A forum is public meeting place for open discussion of various topics. Online, a forum may also be referred to as a bulletin board or discussion area.
Forums come in all shapes and sizes. The main objective is to provide an area where users can interact with questions, answers and discussions on a given topic.
There are literally thousands and thousands of topical forums online. Each forum usually states the topic and tries to keep the discussions on topic. However, this can often vary from forum to forum.
How do I Use a Forum?
Some forums allow "Guest" access so you can view the forum before joining. This is a good way to check out a forum before you decide if you want to join. Look for a "Guest" option before signing up. You will not be able to actively participate in most forums as a guest.
If you decide to join a forum and have your forum ID you will be able to log in the forum, read what has previously been posted, start your own discussions or reply to discussions already started.
Are there Rules for Using a Forum?
Each forum usually has it own rules and regulations. Be sure to read details and FAQs before logging into a forum. In general common sense prevails. Most forums do not allow "flaming", or being rude to other forum users. Most forums prefer to stay on topic but some do have areas set up to provide places for off topic discussions.
Like all online areas that are interactive, common sense Internet safety rules should be followed. Never give out personal information in a public area. Remember, anyone, anywhere will be reading what you have posted.
Can Kids Use Forums?
There are many forums online set up specifically for kids to use. These forums are often monitored by adults to help provide a safe online experience.
Forums set up for youth usually have a PG-13 Rating and require parental permission to join. Parents are strongly encouraged to view a forum for kids prior to allowing their kids to join the discussions.
Forums are a great way to meet people who share similar interests and to learn more about the topic you are interested in. They can be fun, educational and supportive. Remember, forums are public. Anything you post is being read by everyone else on the forum. Never post anything you don't want made public.
The Kids' Turn Central Forum is no longer available.