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Building a forum website

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Can anyone tell me the name of the software that you need to build a forum site like this?

 

Is it relatively easy to set up and build?

 

Forum sites in general:

What do you do about and what are the liabilites for libellous postings?

Is the website owner liable?

Ditto copyright.

What are the Data Protection Act liabilities? Ie you will have peoples e mails on the server. Could you get blamed for email spam?

 

Most of the forums I use are this programme and it works well.

 

My plan is to create a site where ex employees of the company I work for can say the truth about why they left and keep in touch with their friends still there. And existing employees can also make postings about how they feel about issues etc. I may even invite the company's clients to make postings. A sort of bitch about the firm site!

 

I have loads of possibilities for content for this site too.

 

I realise I wont be employed for long!!!! Not sure if I will be anyway! But in the end the company will make me an offer to buy the site so they can control it.

 

Any advice?

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Can anyone tell me the name of the software that you need to build a forum site like this?
This forum is using vBulletin. It will be moving over to another platform called Invision Board in the next couple of weeks.

 

There are other forum software that you could consider, and they're free. Two others are phpBB and Simple Machines. You could find other PHP based forums here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparison_of_Internet_forum_software_%28PHP%29

 

Is it relatively easy to set up and build?
Generally speaking these forum software are easy to install, BUT, if you have no experience in setting up a MySQL database and adding information in a config.php file, then there might be some frustrations on your part. If you use cPanel hosting, in Fantastico you could set up phpBB very easily.

 

Once you have the forum set up you need to customize the look and feel. You don't have to, but if you want something unique you'll want to do it. Skinning (altering templates) can be frustrating if you have little experience in HTML and CSS. You could always buy a template set and simply install it.

What do you do about and what are the liabilites for libellous postings?

Is the website owner liable?

This is a legal question and you're better off researching it or speaking to a lawyer.

Ditto copyright.

What are the Data Protection Act liabilities?

Copyright infringement is always a bit of a concern if you post whole articles without permission. If you copy and paste a small part of an article and link back to the original article is usually OK. Usually with copyright infringement you'll get a cease and desist email asking you to take down the content. I wouldn't worry too much about this.

 

Ie you will have peoples e mails on the server. Could you get blamed for email spam?
The only person who could spam is you, because you have the e-mail addresses. Nobody else has access to these e-mails.

My plan is to create a site where ex employees of the company I work for can say the truth about why they left and keep in touch with their friends still there. And existing employees can also make postings about how they feel about issues etc. I may even invite the company's clients to make postings. A sort of bitch about the firm site!

I am not a lawyer and know very little about law, but you should consider that making a website to specifically target a company negatively can bring on some legal challenges. The company could come after you for defamation. If you approach them and tell them to buy the site or you'll continue posting negative things about it, could be considered blackmail. Again, I'm not a lawyer, but these are things that you may want to consider researching before setting up this forum. Edited by Fabio

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From a legal standpoint, even if you have rights, that does not mean the company can't sue you, or attempt to get the site taken down, so definitely study up on this. One recently popular site that seems to have survived is peopleofwalmart.com

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Absolutely! Promoting complaints about a company or person can put you in a legal battle.

Especially, if such post affect the amount of revenue to the company or in anyway reduce profit.

 

While "Truth" is the ultimate defense, how do you know that what anyone posts IS the "truth"?

 

~Roland

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Absolutely! Promoting complaints about a company or person can put you in a legal battle.

Especially, if such post affect the amount of revenue to the company or in anyway reduce profit.

 

While "Truth" is the ultimate defense, how do you know that what anyone posts IS the "truth"?

 

~Roland

 

 

You dont thats why I asked. It is the perenial problem with forum sites. Site owners must be able to have a disclaimer or something.

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From a legal standpoint, even if you have rights, that does not mean the company can't sue you, or attempt to get the site taken down, so definitely study up on this. One recently popular site that seems to have survived is peopleofwalmart.com

 

While I do find a lot of the jokes and pictures funny on peopleofwalmart, I must say that I am surprised that they can get by with what they are doing. Some of the pictures I think go border line with invading their privacy and they over do it.

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I believe the easy part is getting the software setup and making the site look nice. Well, I would not really say easy, but this is only the beginning. Building a live community and keeping the forum fresh, interesting and active can really be a ongoing process and should be considered before you try to start on for yourself.

 

I started a forum a while back and was totally put off by the amount of spam posts. I was spending more time swatting down the junk than I was promoting and discussing on the forum myself. I did choose a topic that may have lead to this problem, however this is just one of the many "maintenance" issues that comes with ownership.

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I have been using vBulletin script for my forums as they are more flexible than others. We have many mods and addons for it and we can edit the template/script as we need to make it look like what we need to be.

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Thanks to all of you for giving valid information about how to start a forum and helping me know about the necessary software. I always wanted to start a niche forum myself and have been postponing the idea for quite some time. Now I can think over it again.

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