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Understanding Message Boards

Aug 17, 2007
I bet every one of you readers is familiar with message boards. Probably you've been joining in most of the discussions provided by these boards online or you probably have designed a message board for your group. Well, the concept for message board has long been commonly heard among many people. Children and adults alike are familiar with this concept. However, if you haven't heard about message boards yet, then note the following facts.

The Basics

Message boards are also known as internet forums or discussion boards. They are basically a web application that serves for online discussions. They are also considered as the modern heir of the bulletin board systems as well as existing Usenet news systems that were far-flung in the 1980s and 1990s.

What does a bulletin board system means lies on the idea that it is a computer system running software that allows users to have contact into the system through phone line and then carry out actions such as downloading software and data, reading news, exchanging messages with other users, and uploading files.

Speaking of computer system, the message boards generally appear to be part of a website. They encourage the computer users to involve or participate in the online discussions. This simply means that that the computer users have the chance to start topics and discuss issues with one another. If we will look at it as a whole system, it seems that "team work" is present there.

Message Board and Wikis

There are some times when message boards comprise most, if not all, the content of a particular mise-en-scene. Also, most of the time, the users are not allowed to edit or to change the one's post on the forum. However, since message boards are usually controlled by the known site "administrators" and "moderators", these people have access to the posting as well as on editing. It is this feature actually that compares message boards to wikis, a website that allows the users of the forum to add content. Unlike message board, the wikis gives the full authority to the users in editing the content written on the pages.

Message Board and Weblogs

Aside from wikis, message boards are also often compared to weblogs. I guess most of you are familiar with weblogs or blogs. Well, these are but another form of internet application that contain periodic, reverse chronologically ordered posts on a common webpage. The difference between weblogs and message boards basically lies on the fact that message boards mainly grant the board uses to employ and discuss topics that are sometime referred as "threads". Weblogs, on the other hand, only permit one or few users to post an entry. In addition, most of the message boards apt to be more spiked in focus, while weblogs apt to be more particular to a particular topic or issue.

Generally speaking, a message board or internet forum has certain characteristics that differ greatly from the other web applications. It can be flat, which means that each response from the other user within a particular topic is listed in chronological order. It can further be threaded, where every post is linked from a parent post.
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