About Posts vs. Forum Topics

It is easy to be confused by the difference between posts and forum topics.  Hopefully, this page will help you understand this.

When the ability for users to add content to a website was developed, it gave rise to blogs – an abbreviation of ‘weB logs’.  Users could create a log or diary of their activity or thoughts by posting a blog entry.  As with a diary or ship’s log, there is a natural chronology in entries and older entries tend to fade in significance.  On this site, posts are ordered newest first and the latest few listed in the right-hand margin.  Posts are unstructured but on this site they may belong to one or more categories, which allows you to find those of interest.  To create a new post, you use the + New menu in the bar at the top of your screen when logged in.  Posts can gain comments.

This site is run using the WordPress content management system, which started as a blogging platform. When setting it up, I anticipated it would develop a repository of technical wisdom, which would need to be structured and not just ordered chronologically.  I chose to adopt the bbPress add-on forum system.  There is a structure of forums, each of which can contain a number of topics and the topics can have replies.  You create a new topic from within the relevant forum, using the form shown after the last existing topic.

So there are two separate regimes on this site:

  • Posts and comments thereon
  • Forum topics and replies to them.

Which to use?  If what you want to communicate is of temporal interest, use a post.  If what you want to communicate will add to the technical advice and wisdom available and will remain relevant over time, then use the forums.

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