Your experiences with other message boards

Checked out the city-data (dot) com forum a while ago. Looks like it was originally designed for people planning to move. It has specific categories for individual states/cities and for real estate and investing and such. There were even a few well-informed long-time posters in the real estate category. But then I looked at posts in some of the other categories. The signal to noise ratio was not good.

Have you found any other message boards besides our SDMB that you’re impressed with?

I liked urban75 and NADS, Fathom, GiraffeBoards, and some others I’ve probably forgotten about which were offshoots or had overlap with SDMB… many of them are obsolete or very dormant now… FileMaker Cafe back in its heyday, the Eudora forums back when there was a Eudora, QuicKeys when it was extant, Geek Culture forums, Urban Legends (various incarnations), QuirkyAlone until the software croaked.

Nothing as widespread in its topic-focus and and lively as SDMB.

This is an excellent question. I don’t mind nostalgia, but I’d love to hear about other good, general-interest message boards (besides Giraffe Boards) that are currently active. Boards seem to be dying out, and the ones I’ve found lately are either (a) highly subject-specific, (b) ghost towns, or (c) just plain awful.

If you are selective about specific subs, parts of reddit can be very good.

I don’t go to any other general interest boards (other than the occasional disappointing vanity search at Giraffe), but I’ve had great experiences at some special interest boards – dpreview’s forums (for digital cameras) and TalkBass (for bass players, not bass fishing) are both very active and very helpful, usually very positive as well. When I was looking for help with a PC build, Tom’s Hardware forum for that was extremely helpful, but that’s a very specific purpose.

I used to read / follow a lot of forums. I was a mod on a fairly large one. But most are gone. A victim of facebook, and smartphones. The only other active one I post on is Giraffeboards.

There’s a Red Sox/Boston sports board that has very good discussions. Well informed people posting regularly. The game threads, on the other hand devolve into the usual complaining about refs, bad play, etc.

I also visit a board directed at the CNC software and machine that I have.

I haven’t been active on any other message boards in at least five years, and probably longer; it wouldn’t surprise me to learn that a lot of them have gone away by this point.

There were some that I really enjoyed: mostly ones that were dedicated to specific hobbies of mine. I was a moderator on Wizards of the Coast’s Dungeons & Dragons boards for a while, and was really active on EN World (a D&D/roleplaying game board) for many years – both of those boards tended to have smart, articulate members, and the trolling/griefing was pretty low, back then. I was also active on a model rocketry forum for quite a while.

On the other hand, I was active on a board for Hot Wheels collectors for a while, and that one drove me nuts – not only were a lot of the posters really bad at English (or, at least, at writing coherent posts), but it wasn’t uncommon to have discussions sidetracked by jerks.

I’m on Reddit now, and on several hobby-specific subreddits, many of which are pretty good.

I also participate in a couple of specific hobbyist subreddits, and I think they’re pretty good. By definition, though, nowhere near the breadth of topics on the SDMB.

The OP didn’t actually mention general-interest boards specifically, although others have. Mine is a special-interest board, fouintainpennetwork (dot) com. It’s the only other board I am on. The software is different, and they are very polite (the software will substitute nicer words if you type in recognizably bad words), usually intentionally. There are one or two posters who have mastered the art of politely making you feel like a dumbass, but most are not like that. And the level of available expertise on the subject matter (pens, ink, paper) is astounding to me.

There is no outlet there to scream at people who drive you crazy, but I find I can get along without that. There is some blurring of roles, as when moderators post about a thread content without saying whether they are doing so as moderators or as posters. I sent a PM to one of these who didn’t seem very bothered about it, but who said he would try to make that more clear in the future. Also, at least one moderator is in the business of pen repair, and his signature in every post is a big old ad for his business. Everyone seems OK with that sort of thing, perhaps because it is not a huge community and lots of people know each other. Which can be somewhat intimidating for new posters who don’t know the ropes. When my toes got slightly stepped on in my first thread, I complained mildly and everyone instantly backed off.

One thing I like about the board is the relatively high percentage of posters from outside the US. Many of those, and almost all of the native English speakers, write with excellent grammar and spelling, which is very salutary for me.

