Before the emergence of social media, forums ruled the World Wide Web. But today’s internet world has changed so drastically, that some people hardly know about forums and the benefits they present to any industry.
Today, virtually everyone has a Twitter account and a Facebook account; with many others having accounts in a number of other social media sites. Thus, the question of whether it is still necessary to have forum platforms is legitimate and deserves a serious response.
Forums are used to connect, converse and discuss on certain topics. Therefore, they too can be referred to as social networks. But some significant differences with social media platforms as we know them do exist.
Unlike on social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter, forum users can post a discussion in a concrete category where other members as well as other online searchers can easily find this well-organized information.
While you can easily communicate on social media, it is not as easy to find well organized information on a particular subject. This is, perhaps, why big industries and institutions still value the power of online forums.
Forum software for the healthcare industry
For practically all forum users, forum software that provides stability, usability, customization, security and flexibility would be a good platform. All the same, healthcare forum users do prefer a forum platform with additional features that would help them put across their thoughts better to other users.
One such feature is the photo album. The nature of healthcare is that to understand another user, say when they have a certain condition they cannot tell what it is, photos help to put things in perspective. This feature also helps a big deal in showing forum members the IT technologies for healthcare industry, including the latest healthcare IT tools and how to use them.
Another feature popular with healthcare forum users is the poll function. The world of medicine is as good as the data it collects about patients, diseases, etc. Polls help collect this data.
vBulletin is a favorite forum platform for many in the healthcare industry because of its built-in photo album and polls features that users from the industry put a lot of value in.
Forum software for the finance industry
The finance industry is big on numbers. That is why members of finance forums value a platform that allows them to play around with data, rearranging it as they would wish. Furthermore, people who deal with money understand that you can never be too careful when it comes to staying safe online. For this reason, members in finance forums value a platform that allows for external authentication. One finance forum platform that these users love is Phorum, an open source PHP & MySQL forum.
Other industries like entertainment love forum platforms big on images showcasing. Sports lovers are big on platforms that allow them to manage events and set dates for certain matches, etc. What is your favorite forum software and why?