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WP Tavern is launching forums today. If you have ever sat up all night with a feverish infant, searching for answers on a mommy messaging board, hunted down solutions for obscure bugs, or wasted an entire afternoon on a subreddit, then you know that forums are not dead.

Since the early days of BBSes (Wikipedia link for you young whippersnappers), which housed prototypical forums before the advent of the World Wide Web, modern forums have evolved and established themselves as a stalwart, timeless medium for asynchronous communication, fostering communities, and sharing knowledge among individuals with diverse interests and needs.

Today we will begin exploring how forums can help expand conversations that originate on the Tavern, especially within the comments of a post. Our new forums are powered by bbPress, which enables readers to create discussions by visiting the comment section of an article and clicking on “Create forum topic from comment” based on comments that you find particularly insightful.

Under the forum called “Discussion” you will find topics that have been created based on article comments. This offers readers a way to engage further with comments that spark larger discussions, long after the article has been published and comments have closed. This feature is available alongside traditional bbPress forums where logged-in users can create topics.

If a forum topic already exists for a comment, a link labeled “Continue Discussion in Forum” will appear on that topic, leading to the ongoing forum discussion. This prevents people from creating multiple forum topics from a single comment. These topics will include a link back to the original comment at the top of the thread. It is also still possible to add regular (non-forum) replies to comments as usual.

Readers must be registered and logged in order to post on the forums. At this time, topics and replies will continue to be moderated before they are published. We have tried wild west commenting style in the past and it doesn’t work well for raising the level of discourse and engagement that we hope to have in our forums. Come join us, introduce yourself, and start some new topics.