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04 June 2009 @ 09:45 am
The Doctor Who Forum (My part in its Downfall)  
Stuart would have you believe I rode in, out of the blue, on a fleet of formation flying satellites and then nuked it from orbit. Which would actually make a far more interesting post.

So, the The Doctor Who Forum (formerly known as Outpost Gallifrey) is basically the place online to hang out and talk Doctor Who. I have an account but I've never (until Tuesday) posted there and hardly ever read it. This is because I am a hysterical girly who hangs out on livejournal not a serious Doctor Who Fan. I have even, on occasion, had to be reminded that there was a repeat of Power of the Daleks in between the transmission of The Wheel in Space and The Dominators.

So, anyway, a friend from the Dr Who Books fandom I'm rather more involved in, who I might as well refer to as Stuart Douglas, had a hobby of frequenting the Doctor Who Forum and making fun of people arguing about the canonicity of the Doctor Who books. This is, I suppose, a largely harmless, if slightly strange, hobby - but then I once made a list of the first line of every Doctor Who novelisation, so who am I to talk? For reasons really too boring to relate Stuart managed to get himself permanently banned from the Forum. He was not entirely blameless in this.

Unfortunately for him, Stuart was in the middle of launching a Small Press (Observe Books) and launching their first publication, a Dr Who spinoff anthology called Iris Wildthyme and the Celestial Omnibus. He knew plenty of people who could advertise the book for him on the Forum so wasn't overly worried about being banned. However he became increasingly alarmed by insinuations appearing that implied he was using the online ordering in order to gather people's personal details for nefarious and murky purposes. Naturally, he made several attempts to contact various moderators and requested that these posts be removed (gory details here if you really want them) and in the end he consulted a lawyer and then contacted Shaun Lyon, who owns the site.

Shaun Lyon responded by forbidding any mention of Observe Books or Iris Wildthyme and the Celestial Omnibus anywhere on the Forum. This was a bit of a blow to Stuart since the forum was basically the most important place for advertising the book.

Much fun was then had by all. Most of my readers know both fandom and the Internet so I leave the ensuing excitement to your imaginations.

This is why I got back from 4 days in the internet-less wastes of Cornwall to find 1500 emails in my inbox.

Anyway, once the dust had settled a bit and various people had been banned from various places, Stuart asked if anyone had a sacrificial DWF account and would they mind advertising the Iris Wildthyme book. Since I'd never used my account I volunteered. I also reasoned that I'm such a small fish in this particular pond that, should I ever want an account again, the chances of anyone caring enough to prevent it were pretty small. I posted the advert on Tuesday - it remained on the forum about half an hour before being deleted, though I do not appear to have been banned.

Yesterday (mere hours after my post) Shaun Lyon announced the forum was to close. He stresses in the announcement that no event triggered the closure and points out that he had already stopped taking paid memberships for the forum some time ago.

However one has to take what fame one can, however dubious and ill-deserved, so I like to think of myself as the Woman who shut down Outpost Gallifrey (*insert maniacal laugh*).

I should actually, at this juncture, point out that although I never frequented it I have nothing much against the DWF. I thought the ban on Obverse books was spiteful and unnecessary but well within Shaun Lyon's rights and Stuart will be the first to admit that he can be a right pain when he wants to be and likes arguing simply for the sake of arguing. I'm not really rejoicing at its downfall so much as desperately grasping at a thin excuse for notoriety.

Iris Wildthyme and the Celestial Omnibus edited by Stuart Douglas and Paul Magrs arrived on my doorstep yesterday morning. B. thought it looked very professional - I mention this so Stuart has more ammunition when arguing with certain people, not that B. is in anyway qualified to judge. It has gone in the "to read" pile which means you can expect my thoughts on the subject somewhere around this time next year.
parrot_knight: DavidIconparrot_knight on June 4th, 2009 09:38 am (UTC)
I think that Shaun's banning of Stuart was as much a symptom of his long-term distancing from the forum as anything else. From my perspective, he seemed to have misread the situation somewhat; but I think his patience was limited.
louisedennis: doctor wholouisedennis on June 4th, 2009 09:43 am (UTC)
To be strictly accurate and its probably important to be in this. Shaun played no part in Stuart's personal banning from the forum. He only stepped in when Stuart threatened legal action over libellous posts.

I think he over-reacted, but I can understand why he might have done so and I come from a distinctly partisan position here.
parrot_knightparrot_knight on June 4th, 2009 09:44 am (UTC)
Thanks for the correction. I mourn the departure of the Doctor Who Forum, but bear no ill-will towards you in this!
philmophlegm: kithillphilmophlegm on June 4th, 2009 11:42 am (UTC)
How was Cornwall by the way?
louisedennislouisedennis on June 4th, 2009 12:44 pm (UTC)
We had a good (if damp) time. I keep meaning to make a post and show off the vast array of "Barnaby Bear visit..." photos we seem to have acquired.

Thanks, once again, for your hospitality and your patience in supplying white bread and margarine.

Edited at 2009-06-04 12:44 pm (UTC)
philmophlegm: kithillphilmophlegm on June 4th, 2009 03:24 pm (UTC)
Any time...
Kate Orman: NOT LAUGHINGkateorman on June 4th, 2009 11:46 am (UTC)
No no, it was Evil of the Daleks.
louisedennis: doctor wholouisedennis on June 4th, 2009 12:42 pm (UTC)
*Hangs head in shame*

This is why I will never amount to anything in Who fandom.
IotViotv on June 4th, 2009 12:02 pm (UTC)
I know I don't know you - so I hope you don't mind me replying to your LJ, but I saw the link on the blog - but can I suggest DWO (http://www.drwho-online.co.uk/) as a place for your friend to advertise? It's a brilliant forum (with over 20 thousand members), which, unlike DWF does have a friendly moderating staff and owner, and is always open to advertising. I'm Inhabitant of the Vortex over there. There would be no ill-will to anyone involved with the book, and you can email the staff here: mail@drwho-online.co.uk <mail@drwho-online.co.uk. :)
louisedennis: doctor wholouisedennis on June 4th, 2009 12:47 pm (UTC)
I'll pass the message on, but I have a feeling he has already taken up residence. I have a vague memory of receiving an email which said something like "DWO - the new home of Obverse books".
IotViotv on June 4th, 2009 01:22 pm (UTC)
Thanks. ;)
lonemagpielonemagpie on June 4th, 2009 02:41 pm (UTC)
I don't actually think the two things are connected - I think Shaun's probably just tired of OG.

Either that or the BBC want to shut off the Sun's usual source of spoilers...
louisedennis: doctor wholouisedennis on June 4th, 2009 02:49 pm (UTC)
I know that really - but this makes a better story :-)
bunnbunn on June 4th, 2009 03:00 pm (UTC)
Who doesn't secretly want to be a part of something's downfall, after all?
biscit (Simon Jerram)biscit on June 5th, 2009 01:47 pm (UTC)
I think there is a connection; at the very least the Obverse books incident and the forum closure are symptomatic of the same problem, even if the former didn't directly cause the latter.
fredbassettfredbassett on June 4th, 2009 07:00 pm (UTC)
First the DWF, next the Govt? Go GIRL!!