An online community where visitors may read and post topics of common interest.
Forums can be a useful for anyone doing business online, both in terms of reading the content and actively participating in the discussions.
Reading a forum’s archives can be a good way to obtain a basic knowledge about a topic, and it also provides a historical perspective on trends and opinions.
Participation, whether as a member, moderator, or owner, can help one achieve recognition within a business community, and may even generate highly-qualified business leads. Forums differ, however, in their treatment of self-promotion; some disallow any hint of self-promotion, some are geared specifically towards self-promotion, and many fall somewhere in between, limiting URL’s to an off-the-page member profile.
It is very important to read the terms and conditions of each particular forum for a basic guideline as to what is acceptable. Additionally, it is a good idea to read archived posts in order to see the guidelines in action. Failure to do so can have negative consequences, including tarnishing your site’s reputation and getting permanently banned from the community.
online discussion group, online bulletin board