The following are some questions you can ask about a forum to help you get a sense of its audience, purpose, and context.
- Who is the audience (or audiences)?
- What are their demographics? (Age, gender, education, race, religion, or anything else that you can reasonably assume from the available evidence.)
- What does the audience find persuasive, compelling, or interesting?
- What draws the audience to the forum? What are they hoping to get out of it?
- What can you tell us about the forum itself?
- Why does the forum exist? Does the forum have a stated or implicit mission?
- Is there an organization that sponsors the forum? What are their goals?
- Who “pays the bills” for your forum?
- Who writes for the forum? Why do they do it?