Message Board or No Message Board?

Posted November 27, 2007 by Holly in News | 20 Comments

Several months ago, the girls and I discussed the idea of opening a Book Binge Message Board. A place where we could have more in depth discussions of the books we’ve reviewed, somewhere to dish on our newest favorite authors, a forum where we, as a blogging community, could converge to discuss life and books and whatever else caught our fancy.

We shelved the idea at the time, but I’ve been thinking about it again. How do you feel about message boards? There are pros and cons. As I mentioned before, I got my start in Romanceland via message boards. I wouldn’t be where I am today without them. Seriously. I met Casee, Isabel, Rowena, Daphne, Niks and many, many others on message boards. We just clicked. Isn’t it amazing that 5 of my closest friends are ones I met online? Over romance novels? I think it is.

I want to share that with the rest of you – and others. I want you to feel the same sense of community I felt the first time I posted at a popular author’s message board and saw there truly were other women like me. Ones with careers and kids and lives who loved to read just as much as I do.

But, as with any project, there’s a lot of work that goes into maintaining a message board. I’m not sure if I’m up to the challenge. Not only that, but there can be a lot of…snark, cliques, whatever…when you put a bunch of women together. Although…I’m pretty good at staying out of those things, or moderating them as needs be. But it is something to consider.

So what do you think? Would you, as fellow romance readers, be open to visiting/posting on a message board? Do you like the idea? Have reservations? Share your thoughts with me. I’m the curious sort, you know….

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20 responses to “Message Board or No Message Board?

  1. Anonymous

    I think you should do it. The only one I go to is RT and it’d be nice to see other people’s opinions on things.

  2. I love the ease of getting my blogs via google reader. I don’t have the time to play on BB any more but love to keep in touch with others.

    I have two blogs both which I don’t keep up.

    Another place to have to look. Probably wouldn’t.

  3. Ann,
    I love Google Reader, too. It makes it so easy to keep up with my favorite blogs.

    Time is one of the things I forgot to mention in this post. It’s very time consuming (or can be) to join/visit/post on a message board (well, a successful one, anyway). That’s something for everyone to consider.

  4. Message boards are a lot of work. I had my group on MSN groups for the longest time. Because of all the crap on MSN – like techno problems and so forth, I moved it to a message board type set-up on and after being on there for almost a year the group is expressing concerns and are wanted to move back to MSN Groups. I find with message boards they are not as personal. Sometimes you are limited to what you can do with html and editng depending on what type of board you choose.

    I know what you mean about wanting to discuss book further. I know with myself I try not to give too much of the plot and spoilers and such away in my reviews on my blog and you so want to discuss the books further. Sometimes I want to add a post after my reviews with a warning contains spoilers. This can be for further discussion. Then if someone hasn’t read the book, they don’t have to read the spoiler part they don’t have too.

    Oh God! Sorry for rambling on. It is a good idea Holly if you have the time to work at it.

  5. You didn’t ramble, Crystal. And what you mentioned makes a lot of sense..and is one of the reasons I posted this today, because I know how much work goes into maintaining a message board. Over the years I’ve moderated several of them. While I enjoy it, it does take work – hard work – to keep it going.

    Although…Rowena’s our HTML whiz. So she’d carry the brunt of the tech work. But still, we’d all have to chip in.

    I do like the idea of having more in depth discussions of books we reviewed, or others read. I’m just not sure a message board is the place for it.

    But I appreciate all of you taking the time to weigh in.

  6. I would say are you high? But that is mostly because I now find myself moding in fandom that had gone pretty quiet and my god people are stupid.

    On the other side it will prolly be a smaller thing, with some friends and hopefully get some new people. soooo maybe it won’t be tons of work…

    But I look at that phade or whatever group that was gonna be the anti ward board with free thought baby cuz wards board did it all wrong… and wow is all I can say about what it is becoming.

    I would decide, what is the worst that could happen. And go from there. If the worst is something you could deal with then go for it. Or you know… use that time to review more books *g*.

