“My name is Steve, and I’m a recovering online forum addict.”
I posted a new article called “Effective Online Forum Usage” in the free articles section. This is a straightforward piece with 8 tips on using forums productively, with an emphasis on avoiding (or recovering from) forum addiction.
For years I was a heavy user of online forums, newsgroups, and message boards (most of them software-related), figuring it to be a relatively benign habit. I even met my wife on a computer bulletin board system in 1994. But in 2004 when I figured out how much time it was actually costing me to support this habit and what I was giving up in order to maintain the perceived “benefits” of participation, I dropped it like a rock.
On a related note I also dramatically reduced my email usage, which is now at about 15 minutes per day (down from 60-90 minutes). I already wrote about that in a previous post: Efficient Email.
P.S. If you want to have some fun (and do some free marketing work for me), post a link to the new article (or this blog entry) in your favorite online forum, and watch the addicts squirm.