bbpressTalkPress is a new forum hosting service from Automattic, the developers of WordPress blogging software. It uses the technical infrastructure of WordPress.com VIP hosting that already powers high-traffic sites like WSJ’s All Things D or Om Malik’s GigaOm network of blogs.

If you are new to world of bbPress, let’s spend a minute understanding these terms:

WordPress.org is a free blogging software that anyone can install on PHP/MySQL server. WordPress.com is blog hosting service that provides the same blogging software (WordPress) but hides all the technical details (like installation, upgrades, etc.) from the blog owner.

Like WordPress.org, bbPress.org is an online forums software that anyone can download for free. And TalkPress.com is a forum hosting service (like WordPress.com) that comes pre-installed with bbPress forum software – ideally, the name should have been bbPress.com but since that domain wasn’t available, Automattic decided to call their new forum hosting service as TalkPress.com.

TalkPress forums aren’t open for public signup yet but you can see them in action at the health.com forums, a website owned by the TIME magazine. You may use your existing WordPress.com username to log into the Health.com forums.

The Help Center here also uses bbPress forums and I am pretty happy with the software because it’s easy to understand, supports themes & plugins (similar to WordPress) and you can share the user database of bbPress with your WordPress blog so people don’t have to register at multiple places.

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