If you are eager to create new relationships with people online or discuss hobbies, plan events, or just have fun chatting then Internet forums have become a great place for social meeting or networking and are also easy to setup. Forums are basically online discussion web sites where people share information and chat with each other on a variety of topics matching their interest. One example of forums might be a local photography club. You could setup topics around types of cameras, various shooting locations, local events and meetings, essential tips on printing etc. In order to keep the discussions going properly and specifically on the selected topics there are often administrators and moderators to help you with the same.
There are some points to consider before starting an online forum. They are:
Cost: Are majority of the forum sites that you find on the web free. The site may also be supported by some form of advertising but this is usually rare.
Features: Does the forum support avatars, private messages, user levels, themes, etc.
Security: Is it possible to create forums that only register users can post in? Helps to avoid those spammers.
The last point cannot be stressed more because you should be completely able to control who is in your forums. One bad mango spoils the bunch. On that same note, it is common for a forum to have moderators. They are people that help enforce the rules in the forum. Make sure to choose your help wisely. When it comes to administrators, there should be only one of them to support the forum. Administrators have the keys to the city and can set your forum ablaze.
Finally to make your forum popular and successful you need to attract people to it to join. Obviously if it is for a religious purpose or some other established group, this is relatively easy. You can tell your friends, family and club members about the forum. If you are starting from scratch, do the same. Tell people, show people, invite people. Check to see if your forum site is listed in search engines like Google and Yahoo. Once you complete that initial setup and recruitment, you will soon be on your way to having a forum that you, your friends and other forum members can enjoy.