Well, let’s get the introductions out of the way first… I’m Sebastian J Brook, Editor of Doctor Who Online. It’s a site that I’ve run since 1996, when I was the tender age of 16, and one that I am fortunate enough to be running 15 years later.
My original aim was to create a site for fans by fans, offering news, competitions and guides to Doctor Who – something that is still very much a key foundation to the site which has now been visited by over 30 million people to date.
It was in 2005, however, that things really took off, with the launch of our online forums. We didn’t really know what we were letting ourselves in for – both traffic wise and from an interactive perspective. We got around 35 members by the end of our first day, and by the end of the week, it had soared to over 1,500!
Fast forward to 2011, and we now have a staggering 37,000+ members, and due to the sheer amount of technological juice it consumes, the forum is spread over two servers. Just last week we took a bold move of making our forums 100 per cent spoiler-free – a move that has been met with surprising positivity amongst our membership.
It isn’t an easy job, though. Keeping on top of all of the news and releases is hard work, and its thanks to a truly fantastic team who spare their time out of love for the show. It’s the same with our forum staff. We have around 15 people from all corners of the globe, who are up at ungodly hours welcoming new members, and tidying up posts and threads – all out of their affection for a certain science fiction show that began in 1963.
Over the years I have been so blown away by the creativity from fans. We have been sent everything from pictures to birthday cakes in the shape of a Dalek (knowing where to begin slicing a Dalek shaped cake should carry its own degree!). This is a fanbase that simply oozes talent and enthusiasm, and one that I am honoured to know.
In future blog entires, we hope to look at other areas of fandom, including some coverage of the show itself.
I’d like to sign off this month’s entry with a thank you to SFN’s fantastic new Editor, James Hoare, who has kindly agreed to a blog share that will no doubt introduce new readers to both camps, as well as providing some interesting and (hopefully) amusing stories along the way.