I read and contribute to Stack Exchange, a number of subreddits mostly about technology or space, and a few other specialized forums. But I have never found a general interest board that could hold a candle to the Straight Dope.

I’m active on a number of message boards, especially hobby stuff. Ham radio, BBQ/grilling, Chicago dining & cooking scene, electronics/programming for hobbies and work, automotive things, a few others I can’t elaborate upon.

I’m not sure what you mean by this. If you think reddit is more narrow in topics than SDMB, I think you’re using it wrong. For example, here’s a cool subreddit dedicated to things found in preowned books: r/forgottenbookmarks. SDMB simply doesn’t have the mass for a ‘thread’ like this, not to mention an entire forum.

Did you just not bother to read what I posted?

The specific hobbyist subreddits I participate in by definition do not have the breadth of topics on the SDMB.

My personal experience with reddit is that there a huge differences in the membership and culture between subreddits, far more than the differences between SDMB forums, and I find many subreddits to be distasteful. So I only participate in a couple of specific hobbyist subreddits, which combine topics that interest me and generally friendly and supportive posters. But apparently that’s the “wrong” way to use reddit.

@gdave, I apologize in the strongest way possible. The phrase ‘You’re using it wrong’ was far more aggressive than I intended to you or anyone else around here.

Thank you. I may have over-reacted in my reply to you. I apologize for that.

The conversation between @gdave and @jnglmassiv is why I’m a part of the SDMB after years of lurking, and have given up on several topic specific boards I participated in the past. Most posters go to utter flamewar levels over the slightest of corrections, or by calling them out on a factual basis. Here (outside the pit generally) we are willing to correct each other, and then GET OVER IT. Or even realize that our own language contributes to a problem! (( just to be clear, I’m complimenting both of you for being adults! Hurrah! :slight_smile: )) There isn’t (normally) a new mortal enemy following you from thread to thread to bleeeeep all over an unrelated topic because they were hurt by something you posted 2 weeks/2 months/2 years ago. And the use of up/down votes gets weaponized fast if said poster has like-minded friends. This was particularly true on several Japanese light novel/manga forums if you (as a not random example) pointed out certain incel based language and interpretations.

I’m on this really old message board originally based on a text based (American) football game. These days we ask just talk about whatever is going on in the world and have known each other for years.

I also spend an ungodly amount of time on Reddit.

GameFAQs which is going down hill also is mainly about the harvest moon/story of seasons farming rpg series’s (yes they split off in two seperate series by 2 diffrent companies)

the old computer but that’s all about the classic pc/arcade/ console emulation scene

and several pro wrestling role-playing game sites which i haven’t posted about in ages

I used to be a regular poster on a video game speedrunning forum during the mid-2000s. However, the infighting among its members about whether macros should be allowed in PC speedruns, whether certain glitches should be allowed, etc., really soured me on the whole culture, and that along with the fact that my schoolwork was falling behind because I was spending too much time on speedruns, gave me the impetus to abandon that community completely.

Nowadays, I browse Reddit along with the Dope, but you have to have the patience and the judgment to sift out the gems from the mountains of turds that is Reddit. I practically never post on the most popular subreddits, and even on the more niche subreddits it feels like they are 25% genuinely interesting content and 75% low-effort memes and/or uninformed rants intended for harvesting quick karma points.

I used to use some, but it’s been a long time, to the point I don’t remember specifics.

The closest equivalent I use now is Reddit, but it is different in some pretty fundamental ways. Each subreddit is an island to itself, and most have no real interest in being communities. Threaded conversations mean that there isn’t some overall conversation, and top level posts are generally completely divorced from what anyone else has said. And every thread dies off within a day or two–you can’t have long term conversations.

Places I do remember were mostly just fan boards, and I find that Reddit works fine for those. This is the only place I know where the fan board aspects blossomed into something bigger.

I do participate on StackExchange (after originally deleting my account due to assholes), but I don’t treat it like conversation. I treat it like a Q&A site. Even my comments that take a bit more conversational tone are about sharing information. I also participate in YouTube comments, but mostly in the places where people aren’t assholes. It feels a lot like Reddit, except people will occasionally resurrect a conversation if they’re just now watching the video.

That’s all I can come up with, unless you start counting Facebook or Wikipedia.