Michael Schumacher wrote:
Von: Robert Citek <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>

But enough trash talk about Gimpshop. Tell me how wonderful this forum is. What makes this forum shine?

Well, I'd be more happy to answer this if you drop "forum" and use "list"

fo·rum Pronunciation (fôrm, fr-)
n. pl. fo·rums also fo·ra (fôr, fr)
   a. The public square or marketplace of an ancient Roman city that
      was the assembly place for judicial activity and public business.
   b. A public meeting place for open discussion.
   c. A medium of open discussion or voicing of ideas, such as a
      newspaper or a radio or television program.
2. A public meeting or presentation involving a discussion usually among
   experts and often including audience participation.
3. A court of law; a tribunal.

Robert was apparently using the term "forum" in the context of 1b - a public meeting place for open discussion. On the internet, "forum" is frequently used as an umbrella term that collectively refers to the different online discussion methods. Mailing lists (both those with and without webpage interfaces), usenet and non-usenet newsgroups, BBSs, web forums (in the sense of 1c, a specific medium), Tribe "tribes", Orkut "communities" etc. are all forums in the sense that they are all public meeting places (on the internet) for open discussion of various topics. So when someone asks you to tell them how wonderful "this forum" is, you can assume they are inviting comparison with all other forums on the topic, not just other mailing lists.

The term "forum" is especially useful for discussion forums that take multiple forms at the same time. Some people see usenet groups as "newsgroups" (read with a news reader) and others see it as "this site" (because they view it thru a web interface such as google groups, or a gateway website). A similar problem exists for Yahoo Groups which are both "mailing lists" and "this site" to different users. The term "this forum" will be correct for all users, where using "this newsgroup" or "this list" or "this site" can be confusing for users who don't understand the various ways the discussion forum is made available.


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