Get Some Victory
• ISSUE #34: Find Relevant Forums •

     Jul 2011

A very good, often underused source of knowledge

I get asked a lot where I do my reading.

First and foremost is books. Second is Wikipedia for summaries.

And third... isn't blogs, surprisingly. It's discussion forums.

I find forums are good for the back and forth nature of them, and the evolving discussions over time. Yet, many people don't regularly read discussion forums.

Let's remedy that.



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The value of a discussion forum

First, if you've never been to one, what is a discussion forum?

There's different varieties of them, but the general idea is that it's a place where someone can start a thread, and others can reply/respond to it.

Different forums have slightly different characteristics, but what they all have in common is that people can make comments/posts and reply to them.

Because of that, you get a lot of excellent back and forth discussion. Incomplete ideas get fleshed out, faulty ideas get demonstrated as wrong.

You can also search past archives for good information, and if you see someone on the forum who is consistently intelligent, you can click on their profile and send them a message or read their past writings on the forum.

It's a really good tool for getting up to speed on a topic.

List some interests, do some searches

1. List 5-10 interests you've got that you'd like to spend time reading on.
2. Do some searches on those topics.

The searches can include "forum", "discussion forum", and "discussion" and they'll find what you're looking for. You can also go to and ask if anyone knows any discussion forums on a topic.

Feel free to take a moment to do this now.

Crucial: Register as soon as you realize you like a forum

Most people on the internet are just "lurkers" - they don't participate.

You want to increase your odds of participating, and registering and staying logged in does that.

As soon as you find a forum you like, create an account.

Even if you don't use it for a while, there's a lot of benefits - first, it takes away a barrier to replying if you ever do have something to say. Second, it lets the "age" of your account go up, so people know you've been around for a while - this means you're more likely to get good answers if you ask a question. Third, sometimes future registrations get closed if a forum is getting really popular or having security problems - and already having an account means you don't get locked out!

Some recommendations to kick you off

Here's a few forums I like - - weight lifting, fitness, general training. - good discussion on travel and travel-related awards (free travel). Great for long term travelers. - a little bit different in than its based around submitted stories, but the comments are exceptional at news.YC. It's on technology and entrepreneurship primarily.

But definitely find your own by listing 5-10 interests you've got, and searching for forums. I'm always amazed at some of the great forums I've found when learning more on a topic.

Feel free to send me your recommendations as well, if you've got a great forum you know of.