While I finish off my first review of the day I thought I’d post a quick note on the cigar forums issue that has gone on recently. I recently joined CigarAsylum, a forum created by former moderators of another forum that was part of the enmasse purchase a while ago. And I have to say one thing: forums like this are amongst the best of any forum type out there. The goal isn’t to compete with other sites but provide what I consider to be the real benefit of the internet to everyone: a place to be part of a community. Given my unsual background, I’m often concerned as to how others will receive me, if at all, and if I will be given a chance to earn respect. At both CigarAslyum.com and CigarPass.com I’ve been given that chance, something I haven’t seen elsewhere thus far. While I do still believe that the massive purchase has hurt the communities that were purchased (largely because of how it was handled), I think that the overall B&SotL benefit because they are able to come together under new forums that are designed, managed and catered to THEIR needs and not necessarily that of the advertisers or someone’s pocket.
This will probably be recognized as a major change in the online cigar forum life and we’ll probably see more cigar aficiandos, pipe lovers and others move towards the community-oriented sites. One word of caution if you do join CigarAsylum: Visit and read OFTEN! It’s a very popular forum with an average of about 1,500 posts a day and over 925 active members (interestingly, there are about that many members on the site!). When you consider that the site has been officially opened as of early October of this year and, as of today’s writing, has over 32,395 posts, they gotta be doing something right. Based on the conversations going on, I suspect that it will continue (or get worse/better — depends on how you look at it) as time goes on.
Over the next few days, I’m going to approach both of these forums present chief “stogie” masters and interview them so that others can learn what drives them to create these communities.