I’ve been out of the loop recently, and today decided to check-in with some old friends: my Interweb snowboard buddies. Much to my surprise, I learned that the Burton Message Board is dead. After about ten years of various iterations, an old friend is gone forever. I questioned what WILL happen next?
Can you imagine if your child, your lover, your best friend from grade school passed away? Or what about that bully that threw you into the locker and then gave you a swirlie in front of the high school prom queen? And for extra spice, add that Meth addict that asked you for a quarter than knifed you in the back alley for your cell phone. That’s the void in my heart with the end of the Burton Message Board.
It is truly the end of an Era. In it’s place, Burton has gone Social Media 2.0. Somewhere, somehow, somebody had the brainchild to farm out the Community portion of Burton.com to a “social media expert.” The site has become affectionately known as TwitMyBook for snowboarding. The Community is being driven by a company called Kontain. Wait? Did they spell “contain” wrong? No Sally, that’s how they spell it because they’re Kool. From their website, Kontain is: “An online social destination which makes it easy for everyone to share their life through media, Kontain is the privately funded sister company of Fantasy Interactive Inc.” Does this sound like porn or is it just me?
Ok, time to be serious. The new Burton.kontain.com is powered by a 140 plus character model that connects to all your other favorite social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, etc. In some cases like your profile picture, the user interface is much slicker than other iterations of the BMB. It remains to be seen if this new version will have the staying power to have long and serious debates about neon in snowboard fashion or whether reverse camber is fad as the new format doesn’t necessary facilitate topic-based discussion. On the plus side, the most recent comments have been from real-life actual Burton employees (a first in many cases as many employees were scared to actually post on the old BMB).
My drunk, misguided and optimistic hope is that Burton will leverage this medium to its fullest capabilities, allowing a true conversation to occur between snowboarding enthusiasts, snowboard pros and snowboard industry peeps. Only time will tell if this version of the BMB survives the flame wars, critiques of the snowboard elite or falters under its own inane status updates about farts. I invite you to join in the conversation, sit back and watch the chaos unfold.
You can even friend me. I’m username – hoon. I might even accept.