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Author Topic: Internet Forum Terminology - an A-Z guide  (Read 1804 times)
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Trailrider
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« on: November 28, 2007, 09:57:15 PM »

So you have not spent much time on forums before now and are sometimes confused by the lingo
Here are some popular terms used on these forums (source: Wikipedia)

A forum Administrator is a user who manages the operational aspects of an Internet forum, ranking above, and appointing, the moderator(s). The owner of a forum is usually an administrator.
The exact scope of the role varies according to the forum software in use, but in most cases, the administrator sets configuration options and manages user accounts. The administrator may also customise group permissions. An administrator may also perform duties of forum moderators.
Forum administrators are sometimes referred to as "admins".
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An Avatar is an Internet user's representation of themselves. The traditional avatar system used on most Internet forums is a small (100x100 pixels, for example) square-shaped area close to the user's forum post, where the avatar is placed.
The "avatar" derives from the Sanskrit word Avatāra, meaning "descent" and usually implying a deliberate descent into mortal realms for special purposes. The term is used primarily in Hindu texts, in reference to incarnations of Vishnu the Preserver, whom many Hindus worship as god.
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To Bump a thread on an Internet forum is to post a reply in order to raise the thread's profile by returning it to the top of the list of active threads. Typically, a thread may be bumped after it has received no replies in several days or when other, perhaps less significant, threads have knocked it off the front page.
However, many forums now have features allowing administrators/moderators to make a thread "sticky", that is, the thread will remain at the top regardless.
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An Emoticon, also called a smiley, is a sequence of ordinary printable characters, such as Smiley  Wink  Tongue  etc. or a small image, intended to represent a human facial expression and convey an emotion. Emoticons are a form of paralanguage commonly used as extended interpunction symbols in e-mail, instant messaging, online chat, bulletin boards and Internet forums; without them simple statements could be misinterpreted due to the lack of facial expression and body language in purely textual communications.
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Flaming is the act of sending or posting messages that are deliberately hostile and insulting, usually in the social context of a discussion board on the Internet. Such messages are called flames, and are sometimes posted in response to flamebait.
A flame may have elements of a normal message, but is distinguished by its intent. A flame is typically not intended to be constructive, to further clarify a discussion, or to persuade other people. The motive for flaming is often not dialectic, but rather social or psychological. Sometimes, flamers are attempting to assert their authority, or establish a position of superiority. Other times, the flamer is simply closed-minded or biased, and is simply shocked and appaled that anybody would dare to have an opinion that isn't the same as that of the flamer, so he/she personally attacks the "dissenter." Occasionally, flamers wish to upset and offend other members of the forum, in which case they are trolls.
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The roles of Moderators can vary from forum to forum, just as the purposes of the forums themselves can vary. However, on boards intended to be public, moderators are generally accorded additional powers to enforce forum rules and conduct administrative tasks that cannot be trusted to ordinary users (Such as pinning threads? If any user were allowed to pin his or her own thread, chaos would ensue).
Among a moderator's enforcement duties is often the duty to stop flaming and keep the board a friendly place, free of personal insults. Most boards also ban illegal material and outright pornography, and many also restrict the use of profanity and any violent or sexual images, however in other boards this is considered perfectly acceptable, or even the norm.
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A topic Thread is a group of messages or postings to a newsgroup, mailing list, hypermail, blog or Internet forum, all relating to a single topic.
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In Internet terminology, a Troll is a person who enters an established community such as an online discussion forum and intentionally tries to cause disruption, most often in the form of posting inflammatory, off-topic, or otherwise inappropriate messages.
The contemporary use of the term first appeared on Usenet groups in the late 1980s. It is widely thought to be a contraction of the phrase trolling for suckers, itself derived from the sport fishing technique of trolling. The latter can be compared with trawling.
The word likely gained currency because of its apt second meaning, drawn from the trolls portrayed in Scandinavian folklore and children's tales; they are often ugly, obnoxious creatures bent on mischief and wickedness.
« Last Edit: May 17, 2008, 08:42:32 AM by Trailrider » Logged

Remember what Bilbo used to say: It's a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don't keep your feet, there's no knowing where you might be swept off to.
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