What Is an Online Forum? (Definition) |

Sep 25, 2023

Online forums have been around since the 90s, but the technology that allows for bulletin boards online was actually invented in the 1970s. Over time, forums developed what we know today as such as logons, profiles of members threads, and logons. In this post, we'll present you with the forum, and explain how online forums work in detail. We'll also discuss the advantages and disadvantages of establishing an online forum, regardless of whether you've got passion for sharing or are thinking about the addition of a forum to your existing business or brand.


What exactly is a forum?

Forum definition Forum definition: A forum is community of people that come together to express their ideas, opinions, and concerns. Forums should be open to dialogue and should be a safe place to discuss different ideas, whether it's on the internet or in person. The forum can be described as "flat" in terms of power dynamics; it may include conveners or hosts who oversee the discussions, but every member is expected to take part in the discussion if they want.

stock photos

What are forums used to do?


  • Connecting with like-minded individuals and creating a community.        
  • Organising discussions around topics you care about.        
  • Distinguishing different ideas and views.        
  • Answering questions.        
  • Learning goals in tandem        
  • Organizing customer service or delivering information.        
  • Feedback that is honest I've received from members of my constituency or fellow members.        
  • Helping people feel heard.        

What exactly is an online discussion forum?

Forums online are an online space that is designed around the idea of conversation usually through posting questions, answers, and responses. Like an in-person forum, online forums should also display a simple power dynamic and promote the secure sharing of thoughts and ideas.

Discussion forums on the web do not generally occur in real-time. The majority of the popular discussion forums have conversations that carry out over months and even years, as users keep adding their content. By archiving past responses and arranging posts (either according to the order in which they were posted or by popularity) the forum is able to hold a lively debate that is carried out over days, months, or even years.

online course funnel

Certain online forums are designed around specific interests that ranges from organic gardening ideas to lively political debates. Some are built around a product, like the community of bookkeepers who share notes regarding their experiences using Quickbooks, the accounting software.

What ever topic an online forum has been created for, a successful one needs users who will continue to come back and engage, dedicating their time and energy to keep the discussion going.

Forums online could form a part of a site specifically devoted to different things. It is typical for forums for products or services. Like, for instance for instance, the Adobe site is a technical resource dedicated to its sales and products. Since these tools can be difficult to navigate and operate, a forum online that is comprised of employees paid and faithful fans dedicate themselves to answering queries.

The top and most active forums on the internet are those that happen as part of a vibrant community-we'll discuss that in the next section.

 Start your Free Trial

 - Graphics - Discovery Course

Benefits of forums on the internet


  • Bring members together around shared interests and passions.        
  • Members create their own content, and then respond to queries User-generated content lets you scale fast        
  • People naturally organize and take part in discussions that appeal to them        
  • Forums can provide incredible benefits at a large scale, as well as first-hand experiences        
  • Software solutions help make forms more robust and engaging than ever        
  • A forum is able to transform into a successful digital enterprise        
  • The growth of good forums is through people's word of mouth. They will then tell their circle of friends about fantastic conversations.        

Disadvantages of online forums


  • The format must be monitored - either by a host or software, to make sure that members are safe.      
  • It's simple to become overwhelmed by all the activity that occurs between logins, which is why an activity feed is a must.        
  • It's possible for them to dwindle. This is why a good host has to maintain the flow of conversation.      

vitual event

What are online forums intended for?

