What is an Online Internet Forum Site?

Online internet forum is a kind of online discussion board where interested users can discuss about any related topic within particular scope. Users can be grouped into various categories and different set of rules can be defined for each set of user groups. Normally unregistered users will not be able to post in the forums or there will be limit of posting to be reached within the time frame to enable links in the posting.

Forum is a structured bulletin board both for the content as well as the users and the appropriate users can post their opinions on that topic.

Structure of a Forum Site

  • Forum is categorized into many categories and each category can have many sub-forums.
  • Sub-forums can also have additional sub-forum.
  • Threads or Topics are the place where members can post their content.
  • Display of the threads can be customized to show it as a nested posts showing reply to reply or just a plain posts starting from the latest to the oldest.
  • Post is the last element but these are essentially the content of the forum. Users can express their thoughts in a editor and post it on a thread. Normally post shows all the relevant details of the user who posted it so that the forum members can directly contact the user.

Structure of a Forum Site
Structure of a Forum Site

User Group Classification in Forum

The biggest advantage of forum is the control on the user’s ability to do actions according to their user groups.

  • User groups are created like Administrator, Moderator, Registered users and Guests. Registered users can be further classified into premium user and free user as per the willingness of the forum owner.
  • Privileges are defined to each user groups, for example a guest user can only display the threads and will not be able to post his content on the forum.
  • Each user is classified into one of the user group and auto controlled by the privileges of that group.
  • Same person can take multiple responsibility in a forum and a sample responsibility chart is as shown below:
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User Group Classification in Forum
User Group Classification in Forum

Sample Forum

Here is an image of a sample phpBB forum. Click on the image to see the enlarged view.

Sample phpBB Forum
Sample phpBB Forum

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