Towards the end of 2008, CAMRA set up a web forum. It was initially supposed to concentrate on specific campaigns to save pubs, but quickly developed a wider remit. Many of the boards were open to non-members, and it produced some lively discussions. However, it seemed to slowly peter out, not helped by the fact that very few of the National Executive members and other senior officers got involved. Matters were not helped when one particular moderator took it upon himself to start deleting posts on sight that he thought contained excessive quoting.
Rather than take any remedial action, or try to promote it more, CAMRA eventually decided to launch a new forum using the Discourse platform and close the previous one. Many existing users didn’t really like this particular software, but I suppose it’s something you would get used to eventually. However, the Discourse forum is a very different beast from the old one – for a start, it is restricted to CAMRA members and, while senior officers have got more involved, this has led to a rather serious and admin-heavy tone. There are also reports of heavy-handed moderation and posts expressing heterodox views mysteriously vanishing.
For these reasons, some of the active members of the old forum decided to get together and create a new forum which would allow the more wide-ranging and lighthearted discussions to continue. This has now been done in the form of the Beer and Pubs Forum. The old forum was closed in the early hours of Saturday morning, so this new one has now been officially launched. Why not take a look and see if it’s something that interests you?
It should be stressed that this forum is entirely independent of CAMRA and non-members are more than welcome. And the chap with the surname of Mudge isn’t me!