions. ...


Internet forums are also commonly referred to as web forums, message boards, discussion boards, discussion forums, discussion groups, bulletin boards (but see also dial-up bulletin boards), fora[2] (the Latin plural) or simply forums. Ward Christensen and the first public Bulletin Board System, CBBS A Bulletin Board System or BBS is software that allows users to connect to the computer system on which the software is installed. ... Latin is an ancient [[Indo-European languages|Indo-well as the Roman CEuropean language originally spoken in Latium, the region immediately surrounding Rome. ...

Contents

Culture

Internet forums are prevalent in most developed countries. The largest forum in the world is 2channel, a Japanese site. The English-speaking world is dominated less by one large forum and more by many smaller forums, including SomethingAwful, Gaia Online, GameFAQs and IGN. Coloured world map indicating Human Development Index (as of 2003). ... 2ch home page. ... Something Awful, sometimes abbreviated to SA, is a cynical comedy website based in the United States. ... Gaia Online is an anime and games site. ... GameFAQs is a gaming website that has hosted FAQs and walkthroughs for gamers since November 1995. ... The current version of the article or section reads like an advertisement. ...


Small forums are often based around a single subject. Usually there is an "off-topic" forum where users can post any items they find interesting or play "forum games". Larger Internet forums are in general more subject to public conflicts between users, catch phrases, and private jokes. Depending on the level of moderation there may also be conflicts between users and administrators. A contribution is on-topic if it is within the bounds of the current discussion, article, etc. ... Forum games are text-based multiplayer games played on Internet forums. ... A catch phrase is a phrase or expression that is popularized, usually through repeated use, by a real person or fictional character. ...


Like other forms of online communication, Internet forums are home to many heated exchanges and rivalries. Often, administrators and moderators ask users to conform to netiquette; if they leave a forum unmoderated it may degenerate and become useless for discussion. However, some forums allow only selective postings effectively censoring information even though the posts might have followed netiquette and were in good spirit. This is especially true of team/country specific forums that do not wish to see a different viewpoint of the same topic/post. A forum moderator is someone granted special powers to enforce the rules of an Internet forum (Message board or Electronic mailing list)(or, as the case may be, their personal whim; the title refers to the powers more than the intent). ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ...


Software features

A forum is essentially a website composed of a number of member-written threads. Each thread entails a discussion or conversation in the form of a series of member-written posts. These threads remain saved on the forum website for future reading indefinitely or until deletion by a moderator. However, forum software can be considerably more advanced.


Most forum software allows more than one forum to be created. These forums are containers for threads started by the community. Depending on the permissions of community members as defined by the board's administrator, they can post replies to existing threads and start new threads as they wish.


Forum software can be broadly divided between those which allow visitors to post anonymously, and those which attribute posts to a registered username. ... Note: to create a user account for Wikipedia, go to the login page. ...


For username-based software, visitors register using a username and a password, and possibly an e-mail address for validation purposes. In these types of forums, the members are often able to customise both how their posts display to others (for example avatars, user profiles and signatures) and how the board appears to them (such as different themes). Username-based software may provide for anonymity by allowing visitors to post without registration. A password is a form of secret authentication data that is used to control access to a resource. ... An e-mail address, also known as an eddress (from electronic address) or sometimes (in a technical misuse of the word), simply as ones email, identifies a location to which e-mail can be delivered. ... Example of an avatar as used on internet forums. ... In computing, a theme is a preset package containing graphical appearance details, used to customise the look and feel of (typically) an operating system, widget set or window manager. ...


Anonymous forums may offer full anonymity or pseudonymity, but no registration. In order to provide the same set of features as registration-based forums, anonymous forums especially in Asia use a system of tripcodes, a system of authentication that does not require registration. Although blog comment pages are not Internet forums, they often use the anonymous system for the sake of simplicity. 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). ... Tripcodes are a method of authentication that does not require registration. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ...


