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Self-Organizing Discussion Forum Disclosure Number: IPCOM000193429D
Original Publication Date: 2010-Feb-23
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2010-Feb-23
Document File: 1 page(s) / 25K

Publishing Venue



The discussion forum is an online community where people of similar interest can gather to exchange information on specific topics. Currently, these fora are organized into sub-fora based on more specific topics. For instance a community about car modification could have a sub-forum on engine internals, another on turbo-chargers, and another on suspension components. If a user comes to this forum with a question on choosing a turbo charger, piston, and cam shaft combination, where does this question belong? The present organization requires that the user decide between cross posting in multiple sub-fora, which is generally discouraged, or potentially missing out on a group that could answer the question by picking the wrong sub-forum.

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Self-Organizing Discussion Forum

The self-organizing forum will be hosted by a webserver and a database. Instead of having the site administrator define sub-fora during setup he can optionally populate the tags list with tags relevant to the intended audience. As visitors register at the forum they can create views of the forum using the list of active tags in any combination. These views will be populated as posts are made containing the proper tag combinations are made. When a visitor wants to post to the forum they will be asked to supply tags appropriate to the post being made.

Instead of organizing a forum into topic based sub-fora, it is proposed that when a new thread is started in a forum the author selects tags that apply to the thread. These can be from a list maintained by the forum administrators, free form input from the author, selected after applying some form of semantic analysis (eg: automatically selected by the system or highlighted in the list offered to the user), or any combination of these and other methods. Each viewer of the forum will be given the ability to create their own view or collection of views based on tags that interest them by subscribing to those tags. For instance the above author posts the question on choosing a turbo charger, piston, and cam shaft and instead of choosing where it belongs, the author tags it with "turbo charger", "pistons", "cam shafts", and "engine building". Now anyone that subscribes to any combination o...