Tech Forums

I’ve set up a ‘forum’:http://ko.offroadpakistan.com/forums/ for tech discussions – it’s more suited for discussion then posting on a weblog. Some of the posts on this weblog, especially the ones on tech and computing issues have hundreds of comments – in a sense being used as an adhoc message board. So it seems a good idea to use something more suitable for such discussions – hence these ‘forums’:http://ko.offroadpakistan.com/forums/.

For a long time, I’ve felt the absense of a Pakistani technology discussion site. There is one, the “Spider weblog”:http://spiderisat.blogspot.com/, but blogspot is very unsuited for discussions. Once posts move of the front page they’re impossible to find again, and all posts are given equal importance, so often times active topics suddenly move of the front page, effectively killing the discussion. With a forum, active topics are moved to the top, and one can easily go back to old topics.

I used the “WorldCall forums”:http://www.go4b.net/forums for a while, but they are very slow and limited to WC users only. Even then, despite the massive spam problem they had, those forums had a few very informative/helpful discussions.

For many months now, I had been discussing with a few other people of buying a domain and starting a Pakistani tech site. That hasn’t happened so far, but if/when it does, I’ll move these forums there. For the time being, I’m putting them on this site: “http://ko.offroadpakistan.com/forums”:http://ko.offroadpakistan.com/forums/

This is an experiment – I don’t suppose in the beginning these forums will be that active, but as people join, it should develop to become a viable community.


There are already a lot of Pakistani forums discussing local politics and news – so that is off topic on these forums. There are already thousands of technology sites/forums on the internet, so this forum is more about what is available/possible here – a “geo-centric” forum so to speak.

‘What are the Differences Between Message Boards and Weblogs?’:http://www.commoncraft.com/archives/000768.html:

bq.. Perhaps the most compelling difference in weblogs and message boards is the locus of control. Weblogs are individual or small group resources- the control of content and value is driven by a single person or small group. *Message Boards are group resources- the control of content and value is shared equally across all users.*

…The locus of control matters most in defining who can post new topics, which drive the content of the resource. In weblogs, this role is centralized, with *new topics being presented by a defined and focused person or small group.* This centralization facilitates focus and direction on behalf of the webloggers.

In many message boards, all members usually have the ability to create new topics. This *decentralization allows for more emergent and unpredictable directions that may reflect the group’s desires as a whole.*

p. _If anyone has any suggestions/ideas regarding this, or a good idea for a domain name, pleast leave a comment._

bq.. There are many other forums with thousands of members screaming at each other about these things anyways. The main reason for this emphasis is that all discussions political end up degenerating into a mud slinging match, or worse. (as I found out the hard way).

Discussions on how politics affect tech is seperate, as most mudslingers could care less about tech.

It could be argued that when too many people who don’t quite understand online communities/forums/whatnot end up discussing things near and dear to their heart there will be a big mess. I present every single Pakistani music and political forum as a good example of this.

10 thoughts on “Tech Forums”

  1. awsome … marvellous.. i’ll be happy to help u in this regard to gather all the pakistanis to disscuss their issues and sorting out them… basically i m a web developer in profession –

  2. KO: Good job. What was your criteria of selecting the forum software? Is there any advantage of using PunBB over phpBB. I have been thinking about setting up an online forum myself. My aim is to provide a completely unicode Urdu forum. I have also been working in this direction. Have a look at my posts about setting up Urdu forums and the results of my experiments here and here. I have also developed a JavaScript based Urdu editor which will allow user to easlily type Urdu. You can read about it here and here. I have yet to buy from a web host but I am seriously thinking about it.

  3. Nabeel: I read your posts – good stuff. Once the forum software is fully translated, you should get a domain.

    I choose “punbb”:http://punbb.org because it’s dead simple and easy to use – I am also using it “here”:http://www.offroadpakistan.com/forums/ – It only took minutes to install and integrate into the website. I looked at phpBB also – it’s just too complex. PunBB should also be easier to ‘localize’ as it comes with tools to make language packs – you should look into it.

  4. Come on people its May!!!!! Where is the much hyped about DSL??? Looks loike no ISP is interested

  5. Did any read in todays newspaper. PTCL is going to offer three in one service on one line: Telephone, cable tv and DSL.

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