I have never liked forums. For one thing, they are highly disconnected. While they can serve as a decent resource to search through for material, they pale in comparison to be able to “ask an expert” and get immediate feedback. An example of that would be the use of Twitter and the #sqlhelp hashtag.
The other reason I never liked them is because people tend to be quite rude with their answers. I don’t know what it is about typing that makes a person feel as if they can be a complete jerk, but it doesn’t make me want to participate.
The problem with that is I want to participate. I want to help. And I want to learn.
But I don’t want to be treated rudely. And I certainly don’t want to be rude to others. I participate frequently in the DBA StackExchange at http://dba.stackexchange.com/ and I am enjoying doing so as it allows for me to learn more about systems other than just SQL Server.
Think about the areas of your life where you participate. Not just in a technical aspect, but think about other aspects of your life. For some, their religion or church is a place to participate. Or perhaps they have a hobby, something they really enjoy. Or maybe it is something they do for their children. It doesn’t matter.
What I see is that when people do something they enjoy they rarely treat the others around them poorly.