Requested - An update on returning Soapbox to main page

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#1 Posted by nocoolnamejim (15136 posts) -
Hello all. It's been roughly three months since the Soapbox became a casualty of the new site design and was buried into obscurity in the new site map organization. When the new design was rolled out, this change was among the top vote getters for changing back. Based on this, users were given feedback that the Soapbox would be given a more prominent location sometime soon. It has now been three months and I wanted to check in on the status of "soon" and if any further developments have been finalized on when and where the Soapbox would find a new home. As it just so happens, I know exactly where the new home should be. It should be exactly where the OLD home was on the right-hand side of the main page. It can be right underneath the "The Calendar" and above the recently added "Gamespot Fuse" item. This is a perfect spot for it for a couple of reasons: 1. The Soapbox, as envisioned, is intended to isolate and elevate the best writers and opinion-makers on the site. Basically, it serves a very similar purpose to what "Gamespot Fuse - See what your friends and gamers are saying and playing" does. The only difference is that it specifically isolates the most high-value contributors who add top-level content to the site rather than having random brand-new users that nobody knows on the main page.

Don't get me wrong, the individual I linked to may be a very nice one, but he's also a Level 4 user with exactly ONE follower. At this point in his career, he doesn't have any friends and therefore it is unlikely that people care about what he's saying or playing. Now, that may very well be the point. This Gamespot Fuse item serves a purpose of randomly giving individual community members their "moment in the sun" so to speak by random selection, but that purpose is very different from the one that the Soapbox served. 2. The Soapbox has synergy in that spot with Gamespot Fuse below it because then you are serving both purposes. You've got a place for both the continually high value contributions of the most prominent users of the site, but also a spot to highlight random new people so that users can make additional connections and be exposed to individuals that they might never meet if Fuse wasn't featured. In other words, you have the best of both worlds. As it stands right now, there's no real incentive for individuals like, say, GabuEx to put in the time/effort to write high value editorials like this one because only their normal readers will be exposed to it.
#2 Posted by nocoolnamejim (15136 posts) -
Hey all. Hope you don't mind a thread bump. I waited a week before bumping.
#3 Posted by fabz_95 (15424 posts) -
A lot of people wanted it when it was removed and I'm sure they'd still support it now, I support this.
#4 Posted by michaelP4 (16680 posts) -
I quite often forget about the soapbox. I support this idea as well. Some really good articles can be read in there.
#5 Posted by nintendo-naut (8543 posts) -
I am for this 100%. There's zero reason for me to write editorials anymore with the Soapbox stashed in some dark corner of the site that no one ever visits.
#6 Posted by Smoov_B (1129 posts) -
Step one... Bring back Soapbox. Step two... Abandon Fuse. Step three... Replace Fuse link with Soapbox. Seriously, it seems like Gamespot is trying to push all its social aspects to Fuse. Like it's trying to make a Facebook for gaming. Only thing is, that's exactly what Gamespot is (or was anyway). There's simply no need for Fuse. I don't need another site to follow games or friends blogs because Gamespot already does that. It seems like for the past year or so Gamespot has been trying to more and more like other popular social and user centric sites such as Facebook and Giant Bomb. GS has pushed news feeds and game updates. Its tried to go for a simpler, content focused design which is essentially just a list of game updates. Yet with each change, GS' element of community gets pushed aside. I can go anywhere for game news. Joystiq for instance often has more relevant news and posts it faster. But Gamespot's niche has always been its community. No other game site (until Giant Bomb came along) enabled its users to contribute so much. Follow games, add Wishlists, Collections, personal blog posts, Soapbox, community forums, game forums, private group forums, follow people, collect achievements. Why are these community features slowly dying out? The forums haven't gotten a meaningful update in years. Obviously this is more than just Soapbox not appearing on the main page any longer, but the problem goes much deeper and it's disturbing. Frankly, without Gamespot's community I can't see a reason to use the site over any other game news site. Stop trying to push Fuse. Get back to what Gamespot great to begin with. Reincorporate Raptr or something similar (why was that removed?). Your goal should be to make Gamespot the first place for games, news, and friends. Not a collection of inadequate mini-sites.
#7 Posted by Ohaidere (3162 posts) -

Yeah I'd like to see it return as well; it was easily my favorite feature.

#8 Posted by Bozanimal (2483 posts) -

Forget about it, Jim, it's not worth it. Gamespot just isn't the same place it was in 2007. It was one thing to dismiss the Gerstmanngate doomsayers back in the day, it's another when someone like GabuEx heads for the door.

Just forget about it. The Soapbox is done.

Boz

#9 Posted by JodyR (16412 posts) -

We have someone else assisting with this special feature now, and things are going to happen. I'll follow-up as soon as we have more details tomorrow.

Thanks for your continued patience.

#10 Posted by michaelP4 (16680 posts) -
I was looking for this thread, and to my surprise, it's stickied! Thanks for the update Jody! Wasn't sure if anything was going to happen or not.
#11 Posted by Vari3ty (11111 posts) -

100% support moving it back to the main page. No offense to whoever designed the site, but having it stashed in the culture section just does not work.

#14 Posted by THE_DRUGGIE (24964 posts) -

Any entries I make now don't draw much attention anymore (dropped from 50-150 comments on average to 15) so there really isn't any difference between having or not having the emblem now.

Also, I agree that Fuse should be taken out. It's as useful as...well, Fuse. I can't come up with an equal comparison.

#15 Posted by Horgen (110151 posts) -
Good to hear something is changing about this.
#16 Posted by nocoolnamejim (15136 posts) -

We have someone else assisting with this special feature now, and things are going to happen. I'll follow-up as soon as we have more details tomorrow.

Thanks for your continued patience.

