For Seniors: Connect to People Through Discussion Boards
A discussion board (forum) is a place where you can post written messages, pictures, and videos on a topic. Others on the discussion boards can comment on what you post, and you can reply to their postings. You can find a discussion board on nearly every topic under the sun, and the information on them can be tremendously helpful when you're looking for answers.
Discussion boards are also a great way to share your expertise — whether you chime in on how to remove ink stains, provide history on military uniform button styles, or announce the latest breakthroughs in your given field. Postings are likely to stay on a board for years for people to reference, so be aware that what you read there may be up to date or not that current.
Point your browser to a discussion board such as The Motley Fool Discussion Boards.
A list of topics on that discussion board appears.
Some discussion boards require that you become a member with a username and password before you can post information or reply to postings.
In the topic list that appears, click a topic, such as Arts, Travel, & Entertainment.
A list of discussions (subtopics) appears.
Click a discussion.
You may see more subtopics. If so, continue digging through the levels until you find a posting you wish to view and possibly respond to.
Discussions that are threaded means they are organized in a way that groups an original posting with any replies or comments to it. A thread is a conversation on a topic, which consists of individual postings and replies.
Click a posting to view it.
When you click a posting that has replies, you’ll probably find some easy way to view any replies, such as clicking Whole Thread, or View Replies.
To reply to a posting yourself which requires that you be a member, first click the posting, and then enter your member information. Fill in your comments and post the reply.
Discussion boards are asynchronous, which means that you post a message (just as you might on a bulletin board at the grocery store) and wait for a response. Somebody might read it that hour — or ten days or several weeks after you make the posting. In other words, the response isn't instantaneous, and the message isn’t usually directed to a specific individual.
With any site where users share information, you can stay safer if you know how to sidestep some abuses, including data mining (gathering your personal information for commercial or criminal intent), social engineering ploys that try to gain your trust and access to your money, ID theft scams, and so forth.