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Online Forum

Online discussion forums have played a key role in community networks ever since the first such networks began to appear in the mid 1980's. Forums permit direct interaction among community members. They provide a place where local issues can be discussed and information can be shared quickly and easily.

The terms "forum" and "conference" are used to refer to a wide variety of things, ranging from chat rooms to realtime video conferencing. But this article will focus on text-based, asynchronous group discussions. Participants in such conferences can log in at their own convenience and read whatever messages have been posted since their last visit.

    For a successful online forum, several elements are essential:
  • Clear purpose
  • Experienced hosts
  • Interested participants
  • Good software
 

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