Friday, June 3, 2011

Brian's Page vs DiDVids Forum: Different Strokes...

For a long time now, 14 great years and counting, Brian's Page (Or, BP as I like to abbreviate) has ruled the roost when it comes to DiD forums. Several others have come around and gone, but BP continues on.

But now there's a (relatively) new kid on the block. One that looks to have some staying power. DiDVids Forum, run by Anubis. I wanted to take a minute and look at the differences between the two, as well as their strengths and weaknesses.

Some of you may think this will be some sort of "hit" piece on BP, especially considering the recent flare up between myself and Brian, but you would be wrong.

First of all, this is not a competition. I want both sites to succeed and prosper, and all other web sites in our community as well. There's plenty of room for two DiD Forums/Discussion Pages. Hell, there's room for five for that matter. The more sites, of any type, the better for all of us, right?

Brian's Page

Pros: Steady and solid as a rock, BP has seemingly always been around. It was one of the very first sites I found when it arrived way back around `97. I don't know about the rest of you, but for me, my day almost always starts with a visit there. It's simply been an invaluable tool for finding scenes, be they popular or "holy grails". That time in service has led to an incredibly expansive database, and one that continues to grow. The video page is a personal favorite. You Tube links, links to HD clips, it's almost all there. Visiting BP is, above all, safe. There's no log-in to fuss with, rarely any spam, almost no flame wars, and the moderator keeps things tightly focused on relevant DiD topics.

Cons: Not having log-ins means people can skulk in and out anonymously, and means there's more spam than there would be if log-ins were required. You're extremely limited in what you can post and there's little or no wriggle room when it comes to formatting text. There's no preview feature, so you have to post something to see how it will appear on the page. With only one main discussion page, and that tight focus keeping things forever "on topic" for some, like myself, it often feels like a constricting python. The moderator will often come across as caustic and indignant if you make a mistake, small or not. You're allowed to argue, but right or wrong you're going to lose so it's often a moot point.

Bottom Line: Well run, secure, protected, and stable, BP is a bedrock site for our community. It would be a sad day indeed if Brian ever decided to close up shop. However, if you're looking for a place to spread your wings on a more varied group of topics, best to look elsewhere.

DiDVids Forum

Pros: A lot of freedom. There's an "Anything Goes" area where... anything goes. Post what you want, be it a slam, a rant, a joke, or whatever. No topic is disallowed... except for spam of course. But, even the regular discussion areas are very open to threads of all types and sorts. It might start out as a discussion on DiD scene and veer off into a debate on whether Coke is superior to Pepsi. (It is, BTW). A thread might be moved, but it's never deleted, and no one cuts off a discussion because it's not "on topic" or is "non-productive". Because you have to sign up and log in, there's a lot more control over your posts, including a preview. Also, no hit and run "anonymous" postings. You're accountable for what you put up there. There are some nice video threads as well, though at this point they're not up to the level of BP's video area.
This forum has been around for almost 3 years now, so while it hasn't had the life span of BP (What site's have?) it's been around long enough to see that it has some legs. 

Cons: When you first arrive, come in with a thick skin. You'll be tested to see how you react. Post something remotely dumb and you'll get ripped, and these guys know how to flame, believe me. It's childish yes, but the good news is, if you stand your ground and indicate that's not your cup of tea, they'll leave you alone (Pretty much) before long. On the other hand, if flaming back and forth is your fun zone, then you're free to roll on. Just understand you'll be playing with the big dogs and they hunt in packs. Still, basically, you're treated as you treat others once the main guys get to know you a bit. 
Even though there are log ins and previews, like BP, once you post something it's there unless a moderator deletes it. I wish they would change that.*

* Update: Anubis has made a change over at DVF that now allows a window of time to modify a post even after it's up. 

Bottom Line:  I see these two sites as a fascinating linear microcosm of the political debate in this country. On one side we have BP, where Brian (Big Brother government liberalism) watches over the site, offering controlled safety and security, but at the cost of having to do everything his way or the highway. On the other side, we have DVF, where you have a lot of freedom (Libertarianism) but not much of a secure zone or safety net.

Personally, I love the freedom. I can take care of myself and I don't need or want any "safety net". However, just as some people want the government to watch over many aspects of their lives, I understand this kind of forum may not be for everyone.

No matter what, I can't imagine a time when I would stop making BP a primary site I visit and post to regularly. It will always have it's place near or at the top. Still, I would like to invite everyone to stop by DVF and take a test drive. You may decide the forum there deserves a spot in your regular visitation spots.  

Like our great nation, there's room enough for both sides.


Marc said...

Well said, Grey.

Anonymous said...

I like how you try to paint Brian's Page as the evil empire trying to control us all, and yet the first line in your cons section for that page begins, "Not having log-ins means people can skulk in and out anonymously..."

Because nothing says "Big Brother is watching you" like complete anonymity.