I visit a lot of message boards, and I've noticed that they tend to fall into a few different categories. Destructiod falls into the one I'm least comfortable/familiar with, so I thought maybe y'all could explain the appeal of this style?
I'll begin by describing the styles I'm familiar with:
1 - Question-based boards. These are places like gameFAQs, or game-specific boards run by publishers/developers. These tend to have 5-20 posts per thread, and new threads pop up at a rate of 10+ a day. People are often hoping to get authoritative answers to questions, though sometimes it's just a discussion of some relevant topic.
2 - List-based boards. BoardGameGeek is the best example here. Each thread is a list of something - defined by the topic of the thread. (The destructoid thread "I've never owned a SNES - what games should I play" is a good example)
3 - Long threads. (Destructoid seems to be in this category, as is Penny-Arcade) Thread topics are tremendously wide, and posters are discouraged from creating a new thread which infringes on an established topic. As a result, threads go on for years.
I guess I don't quite understand the appeal of #3 - when I post into a topic with 500+ pages of posts I'm not sure what I'm really doing - should I read the OP? Am I just responding to the last 3-4 posts? This style can also lead to really heave moderation (Penny-Arcade an Shoryuken suffer from this) where 50% of the time any new thread I try to create is deleted immediately.
I really respect the fact that Destructoid seems to kill threads by ignoring them. Being struck down by a mod feels arbitrary, but being ignored by a whole community sends a pretty clear message.
So - can anyone explain to me how and why Destructoid's forums are the way they are? Was there a specific plan? Do these styles just evolve independently? Is anyone trying to change the style? I love a good meta-discussion.