About forums in general...

You've been hearing about these things called "forums", but you aren't quite sure what they're good for, how to use them, or why you'd want to join one when you already have Facebook. Here's a quick overview.

In Facebook terms, a forum resembles a collection of maybe 10 to 200 related Facebook Groups, all with the same membership and under the same management. But there are important differences:

Facebook is great for conversations spanning a few hours or a few days, but finding old posts on a particular topic is very inconvenient. In a forum, though, the whole history is easily available, organized by topic, and searchable. This makes forums a better choice when you want to access (and contribute to) an archive of information.

Long-term discussions
Forums are also great for conversations spanning months or years. Customs vary from one forum to another, but it's common to find some forum discussions that continue for many years, or are resurrected when a member has something new to add.

Breadth and depth
A forum can cover a broad range of related topics, but by splitting up the discussions into many separate forum sections, it enables in-depth discussion of narrow topics. It's easy to ignore the topics that don't interest you, and to join other members in discussing interests that you share.

Internet forums FAQ...

Is it free?
Frequently. Some forums are entirely free, some have free sections plus other sections reserved for paid members.

What do I need?
Any web browser, preferably a recent version. (If you've manually disabled Javascript, you'll probably want to re-enable it for the forum you're visiting.)

Is there an app for my smartphone?
In most cases, no, but expect this to change in coming years. (Some forums can be accessed using the Tapatalk app, but for various technical and security-related reasons, many forum administrators don't want to do this.)

Do I have to register?
Probably. Most forums allow unregistered guests to view limited parts of the forum, but not to post anything. By registering, you'll gain access to posting plus additional forum goodies.

Can I register using my Facebook credentials?
Some forums support this, but it's still fairly uncommon.

What are the rules?
Most forums will have a set of rules in a fairly obvious place (a link from the homepage, a forum section called RULES AND TERMS OF SERVICE, or something similar). Check these out before you register. You can expect to see "Don't post spam", "Don't post illegal stuff", "Don't post copyrighted stuff", plus other rules that will vary from one forum to another. Also, please remember that it's impossible to write a set of rules that will cover every possible situation. So on most forums, if a moderator makes a decision, it has the same force as any written rule.

What about privacy and security?
As with any popular Internet site, forums are sometimes a target for hackers. Forum staff may not immediately catch every intrusion. You should act as though everything you post on a forum (including personal messages) MIGHT someday be read by an unauthorized person. Use a forum password that is different from any passwords you use elsewhere. And keep your antivirus software up-to-date.

About The Survival Podcast Forum...

The Survival Podcast Forum serves the listeners of Jack Spirko's The Survival Podcast, one of the most popular prepper sites on the Internet. Here are some useful links to get you started:

Forum rules: our Terms Of Use And Policies

FAQ: How stuff works, and how we interpret our rules

The Front Porch: New members start here

Register as a member of The Survival Podcast Forum

We hope you'll join us!