Thursday, June 05, 2008

Brand New Newsarama?

OK, I posted this briefly the other night before deciding to take it down only minutes later. Then I saw the following post from Matt Brady:

whoever said that the new boards would be populated with the "I'm leaving!" threads, consider yourself a prophet.

The rest - trust me, everything is being worked on. Everything.

That made me feel a little more comfortable nitpicking about the change.


It's been about 24 hours since the debut of Newsarama 2.0. A few thoughts...

  • I closed my account in February. I still received an e-mail from the moderators at Imaginova about migrating my account to the new boards. As far as I know, my closed account shouldn't look that much different than someone who had their account closed involuntarily. Translation: the mods might be inadvertently advertising to past trolls that it is open season to come back to the new boards.
  • The front page of Newsarama is showing even more articles that have nothing to do with comic books than before the Beta. I really fear that they're working at being the jack of all trades and the master of none.
  • Back to their board transition; man, has it been bad. The majority of people who let Imaginova handle the transition of accounts were unable to login to the site, it appears. It makes it look as though basic quality assurance steps were missed and that the move was rushed.
  • Anecdotally speaking, there are many regulars from the Newsarama boards who aren't taking well to the change from vBulletin to Pluck. Some of them seem to be relocating to CBR, where the old, familiar board software is alive and well. Naysayers are suggesting that if the litany of improvements requested for Pluck haven't been implemented by now, they won't be anytime soon. I did read that Pluck has been bought by another company, so maybe hope is alive.
When you think about it, many more people view Newsarama on a daily basis than post there. I'm sure Newsarama will be fine, but I can't help but think they'll lose some ground to CBR.

Whatever number they lose due to the message board changes just seems to be due to a distinct miscalculation. You can force a change that brings all of your employees on to the same platform for convenience of maintenance and support, but it isn't exactly wise to try to force your audience to make such a change for your convenience without an obvious benefit to the end user.


  1. To be honest I have been very disappointed with the revamp. My first impression was that it looks like a poor man's CBR, which is saying something as their new homepage was a shocker the first time I say it.

    I haven't bitched about it on the site because God knows the Mods are taking enough grief as it is but the whole changeover was handled poorly. Especially the usernames parts, it took me a day, after many unsuccessful password changes to get The Guvnor up and running again. It was just so frustrated in general and you just have to look and see how many people had made temporary accounts so they could post.

    For me it seems the 'Rama has lost its identity. For general comic stuff I favoured that over CBR but now it is hard enough to find little obscure newsbits, it has become an entertainment site more or less. And the free daily comics have gone which is a big loss. The forums are a messtoo. Hopefully there will be some upswing soon.

  2. I'd imagine that the free comics might come back. I say that without any insider knowledge and having done any research. I don't see why you'd do away with something like that.

  3. Imaginova ruined Newsarama for me (and based on the board complaints MANY others). My biggest beef is they way they threw out all the old post counts/join dates but people from other Imaginova sites retained theirs! See here for more detail:

  4. I didn't want to point it out, but, yeah, the other sites appeared to have accounts and posts transfered over to the new software:

    From forums

    Q: Will the Archive transfer?
    A: Yes, it will transfer.

    Q: Will we have "tiers" like we do now that depends on thread count? ie atom, solar system etc etc.
    A: No, those tiers will not transfer over. Post count will transfer over, however.

    Q: Will we have to register anew?
    A: No, you will not have to register anew. If you have for some reason forgotten your password, there is a Forgotten Password function as well.

    All Newsarama accounts had to be recreated, even if by the moderators. We see how well that went. Posts were archived rather than brought over. It is odd that Newsarama's migration was done later than the rest and with considerably more impact on the end user. Maybe the delay was in hopes of finding a better solution...but that seemed to have been tossed away in the end.

  5. The boards are slow and user-unfriendly. They lack the atmosphere of old, for sure. Also, as you guessed, all the old trolls appear to be back (and unchecked).

    You know, you can always drop by the Outhouse, Kevin. It has really benefitted from Newsarama's slow demise.

  6. I submitted a registration to the Outhouse and it has yet to get processed...unless it just got denied. ;)

  7. It's been confirmed. I did it myself, actually.

  8. I'll begin posting later this evening. Thanks, Nieto.


It is preferred that you sign some sort of name to your posts, rather than remain completely anonymous. Even if it is just an internet nickname/alias, it makes it easier to get to know the people that post here. I hope you all will give it some consideration. Thank you.