Saturday, June 21, 2008


An early form of Internet communication was the Bulletin Board where Person A posted a message and Person B would post a response. To keep up to date with messages on the bulletin board it was necessary to regularly log on to the site to read the messages.

Forums provide the opportunity for members of an online group to post and reply to messages but the original message and responses are emailed to all members of the forum group. Forum messages and responses are also usually accessible on a site in the same way as the former bulletin boards or have an archive facility where all the posts on a topic can be viewed together.

A number of organisations provide forums as part of their websites where members exchange views on topics of interest to members. Members subscribe (fill in an online form normally providing name and email address and password) to join a forum. As members they can then read and can post messages.

My Connected Community (mc²) provides a collection of Internet base networking tools for the free use of community groups – a forum being one of the tools. Members of mc² groups automatically receive messages posted in the forum unless they elect not to receive messages.

The forum can be used to ask questions, provide information on a topic of interest to group members, publicise a book, offer items no longer needed for a new home, provide information about grants or awards etc. They provide a great resource for sharing information. Sometimes there will be a great response to a topic in the forum with a number of people from all parts of Victoria sharing their views on a topic. At other times there may be no response. This does not matter as forums function as information resources as well as a discussion opportunity. I often meet people who receive messages from the History Victoria Support Group mc² forum who tell me that they had taken information provided in one of the messages and discussed the topic at a committee meeting.

Using the features provided in My Connected Community is easy. You just need to be able to type in a box and press a button to send the message.

Other resources provided in mc² groups include a links page providing links to useful web sites, an events page where members can publicise the activities of their group, an images section and a section for sharing files of interest to group members. Any member of the mc² group can add material to the mc².

The RHSV website – – provides information on joining mc² plus a list of mc² groups relating to local history. Mc² groups you might consider joining include the History Victoria Support group mc² containing information relevant for members of historical societies, Computers and cataloguing mc² for those particularly interested in computer related projects and the Royal Historical Society of Victoria mc² for information relating to Victoria’s history – this is an excellent site to post information about forthcoming events for your group.

No comments: