Internet forum

Share This
« Back to Glossary Index

An internet[1] forum is a digital platform crafted for communal discourse[2]. Stemming from electronic bulletin boards and computer-based conferencing systems, forums adopt a tree-like structure, featuring categories, sub-forums, and threads. These web-based platforms accommodate user-generated messages, organized into dialogue threads. Unlike instant messages in chat rooms, forum posts are typically more extensive and can be stored for later reference. While posting on forums usually necessitates user registration, reading these posts is generally unrestricted. Forums span a wide array of subjects, from technology to entertainment, cultivating a virtual community among participants. Key figures within a forum include administrators, responsible for technical aspects and appointment of moderators, and moderators, overseeing discussions and addressing user issues. Forums also showcase specific behavioral patterns, such as open debates, disputes, trolling, and spamming. Technological features vary from file attachments and emoticons to private messaging and forum subscriptions. Forums can potentially face legal actions for defamation and harm, with distinct attributes and cultural usage variations across geographical boundaries.

Terms definitions
1. internet. The Internet, a global network of interconnected computer systems, utilizes standardized communication protocols, predominantly TCP/IP, to connect devices across the globe. The term 'Internet' has its roots in the 1849 term 'internetted' and was later adopted by the US War Department in 1945. The inception of the Internet can be traced back to the 1960s when computer scientists developed time-sharing systems, which eventually led to the creation of ARPANET in 1969. The Internet operates autonomously, without any central control, and the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) manages its primary name spaces. It has revolutionized traditional communication methods and has seen an exponential growth, with the number of internet users growing by 20% to 50% every year. In 2019, more than half of the global population was using the Internet. The Internet protocol suite, comprising TCP/IP and four conceptual layers, directs internet packets to their intended destinations. Fundamental services such as email and Internet telephony function on the Internet. The World Wide Web, an extensive network of interconnected documents, serves as a crucial element of the Internet.
2. discourse. The primary focus of this piece, discourse, is a concept prevalent in social sciences that pertains to formal dialogues or debates centered around a specific subject. It includes the language used, discussions held, and written documents that contribute to our comprehension of societal constructs. Discourse has a profound connection with power dynamics and is instrumental in molding our reality. Numerous theoretical perspectives such as modernism, structuralism, poststructuralism, and Foucault's discourse theory provide insights into discourse. Various forms of discourse analysis like critical, conversation, and Foucauldian discourse analysis aid in deciphering communication trends and societal frameworks. Discourse study is extensively applicable in diverse fields like sociology, environmental policy, and cultural studies, and has deep-seated effects on gendered discourses and societal standards. Esteemed scholars such as James P. Gee, Robert Stalnaker, and Peter Pagin have made significant contributions to the analysis of discourse. Research on discourse is of utmost importance in social sciences as it enhances our knowledge of language, identity, and power hierarchies.
Internet forum (Wikipedia)

An Internet forum, or message board, is an online discussion site where people can hold conversations in the form of posted messages. They differ from chat rooms in that messages are often longer than one line of text, and are at least temporarily archived. Also, depending on the access level of a user or the forum set-up, a posted message might need to be approved by a moderator before it becomes publicly visible.

An Internet forum powered by phpBB
FUDforum, another Internet forum software package
The Wikipedia Village Pump is a forum used to discuss improvements on Wikipedia.

Forums have a specific set of jargon associated with them; for example, a single conversation is called a "thread", or topic.

A discussion forum is hierarchical or tree-like in structure; a forum can contain a number of subforums, each of which may have several topics. Within a forum's topic, each new discussion started is called a thread and can be replied to by as many people as they so wish.

Depending on the forum's settings, users can be anonymous or have to register with the forum and then subsequently log in to post messages. On most forums, users do not have to log in to read existing messages.

« Back to Glossary Index
Keep up with updates