I have added forums to Coltzilla in an effort to provide those who frequent the site an opportunity to socialize and discuss the Colts outside of the parameters of posted stories. In my time writing about the Colts and as an active member of the Colts blogging community I have found that there are positive aspects to many different approaches.
One of the approaches which is novel and I think enjoyable for those who visit is the ability to post directly in response to stories as they are submitted on the front page of the website. Guided conversations, feedback, and providing opinions on the topics each story discusses allows readers here to get involved, start healthy debate on issues, and come up with new ideas regarding the future of the Colts and possible stories.
Another part of a healthy blogging environment, I think, is that people who become a part of blogs enjoy the community aspect of making friends and talking about things, Colts-related or otherwise, that are not guided by the confines of stories that writers post on the front page, or that some of the readers submit for posting on the front page. Instead, having a place to put together tailgating, talk about recent NFL news that the finite number of stories on the front page cover, and generally just toss ideas and debate about a variety of other topics is enjoyable.
Threaded commenting systems allow this to a degree, and even opening up front page threads that are “open” is nice but forums allow those live discussions to continue and evolve beyond the time they move off of the front page and outside of easy view of the rest of the community.
Still, building a forum community is a slow process and I hope that some of you who visit will take the time to start posting ideas, links to stories, and thoughts about the Colts. The community will come together over time and I am excited to be a part of its evolution. I imagine numerous story ideas for the front page will come from these discussions so this will be a great place for viewers to drive the direction of the site and help Coltzilla evolve to offer the material, the work product, that each of you look for most.
Stop in, register, and visit regularly while the forum grows!