Saturday, September 24, 2011

How The Mighty Have Fallen

I loved the folks I worked with at Some of the folks still working there are people I'd step in front of a bullet for. I take no joy in pointing this out just checked their Alexa stats on a lark. Their global rank? 12,521. That's neck and neck with another popular comic book site. CBR? No, they're ranked 5860.

That close competitor? at 12498. That's right: Bleeding Cool is ranked higher than Newsarama for the last three months.

One of the main differences? CBR and BleedingCool still have forums that encourage readers to discuss their coverage right there. Newsarama? They encourage you to give them feedback on Facebook and Twitter. They're sending you to places that don't help their ad rates and they can't fully monetize, as far as I can tell.

A lot was made of the changes Newsarama underwent a few years back. Much was made of the new bells-and-whistles of how items were presented, but I don't think that was what knee-capped the site. No, I'd say it was the migration from vBulletin to the other message board interface they ran with for awhile, due to having been bought out by another company that happened to use it. They kept tweaking the forums to try to find a configuration that made them more inviting, but they failed. There used to be links at the bottom of articles to a thread in the forum where you could discuss it, much like CBR's current model.

But this message board system had a flawed notification system that didn't properly alert you of the new posts and didn't direct you straight to the newest entry, from what I can recall. So the message board traffic continued to dwindle as more effort was required of the visitor than had been previously or was currently required at their competitors. accounts for 27.95% of CBR's visitors over the last three months, according to I'm pretty sure's forums account for a lot of their traffic, but that info isn't available to me, as it isn't setup as a subdomain. just redirects to It's great that more and more of the front page content is actually a blog entry where visitors can respond, but you need to subscribe to an RSS feed if you want to be kept in the loop, rather than just checking a box to be notified of replies to your comment or new comments in general on the post (as the Blogger and WordPress formats encountered elsewhere allow). Newsarama has more or less actively discouraged visitor interaction with their site.

In short, I believe, for want of a nail (encouraged visitor participation), a kingdom (past traffic dominance) was lost. And it's a fucking shame.


  1. Bleeding Cool. Only just more popular than Newsarama. Leagues behind CBR...

  2. Hey, if I was really trying to give BC an ego stroke, I would have ran the Alexa numbers on ComicsAlliance.

  3. I've no idea if this has contributed to Newsarama's decline, but one thing that puts me off the place is they took off the "print" button on their articles a while back. I find it a lot easier to read longer web articles – interviews especially – in printed-out form, something that's simple to do on CBR (they have a "print article" button at the top of each piece). As a consequence, I've stopped visiting Newsarama on a regular basis.

  4. Newsarama, has always been more opinion driven than actual "news" driven. You could hardly get through an entire "article" with realizing the glorified message board rant you were reading hidden within the review of Captain Whatever #12.
    Now they are doing silly Top 10 Lists and taking their speculations and falsehoods seriously.
    No loss here.

  5. I can't say I'm shocked. There was a moment, during Final Crisis, when the DC forum on that board stepped over the edge & fell into the brink, & a HUGE number of posters left. To be honest - I kept an eye on the forum, even though I wasn't posting, & there would literally be days where only one or two threads would be updated. The piss-poor moderation killed the forum.



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