Today I tried to access Rotten Tomatoes’ message boards. Well every attempt was met with one of those lame errors that you get when the site has gone to shit, only the main page is fine. What we have here is RT’s overlords trying to kill off the forums even though without the forums RT doesn’t even exist the way it does today. The users are what made it profitable enough for it to be bought up by IGN back in 2006, and they’ve made the site tick. Only during the past two-three years RT has been pretending the forums are hardly even on the site, hiding the forums and making it harder for new users to register. They also got rid of the journals, a feature that was actually decent and enabled users to communicate with one another because they were clearly too much of a good idea.
You now have mod approval for certain posts, gateway timeouts, and any other bugs that may pop up. RT’s new goal is to turn itself into a social media connected website, and while I cannot blame them for doing so its still terrible. They are lying to their users, or at least not being forthcoming with them, and I happen to be a long time poster there (10 years this month, in fact). That’s utterly ridiculous, not to mention anger inducing, and while I can see someone telling me not to bitch about a free message board I still think I’m inclined to. How would you like it if Facebook started charging its members, or if Twitter decided to phase out certain features or change things without even telling you? You would be angry, right, and those services are free.
I guess that the song “Video Killed The Radio Star” can indeed be amended to “Social Media Killed The Message Board.” Oh sure many other boards will continue on, but RT was the biggest and brightest of them at one point. Its really sad that a place I’ve spent countless hours on is going the way of the dinosaur, however perhaps its time to move on. I’ll admit that I kind of have, as I use Twitter a lot, blog almost every other day, and I have a Facebook account. Man does change sometimes have its casualties, one way or another.