Science Fiction Site Trend

Have you noticed that the latest thing to do seems to be to open a science fiction/geek pop culture group blog?

I first noticed io9.com because former fellow Savage Critic Graeme McMillan was writing for them. They’re part of the Gawker site family, which means I don’t like their layout very much, and they emphasize lots of posts to build traffic (so sometimes you wonder “why are that talking about THAT?”). Also, I can’t get their comments on my smartphone, which makes much of the fun disappear. But their topic mix seems very on the ball for their audience, very forward-looking (which you want in an SF site).

Then I found tor.com because their comic commenter, Jim Henley, linked to me. I haven’t yet figured out how to even follow one of their comment threads — there doesn’t seem to be an RSS feed or email notification system for a particular post’s followups. Instead, they want you to join their community, which is based around sign-in and some system I’ve never seen before. (In this day and age, why should I have to learn yet another system when RSS and email works just fine?) It’s a little too book-focused for me — which is very appropriate for their mission.

Most recently, I was made aware of suvudu.com, which is Random House’s entry. I have no idea why it’s named that way, and just from the first page, they don’t have as much comic coverage as the others, which is what I’m interested in. They do seem to have much better comment features, though, especially for following a thread easily.

So why this trend? Trying to exploit the growing awareness of the nerd audience as tastemakers for entertainment? And which, if any, are you finding worth following?

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