Most of us who have spent much time at all on the Internet have heard of forums, threads, posts and comments, but what exactly do these terms mean? Do they have a specific, consistent definition? Or is it given a largely haphazard meaning, used here and there by whomever decides to appropriate it for any given situation?
Well, no, although there is no single, consistently defined meaning, the natural flow of culture has largely consolidated the applicable contexts down to a general definition. If one were to try to include these terms into a dictionary, though, with their entries being as accurate as possible, how would one word them? I tried, and I would love to hear what you all think of it. Please tell me your thoughts in the comments below!
The below terms are listed, as accurately as I could, in order from most general to most specific. Terms in one definition that are defined elsewhere in this list are emboldened.
- Board – A site containing multiple forums.
- Forum – A section of a site containing related threads.
- Room – A subdivision of a forum meant to group related threads into a more specific category, or a smaller subdivision of a larger room.
- Post – Initial starting question and/or details.
- Comment – Response to a post / non-answer response to a post/answer.
- Answer – Q&A-style response to a post.
- Thread – A single post, or a succession of directly related answers and/or comments in addition to, and related under, a single post.
- Sub-Thread – A thread within a larger thread.