The topics (commonly called threads) come under the lowest level of sub-forums and these are the places under which members can start their discussions or posts.
Logically forums are organized into a finite set of generic topics (usually with one main topic) driven and updated by a group known as members, and governed by a group known as moderators.
One of the first forum sites, and still active today, is Delphi Forums, once called Delphi (online service).
Forums perform a function similar to that of dial-up bulletin board systems and Usenet networks that were first created starting in the late 1970s.
A sense of virtual community often develops around forums that have regular users.
All message boards will use one of three possible display formats.
Each of the three basic message board display formats: Non-Threaded/Semi-Threaded/Fully Threaded, has its own advantages and disadvantages.
They differ from chat rooms in that messages are often longer than one line of text, and are at least temporarily archived.
Also, depending on the access level of a user or the forum set-up, a posted message might need to be approved by a moderator before it becomes visible.
Later developments emulated the different newsgroups or individual lists, providing more than one forum, dedicated to a particular topic.
with over two million per day on their largest forum, 2channel.
A forum consists of a tree-like directory structure. A forum can be divided into categories for the relevant discussions.
Under the categories are sub-forums and these sub-forums can further have more sub-forums.
If messages are not related to one another at all a Non-Threaded format is best.