JodyR
Hey Jody or Synthia. I know you two are both extremely busy. I don't envy the schedules you two have mentioned. But is there any chance of an update on this front? It's been about two months and this is (or was) a VERY popular feature on Gamespot. Is it really that hard just to put the Soapbox back on the main page for the site's programmers/designers?
#17 Posted by nocoolnamejim (15136 posts) -
*taps the microphone to see if it is on*
#18 Posted by Vari3ty (11111 posts) -

*taps the microphone to see if it is on*nocoolnamejim

Heh. Just what I was thinking. So much for this happening anytime soon... go figure. :roll:

#19 Posted by THE_DRUGGIE (24964 posts) -

It's a no, then.

It would be nice to at least have confirmation of this, but we can all assume at this point that it will never happen since professing how many people like you on Facebook is more important than showing some good user-generated content for the site.

#20 Posted by DigitalDame (4072 posts) -

Your words pain me Druggie, Its being worked on. And I know you all are tired of hearing that same song. But you can do one of two things. A: Believe it or B: Continue to state that we don't care about user generated content despite the late night followed by early morning efforts of your CM's.

EVERY meeting we bring up when we're going to see it again.

I urge people to continue writing their passionate blogs about what they want the site to be. @ people like Jody and Myself, your voices are important. Imagine if you will that moment in Horton Hears a Who. Where they are all shouting.

#21 Posted by nocoolnamejim (15136 posts) -

Your words pain me Druggie, Its being worked on. And I know you all are tired of hearing that same song. But you can do one of two things. A: Believe it or B: Continue to state that we don't care about user generated content despite the late night followed by early morning efforts of your CM's.

EVERY meeting we bring up when we're going to see it again.

I urge people to continue writing their passionate blogs about what they want the site to be. @ people like Jody and Myself, your voices are important. Imagine if you will that moment in Horton Hears a Who. Where they are all shouting.

Synthia
Hey Synthia. Believe it or not, I've been checking here often to see an update and I really appreciate your brief update about how you and Jody continue to push for this. Thank you for the work you two are putting in to try and make this a top priority. I really do think that this, combined with some of the recent ToU changes, are very positive steps towards the revitalization of our little community. Thanks for checking in here and giving us a little heads up that this isn't forgotten.
#23 Posted by THE_DRUGGIE (24964 posts) -

Your words pain me Druggie, Its being worked on. And I know you all are tired of hearing that same song. But you can do one of two things. A: Believe it or B: Continue to state that we don't care about user generated content despite the late night followed by early morning efforts of your CM's.

EVERY meeting we bring up when we're going to see it again.

I urge people to continue writing their passionate blogs about what they want the site to be. @ people like Jody and Myself, your voices are important. Imagine if you will that moment in Horton Hears a Who. Where they are all shouting.

Synthia

It's January 2012 and still nothing, so I will go with option B.

Nothing against you, it's just that the rest of the people who run GS don't care if it keeps getting put off.

#24 Posted by Vari3ty (11111 posts) -

Well it's now January 2012, and this thread was made at the beginning of August last year, so... I predict that by October 2015, the Soapbox will finally be moved back to the main page!

#25 Posted by michaelP4 (16680 posts) -
Try to have some faith guys. Union levels and emblems, as well as other bugs have been fixed recently. Although I have no proof, I do believe that those things only happened because of the behind the scenes efforts by the CMs, arduously lobbying on our behalf. Be patient for more things to come, as I'm sure they will, when you least expect it.
#26 Posted by DigitalDame (4072 posts) -

Here is an update, one of the big fish of GameSpot recently posted a blog about the "changes" going on here at GameSpot

Our community tools are old and very much in need of overhauling - and I know that's something that has been said numerous times without much apparent change. Believe me, change IS coming - it just takes a long time.

#28 Posted by adrigt (253 posts) -

I don't know why all these changes are happening to the site ( no more game boards , etc etc.) but i assume since usually that's the case , to make the site more friendly , casual and social. So if this is indeed the case why is the Soap box still hidden and dying when it was one of the few things that made gamestop feel like it could indeed make your homepage (maybe lol). Soap box made the community stronger and made the site feel more social and family-like. I also suggest the daily poll is back , it added fun to the site and something new each day can't be bad. Gamefaqs is becoming the superior version...

#29 Posted by Shmoe82 (672 posts) -
The soapbox was one of my favorite parts of the site; it gave me a chance to see if others disliked something I didn't or vise a versa. It also exposed me to things that I didn't know anything about. I haven't been to this site much in a year + (busy, you know how that goes) and the soapbox missing was easily one of the first things I new that was gone. Don't know when it left but I hope to see its return soon.
#30 Posted by DigitalDame (4072 posts) -

After a long long time we have finally managed to showcase the blogs of GameSpot users on the front page via the "Chalk Talk" feature. Go check it out and let us know what you think.

#31 Posted by Vari3ty (11111 posts) -

After a long long time we have finally managed to showcase the blogs of GameSpot users on the front page via the "Chalk Talk" feature. Go check it out and let us know what you think.

Synthia

Maybe I'm just not seeing it but where exactly is this on the front page? Currently I'm only seeing it when I go under "Soapbox" and then find it from there.

#32 Posted by DigitalDame (4072 posts) -

It was on the front page of the GameSpot news feed for a little over two days.

chalktalkexposure_56909_screen.jpg

#33 Posted by nocoolnamejim (15136 posts) -
Thank you Gamespot.
#34 Posted by der_spudmeister (607 posts) -
Thank you Gamespot.nocoolnamejim
Yeah, I've just noticed this too! :D First Chalk Talk and now Awesome User Blogs... It's great to see the community featured so prominently again. Long overdue, but great nonetheless :)