Websites have been utilized by the Club Penguin army community since 2007. With the growth in prominence of Discord as a means of organization, have army websites become obsolete?
The Early Communication Revolutions
Following the foundation of our community’s first armies, such as the Army of Club Penguin and the Romans, leaders sought methods to organize troops as a collective unit. This materialized in the Miniclip Forums, with each army creating their own message boards for communication. Armies would use them for a variety of purposes such as strategizing in war, official announcements, and reporting raids. By early 2007, blogs hosted on WordPress began to replace forums. This was due in large part to the greater personalization offered by WordPress websites, such as posts, pages, and website themes. In conjunction with XAT live chatrooms, the community migrated to WordPress completely following the closure of the Miniclip Forums.
Serving as an official means of communication, WordPress websites allowed an army’s leadership to schedule events, including training sessions and battles. Troops could comment on posts, make their availability known on the event schedule, or participate in “active counts”. Prospective recruits needed to fill out an application on a dedicated joining page. As a result, websites developed into more than a simple way to organize and record history. Message history on XAT chatrooms did not save, making the comment sections of posts an important avenue of communication between individuals.
As the 2017 closure of Disney’s Club Penguin drew closer, the comment sections of websites saw decreased activity. Despite this, blogs remained integral to the foundation and maintenance of an army. From the scheduling of events to declarations of war, websites were invaluable to an army’s success.
The Discord Revolution
By the late 2010s, the growth in popularity of Discord changed the army community irreversibly. Created in 2015, Discord allowed users to create servers for large groups with a specialized interest. Armies such as the Rebel Penguin Federation created their own Discord servers, rendering XAT chatrooms an archaic medium. In addition to live chatting, Discord servers allowed armies to schedule events and gauge possible attendance with ease. Consequentially, army websites had become far less useful. Discord channels and direct messaging also saved message history, leading to the swift death of website comment sections. Due to its immense utility, Discord became indispensable to the organization of all CPPS armies.
With the multi-faceted nature of Discord, many leaders saw little reason to place emphasis on army websites. Blogs became husks of their former glory, maintained only for results posts and official announcements. Though infrequent, some armies have opted to forego website usage altogether. The Templars have become a prime example of a successful army that scarcely uses its website. While army websites are not without uses, it is fair to say that they are no longer the spine of the community. In the wake of the Discord Revolution, blogs have seemingly become an optional novelty.
Answering the Question
The army community has shifted dramatically in structure since its inception. With Discord becoming the primary route for organization, many are left to question the necessity for armies to maintain a website. The effort required to create and update a website may appear redundant when contrasted with Discord and its ease of use. Consequentially, the community lacks a consensus on the matter. Have army websites become an inconsequential remnant of our past, or is this a narrow perspective?
Though army blogs are largely outdated in regards to their previous uses, websites are irreplaceable in the recording of our history. Discord may save message history, but the sheer ocean of information would drown anyone seeking to learn an army’s past. Whether it be historians or curious onlookers, an army website is the best way to dive into the past or observe recent events. To someone interested only in the present day, army websites are indeed pointless. Viewing websites as redundant seemingly neglects the bigger picture. Discord has been inefficient as a method of record keeping, making blog posts a useful way to compile a meaningful timeline. For example, the Club Penguin Army Wiki relies heavily on army posts and history pages to obtain relevant information.
Many will continue to remain divided on the necessity of army blogs. It is my opinion, however, that websites are not pointless. We organize our armies primarily on Discord, but that has not completely eliminated the utility of websites. Unlike XAT and Miniclip Forums, our community has not yet outgrown the use of blogs. Though this could change, websites will remain an important aspect of Club Penguin armies for the foreseeable future.