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Dictionary

Forum and Message Board Definition

fo·rum (fôr'em, for'-)

From TheFreeDictionary Forum Definition
n. pl. fo·rums also fo·ra (fôr'e, for'e)
    1. The public square or marketplace of an ancient Roman city that was the assembly place for judicial activity and public business.
    2. A public meeting place for open discussion.
    3. A medium for open discussion or voicing of ideas, such as a newspaper, a radio or television program, or a website.
  1. A public meeting or presentation involving a discussion usually among experts and often including audience participation.
  2. A court of law; a tribunal.
According to The Free Dictionary Definition of Forum, that we quote here, a forum is a public meeting place for open discussion. At the Internet era, this definition could still be considered as valid, even if many additional usages have been found.

Internet forum:

From Wikipedia Internet Forum Article

An Internet forum, or message board, is an online discussion site where people can hold conversations in the form of posted messages. [...]

The Wikipedia Article on Internet Forum is much similar to the forum definition: a public (online) place where people discuss and meet.

Bulletin board system:

From Wikipedia Bulletin board system Article

A Bulletin Board System, or BBS, is a computer system running software that allows users to connect and log in to the system using a terminal program. Once logged in, a user can perform functions such as uploading and downloading software and data, reading news and bulletins, and exchanging messages with other users, either through electronic mail or in public message boards.
[...]

This definition of a Bulletin Board System, that can be considered as the first name given to Internet Forums, is much more global than a simple way to discuss with other people. Bulletin Boards are also a way to read news, play games, as you can do with what we call a "board" in reality.
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