In ancient Greece, the Agora was “the area in the city where free-born citizens could gather to hear civic announcements, muster for military campaigns or discuss politics” (Mark, 2009). The effect of those ancient Rhymes of History forums at the time was limited geographically, however, the messages and discussions spread globally and remain relevant in today’s society regarding philosophy. Aristotle has even been called “The Godfather of the Internet” (Herman, 2013) when he considered the purpose of society to mutually exchange services.
The original need for such discussion was driven by the human needs to explore ideas, gain knowledge, socialise and seek mentorship and this continued (and continues) in similar forms today however without the presence of media, the discussion is synchronous and restricted to a geographical location.
In ancient Rome the term ‘Forum’ was used for such discussions, which was adopted as the term for the world wide web, for the place where specialist interest groups would meet to help others and debate any subject asynchronously and on a global scale.
A web based forum allows anyone, subject to having the correct authentication and privileges for access, to start a discussion on any topic and interact with others, whilst being moderated. Forum technology addressed and continues to address the same human needs yet on a global and asynchronous basis and a rekindling of that discussion was rekindled on a massive scale.
Today, forums are hugely important for those reasons mentioned above and in addition have become a source of reliable information (Bickart & Schindler, 2001) and direct help lines for for mass populations. History repeating itself and adding value to the original concept.
Bickart, B., & Schindler, R. M. (2001). Internet forums as influential sources of consumer information. Journal of Interactive Marketing, 15(3), 31–40. http://doi.org/10.1002/dir.1014
Herman, A. (2013). 5 Reasons Why Plato and Aristotle Still Matter Today. Retrieved October 8, 2015, from http://www.publishersweekly.com/pw/by-topic/industry-news/tip-sheet/article/60264-5-reasons-why-plato-and-aristotle-still-matter-today.html
Mark, J. J. (2009). Agora. Retrieved October 8, 2015, from http://www.ancient.eu/agora/