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Gaia Online, the largest English language forum-based community as of April 2005 — powered by a modified version of phpBB.
Gaia Online, the largest English language forum-based community as of April 2005 — powered by a modified version of phpBB.

An Internet forum is a web application which provides for discussion, often in conjunction with online communities. Older forums date back to around 1996, following the newsgroups and bulletin board systems which were widespread in the 1980s and 1990s. Popular discussion topics include technology, computer games, and politics, but forums are available for any number of different topics. Download high resolution version (1022x714, 227 KB)A screenshot of Gaia Online, the largest forum-based community as of April 2005. ... Download high resolution version (1022x714, 227 KB)A screenshot of Gaia Online, the largest forum-based community as of April 2005. ... Jump to: navigation, search Gaia Online (also known informally as Go-Gaia, or simply Gaia) is a roleplaying site founded on February 18, 2003 by Derek Liu (Gaia username Lanzer), Josh Gainsbrugh (username L0cke), Long Vo (username VO) and a team of their friends, Studio XD artists, and programmers/web... The English language is a West Germanic language that originates in England. ... April is the fourth month of the year in the Gregorian Calendar and one of four with the length of 30 days. ... Jump to: navigation, search 2005(MMV) is a common year starting on Saturday of the Gregorian calendar. ... phpBB is a popular free and open source forum system using the PHP scripting language and supporting a variety of database management systems including MySQL, PostgreSQL, MSSQL, Microsoft Access and, with modification, Oracle. ... 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. ... Online means being connected to the Internet or another similar electronic network, like a bulletin board system. ... A community is an amalgamation of living things that share an environment. ... A newsgroup is a repository, usually within the Usenet system, for messages posted from many users at different locations. ... Jump to: navigation, search 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, playing games, reading news, and exchanging messages... Jump to: navigation, search // Events and trends The 1980s marked an abrupt shift towards more conservative lifestyles after the momentous cultural revolutions which took place in the 1960s and 1970s and the definition of the AIDS virus in 1981. ... Jump to: navigation, search // Events and trends The 1990s are generally classified as having moved slightly away from the more conservative 1980s, but otherwise retaining the same mindset. ... This article needs to be cleaned up to conform to a higher standard of quality. ... 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. ... Look up Politics on Wiktionary, the free dictionary Politics (disambiguation) Democracy History of democracy List of democracy and elections-related topics List of years in politics List of politics by country articles Political corruption Political economy Political movement Political parties of the world Political party Political psychology Political sociology Political...

Internet forums are also commonly referred to as web forums, message boards, discussion boards, discussion groups, or simply, forums.



Early Internet forums could be described as a web version of a newsgroup or electronic mailing list; allowing people to post messages and comment on other messages. Later developments emulated the different newsgroups or individual lists, providing more than one forum, dedicated to a particular topic. Electronic mailing lists are a special usage of email that allows for widespread distribution of information to many Internet users. ...


Internet forums are prevalent in several developed countries. In terms of countable posts, Japan is far in the lead with over two million posts per day on their largest forum, 2channel. The United States does not have any one large forum, but instead several hundred thousand smaller forums, the largest of which are Gaia Online, IGN and GameFAQs. China, the Netherlands, and France are also home to hundreds of independent forums. Some countries such as Finland and Sweden do not have many prevalent forums despite having open and easily available Internet access. As of yet no study has been done on the prevalence of forums in countries around the world. Jump to: navigation, search A developed country is a nation that enjoys a relatively high standard of living through a strong high-technology diversified economy. ... (Redirected from 2channel) Shift-JIS art in 2ch Personification is popular culture in 2ch This article is about the Japanese forum. ... Jump to: navigation, search Gaia Online (also known informally as Go-Gaia, or simply Gaia) is a roleplaying site founded on February 18, 2003 by Derek Liu (Gaia username Lanzer), Josh Gainsbrugh (username L0cke), Long Vo (username VO) and a team of their friends, Studio XD artists, and programmers/web... Jump to: navigation, search This article needs to be cleaned up to conform to a higher standard of quality. ... Jump to: navigation, search GameFAQs main page in September 2004. ...

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 (in Japanese, neta) or play "forum games". Larger Internet forums are in general more subject to public conflicts between users, leetspeak, and private jokes. Depending on the level of moderation there may also be conflicts between users and administrators. Neta (ネタ) is the concept of material that is brought to a conversation. ... {stub} Forum games are text based multiplayer games played on internet forums. ... An example of a Leet web browser (Text instead of GUI) in Leet language on a Leet language version of Google Leet (often also leetspeak, leetspeek, or l33t) from the phonetic form of the word elite, is a cipher, or novel form of English spelling. ...

Software features

The barebones definition of a forum is the ability for people to start threads and reply to other people's threads. (Someone posts a message which is visible to everyone, you read it and then have the option to post a reply which will also be visible to everyone, thus a discussion can build up without all users having to be online at the same time.) However, most forum software provides considerably more than this.

