There are two types of citizens' band (CB) radio forums: technical and personal. Both use a semi-private online message board to post and reply to questions and topics. The difference between the two types of CB radio forums lies in the topics discussed. Some forums are strictly technical, dealing with troubleshooting issues and discussing equipment. Other forums deal with the day-to-day life of CB users and personal topics, like favorite restaurants and birthday greetings, are discussed.
In a semi-private forum, registration is required before an individual is allowed to post. Sometimes the public is allowed to read forum posts without registering. Registration is typically free, but the forum manager can suspend any users that do not comply with the site's posting policies. Usually, foul language, hostile conduct, sexual harassment, and any other abuse of the forum are prohibited and will result in the user being blocked from the website. Registration also protects users from computer viruses and malicious software.
Message boards are usually organized according to topic. The forum manager creates different message boards headers like "Troubleshooting Questions and Answers" or "CB Radio Product Reviews." Users add replies or threads to each topic. Some CB radio forums allow users to create their own boards. This allows greater flexibility for the user, but generally results in a poorly organized board.
Technical CB radio forums are created to discuss CB radio and related topics. Forum posts which are not pertinent will usually be deleted by the forum manager. Technical forums can be a good place to get user reviews of equipment and suggestions for starting equipment, but the information is not always accurate. There are usually too many posts on CB radio forums for the forum manager to be able to confirm all troubleshooting answers and suggestions.
Personal forums they provide an online venue for CB operators to interact with each other. These forums usually allow any type of discussion, even if it is not directly related to CB radio use. Although there may be CB radio forums with specific message boards, often these forums will allow users to suggest additional topics as interest arises. Many forums allow users to personalize their postings with signatures that can include a quote or saying, photographs and clip arts, or simply a nickname.
As with any online community, whether it is a forum, chat room, instant messaging, or e-mail, one should exercise caution. Personal information like a phone number, address, social security number, and even city of residence should not be shared. Links and attachments may contain viruses and malicious software. Any suspicious behavior or post that does not comply with the forum's posting policies should be reported to the forum manager for the safety of all users.