In Which the Soapbox Makes a Triumphant Return and Amends Are Made

The Soapbox is back and better than ever! Find out all about the changes we've made, learn how you can have your blogs featured on the homepage, and more.

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Those of you who have been around long enough may remember that GameSpot once had a page called the Soapbox that highlighted creative, thought-provoking, fun, or just plain wacky user blog posts and gave them the exposure that they deserved. The problem with this is twofold:

  1. It didn't really do that at all. It highlighted blog posts written by editors and shoved all the great content that was written by our users into the side column in an unwieldy list. Sure, there was a space on the home page that sort of did this, but the page itself didn't really do anything for users.
  2. The Soapbox never went away. It has been here all along, but most people probably didn't know that. After all, the space on the home page went away, and we never really did a great job at helping people find the page.

If you've paid attention to our site over the last couple of years, you'll have noticed that our home page has changed somewhat considerably. Entire sections, such as our carousel, were completely redesigned. Other sections were ripped out and cast aside, seemingly never to return--such was the fate of the Soapbox module.

There were a few reasons, really, why this happened. It wasn't performing particularly well at the time. We needed to make the room. In many ways, it was mostly because both the Soapbox module and its associated page featured antiquated design and functionality that we weren't particularly pleased with--design and functionality that we unfortunately didn't have the time or the resources to improve upon.

And so the Soapbox module was scrapped and the page buried, and though we really did want to get around to improving it so it delivered on what we believed its true vision was, we never did. Though there were users who cried foul and asked for it to be brought back, we were never able to.

Until now…

Mistakes were made, and we totally understand any frustrations that this caused. So to make up for it, we've brought the Soapbox back, and quite frankly, it's better than ever:

  • The term "soapbox" is so…old-timey…that we decided to name it something a bit more modern. So now it's called Awesome User Blogs.
  • We reversed the polarity of the page. It now features user blog posts in the main column and editor blog posts off to the side.
  • We've redesigned the module formally known as the Soapbox and brought it back. Look for it on the home page, platform front doors, and forum hub.

So what are you waiting for?

Head on over to the new Awesome User Blogs page and see what your fellow users have to say about, well, pretty much anything.

And if you've got something to say that you want featured as well, all you have to do is write it down in your blog and mark it as an "Editorial." Our fantastic community team will be picking out the best authors and highlighting their work.

So what do you think? Let us know in the comments below!

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Discussion

33 comments
ShootumUP26
ShootumUP26

Proud to be apart of Soapbox and to see that "we are back". 

gbrading
gbrading moderator

The Prodigal Son returns! Hears to the Soapbox! :)

pokecharm
pokecharm

wow, after a year of grousing with staff and you're finally bringing it back - thank you.

THE_DRUGGIE
THE_DRUGGIE

Wait what, they brought it back?

Well slap me with a trout and call me Ted Bundy, I didn't have anything planned for this so I have to think of something to write about eventually.

nintendo-naut
nintendo-naut

So, so, so happy! Chalk Talk is, in my opinion, kind of a flop. Not because it's not a good idea, but just because no one seems to pay attention to it. :/I'm ecstatic the old format is back! :D 

zyxe
zyxe moderator

now we just need a followed user blog feed in fuse like we have in our standard (non-fuse) profiles. i always log into my standard profile and it shows me the list of newest blogs from my friends, but as far as i know you only see a blog post as a feed item with everything else so it could easily get lost in the mire of posts. the reason i bring that up here is that making blogs more visible where the community exists (fuse) may make all of these features like awesome user blogs and chalk talk even more successful and popular.

Pierst179
Pierst179 moderator

That is awesome news! With Chalk Talk I had given up hope Soapbox would ever make a glorious return, but, all of a sudden, here it is!

 

I love the new format.

nocoolnamejim
nocoolnamejim moderator

As someone who has been advocating for this step ever since the Soapbox was removed from the front page, let me congratulate GS heartily for doing this. While I do feel that this took longer than it should have, I'm thrilled and extremely happy that we've got this back. Kudos to everyone involved in GS's backoffice for making this happen and a hearty thanks.

PixelHunter
PixelHunter

Huzzah! Perhaps now I'll be motivated to continue writing editorial blogs. I haven't put one up since the Soapbox got buried.

Gen_Warbuff
Gen_Warbuff

This, is the best news I have heard in YEARS! Great move GS, well done!

lim_ak
lim_ak

Very cool stuff. Lots of stuff for bloggers between this and Chalk talk.

dannyodwyer
dannyodwyer staff

Great news! Now Unions Lark! Gogogo! ;)

starduke
starduke

Btw, I am liking the new page. MAYBE (that's a big maybe) I'll start blogging again more regularly.

zyxe
zyxe moderator

i like the old name, but the new one is fine. i'm not going to complain if that's the only change that doesn't make me smile ;)

NeonNinja
NeonNinja

I like the new name.  It's so, well, I dunno, new wave or something like that.

-Saigo-
-Saigo-

Brilliant...as long as emblem holders don't get automatic posting privileges. This brought down the quality of the overall work and discouraged new posters from posting. 

GreggD
GreggD

Any word on Unions revival? Because I'd be much more excited about that.

Lhomity
Lhomity

Awesome, indeed. Thank you for doing this.

GreggD
GreggD

I never muched cared for the soapbox. Always seemed like a lot of self-righteousness. Which I suppose should be implied by the name, but it was just wrought with people either patting themselves on the back for a well-written argument or others doing it for them. I know it may not be the popular opinion, it's just how I see it.

jsmoke03
jsmoke03

thats really good. now how to get that soapbox emblem....it is still the soapbox emblem right?

AK_the_Twilight
AK_the_Twilight

Great feature. Meh name. Can't wait to see the cool blogs either way.

Fembot_Eulogy
Fembot_Eulogy

Awesome User Blogs???? Seriously? Tacky!! But anyway, I've never blogged, and maybe it's about time I started. Thanks for this. (I just don't have the foggiest what to blog about)

jeivindr
jeivindr

I miss this section.. Good thing it's back!

g1rldraco7
g1rldraco7

Good to know, alot of work done to get this going again. Hope it does better this time :)

DigitalDame
DigitalDame moderator moderatorstaff

Not to sound like the Resident Evil guys or anything but... If there is a loud enough rally of support you might be surprised what were willing to come out with. 

DigitalDame
DigitalDame moderator moderatorstaff

 @-Saigo- Well it is about featuring editorials written by awesome blogger members, perhaps if a user feels that there are members that aren't "worthy" of the emblem they could make stronger efforts to help maintain quality in other ways *like posting more blogs*. We're open to suggestions. 

zyxe
zyxe moderator

 @GreggD i agree, but at least this is a step in the right direction of continuing to keep gamespot as more of a community site rather than just an informational gaming site. i do hope that unions get love soon, that's the number one reason i was active on this site for my first few years here.

THE_DRUGGIE
THE_DRUGGIE

 @GreggD Oh come on, we're not self-congratulatory.

 

We're just the best writers in history and think everyone should stare in awe at our prose so we can be President of Forever for life.

GreggD
GreggD

 @zyxe

 Same for me, I was taken in by the Castlevania Ultima Union, and over time, I ended up becoming the leader. I'm sad that my union has been so inactive for so long. :(