Forums were a great way to bind the dolling community together. There were forums about many subjects, but dolling forums are something special. It was a great way to find a forum based on a theme you enjoyed, to find like-minded dollers. Forums have been on the decline since other social media came along, and dolling forums are certainly on the way out.
Over time there have been a few well known doll forums. Each was distinct and unique. They attracted a certain type of doller and promoted a certain kind of dolling. Forum communities can be quite a ‘gated community’. It is easy to get the idea that dolling only is only done a certain way. But there were many forums, each with their own rules about interacting and dolling. Forums seemed to come and go quite quickly, and members were spoilt for choice.
Enchanted Eden, WTM?! and Fairytopia
One of the oldest big doll forums was Eden Enchanted, also know as EE. It closed in 2008, leaving many dollers lost as where to go next. What The Muffin?! (WTM) was the next bigger forum that disappeared. I actually signed up for WTM, but somehow the admins didn”t have time to approve new members anymore. And Fairytopia has closed down, after announcing a move to another URL. Where EE and WTM were still active forums though, FT was seeing a decline in activity over the last year.
Update June 2011: some of the art work and exclusive bases can be found on the deviantART account EdenEnchantedplz.
A long-lasting doll forum was The Gathering (closed down in 2012), a forum started by Xandorra. Even though Xandorra was no longer active in the dolling community, the forum still managed to keep active until 2011. It was a great board for support of any kind. It also hosted the annual Make a Doll a Day in May (Madadim) for two consecutive years. Some dollers keep this up and still create a doll a day in May.
Update January 2012: TG has a dA group
Dystopia, Autumnvale, Pixel Princess and Pixel Empire
There were forums that held on a little longer, such as Pixel Princess, a forum that had been running for a long time, and had a close knit community. It was a cozy forum, where you could find a lot of great dollers and a forum dollmaker, where members could contribute props. The forum moved to deviantArt as a group in 2015.
Two other forums that tried and died were Dystopia and Autumnvale. Dystopia was a place with a darker edge, where alternative dolls and humour are appreciated. Autumnvale was more along the lines of cosy forums such as Fairytopia and The Gathering. Both forums are now gone, the same as Izzie’s forum Dollstalgia.
Though Pixel Empire is a closed-off forum, it had its merits. There were dollmakers, as with Pixel Princess, and lots of goodies. It seems now that PE is no longer as active, and has also moved more to deviantArt.
Still active: Glam! and The Catwalk.
The black-tie dolling community Glam! still has new posts every day. The atmosphere is fun loving and there are plenty of activities going on. It has a mixture of new dollers and dollers returning from old forums. Because there are many established dollers with established, and old, friends, it can sometimes feel a little exclusive, but perservere and find a warm community.
The Catwalk is a fashion-themed forum. It’s new, well: returned, and not as active as Glam!, but it has a very laidback environment.
New Doll Forums?
There are always new plans and new forums popping up. But it does seem as if the potential audience has moved to different sites. If you are interested in joining a forum or a community, Glam!, deviantArt and The Catwalk are your current best options.
If you have a forum about dolls, let me know! I’d love to turn the tide!