Forums are a great source of information from other users on topics that you may need help with. I regularly go to the forums of user groups of the Open Source software that I use on a regular basis.
Most forums will let you search without joining. Many will impose a CAPTCHA (those funny little letters that you have to type in a box) on guests to prevent bots from slowing down the site. If you signup for a forum then you can post to the forum and get your questions answered.
Replies to your questions are often sent in an email so you dont have to keep going back to the site to view any responses.
Some of my favorite forums have been