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Starting a forum


louandel
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Hi,I am a charity support worker and the organization i work for is hoping to start a forum for people who have related problems and issues. They have turned to me for help as I have a knowledge of web site design. I have learnt xhtml, css, Ihave a good enough knowledge of javascript; and I have a fundamental knoledge of asp.net (VB)I am wondering where I could get advice in setting up a forum. I think im right in saying to hand code one myself (at my level) would be an enormous task. Therefore I would probably need to look to open source or ready made set ups. Do things exist?Also, I have had advice that forums must be moderated to ensure they are kept safe. What kind of input would this need?These probably sound like huge questions. Perhaps people know of tutorials which maybe available?My employers have talked about Facebook but i have heard worrying things about Facebook security - (this would be especiallly important with vulnerable people.Thanks for your timelouandel

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I am wondering where I could get advice in setting up a forum. I think im right in saying to hand code one myself (at my level) would be an enormous task. Therefore I would probably need to look to open source or ready made set ups. Do things exist?
There are many free and not-free forum systems already out there. phpBB is a very good free one, and this board uses Invision Power Board (in my opinion better than phpBB but you have to pay - a lot). vBulletin is another popular system. Hand coding one, even for an experienced developer, would be a bad idea, because he / she would be unlikely to reach the same level of security / usability / stability afforded by the currently avaliable packages.
Also, I have had advice that forums must be moderated to ensure they are kept safe. What kind of input would this need?
The forum systems I mentioned above all come with systems in place for moderation. Moderation basically just means reading through posts to make sure they don't violate your forum's content guidelines.
Perhaps people know of tutorials which maybe available?
The aforementioned forum systems all come with detailed manuals and well-manned support forums.
My employers have talked about Facebook but i have heard worrying things about Facebook security - (this would be especiallly important with vulnerable people.
Facebook can be useful, but I think a forum would be better for your purposes as it allows for more close-knit intra-communication.
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Moderation basically just means reading through posts to make sure they don't violate your forum's content guidelines.
Thnks for that. I shall have a look at some of these. the one thing that concerns me is time element with moderation. If posts can come in any time then I guess it would need some kind of shift system so that it is always covered?louandel
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the one thing that concerns me is time element with moderation. If posts can come in any time then I guess it would need some kind of shift system so that it is always covered?
Well, if you look at this forum there are several moderators, and they all come on at different times, so while there is no formal "shift" system there is still moderator coverage most of the time. The best would be to get trusted users from different time zones to do moderation - say a couple from the US, some from Europe and one or two from Australia. Also, even if an undesirable post is made when there is no moderator on, when one logs in they can always still delete the post. IPB also has a good "Report " system (see the button to the bottom-left of each post) so that normal members can report posts to moderators, making their job easier.By the way, W3Schools Forum has good content guidelines - http://w3schools.invisionzone.com/index.ph...p;f=45&id=2
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Well, if you look at this forum there are several moderators, and they all come on at different times, so while there is no formal "shift" system there is still moderator coverage most of the time. The best would be to get trusted users from different time zones to do moderation - say a couple from the US, some from Europe and one or two from Australia. Also, even if an undesirable post is made when there is no moderator on, when one logs in they can always still delete the post. IPB also has a good "Report " system (see the button to the bottom-left of each post) so that normal members can report posts to moderators, making their job easier.By the way, W3Schools Forum has good content guidelines - http://w3schools.invisionzone.com/index.ph...p;f=45&id=2
Thanks again synook. Things are getting clearerlouandel
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