Monday, February 19, 2007

Death of a WebSite

Matchnight.com, which a few years ago was one of the influential soccer sites in the US is shutting down on March 31.

Not only was it the official host site for the Columbus Crew, before MLS consoplidated all club sites for marketing purposes, it continued to be host for the official Crew messageboard, as well as hosting numerous other 'unofficial' MLS and USL fan oriented forums and news sites. Most of those will find new hosting resources and continue on, but it wont be easy, anymore, for fans to just click a dropdown and see what fans of the 'other sides' were saying.

But it's the forums which were the 'canaries in the mine' on this. When you see partipation on a messageboard go from hundred of posts a day, and upwards of 20 or so members and lurkers, down to 1 or 2 at a time and maybe a couple posts a day, the writing is on the wall.
No matter there is a nice layout, and occasionally good articles, it's the daily conversation that makes a website, or a happy-hour bar, for that matter.

For such a sport site is a 'community' and when the residents drift away there is no more need for the structure where the community gathers. the reason for the vacancies are legion, perhaps, and never as easy as you might think. I used to argue my politics on there, against the typical 'lib-meme' advocates who never had an answer for any of the hard questions of history. there were one or two who saw things differently, they could post reasoned responses, but it was the 'role-playing' on there which caused me to throw up my hands and quit.
I left to argue my politics on Another soccer site. and found this time I was alone... this time I didnt have 'CrewArsenal' occasionally watching my back. But, while I had to argue against the dark side on my own, at least I dont have the tantrum-throwing infants responding with various cute 'smilies' dredged in from somewhere else.. where words and reason are discarded in favor of 'attitude'.

Sooner or later, though, 'attitude' wins out. All they need do is keep on throwing their tantrums and adults leave for more serene surroundings. Which is somewhat ironic, as the only choice left for the Crew fan seems to be 'BigSoccer' which is the archtype of the restrictive, market driven site. A case where there was a product before there was a site.

Such is life, though.. and something always comes up to replace that which you love. Just waiting.

2 comments:

CrewArsenal said...

Well, I'll try this again, since my last attempt to post blew up on me.

Thanks for the props, Fogger!

I really am bummed out about the impending end of Matchnight, and the Crew forums. Do you know anywhere else besides Big Soccer that we can post re: the Crew?

HatterDon said...

'fog

Sorry you lost your site. I understand the desire to standardize everything when you're a fledgling organization like the MLS. But I think it's important for each team to have it's own identity -- and that starts with the supporters.

As always, I enjoy pettyfoggery. COYW [and Crew].