Check out the free information available on the Infobarrel Forum

New Infobarrel authors often find that there is a great deal to learn when starting to write articles. The site is fairly easy to use at first but new authors can get bogged down. Many have questions about site features, content writing and the Internet in general. There is such information in the Infobarrel help and FAQ areas but the site forum is particularly helpful. This is true for beginners and experts alike.

Basic Structure of the Infobarrel Forum
The Infobarrel forum is arranged into nine separate categories covering a range of high level topics. These are as follows:

Announcements  - System information released by the site administrators
Help - a general purpose category for questions and answers about how to use Infobarrel
Tips & Tricks - information that may benefit anyone
Bugs and Ideas - Issues mainly pertaining to the Infobarrel site
Grammar & Spelling Tips - language help for authors
Introductions - used by new authors
Off Topic - the miscellaneous posts
Article Reviews - authors can post their titles here for review by others
Contests & Challenges  - informal challenges issued from one author to others
Using the Forum
When authors access the forum, they are presented with a list of topics which have received recent activity. These could be new threads or replies to existing threads. The list is not sorted by forum category, only by date. Site users scan the list to see whether the title is of interest to them. If so, a quick click on the title brings up the entire thread. Although the first forum page indicates that there is new activity, the thread is displayed from the beginning, (oldest), post first. This can be a little confusing since often a very old thread will receive a new comment. While this causes the thread to be listed first in the forum, the first page you see might be a year old, or more. Viewers can read the thread from the beginning or page down to the most recent activity. This is no facility in the forum to reverse the sort order to display newest comments first. Most forum users quickly get used to the default sort.
Selecting a Forum
The current list of forums is shown on the left of the screen. As shown above, these cover various categories such as help, tips and more. When a user selects a forum, they are shown the most recent relevant threads. As with the main screen, the displayed threads are those with the newest comments, even if they were started months or years earlier. The Infobarrel forum threads will often be revived by viewers. This brings useful, informative posts to the top of the list for the general education of all users. The user community is quite receptive to the renewal of old posts, contrary to many other sites. Generally, old threads are acceptable for renewal if their information is still current. With changes to the site, Internet or other technologies, many threads will become obsolete over time. In these cases, it would be prudent for a user to start a completely new thread rather than add to the old one.
Spamming in the Forum
Spamming is obviously not tolerated in the forum. Occassionally, however, a spam thread will be started. These are usually started by new users who register on the site solely for spamming activities. Such threads are quickly reported to the site administrator resulting in their quick removal. As well, the spammer is often banned from the site as well. Because of the spam policy, some users are reluctant to post any links in their posts. Adding relevant links, even in to your own material, is allowed in the forum. The site users and administrators are receptive to forum links which add value to the discussion topic. All reasonable considerations are given to users. Be sure to respect the forum by minimizing posted links and your activity will be accepted.
Emotions in the Forum
Like some other sites, emotions can be evoked in the forum. On occassion, tempers can flare. This is unfortunate. The forum user community is very helpful and many frequent visitors are experts in the writing field. In fact, many of these individuals are very successful authors who generously share their knowledge with others by posting in the forum. If emotions elevate, users are advised to restrain themselves. Inciting negativety or promoting hateful topics, and more, can result in penalties. If in doubt, users should always modify their posts towards neutral and concilliatory language.
Useful Forum Posts
Over time, the Infobarrel forum has become populated with informative posts covering many topics of interest to both beginning and experienced authors. The nuances of Search Engine Optimization, (SEO), is covered regularly. The topic is often subject to industry changes which get discussed in detail in the forum. Beginners will find introductory SEO topics that help them enhance their article content. These are bolstered with more advanced SEO threads such as keyword research, advertising theory and backlinking techniques. Other forum topics offer help for authors who wish to better understand related Internet technologies such as statistics, article performance and optimization. Many forum users find help finding free images, keywords, backlink sites, and more through forum posts.
What's Next?
The best way to discover the usefulness of the forum is to use it yourself. Spend some time reading the forum threads. Check out the recent posts and the historical threads in the various categories. With some research into the threads, you should gain a feel for how the forum, and the community works. Unfortunately, there is no direct search ability in the forum. This feature has been discussed repeatedly in the forum itself but remains on the list of desired changes as of March, 2012. Check out the forum and you'll see that it may become a very useful part of your Infobarrel activities. Remember that anyone can read forum posts, but only registered Infobarrel authors can initiate new threads or comment on existing ones. Registration is free and easy and highly recommended.