Forums and how they are structured
Forums are essentially online conversations which occur asynchronously via typed messages. Forums are divided into topics – providing the opportunity to have multiple conversations occurring in parallel. The conversations are structured sequentially, with a member responding to a previous member’s message, but can have branches in which, for example, a third member poses a secondary or connected issue which is then responded to as a separate thread. They are good places to present quick ideas or ask for suggestions on a problem – to discuss an immediate ethical dilemma for example. Members of the forum participate in the forum by browsing, clicking on and responding to the individual messages. One can also chose to receive emails about forum conversations by subscribing to the forum. Emails can be delivered immediately as messages are posted or sent as daily or weekly digests based on each members settings. You can see a list of all of the forums, their membership restrictions and levels of activity here. If you have access rights simply click on the forum title to participate. You can also view a list of all topics sorted by their freshness.
Who can participate
Forums are usually associated with a private group within the HELLO Community and hence provide a space for the group members to have a conversation not seen by the general membership. You must therefore generally either join or create a group to participate in a forum. All members are automatically members of the Everyone Group which has an open forum in which any member can create a topic. Others that are open to everyone are the support forums.
Creating a forum
Forums are created during the process of forming a new group. As you follow the steps you will be asked if you wish to create a forum for the group – simply check the box. Before creating a new forum please consider whether a topic within the forum for the Everyone Group or within an existing private group will meet your needs. If you do not need the forum to be restricted to a new select subset of the membership a new group/forum is probably not necessary.