“The Walking Dead” Fan Sites: A Comparison

The Walking Dead - Season 3 - Poster Art - Frank Ockenfels/AMC

Image courtesy of collider.com

As I have stated before, I am kind of a horror buff. It should be no surprise then, that I am a cult follower of AMC’s greatest  zombie infested television series, The Walking Dead (TWD).

The following is a comparison and rating of fan sites dedicated to The Walking Deadand will focus on these factors:

  • Purpose of the Site
  • Usability
  • Visual Appeal
  • Content
  • Advertising

Each of the four sites I have decided to focus on caters to Walking Dead fans in some way.  However, based on their design and content, some are better than others.  While each site has its own separate purpose, they all share the same goal of bringing attention to the series and gathering with other fans.

1) Roamersandlurkers.com

B.G.’s Rating: 5/10

Photo courtesy of "Mrs. DD" and Roamersandlurkers.com

Image courtesy of Mrs. DD of Roamersandlurkers.com

Site Purpose: To discuss TWD with other fans and to post fan fiction.

Usability: Easy to Navigate (clearly labeled sections).

Visual Appeal: Poor.  Very little images on the home page.  A LOT of text.

Content:  Perfect for its viewers.  Contains many discussion forums.

Advertising:  Not targeted at their viewers.

About the Site:

Roamersandlurkers is a forum site that focuses on fan discussion, but also offers a section on fan fiction.  The site is easily navigated and is broken up into many categories and sections.

Sections of this site discuss TWD television series, TWD comic book (which all true fans know the series comes from), TWD games and several other Walking Dead or zombie based topics.

Each section of the site has easy-to-reach subcategories (specific seasons or chapters) with many labeled posts by site members and TWD fans.  However, the lack of images (except in the “Gallery” section), videos or any color other than grey make it hard to be interested enough to click these categories, let alone stick around long enough to read the discussions.

Suggestions for Improvement:

It would be much easier to pay attention to this site if it were at all visually appealing.  With some added images or videos it could be a much more highly visited site.

Also, in order to make some money to pay the designers to improve the visual appeal, I would recommend choosing advertisers that appeal to Walking Dead fans.  During my (short) visit to the site, the only ads I saw were a Lebron James ad for powerade (not a lot of athletes on forum sites) and an ad for Ford trucks…in Spanish (no se hablan).

Perhaps some advertisements for other AMC shows or other zombie related products would help to boost Roamersandlurkers‘ viewership.

2) Walkingdeadlocations.com

B.G.’s Rating: 8/10

georgia twd

Image courtesy of Walkingdeadlocations

Site Purpose: To distribute information about the filming locations of TWD.

Usability: Easy to navigate.  Simple design with clear navigation links.

Visual Appeal: Not bad. Could use more photos on the front page.

Content: Good.  Very unique among fan sites.

Advertising: Aimed at Walking Dead fans.  Mostly ads for TWD DVDs and books.

About the Site:

Walkingdeadlocations brings a different point of view to the world of TWD fandom.  The creators of the site are Georgia residents (where TWD television series is based/filmed) who travel to various filming locations and take pictures.  The site also discusses when and where a filming will take place, how to become an extra on set and information on tours that visit TWD sets.

The site’s simple design allows for maximum eye relief, but does not feature very many photos on each page.  The simple design also makes it easy for a viewer to find the link that they are looking for, and goes even further by making their content easy to view on their “Locations Index” page.

This nifty page displays all of the locations that the site creators have visited, listed in order of when they appeared in the television series.  The site even offers links to Google Maps, so that fans can see exactly where in Georgia the scenes were filmed.

Suggestions for Improvement:

Walkingdeadlocations main purpose is to display images of TWD filming locations.  Therefore, it would be immensely beneficial to the site if the home page offered sample photos of some of the more dramatic or unique locations that the creators have been to.

3) twdfanpage.blogspot.com

B.G.’s Rating: 8/10

twd fanpage

Image courtesy of twdfanpage.blogspot.com

Site Purpose: To display information about TWD for fans.

Usability: Fairly good.  Slightly confusing on the home page.

Visual Appeal: Great.  Very exciting and colorful.  Easy to read

Content: Informative and interesting.

Advertising: None

About the Site:

Twdfanpage is a blog spot dedicated to giving fans in depth information about The Walking Dead television series.  The artwork (featured in the image above) pays homage to the graphic novel roots of TWD.

This site features many photos and videos related to TWD and offers theories for upcoming episodes/seasons.  A major bonus to this site is that it provides links to deleted scenes from the series, so that fans can have even more content. For example, this link in which ex-character Lori is a zombie: http://insidetv.ew.com/2013/08/16/walking-dead-deleted-scene-lori-zombie-season-3/.

The site,however,  is a little behind on the series, and features the (now already started) season 4 trailer:

The visual appeal of Twdfanpage is all in the images and artwork, however, that is also a part of the problem.

The first view that a visitor of the site gets is the image posted above.  The artwork is inspiring, but forces a viewer to have to scroll down in order to view the content.  Also, the date tags placed on each entry are only slightly darker than their backgrounds, making them nearly impossible to spot.

Suggestions for Improvement:

The comic book-esque art that is the only visible thing when a visitor first enters the site could be made into its own page.  This page could have links leading to different sections of the sight (images, videos, predictions, deleted content).  This would make it a less confusing experience for those technologically challenged viewers that may stumble upon the site.

4) Walkingdeadforums.com

B.G.’s Rating: 10/10


Image courtesy of Walkingdeadforums.com

Site Purpose: To discuss EVERYTHING about The Walking Dead

Usability: Great.  Well displayed links and buttons.

Visual Appeal: Perfect.  Slide show, imaged background, red/black theme.

Content: Very in-depth.

Advertising: Seemingly focused at target age group: college-aged people.

About the Site:

Walkingdeadforums goes above and beyond to bring TWD fans everything they could possibly want.  The site’s easy navigation and distinguishable grids make it very pleasing to the eye, and its content leaves nothing to be desired.

Not only does Walkingdeadforums display information about the television series AND the comic books, it also brings viewers loads of TWD merchandise, quotes from other famous people about the series and much more.

The only downside to this site is in the advertising.  Although the site aims at the right crowd (college-aged people) with its advertising of Jimmy John’s sandwiches and Federal Student Aid, it also plays against itself.  This site features the evil of all evils for online readers: video advertisement with sound.  I was intrigued by an article about George Romero calling the show a “soap  opera,” ( video featured below)only to have my interest torn away by a very loud and annoying ad about a product I completely ignored.

Suggestions for Improvement:

No audio/video ads!  Other than that, I enjoy the site thoroughly and regularly.  Now enjoy this video:

Video courtesy of Walkingdeadforums.com

1 Comment

Filed under Entertainment

One response to ““The Walking Dead” Fan Sites: A Comparison

  1. Pingback: The Death of the Horror Film | BGdubsBlog

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