Saturday, June 13, 2009

Alternatives to the Doctor Who Forum

With the long-standing fan favourite Doctor Who message board soon to close, there seems to be a fair amoutn of scabbling round by other online fora to grab floating posters.

Since I was escorted from the premises a few weeks back I've probably had more time than most to see what's out there, and here's the ones I;ve liked for one reason or another...

Outpost Who [http://www.outpostwho.com]

Pros

Looks exactly like the DWF boards, even down to replicating the exact position of each sub-board in the same categories as DWF has.

Very friendly crowd - some familiar faces already plus some names rom fandom that I haven't seen at DWF for a while, all of whom are friendly and interesting to talk to.

Seems to be the quickest growing site.

Cons

They've even replicated the 'Are Books Canon?' thread and that's already dragged in Magister like a moth to the flame...

Anorak Zone [http://anorakzoneforum.informe.com/forum/]

Pros

Irreverent, funny boards with little or no respect for the more idiotic corners of the fan world, and generally insightful and humorous posters.

They have the "Who is the Biggest C*** in Fandom?" thread, which is very funny (for reference it's almost everyone except m'colleagues Lance Parkin, Daniel O'Mahony and Simon Forward)

Cons

It's the most ramshackle looking board, with a free hosting company I think, and no dedicated books section.

Outpost Skaro [http://outpostskaro.1talk.net/index.htm]

Pros

Very similar to the Anorak Zone, the board was formed to some extent as a reaction against what some saw as the problems at DWF. As a result, expect posters to speak their minds as opposed to toeing some preconcieved Cardiff Line and to call a spade a spade (unlike other places where the admins would check who owned the spade first before any comment could be made).

Even handed and intelligent moderation - say what you like and so long as it's not libellous, illegal or a brutal personal attack, then it'll stay up and the poster will stay on board.

Cons

Again as with the Anorak Zone, it's pretty ramshackle looking. It does have a books' section however and is supposed to be moving to a new top notch server soon.

Kasterborous [www.kasterborous.com]

Pros

It's easily the best looking forum - clean lines, intelligent design and a well planned layout make the forum extremely easy to navigate and use.

Christian and Anthony, the brains behind the site, are both extremely nice guys.

Cons

Not as busy as the other sites. You might think of that as a good thing of course.

Doctor Who Online [http://www.drwho-online.co.uk]

Pros

Bright, colourful site with an excellent news section, a pro-active owner in Seb Brook, and an extremely professional set-up.

Cons

At the moment the posters seem to be younger than elsewhere.

The layout of the fora for anyone other than new series fans is poor and makes checking out Bokos threads, for instance, a bit of a chore.

Jade Pagoda [http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Jade_Pagoda/]

Pros

Some of the most intelligent, well read, and thought provoking posters in Who fandom

Even handed and intelligent moderation by people who are genuinely only doing this because they're fans not because they think it makes them important.

A willingness to shoot anyone down in flames if they're obviously talking rubbish. You will get challenged on any dubious statement you make.

Cons

It's only books.

It can be a bit daunting at first.

It's not a forum, it's a mailing list.


Anyway, this isn't an exhaustive list (there's the Son of DWF, the oddly named Gallifrey Base, for a start) but it's a list of the ones I've liked in the past few weeks wandering about like a sad bugger with no mates.

Join them all and see which you like best...

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