This is not yet named in accordance with NINS
Forums online are a place where people congregate virtually, to discuss a topic in some form.
There are several common technologies on which forums are based:
- Usenet (wikipedia:Usenet since 1980)
- email lists (wikipedia:Electronic mailing list based on SMTP (1982))
- Web Forum (wikipedia:Internet forum from approx 2000)
Forums may also be read via RSS or ATOM feeds.
Why web forums suck
Forums are increasingly handled through the web. Nemo, for one, dislikes this.
The web is fundamentally a pull technology. I, as a user, have to GO TO the website and PULL the information down. This is tedious and tiring, and makes regular activity in even one webforum to be barely worthwhile.
RSS solves this problem of the web to some degree, but [a] is not implemented well in any forum software I have seen, and [b] is read-only.
A new integration
Nemo would like to see a forum backend which is truly divorced from the front end UI. The backend handles storing the messages and asociated metadata (author, response-to, date/time, thread, etc). Each frontend then shows the data in the appopriate native format.
That is: a forum can be web for one person, a mailing list for a second, and even usenet group for a third. (poorly implemented email<->usenet gateways have been seen in the past, and they share similar raw structure and usage conventions
Replies can be handled through any means, and are propogated to each front end, according to the UI plugin.
With this, I could subscribe via email to my favourite forums, whilst others can surf them as websites according to their (n00b) preference. Masochist old-skoolers can usenet, and gadget hipsters can read via RSS, or facebook, or via Twitter summaries... so on.
People quote and reply differently in email vs usenet vs webforum. Hell, people reply differently in email (top reply) vs email (bottom reply) vs email (integrated reply). A combination of system smarts, and user education on a 'chosen preference' might be required?
- it has been noted that wikipedia:Gmane isn't a reasonable nntp/smtp gateway, with RSS views also.
- DFeed is a web forum with an NNTP back-end. It seems like it might be decent?
 I can get away with this namecalling because I was online before the September that never ended --Nemo