Online forums function like community information centers: people post and respond on topics of interest. For some forums a user must register and wait for approval before posting; for others, users may post anonymously. Certain members of an online forum may be assigned as “moderators” with the privilege of banning or deleting users or postings that don’t fit the forum’s guidelines for activity.
The great thing about forums is that they will typically allow you to visit as a “lurker,” simply reading but not responding, until you work up enough courage or interest to share your viewpoint by commenting or starting a new “thread” of discussion.
When you become involved in a forum that truly interests you, you’ll discover new friends, often times from around the world, who share your interest. The forums available on the Web today cover every conceivable topic, so you’ll probably be able to find an online community focusing on a narrow topic like women in bitcoin, parakeet lovers, green living in Seattle, or more in-depth and niche topics.
If you don’t find your community, ask your web developer to make recommendations about installing forum software on your own site, and create your own community as one of the founders!
Use online communities to participate with other people hooked into your field of interest. Some examples include: your religious or spiritual group, alumni groups (great for connecting those seeking jobs and requesting mentors to posting jobs and advising younger graduates), or neighborhood, regional, or business groups. You’ll make friends and find potential customers online at your local forum. Use it!