Friday, August 01, 2008

Jewish Message Boards -- What Else Is Out There?

I'm a message board junkie.

There, I've admitted it. I love participating in online conversations. I like getting people's opinions, hearing what they have to say and debating. Oh, I love a good debate. I also like finding the occasional ridiculous illogical statements that people make. One of the best sources for these are message boards. I'm a member of a few Jewish message boards and a few "secular" ones as well. And, as always, I'm looking for new sources of information and conversation.

Among the Jewish forums that I know of are as follows (in no particular order):

ChabadTalk -- a Chabad forum that has tolerated me even though I am not Chabad. For the most part, the members there are respectful, even to those who disagree with their positions. However, it's not terribly active. This could be a very good board with more people on it.

Hashkafah.com -- I'm not quite sure what to make of this board. It's far more active than ChabadTalk and has a much wider range of opinion. However, for some reason, many of the threads there just don't hold my interest very much. That could easily be a failing in me and not the board.

Imamother -- Since I'm not a woman, I can't participate in this board. Nonetheless, I do watch some of the threads on the open forums and occassionally find something interesting. More than once I've been frustrated by seeing a post that requests info, having good information for the person, but being unable to provide it. I think they would do well to have a co-ed board and a women's only restricted section.

Frumteens -- We've all seen it. I occassionally go back there, if only out of strictly morbid curiosity (much like a person who just *has* to look at a massive train wreck). The problem with this board, IMHO, is that it is moderated... and rather poorly at that. Opposing viewpoints don't have a chance to get published unless they are poorly-written and easily attackable. Even posts that would normally be allowed are often lost in moderation queue hell and never find their way on to the site. The fact that the board is difficult to navigate and it is impossible to contact people off the boards (by design) makes this a hard-to-deal-with place.

YWN's Coffeeroom -- a pretty new forum. It's moderated, which, for me, is a big downer (since I like to be able to respond to posts right away and not have to wait several hours for a response). I've never had a post rejected by them, however. The range of posters is fairly small and very often posters are shouted down for expressing opinions that are innocuous (notice how I was slammed for doubting the authenticity of a story about a 73 year coma). In addition, their board suffers from a lot of the same software issues that Frumteens does. The modertation on this board leave something to be desired. While it seems like all posts do make it to the board eventually (unlike Frumteens), the updating is done on an infrequent basis. Very often, a day or two can pass before the board is updated. That makes it very difficult to hold a conversation.

Those are the Jewish message boards that I know of. However, I am always looking for more. Does anyone know of any? It doesn't have to belong to any one branch or group of Judaism - heck, it doesn't even have to be Orthodox.

So, what else is out there? I'm always looking for new material.

The Wolf

15 comments:

Moshe said...

Are you sure that YWN's Coffeeroom is moderated? Some of the comments seem so un-charedi. If it is moderated, it seems that they approve just about anything. In reality, I don't see how they have time to approve each message with the forum becoming ever more popular.

BrooklynWolf said...

I'm can't say that I'm certain that the Coffeeroom is moderated, but if it's not, why the lag between posting and appearing on the site?

I know that the blog comments are posted (and I *have* had posts rejected from there), so I just assumed that the message board is too. I could, however, be wrong on that.

The Wolf

tesyaa said...

I don't know how you can be actively involved in the Coffee Room. That coffee must be highly caffeinated because just reading it makes my blood pressure rise through the roof.

I used to be a YWN commenter (under my real name), but I felt it was a yetzer hara and I gave it up. I had to close my account and I could not figure out how to do it. Luckily, I came up with a workaround.

Moshe said...

tesyaa,

>just reading it...

What do you mean? I find that forum hilarious. I ask myself, are they serious? Here are some of the funnier titles and threads I've seen recently:

- Daveing with Crocs
- Why Yidden are the BEST!
- Tznius: a woman's issue
- Whats wrong with a convert?!?!?!

I find this new format much better, and as I said, I don't think it's moderated so we really get the stupidity comments from everyone. Great fun for the whole family.

tesyaa said...

moshe,
ok, the recent tznius thread with the tznius medal story by Saki was hilarious -- love the literary allusion.

G said...

Aishdas.com and their Avodah/Aveirim discussion groups

Baruch said...

Generally, I've only read Hashkafah.com when it came up on a search. But I've been generally disappointed. Most of the posts and comments I've seen over there have indicated that the writers generally had no idea what they were talking about. Frumteens is...well, Frumteens. I don't really know anything about the others.

I also used to be a message board junkie, but I'm afraid those days are generally over.

Facebook's TIDE group -- a project of AishDas -- wasn't bad for the weeks it was hopping. Maybe somebody can get it jumpstarted again.

Nice Jewish Guy said...

Check out the "Intimate Matters" forum on CalmKallahs.com. After you send the kids to bed, of course. ;)

Anonymous said...

What about vos iz neias ?

Pesky Settler said...

Apparently you've got the ladies a'buzzing on Imamother.

For some reason it didn't occur to them that men actually read the public parts of the board and might have advice to some things posted.

Anonymous said...

Boruch, hashkafah.com could use some more posters who know what they're talking about. Maybe you can contribute?

-suitepotato- said...

I've been thinking about starting one but it's just a toying in my head. I love forums as well, but also love blogs. I just don't often have time to revisit blog threads later. Forums keep everything in one place.

If anything, I'd like to make a forum with one section where certain people (like yourself W) would be invited to have first post status and thus be able to start discussion threads, but no one else would, regular users would instead reply to the threads started by the main members.

There would also be a free-for-all section where anyone could start threads as well. That way it would combine blogging where the first post is large and on whatever subject floated your boat, and forums where everyone can see each others' replies in easy to use organization.

Just an idea though.

Moshe Y. Gluck said...

G:
That's aishdas.ORG and Avodah/AReiVim.

Baruch said...

Anon,

Appreciate the assertion that I know something about hashkafa (hope you're not being sarcastic!).

But I'm going to college soon and I'm only going to be using my free Internet time for the J-blogosphere.

Perhaps another summer...

Anonymous said...

www.ivillage.com has a Jewish Family Life section but it's pretty inactive.