Web Forum

Visitors of web forums talk to each other via text messages. They can publish them as a reply to somebody else’s question and opinion or just post their thoughts on the topic.

Generally, forums are open for any kind of topics however most of them have a specific subject or manner of interaction among users.

Forum types

If the popularity of a forum rapidly increases, it can become overloaded with too many topics and inconvenient to use.

For this reason, the developers created several separate types of forums.

That’s made the topic search faster and the process of communication easier.

Standard

Any person can make a new thread here — button «Add new topic» is at your service.

Themes are often listed on the left part of the page or placed in an appropriate board. Here you can also find the name of the forum creator, number of responses, date of topic creation, and the newest comments.

Users should click on the thread to view the full discussion.

Only one discussion for each person

This type is almost identical to the previous one except one thing.

One user can add only one new thread.

Still clients can add an unlimited quantity of replies and comments.

This approach helps to avoid scams and to prevent the creation of unuseful, recurring topics.

Q&A (Questions and Answers)

In this type of web forums, all threads are posted as questions and other users can answer them if they know the answer.

People can also vote for the best response or decision for the problem, and leave their comments as an additional answer or as a reply to the other responses.

Sometimes you can find such Q&A forums where you can’t see the answers until you leave a comment.

This kind of forums is often used in the educational process to prevent cheating and copying correct answers.

Blog-like format

Besides text messages these forums additionally have an opportunity to post pictures, videos, polls, and other types of content.

All the topics look like mini-blogs.

Storytellers start discussions with a vast material that they offer to talk about.

In this kind of web forums, threads are not listed in tables or columns.

Structure of forums

Basically, web forums consist of:

  1. The main page to navigate all around the forum;
  2. Categories with threads which have similar features and topics;
  3. A list of topics for discussion;
  4. Responses and comments left by users.

User classification groups

All visitors of a certain forum can be divided into several groups depending on what they can or can’t do:

  1. The site’s creators also known as owners of the forum; there can be one or more people. Obviously, they can do anything with their creation.
  2. Administrators or admins; people who manage the technical part of the site, make up the database, configurations, and other settings.
  3. Moderators or mods; users, who got the access to control the threads and discussions, especially for resolving disputes, cleaning up the topics from spam, profanity, and other prohibited actions; can block and ban users.
  4. Users or regular visitors of the site, who may or may not be registered; they can create new threads, leave comments and replies, communicate with other users.

Forum moderation types

Moderators play a very important role in a forum as they control discussions, resolve disagreements, delete spam, offensive commentaries, abusive replies, and ban users if they break the rules.

Moderators can be:

  • Section moderators. These managers work with specific forums directly appointed to them. They moderate threads and posts but they have no access to detailed information about ordinary users.
  • Full moderators. These users have full permissions to delete threads and comments and even ban users forever. Additionally, they can thack users down if they have several accounts as well as moderate posts in every single thread listed on the forum.
  • Senior moderators. These people have the same capabilities as full moderators, but they provide leadership and guidance to all moderation team.