Communication on the internet takes place in two ways. Public and Private. Private is through chatting email etc, whereas public is through forums and blogs.
When it comes to blogs the emphasis is only on the post and the author. People generally don’t bother to go through the comments from other readers of the blog. Take for example this post on 3 idiots by Sagarika Ghose. Here the author of the post is a professional journalist and shares her view on some topic which here happens to be the recently released movie 3 idiots.
If you look at the comments section of this blog post almost all the comments are about the views she has expressed and are directed to her. We do have a reply to this post option for all the comments here, but despite that the discussion is limited to the actual blog post. Not many responses are directed at other readers.
In an online forum, the emphasis is on the discussion. People from a specific group actively take part in a discussion here. An example which can be given here is the Pagalguy Forum which is the meeting place of hundreds of MBA students and MBA Aspirants of India.
A forum essentially allows you to post messages and comment on other messages. It is in structure similar to that of a blog, but the difference here lies in the fact that the discussion which takes place is not solely based on the original post. One essential requirement of all online forums is the presence of a large number of active contributors which you can clearly see in forums like Pagalguy. By the term active we mean contributors who create queries and respond to other queries.
In order to find peace among the chaos called forums one has to monitor it constantly.Every forum has a set of rules and structure which its users have to follow. A group of moderators and administrators have to regularly go through the contents of the forums and ensure that the forum rules are being followed.
Forums or Blogs?
Forums are an example of many-to-many mode of online communication whereas blogs are one-to-many mode of online communication. Both these are essential ingredients of the internet today and one cannot do without either of these. Judicial use of such sites has to be done to get the best out of each.