Talking Shop vs. Paperlate
I know, this
topic was from a few days back. But somehow I feel obliged to
While loyalty is a virtue of great importance to me, I must admit curiosity got the best of me and I did flirt with Talking Shop a few times since the official site launched. There is definitely an atmosphere on that forum that is distinct from Paperlate. For the most part, I prefer Paperlate for its unparalleled level of musical knowledge and general air of sophistication. However, this can also be a disadvantage since many otherwise legitimate topics of discussion wouldn't make it on this list. One can imagine some newer fans may feel intimidated and refrain from asking "stupid questions". Whereas the more diversified membership of Talking shop means we find more varied discussions which can sometimes be silly, but often times surprisingly engaging.
Moreover, almost every G-related subject has been discussed at one time or another on Paperlate. As a result it is difficult if not impossible to come up with original thread ideas that are on-topic. Since Talking shop is the new kid on the block this seems to be much less of a problem, hence we get the deluge of new threads there.
However what I love the most about Paperlate is the fact that despite the battles and wars the group moves along more or less as one. After following the list for one or two weeks one can easily get a good grip on the main contributors and their personalities. Inevitably you identify with some people more than others, however in the back of your mind you always remember that everyone in the group have more in common with each other than with outsiders. On the other hand, to me the Talking Shop lacks this feeling of continuity and camaraderie. The multitude of threads all run in parallel, guests and members mingle, people respond mostly to the topic but rarely to individuals. The format somehow makes the group seem more fragmented and impersonal. In comparison, this list with its familiar cast of jaded critics is actually more stable and reassuring.
The verdict? Paperlate still is and always will be my favorite. Despite all its imperfections, I have yet to see another internet forum which can rival its strange allure.