Forum Posting is a form of online discussion in which the user enters into a dialogue with other people on a specific subject or topic. It differs from chatting in that each post is archived, even if only for a short amount of time and also the dialogues are open to more than just two people. Forums themselves are on one broad topic, such as mountain biking, and then within the forum are a series of threads that explore more specific topics, such as types of bikes, parts, trails, etc.
Each forum is monitored by administrators and moderators for the type of content that is generated by users. Administrators manage the technical aspects of each forum, such as providing forum wide announcements or changing the appearance of the forum. Moderators control the content generated by each forum poster or user. Moderators are also present to help any user with their questions or difficulties in navigating each form. They also have access to all threads and the ability to delete or flag a post.
Each post is user submitted and will include the time and date as well as the users name and sometimes, an avatar. Posts should have an internal limit on the number of characters. There could be a minimum number of 10, the maximum can be anywhere from 1,000 to 50,000, depending on the administrators. Actual Form Posting is done on various threads (also known as topics or even topic-threads). Threads can be started by any user, at times they can be started by the administration of the Forum. Threads are also often ranked by popularity, which can be gauged by the numbers of views, posts or a combination of both.
Forums are based on the concept of free and open discussion. In the various threads, you will find questions, opinions or comparisons. Because forums are free and open discussions, it is not uncommon to encounter various examples of anti-social behavior. Examples ranging from personal attacks on other users to unfiltered negative opinions, especially if the topic is particularly controversial.