Social Networks and Forums are two of the major interactive platforms on the web. While both have their strong points and large user bases, the two are vastly different. Forums are more or less evolved bulletin boards. They are meant for discussion of various subjects and subject based interpersonal interaction.
The Forum is structured like a tree. Each is made from many topics or threads and each topic is usually part of a group of topics which fall under a common generic topic. Each thread is made up of posts. A post is whatever an individual user publishes on the forum at that time. Forums are public domains which have administrators and moderators who maintain the site as well and the enforcement of rules and regulations. Rule breaking can result in one being banned from the forum. Repeat offenders are banned for increasing amounts of time till the use of a permanent ban. Forums are very much active with Japan far in the lead with over two million posts per day on 2channel which is their largest forum. China’s Tianya Club also has many millions of posts. Forums present a wealth of information for anyone willing to dig in.
Social Networks on the other hand are not for knowledge sharing. They are for sharing you. These services allow you to have some type of virtual representation of one’s self. Usually this involves the creation of a profile page with your details. This private page also includes various services for entertainment and connectivity and using these services one can connect and keep in touch with friends and acquaintances through the network, thereby creating a social network. Social Networks are highly personal and therefore very private. They are often used as identity authentication online.
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