A forum administrator typically has the ability to edit, delete, move or otherwise modify any thread on the forum. These moderator privileges are often able to be delegated to other forum members. The reasons for having these abilities are often to allow peace to be maintained and the rules to be enforced. The ways in which the moderation system works depends on the board software—for example, they can be directly appointed by the board administrator or chosen by an automated process combined with meta-moderation (moderation of the moderators). The board software may also allow the administrator to create wordfilters, automated scripts which strip undesirable text from users' messages. Many other moderation systems exist and the board administrator is free to choose rules for their own forums. A forum moderator is someone granted special powers to enforce the rules of an Internet forum (Message board or Electronic mailing list)(or, as the case may be, their personal whim; the title refers to the powers more than the intent). ... 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. ...


Threads in a forum are either flat (posts are listed in chronological order) or threaded (each post is made in reply to a parent post). Sometimes, community members have a choice on how to display threads.


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 a different variety of 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. ... PHP (PHP: Hypertext Preprocessor) is a reflective programming language originally designed for producing dynamic Web pages. ... Perl, also Practical Extraction and Report Language (a backronym, see below) is a dynamic procedural programming language designed by Larry Wall and first released in 1987. ... Java is an object-oriented programming language developed by James Gosling and colleagues at Sun Microsystems in the early 1990s. ... Active Server Pages (ASP) is Microsofts server-side technology for dynamically-generated web pages that is marketed as an add-on to Internet Information Services (IIS). ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged with Plain text. ... The term database originated within the computer industry, though its meaning has been broadened by popular use,includes non-electronic databases within its definition. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... BBCode is an abbreviation for Bulletin Board Code, the markup language used to format posts in many message boards. ...


Some forums feature a points system that allows members to add to the points of another member by propping that member. (Alternatively, members can also detract points from another member by negative propping, or (more simply) negging, that member.) Some view the practice as a booster of member contributions, while others view it as unnecessary and a frequent cause of dispute. In any case, on some forums a culture of 'prop-hoing' has developed as some members become increasingly desperate for props. Mystery Method is a method of seduction, developed by Erik Von Markovik a. ...


A variation on the common forum layout popularized by western software is the imageboard, which has a much greater emphasis on shorter, but more numerous threads based on a single image or topic that are quick to age and disappear. 3 major imageboards: Futaba Channel, 4chan, and iichan, along with the Overchan index. ...


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. Due to the possibility of members missing replies to threads they are interested in, many modern forums offer an "e-mail notification" feature, where an e-mail is automatically sent to all users who have chosen to be notified of new replies, informing them that a new post has been made, and RSS feeds that allow people to see the summary of the new posts using an aggregator software. Electronic mailing lists are 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. ... An aggregator or news aggregator or feed reader is client software that uses a web feed to retrieve syndicated web content such as weblogs, podcasts, vlogs, and mainstream mass media websites, or in the case of a search aggregator, a customized set of search results. ...


The main difference between newsgroups and forums is that additional software is usually required to participate in newsgroups, a newsreader. Visiting and participating in forums normally requires no additional software beyond the web browser. 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 running under Microsoft Windows). ...


Forums, unlike wikis, do not allow people to edit other's messages. Some users, however, may be given this ability in order to moderate content (for example, if spam is posted to the forum). A wiki (IPA: <WICK-ee> or <WEE-kee>[1]) is a type of website that allows the visitors themselves to easily add, remove and otherwise edit and change some available content, sometimes without the need for registration. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ...


Unlike blogs, forums typically allow anyone to start a new discussion (known as a thread), or reply to an existing thread. The range of topics discussed on forums is typically wider—as a website running forum software may have more than one forum, each dedicated to a different topic. While many blogs allow visitors to post comments in reply, the number of people who can create entries is normally very limited, and the range of viewpoints and beliefs on a blog are also limited.


