Have a thought-provoking topic on mind, but no one nearby to converse with? There are moments when finding a community of individuals interested in one ‘unifying’ topic can be welcoming. All discussion concerning that topic can be riveting and absorbing for all involved. This type of atmosphere can certainly be found in the plethora of discussion forums on the internet. Whatever one’s interests are, there is usually a discussion forum built to discuss that specific interest.
Finding the right forum for you can be a difficult process. A variety of factors have to be considered before taking the plunge on which forum to join. Each discussion forum has its own personality and a community that is shaped on internal rules. It is important to gauge whether or not a specific forum provides a feeling of comfort. Many forums are not suitable based on what they allow to take place in discussions. Reading through the threads on their main page can be resourceful in assessing the quality of a forum. Here are some tips for what to look out for when searching for the right discussion forum. You will be spending a significant amount of time debating your favorite topics on the chosen forum, so get it right the first time.
Tip #1: Read Through Their Home Page
Yes, we have been taught to never ‘judge a book by its cover’, but the home page and its professionalism is important. Do not make any final judgments based on the home page as some sites do not constantly update. However, it can be an excellent indicator of how the forum is run and the topics of discussion that are encouraged. Just skim through the topics and try to assess whether or not the forum deserves more of your time.
Tip #2: Quality over Quantity (to some extent)
Community size does matter as that represents how much activity takes place. Yet, at times having more members does not equate to high quality threads/posts. Try to find a forum that has the best balance of quality and quantity. If you have to choose quality over quantity, always go with quality. Oftentimes, forums that are keen on quality will grow and flourish over time. You could be one of the original members of a thriving forum in the future. Once again, there is a balance to find. A forum with only two posters (even quality ones) will become boring in a hurry.
Tip #3: Moderating Quality
This is often overlooked as a new member is busy sifting through their new found forum. They will not notice the behavior of the moderators and how strict they are. Look around the forums, judge whether the forums are being kept under control. Discussion forums without quality moderators will fall at the seams as the members start doing as they please. You will notice the abrupt rising of crude posts and inappropriate threads. Steer away from such forums as they are bad news and usually not ‘right’ for you.
Finding the right forum for you is not difficult as long as you follow these tips. Pay attention to qualitative measures implemented by the discussion forum. Skim around and judge whether a board has topics that pique your interest. Most members become addicted to forums after noticing a topic they simply have to answer.