I'll probably have more questions about forum jargon, but as a starter, why refer to Xenforo "conversations" as conversations? It seems to me that threads are conversations also, and that private messages was a better term for what Xenforo calls conversations. What are your opinions/ideas?
I think they are probably reasonably representative of discussions and conversations on forums. I do prefer to call thrm Private conversations though.
I think the other reason for the use of the term Conversation is to distinguish that these aren't the same as Private Messages on other forums. PMs are individual messages which can be individually kept or deleted and there can be multiple copies of any message (1 copy to every recipient). A conversation is the whole thing, you can't delete individual messages, there's only one copy of the conversation (Not multiple, all in the conversation see the same instance) and you don't delete a conversation, you leave it (it gets deleted when everyone has left the conversation).
ie a discussion (as we understand it in real life as well as on an internet forum) includes bothe conversation and debate.
However what xenforo terms a conversation is basically designed as a replacement for what is more commonly called a private message on internet platforms. On many platforms the PM is only between two people, but on xenforo it is designed to be be more flexible and can include more. Hence I differentiated it from a thread which (on a public forum) is open to al, not just those invited by the OP.
A thread can be a "conversation" as we know it, but very often it is a debate open to anyone to have their say. OTOH an admin can use a thread as an announcement, i.e. give out some information in the first pst and then close the thread so there are no replies, discussion or debate.
Hence a thread is not a discussion per se, but it can be if it turns out that way.
A conversation is the whole thing, you can't delete individual messages, there's only one copy of the conversation (Not multiple, all in the conversation see the same instance) and you don't delete a conversation, you leave it (it gets deleted when everyone has left the conversation).