Internet Chatting and Discussion Forums
There are lots of ways that you can chat to and discuss topics with other people using the Internet. Each has its own features:

Chat Room Instant Messenger
Here you can communicate instantly with other people by typing messages. These can then be read by everyone else who happens to be in that chat room at the same time. This also happens in real-time and lets you send messages to other people. You can only have conversations with people who you know and are on your contacts list however.
Discussion Forum Social Networking Site
This is a place where you can post messages for other people interested in a similar topic to read. A thread is a series of posts that originate from one original post. Most forums have an archive so that content can be saved and found in a search. These are places where people with similar interests can meet on the Internet to: chat, socialise and network. They are usually much more personal than a discussion forum and are used to make online friends.

For most of these services you will need to register or sign up and create a personal profile about yourself. This will usually contain information such as: your gender, the country you live in or your favourite hobbies. Other people will then be able to then read this profile to find out about who you are.

Copyright S Haughton