Since the early days of 2004, I’ve been building a Superman-focused community called BlueTights.net. Over the years, the site has seen more success than I ever could have imagined in it’s earliest days. Earlier this week, I announced I was closing down BlueTights.net, the most successful community site I’ve ever run. This is the letter I wrote about why I’d be closing the site down, but I’m not sure that I could ever sum up the happiness and gratitude I feel toward the community itself.
BlueTights.net started over six years ago as a project of passion, built and maintained from a shabby office I set up in the dining room of my tiny one-bedroom apartment. I would go into my day job early, work my eight hours, and rush home to spend the next ten hours of the day working on building the community. I even moved into an apartment closer to my job so that I could get home more quickly. Born from the heated debates of Superman cinema’s “dark ages,” the BlueTights community lit a fire in the bellies of thousands of fans. It was an opportunity to feel optimistic again about Superman, and to reach out in good faith to the studio that was making the film.
The site started by hosting fan-films and trailer mash-ups, then eventually combined with Dan-El’s much-loved Superman-V.com and began hosting a forum called “VOICE” (it would evolve into The Planet Forums you know today), growing into what felt like an unstoppable fan force for good. As the passion of the fan community grew louder and more optimistic, so too did there seem to be progress from within the Superman production. On March 05, 2005, with the premiere of “Hello from Sydney” on BlueTights.net, director Bryan Singer kicked the doors open to the production facilities in Australia, inviting fans from all over the web to become involved in the revival of their favorite superhero on the big screen.
The months that followed were exciting and intense. Fans got ring-side seats to a production they’d only imagined for years. As one would expect, there was plenty of passionate debate about and dissection of every new video blog, but no one ever lost sight of what was happening – Superman was returning, and we were a part of it forever.
After the release of the film, things inevitably quieted down for the site. I moved from my old job into one where I was building online entertainment communities for a living. My dining room isn’t so tiny anymore. Instead of a desk and computer, it now holds a proper dining-room table, complete with two high-chairs. The all-volunteer staff has done a stellar job of keeping the site going in my veritable absence, but ultimately I feel that the time has come to close the doors on BlueTights.net. Blue Tights and The Planet Forums will be closing indefinitely on April 30, 2010.
I cannot express what the members of BlueTights have meant to me over the last six years, or how proud I’ve been to watch it grow from a fledgling fan site into a monster of a community. It is each and every one of you that comes here that has made this site into what it has ultimately become – a family. We’ve collectively taken part in the rebirth of Superman, we’ve witnessed the birth of DC Entertainment, the first days of filming on a Green Lantern movie, and what could very well be the definitive on-screen representation of Batman’s most nefarious villain.
The trait I love most about the DC Universe is the importance it places on legacies – fathers and sons, mentors and wards, chosen heirs and lucky accidents. In a way, I feel like the fan community is no different. Today, Steve Younis carries on the work of Andrew J Gould at Superman Homepage. BlueTights itself was born from a single forum thread at Superhero Hype. So while it is with a certain amount of sadness that I close the doors on BlueTights.net, I also look forward to what the future holds for this vibrant and creative community. I’m anxious to see who the next fan is that will pour his passion and opportunity into creating a new place we can all call home. Maybe it will be a Green Lantern site, maybe Wonder Woman, or maybe it’s a new site dedicated to the blooming DC Nolan-verse. I don’t know, but I can’t wait to look to the sky to find out.
Thank you all for six of the most amazing years of my life, and remember… I’m always around.
It’s something I’ve contemplated doing for a long time, but could never commit to. BlueTights.net was my baby for a long, long time. I’m sad to see it go, but I definitely feel like it has to. It’s time to make room for some other community folks to jump in and do something even better.