Thank you, Dean. Just to clarify; no, I did not participate in the poll and the Gambit answer wasn't from me, for as you eagerly pointed out with the age question, I'm already in the 30 plus age group. As such, "when I grow up, I want to be..." wouldn't make much sense coming from my mouth, would it? But let's continue ...
What would you like to see
As you probably can imagine, we were very interested in the things you would like to see at the site. Actually we were quite happy with the multitude of answers that were to the likes of "More of the same... you're doing an excellent job guys!", but of course there were also many requests and wishes on your parts. I have made a few comments to your requests which you can read below. Some things were asked for rather often, others can actually be found at the site, but apparently the people in question were not aware of it. On the whole, I did answer most of the questions myself, however with sections that I'm not involved in that much, I asked the responsible editors in question to comment. You’ll notice their names behind the answers.
1) Sometimes there are too many updates and I miss some when I don’t visit every day. Could you release some sort of weekly collection of what’s been added/updated? Makes sense. We’ll look into that. Probably it won’t be on a weekly basis though, but fortnightly or monthly. EDIT: Actually I thought this Feedback Reply would have been released two weeks earlier. As it is now, we have already published a November updates collection, and will do so again for the month of December.
2) How about some new X-Facts to appear in the box on the left? Yes, that’s something currently in the works. There’ll be an announcement about in the near future.
3) Please have more polls where the audience gets to choose some upcoming projects for the site. We try, but we can only offer such polls when we know we have the time to deliver as promised. (*cough* Sunfire spotlight *cough*) And, as this is a fansite, and all of us are working on it in our spare time, we sometimes prefer to work on the things WE would want to see.
4) Couldn’t you do a daily poll asking questions about the X-Men and/or current titles? Not only would this take time and effort that could be used for more lasting projects, but basically I don’t see the use of such polls. Everyone is free to exchange their opinions in the relevant sections of the message board, and I would prefer a well-thought post over the easy pick of one from five given answers any time.
5) I have problems getting into the Forum. Can you post some instructions? Well, instructions – no, for they are already on the page where you register. As for your problems, Ezboard has some general help pages, where you might find an answer to your specific problems, there is even one entire section dedicated to Registration and Log-In Problems.
6) Ezboard has too many pop-up ads, which is rather annoying, could you please switch to a different board host? Well, the board sure is big, so unless you have a better option with free hosting and unlimited webspace, then we will stay at Ezboard. Don’t forget that moving would also mean losing the many posts and threads we currently have.
Regarding the pop-ups, try downloading a free pop-up blocker, like the Goggle Toolbar. That should do the job. Ever since I have installed it, I am getting no more than one or two pop-ups during a MB session, rather than the dozens I had before.
7) Please have a forum where the audience can voice their thoughts and creators will check them out. Well, we have a forum where you can voice your thoughts, but of course we can’t force any of the creators to visit, or even comment on what you have to say. However, Nunzio DeFilippis and Christina Weir happen to visit our board every now and then... and Nunzio sometimes even posts a few comments. Let’s hope that other creators follow their example.
8) Make the up-coming previews easier to find and access. main site > Issue Information > Previews
Where’s the problem ?
9) Can you start putting First Looks online, you know 5 page previews of comics coming out next week? Like some other comic book websites have, e.g. PopCulture Shock or Milehigh Comics.
Problem is, for that we would need advance copies of the issues (and the majority of the site staff are living outside the United States), and the authorization of Marvel, which might be hard to get, considering that we are "merely" a fan site, and not some online comic shop where one could actually order these issues.
However the biggest reason against it would be that it’s a lot of work for something that gets outdated already one week later and can actually be found at various places on the net. Why waste our time and webspace for that?
10) How about a suggestion section for to read which current titles? Basically that’s what the Current Title Info section is for. We can’t decide for you which series you will probably like or not, but in this section you’ll find who the creative teams of each series are, the general purpose and direction, which characters appear in the book and a synopsis of current plots. Based on that, we hope, you can reach a decision on your own.
11) I would like to have a list of all X-relevant issues. There is a thread on the message board that lists all these issues. It‘s in "Ask Dr. McCoy - X-Titles", the thread is called "Comprehensive list of X-titles". As for such a list appearing on the main site.... you never know what secret projects are currently in the works.
12) Do online comics, like for foreign people who can’t get all issues in their country.
Legal problem! We can’t scan a full comic and put it on the site. Marvel would sue us, for we would be giving one of their products away for free, while they are trying to sell it for money. And especially as we have officially registered with Marvel’s fansite program, we wouldn’t want to risk them getting mad at us.
13) Can you add a previous/next issue button to the summary section? Actually that has been done while the Poll was running. :)
14) I would want more Australian X-Men summaries. I’m somewhat at a loss here. The Australian era was from UXM #227-251. All these issues are in the summary section, though surely not among the best or most detailed summaries. So I take it, the request is not "more" but "better" Australian X-Men summaries? We’ll see if somebody is willing to re-do these issue summaries.
15) Please summarize more older issues. We are working on it! However, current issues will always be top priority for a simple reason – we don’t want the pile of issues-yet-to-do to get any bigger than it already is. It’s kind of a psychological thing, as it is now, we have one end of the big line of issues totally covered, and we are working our way backwards to fill out the many holes. Would we stop doing the current issues, we’d be creating more holes and gaps, and it would seem like we wouldn’t be making any progress. But, as the overall number of online summaries grows, we will sooner or later get to those back issues too.
16) Could you not only do issue summaries, but also post reviews on the issues ? We could, but what’s the use? Does it really matter what the one or the other guy has to say about how he perceived the issue? Would this affect the audience’s ability to make an opinion on their own? Mostly, reviews are a matter of personal taste, for example, if you don’t happen to like the artist’s or writer’s style in general, the review will always tend to be negative, and vice versa. Also, for the most part reviews deteriorate to rankings (“four stars out of five”), but a well-argued opinion based on actual plot points and quotes is much more desirable. That style, however, would be time-taking, time that otherwise could be spend on doing more summaries.
Besides that there are multiple other websites who do reviews, and some of our contributers only got interested in helping out because our summaries are a neutral approach. Our goal is, that after reading a summary, the reader should be able to hold a decent conversation about the issue in question or even tell others what happened. Perhaps they could not recount in the same detail as if they had read the comic itself, but if the summary is written well enough, it can give them the same feel as if they had.
17) The years associated with each issue; for example what year did Uncanny X-Men #232 come out ? Actually that info can be found in the issue summary section. Among other things, the release date is listed along with the plot synopsis.
18) Please do a chronological order of all issues/ or a timeline for the main universe, how where and why all the separate titles intertwine. We are talking about over 3500 issues here – my head goes boom !
Seriously, I’m not sure wether I get the question. Basically there’s two ways to understand it:
a) You want something in terms of release dates, when was each series released, at what point of Uncanny X-Men did the New Mutants, X-Factor and Alpha Flight spin off, etc. If that is the question, then please go back to the answer to Nr. 11 ;)
b) You want some detailed schedule putting each individual issue, not to forget the many flashback scenes, in a chronological order in terms of how the events within the comic books happened chronologically. If that’s the case, then, I’m afraid, the UXM.Net doesn’t have it, and there are currently no plans to do such big a project. However, I can point you to a site called www.chronology.net, they might have the info you are looking for.
19) Add more crossovers, especially the Phalanx, Operation Zero Tolerance and Onslaught. Eventually all crossovers will be summarized, just as we are progressing with our goal to have all x-related issues summarized. However, these specific three crossovers are held back for potential Event Month concepts. Onslaught sure qualifies for an Event all by itself, the other two would fit with a technology-centered theme.