Cardboard White was a good idea.
I wanted it to be a central place where people could get together and start up their own conversations on anything and everything. But a few things happened that I hadn’t thought about:
Forums stopped being trendy. I attribute this in part to the boom in large social networks like Xanga, Facebook and MySpace. Why come to a site with no particular focus to discuss things when you can find a much larger audience of your own friends on the social network of your choice?
Production isn’t nearly as popular as consumption. People visit my blog and my journal because there’s all manner of neat content on there. I’ve literally put years of work into what’s on the site, so people come back to visit, hoping to find more to consume. Cardboard White on the other hand was more a tool for production; couple that with no tangible benefit and a relatively small audience, and the outlook for growth was grim.
Focus is essential for growth. Having a forum where anyone can come discuss anything is like trying to campaign in all fifty states at once. It can be done, but it takes a whole lot of coordination and manpower to pull it off. And 99 times out of 100, it will be too little spread out over too much. CBW was no exception.
So, with the philosophical diatribe out of the way, I’m announcing the official interment of the CBW forums. If anyone wants to memorialize their forum posts, best get them now before I light the funeral pyre. (It may rise again from the ashes, but only as something new, different and more powerful, a la Jean Gray.)
Any last words?