Forums are also examples of what's wrong with social media too. These "rewarded" people being dictators and end up hazing newbs and generally throwing their weight around.The anonymity of the web lets them bully others from their ivory tower of 1,000+ posts. Don't annoy them they'll delete your post :)
I find the opposite Mr Truffle ^.It obviously depends on the content nature of the visited forum but I find that most of the long term forum contributors are usually the most welcoming and caring of new users. If they have to throw their 'weight around' to bring a new n00b user into line though, then so be it. Most of the time a new entrant to the online community might just need informing of the rules and regulations of that community. Such as no spam posts or new threads about topics which have already been posted. I'd be surprised if real bullying actually occurs in any established and well respected forum, especially in the last two that Julian mentioned.
It's all about proving yourself isn't it? The IGN boards are an excellent case study on how forums work... they're absolute CHAOS (The Vestibule room in particular) but the chemistry and banter between the various "class" of users is GOLD."Rewarding contribution" is spot on.
forums can be great - welcoming environments that allow people to share information, ideas, enthusiasm etc.And they can be the exact opposite too. Ruined by a select few armchair experts of bullies.Problem is - they have to be either to survive ... a forum that is vanilla is generally not the most exciting place to be around. If you can get it right they can be a great place to reach an engaged, connected user ... still for advertising so far they are a mysterious beast.
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