The bait worked. And with one little push of a button, I was there. The writer-included discussion that I was interested in wasn't up and running yet (unless you count 37 "introductory" messages), so I decided to visit a month-old discussion of Upton Sinclair's The Jungle.
A short scan through the first thread convinced me that this book club was not for me. People weren't listening to each other. For the most part, they were just writing gobbledy-gook. At one point, someone replied to the discussion of chapters 1-6 with a message that can be summed up in his first three words: "I hate weddings."
I'm sure there's good stuff in there too. (The moderator seemed to be doing a decent job of responding with helpful information.) But I'm not willing to wade through 44 posts to see it. I'll stick with my neighborhood book club, thank you very much. (I promise to come next month, Kat!)
All of this leads me to a question: are online forums of real value? If so, when? And how? I recently read an article that stated that blogs were the enemy of thought, that no useful discussion can be had on them because of their format and limitations. In a way, I'm testing that idea by even asking these questions here. So what do you think?