I’m going to be putting web forums on the site shortly. Here’s some text I sent out over the last two mailing lists that addresses this issue (didn’t feel like re-writing the text):

Folks, I’ve been mulling this idea over for some time now, and wanted to throw it open for discussion.

Getting right to the point, I’ve been thinking of opening web forums on black-sabbath.com. I intend on having an archive of every mailing list issue (going back to #1) online at all times. I’ll be posting all new issues there too. This will make it possible for you to search through them for specific text.

I’m also going to have open discussion areas. However, given the volatile and rather hostile nature of some of the (ahem) rabid fans out there, I’ve decided to try and keep the "<singer a> fucking sucks, <singer b> rules" discussions to a minimum. I intend on setting up separate areas for each singer "era". (Ozzy / Dio / Martin / etc ) Obviously, it won’t stop things, but it should help keep things to a minimum (I would hope).

Thoughts on this? The last time I tried this on my Sabbath site (many years ago, something like 4 years, I think), it ended up in a fiasco, but the software I’ll be using (The Ultimate BB) allows more control over what happens on the forums.

At the very least, I will put the archive of mailing lists online, but it’s going to take some time for me to get them all up there, as I have to sit there and enter each list archive one at a time. Ugh. :( The biggest delay in me getting this online is that I want to launch it with all the back issues online already. Posting them all is turning out to be rather tedious job. Do you think I should launch the site without them all up there, and just post them as I can get the time to do it?

I’m rather interested in hearing people’s thoughts on this matter – drop me a line about it if you get a moment. I’m going to be using the Ultimate Bulletin Board Software package to do the forums. It’s fairly well known stuff online at the moment. I’m on staff at the company who makes the software, and they were cool enough to let me run the stuff here for free, so big thanks go out to the folks over at Infopop for that.

I have no real timetable for getting these online, as I have a few other issues to work out first. I’m hoping to have ’em switched on within a month.