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A forum is a public meeting place, a place for open discussion. Online forums of every variety provide a place for those with a common interest to communicate and exchange ideas. Genealogy forums have been very popular over the years, as a place for family history researchers to collaborate. Forums and message boards are similar in function, with discussion groups divided into various categories, allowing users to place information where it might be seen by those with similar research interests. In recent times, social networks have become the new collaborative environment.

The more recent, FamilySearch Forum invites researchers to post specific research questions for others in the community, perhaps with more experience or knowledge in a particular area, to respond, assist, and suggest resources. Of course, those with family connections can still participate and respond, but the range of topics and the focus has been expanded.

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