What is an internet forum? In what ways can it be useful?
Well, an internet forum is an online messaging board where people from all over can come and post messages for everyone to see. These internet forums can be useful in many ways. Some of the uses of forums would include the ability to allow people to communicate on specific topics.
They can be used to exchange valuable information, and forums also prove as a very effective way of discussing and evaluating things. When using a forum you will be able to get responses from many different individuals with all the different variations. Forums can be used to attract customers of prospective business clients to your website. You can place a link to your website in forums and people who read what you have posted will be inclined to visit your website. Some forums will even go as far as give you advertisement credits for the amount of posts you make. So your ad will be shown more. Forums are divided into subject areas and you will be able to post on the areas or topics related to your business.
History of the forum
Forums originated from bulletin boards and are a new technological version of these. From a technical standpoint we could refer to a forum as a web application that images and stores content that is generated by its users. The earliest web forums can be dated as far back as 1995 following bulletin board and newsgroup systems that were in place from as far back as the 1980s. Some popular topics that are found on forums include politics, technology, and a wide variety of other interesting areas.
Forum vs Blog
Just like everything else, both blogs and forums have their own advantages and disadvantages. The differences between the two are that forums are community-based discussion platforms in which there are many topics of discussions. A blog is a more personal type of posting, where individuals can control what they post and create their own topics for discussion. Blogs are based on a one too many discussion platforms. Therefore, a blog would be great for people who want to write articles and only want others to read there articles and make comments on what they think. A forum would be great for persons who want to have open discussions with others and who want to get wider opinions on various subject areas. In a forum, the focus is on the discussion while in a blog everything is centered on the user’s input. A forum is where many persons communicate with many others. If we want a review or opinion on something, then we can get it from a forum. Blogs on the other hand are where individuals who are interested in the same topic can go and comment about it and give their particular views on that topic. While a blog is in the form of a one too many medium; it is similar to information that sticks on a notice board in college.
Snapshot of a sample blog post
Snapshot of a sample forum
Advantages and Disadvantages of a Forum
The main purpose behind creating a forum is to create a discussion by allowing other users to comment by posts. The user groups are decentralized and a topic may go off the track as it is less focused. The content in a forum is not very private, as it is accessed by many users. The length of the messages is very short and most of the forums does not have integrated tools like those used in blogs. Forums are the best method of finding out the feedback on any service or object provided by a specific group. They also contain the experiences of early users of any service and this serves as a guideline for any person who is unaware about that particular service. Sometimes the replies repeat themselves. Forums have a wide variety of topics as they are created for a lot of users. Forums will cause much more content via user input and so this will in turn, bring in more traffic than you could have had expected. Discussions often presented in multiple places across the online community and are archived independently. Participation is explicitly requested by the poster. A discussion is not a discussion without a reply. You will have a broader look at a larger number of members as they interact with one another in a group setting and new ideas generates as a lot of users of same interests to discuss among themselves.
Blog advantages and disadvantages
A blog is similar to an online diary. In a blog, a person is able to post their thoughts and the way they feel about certain things or situations. In blog posting, the content is more important than the comments it receives. These are mainly designed for a single user input not for many users. This is often more centralized or personal like a personal diary and created by a single user or a small group of users.
All the replies are directed to the author about his creation and it mainly used to express a single body view on a particular event, etc. The messages posted are usually long in length. Blogs are generally created on a fresh event. This does not require any comments. Blogs are sometimes mainly written by a celebrity for his fans to remain updated about him or her, or many different applications. These can be unspammable or inflammable by others without loss of primary value. Topics will be displayed on the front page of the blog and then stored in different categories. Every new topic will be placed in a category and this will be used to organize the material for future reference. Most recently posted topics are at the top of the page, regardless of new comments. It can permit the community members to have personal connections to the web loggers in a relatively short period of time.
To know which is better would depend on the reason why you want it and the advantages you wish to gain by having one.