  7. Holly, I’m pretty much in the same boat at Ann M. I get to my favorite blogs though google reader and don’t know if I could squeeze any more time to keep up with a message board.

    I love what you guys do here because there are four of you there’s variety and each of you always conveys so much enthusiasm and excitement.

  8. My problem with message boards is the ‘new’ ones are hard for me to follow. Being an oldie with AAR I liked the old style of bullentin board where all the posts were listed so you could go in where you last left off. These new boards – ugh – you have to click on the post and then wade through all the posts you already read to maybe see someone post a ‘me too’ post.

    This is when I start to feel old. I’m that old fart in the corner saying ‘you youngun’s and your new-fang-a-dang-shit’.



  9. IF done right a message board can be an amazing thing. I have a couple that I love visiting and being involved with. They are a lot of work to get going and keep going though, and for me, I would join, and would love to discuss romance, but would have to be great for me to keep interested! I spend far too much time online every day as it is!

  10. Lori

    LMAO!! Sorry, I just spewed on my screen. new-fang-a-dang-shit. Too funny Cindy!!

    But point taken. I already have a tough time keeping up with the blogs I read. I’d feel like I was missing out 🙁 But if your readers want it, you should do it. I’ll just sit over here in my corner. In the dark. *sigh* All alone. Unable to catch up. *sigh*

    I don’t know that it would be so hard on you guys to maintain as it would be on all the folks who really want to read and post, but can’t maintain all their stuff.

    BTW, you can do an RSS feed on most boards through google reader, but if it’s a really busy board, it would be a real pain.

  11. This is really a tricky question. I mean, another place to discuss books and romance, I am all in favor for it… but as the others have mentioned, it’s a lot of work… there’s the format of the board, the moderating and so on… I guess if you want a moderator, I could help out. however, I don’t want to sound selfish… but right now, the romance blogland is really quiet… I just hope that adding a board will increase the activity and not have the opposite effect (i.e. ppl too busy with the board to post on their blog).

    I know my 2 cents doesn’t help much ^^;

  12. I think it’s a great idea. I got my start over at AAR until they got all fancy shmancy. Now I can’t ever remember the password and like Cindy I have trouble with the way the posts are made.

  13. I’ve thought about including a message board on mine, too, but just not sure it would take the right hits. No blog seems to do it actively.

  14. Syb,
    I did take a happy pill before posting this. Maybe that’s what did it? HA!

    I seriously doubt we’d reach the…we’ll say height..JRW’s board has reached. But even if we end up with numbers in the hundreds, I think we’d be ok.

    And the worst that could happen? I’d go completely insane? I’m thinking that might be a nice change of pace.

    I hear you. Believe me. I kind of wonder if I’d have time to visit another place, too. But I’ve been wanting a place to discuss romance more in depth, and I think this might be the place to do it. And as Lori said, you can RSS feed (meaning add to your Google Reader) a MB. But again, there are drawbacks there.

    HA! I love it! I’m so going to use that.

    As I’ve never visited the AAR board, I don’t know what the difference between then and now is. Would you be open to visiting a board as a test subject *insert evil laugh here*?

    What I mean is, would you be willing to try it out and offer suggestions?

    How about if I offer to email you if something really dishy is happening? LOL

    I think that’s one of my biggest not being interesting enough to keep the members attention. I guess We’d just have to work really hard a it, eh?

    Good point about blogland suffering because of it, but honestly? I don’t think that will be an issue. Maybe, but I don’t think so.

    Again, maybe you’d be interested in visiting one to see how it feels for you?

    No, I don’t remember seeing any blogs who do it actively. What do you think would make it work?

  15. I’ll be a guinea pig and I’m so glad that Giselle let me know I’m not the only one not following along lately 😉

    I think just being able to talk about even one book for a week would be good. I read a great book and all i want to do is talk about it – complain about the crappy parts and dish over the best parts.

    In a smaller group this may be more manageable – some weeks will be busy while others, not so much 😉


  16. OK, I know I’m WAY late weighing in on this issue but I think it’s a great idea. I’m a member of many boards but they’re all author-sponsored boards and I’d love to be a member of an independent board.

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