A business or organisation comes with a support system for the customers and users. These are meant to help out the customers. Forums and communities are two such tools for this purpose. Even though they share some similarities, essentially, they are different and have different approaches.
Forum vs Community
The main difference between forum and community is that forum is like a virtual message board. On the other hand, a community is a place for interacting with people with the same interests. A community is much more casual. People often use it to build a network, while a forum is meant to discuss different thoughts.
A forum is like a message board of a business. It is available online. It is rather simple software. It offers solutions to the issues faced by any consumer. It is also a place for people to exchange thoughts. One can find many options in this one place.
Community involves people who have a similar mindset. It gives them a platform to discuss interests. Therefore, from here, businesses can get an insight and form the strategies accordingly. A community includes many options. Therefore, it takes a lot of time to get made.
Comparison Table Between Forum and Community
|Parameters of Comparison||Forum||Community|
|Definition||A forum is sort of a message board that works online. ||A community is a place of collaboration where a group of people who have common interests come together.|
|Level of simplicity||Forums are simpler than software.||Community software is less simple comparatively.|
|Available Options||Forum only has one option to offer the users.||Community includes many options.|
|Conversation||Here the conversation is based on solutions.||Here the conversation is interactive.|
|Purpose||Its main purpose is to discuss issues.||The main purpose here is to share and build a network.|
What is Forum?
Forum is simple software, and to know its basic functions, one does not need much training. If a customer of a business goes to the business forum, then he/she will be led to one single forum without any complications. Customers will get access to only that single forum. In that one place, all issues will get handled. It also offers a platform for conversation.
Forums can be a great platform for peer-to-peer support. It is a tool for social support. Conventional customer service can cost more, but a forum is capable of cutting down that cost. It lowers the cost of support and provides a positive support system at the same time. Forum discussions boards are easy to understand. Customers can know the process of using different facilities of the business.
Discussing forums can be created easily. It is like copying a code script of HTML. The design of it is easy too. The content management is in-built in it. A forum is a discussion board on various topics. It is not interactive. Rather, it is informative.
What is Community?
Community is not a simple software; therefore, it is not a suitable option for business. It is not attractive for growing a business. However, it will offer the customers of the business more than just a place of discussion. It gives a platform for collaboration.
Communities are niche-based. So similar minded people can come and have an interactive conversation. People can use it to build their network. Segmentation is possible in the community. Information is available here. Strategies can be fixed from these sets of information as one can get a clear view of the type of customers.
Implementation of a community is not an easy task. One needs to have strategies and plans, as well as resources to embody the strategies. But to track progress and to analyse the management, the community is very useful.
Executing a community is not possible without thorough planning and a fixed strategy. This planning and management consume a lot of time. However, once enforced, it will be very useful to know the ideas of people on the product line.
Main Differences Between Forum and Community
- A forum is a virtual message board, whereas a community is a virtual place for collaboration.
- In the forum, people discuss a thread. People exchange thoughts and ideas on a common topic while in a community group of people having the same interest come together and talk.
- Forum is rather a simpler software, but when compared to the community, the community will appear complicated.
- The forum comes with only one option, and that one option is all in one. On the contrary, the community includes many options for the users.
- Forum focuses on solving an issue or giving thoughts. The conversations here are about knowing the ideas of others. Community, on the other hand, is interactive. These communities are niche-based, and people sharing the same interest utilize this.
- A forum gives a platform to discuss, but a community gives a platform to build a network.
- Forums are often chosen by businesses to solve issues. It also has features for feedback and surveys. A community is beyond these mere discussions. Through community, a business can engage with the customers.
- Implementation of the forum takes less time than the community. Community, on the other hand, needs planning behind the implementation.
Both forum and community are customer service tools utilised by businesses. Both will give the customers a place for discussion. A platform for customers is important. These two are strategies undertaken by businesses to build a community for customers.
Forum and community have some similarities. Both are a place where customers seek support from fellow peers. Members of these get recognition and get to know how to use it. But the similarities culminate here.
If someone’s wondering what will be best suited for their business, then the requirements will come into consideration. The forum is very easy to execute. It consumes less time too. But if you want to know insights, then the community should get chosen. One can analyse the process and manage the strategies by utilising the features of the community.