My time on the internet is limited these days due to a variety of reasons, time being the most critical. I keep getting asked to engage in conversation on various forums, mailing lists and the like, but if I did then I'd have no time to write, let alone time to spend with the family and just relax. It's always amazed me how people can be on-line for the better part of their lives. I used to do it, when I lived alone and wrote for a living, meaning that I was on the computer for the bulk of my life, chat rooms, ICQ, forums, mailing lists - the lot. Now? I don't miss it and I can't be bothered.

Having said all of that, there are two forums that I visit daily and actively take a role in. The first is Norm Breyfogle's forum. I host the forum on my own server and decided to do so after the original host decided to call it a day. I like Norm, I like the conversations we have, so I made Norm an offer and he accepted. Thus I get to participate in a forum that has decent conversation.

The second forum I visit went under for the last six months or so, but is back up and running. Michael Netzer's forum is more than worth a visit. Much like Norm's forum, Michael takes an active role in his forum, invites all to be involved and responds. And, to me anyway, there's nothing better than being able to engage in conversation with someone who runs the forum, and the is the subject of the forum. Unlike some forms (John Byrne's forum springs to mind) neither Mike nor Norm are judgmental - they can take criticism - and both are more than fair. I've only seen Norm lock down one thread and that was because it'd become abusive and racist, and that was only because I was worried that the extremist views might reflect badly on Norm himself. Not a light decision, but Norm did do the right thing. Mike has a similar mind-set.

If you're bored then visit both forums. Place a post and see who responds. You'll enjoy it.


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