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The End of an Era

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.

– J

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.

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10 Responses to “The End of an Era”

  1. Fenster April 10, 2010 at 1:43 pm #

    I am not going to be original this time, so all I am going to say that your blog rocks, sad that I don’t have suck a writing skills

  2. AgentOrange May 11, 2010 at 2:15 am #

    Say it ain’t so – I’ve got some fond memories of Bluetights.

  3. Trevor Ennis May 11, 2010 at 4:30 pm #

    It was your site I fondly flocked to for all my Superman news – from the “Dark Ages” until last month.

    I remember back in 1995-97 I sat hearing rumors of a Tim Burton version with Nic Cage in lighening blue thights doing Supes! I think Jerry Seinfield would have done better justice than that one! Alas, the Super stories evaporated like the puddle until the Return of Superman reignited like the phoenix.

    We will miss your hard work. But all good things must come to an end….

  4. the floacist May 14, 2010 at 8:20 pm #

    I will miss Blue Tights 🙁

  5. WannaBeatle May 19, 2010 at 2:18 am #

    heh, I just noticed it was gone tonight…too bad, between here and scifi.com and trekmovie.com, I got most of my news.

    But, while the other two are great, but this one was really cool if ya were just in a certain frame of mind and not just sci fi…I’m sad to see it go for sure.

  6. EdShep May 23, 2010 at 8:11 pm #

    Man Bule Tights was where I got the latest in news. I was just logging on right now this very minute. Thank you so much it was definitely my top site for information on the man of steel. Damn, I’m still shocked! Good look to your new endeavors in life. Remember,… Even though you’ve been raised as a human being, you are not one of them.

  7. Jayce78 June 3, 2010 at 9:12 pm #

    Wow , 6 yrs. I can’t believe it has finally come to a close. The site and the forum had become such a staple on the net & for Superman fan’s all around the World. It was the leader in movie new’s and rumor’s on our favorite ‘Man of Steel’. We had some fun time’s and some great disscussion’s. And that’s definetly what the fan community should be all about. I really enjoyed being a part of it. Thank’s for all the good memories guy’s. Parting is bittersweet.

  8. Ryan June 4, 2010 at 11:18 am #

    I was a daily visitor of the site back when the movie was in production and I loved it. I really loved the video diaries. I was really sad to see it wain after the movie came out, but I knew it was inevitable. What was left to talk about?

    But with a new movie on the horizon now, it seems like the best time to keep the site running.

    Fans still have Kryptonsite, but that is Smallville-focused; and Superman Homepage is general news. We need a site devoted entirely to news and updates about THE MAN OF STEEL (coming Dec 2012). Maybe you could even partner with one of the other sites, or collectively form a SuperNetwork with each site devoted to different areas (TV, comics, movie, etc.)

    Superman always gets pushed aside for other, nastier “heroes” and it’s time someone stood up to show them how it all began and why he is now, and always will be, the best!

    If you ever need a writer for such a new site, you can call on me!

  9. Marcel June 13, 2010 at 8:24 pm #

    Thank you for all of your hard work in helping our favorite character stay aloft. Your site was wonderful, and I wish you the best in your future pursuits.

    Up, Up and Away…!

  10. Daily Planet Janitor September 13, 2010 at 12:44 am #

    I was kinda looking for “Lor-El,” from the bluetights board, that now, sadly, has gone the way of all things.

    She was a very fine contributor to the board, as well as “Hyperion,” “KalMart,” and all the other posters and contributors.

    I ended up in a flame war with her (at least I think it was a her) and…it was kinda funny. the last picture she posted to lampoon me kinda looked like Santa Claus in a straitjacket…(oh dear! How’s he gonna get all the toys to the little girls and boys…?)

    And anyway, I was just hoping that maybe you could send a message over to her that I wanted to say hello, and no hard feelings…except for her putting Santa in a Straitjacket, I wanted to send a true picture of myself…but I think my doggies ate the camera (or I think the mouse in my lowboy dresser did that, still have to find that little bas–rd…I keep finding his turds)

    Anyway, please send message to “Lor-El” that DPJ wanted to say hello, and if she wanted it, you could send her my email so she can contact me directly.

    Much Regards,
    Daily Planet Janitor

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