Interactive Bulletin Boards

Written by Linda Alexander
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Online message boards are great places to go when you're online and have some time to talk to other people. You can read other people's messages and reply to them, or post your own. Each new message and its replies make up a "thread."

Webmasters may choose to host interactive message boards for several reasons. First, they offer something of value on commercial websites. Rather than just try to sell stuff, webmasters can give their customers a place to hang out online. Second, they make websites "sticky," keeping people at them longer and more often, which is good for business. Third, they are a valuable place for users to go for specific information about a topic. Many discussion boards center around a specific topic or have multiple forums with different topics.

Why Interactive Message Boards Work Well for Visitors

Forums like these are easier to read than chat sessions. They let you search the messages at your own pace and in any order you want to read them. Also, you can take time to formulate meaningful and coherent messages instead of typing at superhuman speed trying to keep up in a chat room.

If you are a webmaster, you have many options for forum software. Some of it is freeware yet when you purchase software you have access to many more features. Think about the types of things you'd like to offer your visitors and how elaborate you want the software to be. Once you have a list of the basics, you can go shopping for software to meet your needs.

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