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 email 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 identifies a location to which e-mail can be delivered. ... Among people working on virtual reality and cyberspace interfaces, an avatar (sometimes AV or av) is an icon or representation of a user in a shared virtual reality. ... In music, a theme is the initial or primary melody. ...

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, derived by encrypting a plaintext password put in the name field. Although blog comment pages are not Internet forums, they often use the anonymous system for the sake of simplicity. In cryptography, pseudonymity is the ability to prove a consistent identity without revealing oneself, instead using a pseudonym. ... Tripcodes are a unique and simple way to verify your identity while still maintaining anonymity. ...

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). Many other systems exist and the board administrator is free to choose rules for their own forums. Moderator can refer to one of the following: neutron moderator moderator (communications) - Message Board Moderator The chairperson of a church court in Presbyterian churches (see Moderator of the General Assembly). ... 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, web logs and news websites) which invite user comments. ...

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. Other listings of programming languages are: Categorical list of programming languages Generational list of programming languages Chronological list of programming languages Note: Esoteric programming languages have been moved to the separate List of esoteric programming languages. ... Jump to: navigation, search PHP is a popular open-source, reflective programming language used mainly for developing server-side applications and dynamic web content, and more recently, other software. ... Jump to: navigation, search Perl, also Practical Extraction and Report Language (a backronym, see below), is an interpreted procedural programming language designed by Larry Wall. ... Java is a reflective, object-oriented programming language developed initially by James Gosling and colleagues at Sun Microsystems. ... 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). ... Computer files can be divided into two broad categories: binary and text. ... Jump to: navigation, search A database is an organized collection of data. ... Jump to: navigation, search Multimedia is the use of several different media to convey information (text, audio, graphics, animation, video, and interactivity). ... BBCode is an abbreviation for Bulletin Board Code, the markup language used to format posts in many modern message boards. ...

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 "email notification" feature, where an email is automatically sent to all users who have chosen to be notified of new replies, informing them that a new post has been made. Electronic mailing lists are a special usage of email that allows for widespread distribution of information to many Internet users. ...

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 Newsreader is as a person that represents a radio or tv show. ... Web browser shortcuts on an Apple computer A web browser is a software application that enables a user to display and interact with HTML documents hosted by web servers or held in a file system. ...

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). Jump to: navigation, search Wikibooks has more about this subject: Wiki Science A wiki (IPA: <wee-kee> or also <wick-ey>, according to Ward Cunningham) is a group of Web pages that allows users to add content, as on an Internet forum, but also allows others (often completely unrestricted) to... A can of SPAM SPAM is a canned pork product that has entered into folklore. ...

Unlike weblogs, 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 weblogs 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 weblog are also limited. 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). ...

Forums differ from chat rooms and instant messaging because they 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's Groups (formerly DejaNews) is 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. Jump to: navigation, search A chat room is an online forum where people can chat online (talk by broadcasting messages to people on the same forum in real time). ... Jump to: navigation, search 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. ... Jump to: navigation, search Google, Inc (NASDAQ: GOOG), is a U.S. public corporation, initially established as a privately-held corporation in 1998, which designed and managed the Internet Google search engine. ... 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 is a common year starting on Thursday of the Gregorian calendar. ...

See also

Jump to: navigation, search This is a comparison of the features of various Internet forum packages that exist. ... Jump to: navigation, search This article needs to be cleaned up to conform to a higher standard of quality. ... A AcmlmBoard [1] aterr [2] aXentForum [3] B bbPress [4] blazeboard [5] BMForum [6] bttlxeForum [7] Burning Boards [8] C CMFBoard [9] D DiscussionBoard dotnetBB E E-Blah Enterprise Forums F FUDforum [10] FuseTalk [11] G H I IceBB Ideal Bulletin Board [12] Ikonboard Invision Power Board [13] J JForum... Jump to: navigation, search Online chat is a generic term for what are now mostly known as instant messaging applications—computer programs that enable two-way typing to connect users to each other. ... Online consultations or e-consultations refer to an exchange between government and citizens using the Internet. ... One or more images would improve this articles quality. ...

External links

  Results from FactBites:
The University of Chicago Martin Marty Center (458 words)
This month, the Web Forum departs from its usual essay format to present an interview with the late Langdon Gilkey, Shailer Mathews Professor Emeritus of the Divinity School, who died last November at the age of eighty-four.
Responses may be viewed on the forum’s discussion board, where readers are also invited to post their own responses.
Scholars from diverse fields of study are invited to offer responses to these commentaries on the forum's discussion board, where the public is also encouraged to post thoughts and reactions to commentaries and invited responses.
Web Forum: Charter (717 words)
The Carnegie Mellon Web Forum seeks the participation of stakeholders from throughout the university community, including undergraduate and graduate students, faculty, staff, administrative and academic departments, and student and campus organizations from all campuses.
This forum is for, but is not limited to, university leaders charged with the strategic direction of their college, department, division, or other university organization.
Web Activity Subcommittees are formed as needed to focus on specific activities supporting the overall goals of the Carnegie Mellon Web Forum.
  More results at FactBites »



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