Website and Blogs are adequate if you need information but sometimes you have a unique question that is best answered by another enthusiast. There are a wide variety of forums on the Internet where people will help you answer your specific questions.
An Internet forum, or message board, is an online discussion site. It originated as the modern equivalent of a traditional bulletin board, and a technological evolution of the dialup bulletin board system. A great deal of my initial knowledge of computer systems came from dial up BBS’es–to this day I remember the phone number of long-gone BBS’.
Now before you go off and start posting in a forum, you need to learn a bit about forum etiquette. My first bit of advice–read a few of the existing forum posts. Reading forum posts will give you an idea of the style of that particular forum (is it closer to a neighborhood club or more like a university classroom). Pamela Stevens has a good list of 25 Forum Posting Etiquette Tips that are worth reading.
Here are some of my favorite forum based sites to get you started:
Photo.net – www.photo.net
Photo.net is an online community with hundreds of thousands of active members and many more casual viewers visiting daily. Photo.net was started in 1993 by Phillip Greenspun and is one the best peer-to-peer educational system for people who wish to become better photographers.
Luminous Landscape – luminous-landscape.com/forum/
Luminous Landscape is one of my favorite sites about photography. The articles are great. The forums are a great source of useful information from professional photographers as well as photography enthusiasts.
Watchuseek claims to have the world’s busiest forums. A lot of great knowledge.
Poor Man’s Watch Forum – http://www.pmwf.com
Can’t afford watches that cost 4 to 7 digits (yes 7!). Poor Man’s Watch forum will guide you to much more reasonable but still high quality forums.
FlyerTalk – www.flyertalk.com/forum/
Want to learn how to travel from frequent flyers? FlyerTalk provides up-to-date information on travel-related loyalty reward programs and so much more–the best luggage, what to pack, hotel deals, where to eat, …
Candle Power Forums – www.candlepowerforums.com
Hard to believe that there are hundreds of discussions on Flashlights–LED vs. Incadescent; What’s the best LED?; What reflector works the best.