Forums differ from chat rooms and instant messaging because 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. Participants in Internet forums should realize that what they have to say will be public knowledge for years to come. For example, Google Groups (formerly DejaNews) includes an archive of Usenet articles dating back to 1981. Forum archives are sometimes the best way to find an answer to very obscure questions, such as how to fix a particular computer problem. A chat room or chatroom is an online site in which people can chat online (talk by broadcasting messages to people on the same site in real time). ... A screenshot of PowWow, one of the first instant messengers with a graphical user interface Instant messaging is the act of instantly communicating between two or more people over a network such as the Internet. ... Googles main pages unusually spartan design, uncluttered appearance and quick loading time have contributed greatly to the sites mass appeal. ... The Deja News logo as it appeared in 1997. ... Usenet is a distributed Internet discussion system that evolved from a general purpose UUCP network of the same name. ... 1981 (MCMLXXXI) was a common year starting on Thursday of the Gregorian calendar. ...


Western-style forum software places a heavy amount of emphasis on identity, with user registration, custom titles and avatars being standard features. This makes the tone of discussion very different from the more anonymous 2channel style boards; the burdens of status and persona encourage, alternately, highly formal discourse and close personal relationships. The behaviour of moderators shapes overall tendencies towards one direction or the other.


Notes and references

  1. ^ In Internet forum terminology, a "topic" can also represent a specific discussion page inside one of the forum's categories. It consists of a list of postings made by the members of the forum that are usually responses to the first post by the one who started the topic. Another term for this is "thread", and the two are used interchangeably.
  2. ^ Jargon File entry for fora

See also

Internet Portal

Image File history File links Portal. ... An avatar (sometimes AV, av, or avvie) is an icon or representation of a user. ... Ward Christensen and the first public Bulletin Board System, CBBS A Bulletin Board System or BBS is software that allows users to connect to the computer system on which the software is installed. ... This is a comparison of the features of various Internet forum packages. ... e-Government (a portmanteau of electronic government, also known as e-gov, digital government, online government or in a certain context transformational government) refers to government’s use of information and communication technology (ICT) to exchange information and services with citizens, businesses, and other arms of government. ... Electronic mailing lists are a special usage of e-mail that allows for widespread distribution of information to many Internet users. ... There are very few or no other articles that link to this one. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ... Online chat can refer to any kind of communication over the internet, but is primarily meant to refer to direct 1 on 1 chat or chat rooms, using tools such as instant messenger applications—computer programs, Internet Relay Chat, talkers and possibly MUDs, MUCKs, MUSHes and MOOes. ... 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 typical shoutbox. ... Social software enables people to rendezvous, connect or collaborate through computer-mediated communication and to form online communities. ... Usenet is a distributed Internet discussion system that evolved from a general purpose UUCP network of the same name. ... Userbars are small rectangular images with a 3D appearance that are designed to be put in an Internet forum signature. ... A virtual community or online community is a group of people that primarily or initially communicates or interacts via the Internet. ... Yahoo! Groups is an electronic mailing list service provided by Yahoo!. Yahoo! has over the years bought many other mailing list providers, including the popular eGroups, and combined them into one system. ... Googles main pages unusually spartan design, uncluttered appearance and quick loading time have contributed greatly to the sites mass appeal. ... MSN Groups is a community site created by Microsoft in 1995. ...

External links


  Results from FactBites:
 
Common Craft - Social Design for the Web: What are the Differences Between Message Boards and Weblogs? (2101 words)
With a message board, the posting of replies can govern the presentation of the originating topic- topics with new replies are often presented at the top (but not always, of course).
Message boards, on the other hand, offer a broader look at a larger number of members as they interact with one another in a group setting.
Message boards are often presented with multiple starting points for creating a new discussion.
Message Boards (4486 words)
At the time they post their message, you or someone you designate as a moderator, will be notified immediately, via email, that a new message has been posted and is awaiting approval.
A user or board manager has the ability, when posting a message, to specify his/her messsage is to be viewed only by himself and the board manager or vice-versa.
A moderated board allows users to post messages, however the messages are not displayed to board visitors until approved by the board manager or a designated board moderator.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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