15 years ago we had the opportunity to become Substack, with fantastic long and short form writing from a plethora of authors like Scylla and, well, the many contributors to the If LOTR had been written by someone else thread, a treasure trove of brilliant writing which the current Board, myself included of course, could not match. Substack is aggressively seeking writers and it looks as if the model could succeed… at least it’s succeeding in the game to raise venture capital money, which is a critical step nowadays to starting a tech business.
But that ship has passed.
The SDMB did have a very small window to become Reddit, but the executives in charge of this site were more concerned with their small daily newspaper and never even thought to focus on the message board. Their entire backgrounds were wrong.
So that ship passed as well.
Another thing they didn’t try is to integrate the SDMB into the online newspaper. What, nobody could create another subforum called “Sun Times Articles” and direct comments to that? Limit article comments to 250 characters, and if you want to say more you can do so at the SDMB. But I don’t even think this idea was close to being explored. Seems rather natural though, for a newspaper to extend engagement among paying customers by drawing them into long-form discussions on the message board owned by the same paper, but what do I know?
Anyway, that’s likely another ship, to be honest.
And as for now? Shit, I don’t know, but the most obvious idea is to mine the content, repackage it, and then monetize the repackaged content. For example, go to that LOTR thread. Grab 50 of the best posts. Get an artist (or artists) to draw artistic representations of the posts. Make a book out of this. Or a Patreon. Or something. Rinse, wash, repeat.
I mean, I figure newspaper publishers can handle publishing a book… right?
Also, God gave you eyes: Plagiarize. Likes, smilies, upvoting, and more works on successful sites. Integrate them here and ignore the gnashing of teeth and rending of clothing. Just make this place easier and friendlier to use for people accustomed to easy and friendly interfaces. Is that too much to ask?