- Posted by Johanna on February 23, 2012 at 7:35 pm
- Category: Comic News
Wow, that’s a predictable-on-second-thought-yet-surprising-at-first announcement. DC Comics will be redesigning its website next month, and as part of the change, they’ll be eliminating their message boards.
They won’t be much missed, since they had a horrible reputation, as most superhero-focused website forums do. It doesn’t take many bad apples to spoil the barrel, though; just a couple of malcontents determined to be mean and hateful can poison an entire section. Back in the 90s, I left DC right around the time that they were moving from AOL forums to web-based boards. I was supposed to help moderate them under the new boss, but we had a disagreement over organization. They wanted one for every single title, while I thought conversation would be better with fewer sub-divisions. Greater participation might allow for positive peer pressure and make it harder for one or two troublemakers to drive out others, or so I thought. Never got a chance to put it into action, though.
Anyway, from the announcement:
The new site will be the home to all things DC Entertainment and will incorporate many different community elements, including opportunities for fans to comment throughout the site and integrated social media features. As part of its online makeover, DC Entertainment will be shutting down the current message boards in early March. Active message board users are encouraged to save their favorite conversations leading up to the closure. Special thanks to the many fans who participated in the messages boards over the years.
New options will include Facebook comments (so those of us who refuse to use the site are completely shut out, not that I went to DC’s boards anyway) and integrated Twitter feeds. We’ll find out how long that lasts — DC removed comments from its blog posts a while ago after they got out of hand.
Facebook allows much more demographic tracking, while message boards are going the way of the dodo. Newsarama hasn’t had them for years, so the only major ones I’m still aware of are those at Comic Book Resources. They build traffic, but they’re a huge pain to moderate. They don’t have much upside, either — fans who participate run the risk of being deluded into thinking that their opinions should be taken into consideration by the company, and when they’re not, they turn bitter at the company “ignoring” them. There’s no real benefit to a company running fan forums, and a lot of complications.
One fan site has already set up a board clone for refugees.