Online forms have been around for quite a while now for a while, and we have become accustomed to forms in one way or some. Below are a few reasons we utilize online forums to accomplish:


  • Social networking: Sites like Quora and Reddit have transformed forums into huge social media firms that focus on answering questions and. Reddit boasts 55 million monthly users on its forums.    
  • Brand communities: Active online brand communities are now an online community where users can visit to receive customer service, share tips and knowledge and also connect with other brand lovers. For example, Apple has a community of volunteers to answer questions regarding its products. QuickBooks has an active forum of business owners and accountants who get help with the software. And here on Mighty Oiselle, the clothing for women Oiselle company Oiselle boasts a strong brand community in which women can are able to share their fitness secrets, create lasting friendships, and even suggest new product ideas.    
  • Forums for customers: While there's a connection between customer forums and a lively community of brands, it's worth taking a step back. A few brands have added a forum onto their existing website, and there's nothing going on. Someone might ask questions every now and then.    
  • Community online are aware that an online community can be way more than just forums, however the majority of communities on the internet still have some features of the traditional forums. Organized user discussions, responses can be found under the threads already in use, and mixed together with awesome features like livestreaming, classes, events and even membership forums can form the basis of a vibrant community.    
  • Forums for special interest: They still exist on different sites, and they are essentially forums that focus on a particular topic of interest to the people who use them. They don't have the level of engagement to be considered an online community, but users show up to ask and answer questions. For example, we found the Model Train Forum.com is a community that is dedicated to the creation of miniature railroads.    

Model train forum

How to use an online forum to run a company


  • Increase the growth of members. If you utilize forums to be part of an online community and provide your members with a place to belong it's a formula to grow like none other. It's the new wave of firms that have this. If you can get your business to gather individuals around a common goal and help them feel connected, and keep them connected, the sky is the limit.    
  • Set your customer support on autopilot. The majority of brands require an element of customer support. However, what if you make a space where your Superstars could arrive and utilize their expertise to address members' questions for free? That's a value offering.    
  • Let your members be successful. Even as a brand forum, people don't show on the site to get sold. They show up to get value. Figure out what they want and help them succeed-even whether it's as simple as making sure that they get the most out of your service or product.    
  • Create an online community. Your brand might profit from the networking effect that community gives. Once you have incorporated your community and spend the time to setup and then launch.    

 Start Your Free Trial

 - Graphics _ Members Paired Light Achievement Academy

7 Examples of online forums

The GHF Forum is a forum dedicated to families who have children who are gifted. It teaches them how to help a gifted child learn in the comfort of their home, no matter if they are a homeschooler or a hybrid student, or a public schooler.

The BWBJ Black Birthworkers Forum: A forum for Black birthworkers supporting each other in sharing information, tips as well as answering your questions.

There is the Little Tern Forum: An online community dedicated to small terns' conservation throughout all of the British Isles. Since different regions and governments are all sharing challenges with conserving little tern colonies The Little Tern Project allows them to share knowledge and best practices and to get their questions answered.

Redditis a social network. Reddit is an internet-based forum and a global social media platform. Users who are enthusiastically involved in the conversation, with the best answers receiving an upvote. The platform is a huge online community which has thousands of sections in specific areas: AKA subreddits. The conversation can be any topic, from celebrities to hobbies to religion.

Quora-Quora is a enormous online forum that is dedicated exclusively to the discussion of questions. Members can post questions such as, "Is 35 too late to go back to school?" or " What's the most interesting thing you've discovered that you knew sooner?" It's an enjoyable experience and it's easy to slip down the rabbit hole of the fascinating stories users share.

Virtual Event

Quickbooks- - The Quickbooks forum online is a dedicated community of bookkeepers and accountants who share their knowledge of Quickbooks software. Members are given a score according to their understanding of the program to help users understand the credibility of the information. It's a treasure trove of help, particularly for those who manage own bookkeeping and find themselves stuck with basic questions like "How can I merge different invoices? ."

AdobeThe company is, as we've mentioned previously, Adobe makes a suite of creative products, dedicated to photography, video audio and much more. These products are vast however, they are also complex, which means that the users are always studying and the products are continually developing. The online forum creates all the help users require to make the most the product.

Forums online

Now Read: 11 Different types of online Communities which thrive

If you are awestruck by the concept of starting an online conversation by creating your own online forum by the creation of an own Mighty Network might be just right for you.

    Click here to find out how you can get your discussion moving!