One of the great things about being online is the ability to find like minded people to chat with and learn from using the power of the internet. If you are a guitarist or music lover then you can quickly find advice and help using forums.
So what is a forum? Well generally it is a website that is set up like a message board grouped by categories. For example, in a guitar forum you may expect to find categories such as guitar equipment, playing the guitar, and talk about guitarists. Within these categories you would then most likely find further categories. For example, within guitar equipment you would expect to find guitars to talk about individual guitars, amplifiers to discuss guitar amplifiers and effects to discus guitar effects. This is the same for each individual category.
Within these final categories are the individual topics created by the user. Because of the layout of the categories within the forum, the topics are very specifically related to the category. So if you really loved to talk about guitar effects or ask for help with guitar effects, then the guitar effects category would contain many other postings from like minded people as well as provide the quickest help if you have any questions.
Generally these topics are sorted in date order with the most recently active topic at the top. Each time someone adds a post to an individual topic it will go to the top. This keeps the most relevant topics to the top of the list and all older topics disappear from view.
Unlike instant messaging forums are great because responses do not have to be instant. This means that someone on a completely different time zone can contribute to your post whilst you sleep for you to respond to when you are awake. This allows you to get ideas across the world from other people with experience in your chosen subject.
Search engines also love forums. They constantly update with fresh information and often searching for common questions within a search engine will offer posts from a variety of forums, most likely offering answers that people have provided in the past.
Joining forums is generally free so why not search for a forum on your chose topic and get involved. Be sure to read any rules before posting as the welcome can often be less than warm for those that choose not to check and adhere to them!
Olly is the writer for Olly's Guitar World. Come and join our Guitar Forums and simply post 20 times to be entered into our monthly £50 giveaway! Fantastic deals on Guitar Tab Books as well as all other instruments.