Well, seems like it's a good opportunity to gather the kids around the fireplace and tell and a good old fahioned story :) I'd be telling a porky if I said Atomic was anything like it used to be, but we all know that's true. The mag is long gone, likely never to return. The site has been rolled into PCTA , and now that we're in company with Hyper and PCPP, Atomic's even lower on the rungs of importance. It's sad, but it's true.
And that's not based on neglect, either, though I know it is easy to think that is the case. But I put a lot of hard yards into these forums and community, and into the magazine. Into the whole brand, really. But the truth was - as I've said many times - Atomic was in decline before I even came on the scene. Ultimately, Atomic's decline is no one person's fault - it's just that people moved on. It is sad, as I said, but it's also natural.
Which leaves us where we are now. It says a lot that this is the first time I've posted on the site in... well, outside of the GW thread, in years. I'm not going to lie - in a very real sense, I too got over these forums. They take a lot, you know, and those of you who know me know that every little emergency on these boards really hit me hard. So, I just don't have the energy; truth be told, it feels really odd to even be chatting again, and to be honest I'm not entirely comfortable here these days - I'm not trying to say 'woe is me', but I think I'm probably not alone in feeling that. People have drifted away from Atomic for all kinds of reasons - for me, it's because investing in this place was really, really unhealthy for me in the long run. Now, that aside, what are our 'plans' for Atomic? Well, Atomic does not live in isolation; it is part of a larger stable of brands now. And it remains, as Chaos has said, a solid little traffic generator - so we're not looking at closing things yet. If I did have my druthers, yeah, we'd merge away and have a single forum for all of our brands, but that's an oddly hard argument to make here. And I'll be honest - when I hear people talk about more integration with the mags and other content, I know how that's worked in the past - it really doesn't have any measurable impact. So, for the time being, we're happy to have Atomic coasting along as it does. You guys really do look after yourselves these days. Things may be quieter, but I don't see that as a necessarily bad thing. And those who point out the impact of other social medias are quite right - I always hate to agree with Twinny (:P) but Facebook is much easier, not only as as a user, but also as a content creator. We get more traffic from FB than we ever did from the forums in terms of article numbers, and we have thriving communities there, not to mention other feeds on Twitter. SocMed is big stuff, and that's a lot of my focus right now.
I wish there was more that I could say, but from our point of view, the forum continues to be a quiet success. We're not planning on shutting it down any time soon. If there is more that you guys would like done, chat to the mods - they really do run the place far more than I do these days, and I trust each of them implicitly to do what's best for both every user here, and the community as a whole.
That's a bit rambly, but I hope it helps :)