In case you didn’t hear about it, Coach 34, one of the founders of the Mississippi State message board Elitedawgs.com, created quite a stir yesterday with his post about “The Ole Miss Recruiting Playbook”. It was actually posted on Sunday the 25th, but it didn’t cause such a firestorm until Monday when it found its way to Reddit. Then it blew up and had so many people talking about it. Even Bo Bounds spent a large portion of his show on Tuesday morning discussing the post.
I’m not here to discuss the legitimacy of what Coach said on the board. I don’t know where he gets his information, and since I don’t know where it comes from, I’m not going to tell you that he is right or wrong. This has nothing to do with the legitimacy of anything discussed on Elitedawgs. I go to a lot of different message boards, but rarely post on any of them. What is important is how Elitedawgs is the Mack truck of message boards.
Understand that to be the one wielding the big stick, you have to remember the purpose of a message board. The point is to draw as many eyeballs to the sight as possible. It accomplishes that goal as well as any other message board that exists. This is why they have so many loyal posters. But how do they do it?
The moderators there have very few rules about the posts that can be displayed or the direction that a thread can go, but they enforce them wholeheartedly. If you want to post there, then you have to play by their rules. But the one rule that constantly drives people to their site is as simple as can be
They don’t play around with this at all. If they even think someone is a Rebel, they get kicked and their account gets locked down. The purpose is to allow Bulldog fans to discuss things they want to discuss without hearing from the rival fan base. There are lots of Ole Miss fans who say they are on there posting as fake Bulldog fans, but they have to constantly post positive things about Mississippi State and run down Ole Miss to keep from getting kicked off the board. I don’t really understand why they do, but to each his own. So how can not allowing Ole Miss fans drive the traffic up to Elitedawgs?
It’s complicated but it works. Elitedawgs posters will discuss lots of different topics, but the topic that always draws the most attention is whenever they go all in on Ole Miss. Since Ole Miss fans can’t respond directly to anything posted there, they have to go to other mediums like Twitter, Facebook, or their own message boards. The more it gets discussed in these other forums, the more that Ole Miss fans go to click on it. The more Ole Miss fans discuss their opinion on them in these other forums, the more Bulldogs fans go to see what has so many people worked up. There are message boards that don’t allow fans of opposing schools to post on their site, but most of those are private boards. I don’t know a whole lot of people who are going to pay to join a board of a team that isn’t their favorite. Other boards just don’t get the same attention in social media because anyone can join those boards and talk about them. The people who post on other message boards will tell you they get a better, more well rounded discussion. The guys at Elitedawgs will tell you all you do is end up arguing with Ole Miss fans who ruin the board. Everyone has their personal preference.
Let me also be clear that there are plenty of Mississippi State fans who hate the site just as much as Ole Miss fans. It isn’t for everyone. The people who post there use profanity and have no problems being critical of the administration or the coaches. If they don’t like the way a player played, they will say how they feel, and they aren’t going to mince words about it. It’s a board that has a very unique audience but there is definitely an audience for these types of discussions. This is why the board has thrived for as long as it has.
As long as Elitedawgs exists, they are going to continue to express their own opinions about Ole Miss and how they operate. And the more they do, the more Ole Miss fans are going to see what is being said. You don’t have to like what they say or how they operate. A lot of people don’t. But as long as the 1st Amendment exists, they will continue to exercise their right to say what they want. And the more they do, people are going to keep going to see what all the fuss is about.