Discussion Forums are
a large part of Internet-based interactions. This chapter
will cover the various forms of discussion forums that have
developed. The original form was simple email, the second
use to which the father of the internet, the Arpanet, was
put to use. The "founding fathers" quickly found that email
was even more useful than data exchange, its original purpose.
Correspondence between two people rapidly evolved into correspondence
between many people, which become known as "Discussion",
and the true power of email became evident.
and discussion have evolved along several different patterns.
There are many variations of format for discussion forums.
Discussion groups may make use of features such as anonymity,
password limited access, message filtering, message archives,
and web based image or multimedia materials. Discussion
forums exist for members of orthopedic specialty societies,
open forums for orthopedic surgeons and surgeons in training,
therapists and orthopedic patients support forums.
will start with simple email, since it is the basis for
Discussion Forums of all forms. Email as a subject itself
is covered in Chapter 2.