A new Anarchist discussion forum, Anarchist Black Cat, has been launched recently.
The simple aim seems to be to provide a friendly discussion venue for English speaking activists to chew the fat. It is fair to say the site also looks to learn from the lessons of the Libcom site, which at least in terms of its forums serves as a copybook example of how not to run a website.
Libcom has suffered under the weight of two fundamental paradoxes. Firstly in its enrager.net days it originally styled itself as a resource website for the entire UK anarchist movement. All very good, but for the fact that many of the people behind Libcom were unable to hide their contempt for much of that movement, and the organisations already in it. Indeed when faced with virtually entirely negative feedback about changing the site to Libcom - they went ahead anyway!
As Libcom developed, an obsession with sniping and attacking other groups and campaigns prospered, where the aim was not just to disagree with what groups like Class War or the Anarchist Black Cross did, but to cause those groups maximum damage. This peaked with the despicable mocking up of a fake Class War sticker, giving Class War's correct contact details, but with the slogan "Muslims - Bastards" written on it. It is impossible to imagine another site where such a carry on would be tolerated.
Secondly the best known part of Libcom was inevitably its forums - as they are the section most visitors could engage with (It is hard to read political texts on-line, although I know many people do). Here Libcom hit its second problem. The two most divisive and most unpleasant posters on the site are Jack and revol68. On most forums abusive or disruptive posters are in some way shackled, and if that does not work - they are booted off.
In the case of Jack and revol68 that was impossible - Jack as site owner was not going to ban himself, whilst revol68 was a long standing personal and political associate of the Libcom group. Put simply they were not big enough to ban their mate, no matter how much trouble he caused. The end result was that a succession of activists have joined the site and left it, or reduced their input to the forums to a trickle.
If Anarchist Black Cat can avoid such pitfalls - and early indications are it can - it may well play a major role in bringing Anarchists together, in a manner that goes beyond mere point scoring.