What? Oh, sorry – I was just posting something in Chris Craft’s new Open Source Classroom Forum.
What’s a forum? Well, I’m glad you asked!
Forums are another kind of online meeting place. They’re like chat rooms, since multiple people have access to the same space, but they’re also like blogs, since what’s written will usually stay online for a long time. I guess that puts them in the middle of the venn diagram.
Hm, that seems to be a recurring theme here.
That drawback is more of an issue to some people than others. If you post things on a forum that are too far off topic, or do something else that a forum moderator doesn’t care for, you could find your posts deleted or in some cases even get your account banned. There’s a lot less censorship in the blogosphere, although I know there are exceptions to that rule.
So which is better? That’s like asking if a ball peen hammer is better than the traditional claw hammer. While there is some crossover, both of them are meant to be used for different purposes. I’ve found that many people who post regularly on forums also have blogs, and they say different things on each.
My sister, for example, is a regular participant in a punk rock forum. She also has a LiveJournal blog that she uses to communicate with her friends. While some of them are also participants in the punk forum, others aren’t, so she uses her blog to talk about the random happenings of her life and only posts a little about punk rock there.
This is for the best, I think. While I enjoy punk covers of popular ’80s songs as much as the next guy, I’ve never heard of even half of her favorite bands. The Dropkick Murphys rock, though. You can’t beat loud punk rockers playing Amazing Grace while being accompanied by a bagpipe player.
And of course forums aren’t just for people with nonconformist hairstyles. Leo Laporte runs one of the best forums for tech support I’ve ever seen, Chris Marquardt has a forum on digital photography, The Discovery Educator Network has a wonderful forum for people interested in integrating technology into education, and like I mentioned earlier, Chris Craft has a forum on open source software in the classroom.
There’s one more forum out there, but I don’t know if you’d be interested or not.
Why don’t you send me an audio comment for my 100th podcast? The big event hapens on Monday! Time’s running out! I can’t stop yelling! Aaaaaaaaaaagh!… Ok, I’m done channneling Howard Dean now.