Where are all of the community features?

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#1 Posted by zyxe (4658 posts) -

I've been an avid GSer for years, and a contributor to the site in many ways, including participating (and headlining) in Chalk Talk and the Awesome User Blogs community features. It should come as no surprise when I lament the removal and lack of clear direction of most of the site's community features. I'd love to know where they've gone and what plans GS has for nurturing the more mature side of the community here.

One feature that brought a lot of users together is blogging, and the ability to track blogs and have a separate feed for blogs was of great importance in fostering this sharing of knowledge and thought amongst many users, especially the more mature ones. I am sincerely hoping that this can be re-implemented in the near future.

Next, another feature having to do with blogs that also brought out the best in the community was the Soapbox and Awesome User Blogs. When I went to CBS Interactive's GameSpot offices over the summer to participate in a meeting of GS users, I was told by Mr. Anderson himself that the community would be highlighted in the site redesign, but I have yet to see evidence of this on the actual site itself, beyond some silly facebook and twitter posts that I don't see bringing users into the actual site itself. This was a big feature that really set GameSpot apart from the rest, and drew many users to contribute and share a wide variety of thoughts and ideas with the site, and it would be a very positive step forward if some iteration of this were implemented (with more control over postings from the community as there were some issues with the AUB and how some users handled it, in my humble opinion).

Lastly, it's my understanding that union boards have still not been carried over. I believe it was promised that union boards whose officers/leader submitted their union to be saved would be placed in the forums, and since it has taken so long without proper explanation of a timeline to set realistic expectations by the user base, this has caused quite an issue within the community. I understand that the numbers showed that unions are a minimal source of site traffic, but if the decision is actually to completely can them, it shouldn't have been promised that they would be transferred. Not setting clearer expectations on this front is causing unrest from users, many of whom have left, though there are still quite a few, from what I've seen, who are holding on and may bring back some of the dissenters should this promise be followed through on.

I do hope that GS lives up to their promises and delivers more on the community front; the community is what has set GameSpot at a higher level than the rest for so long and it would be a shame for this site to lose users through a concession of these valuable community features.

#2 Edited by leon2365 (13050 posts) -

good to see more constructive posts. thanks for the valuable input.

#3 Edited by Danyawesomsauce (105 posts) -

I don't think they're going to bring the AUB back. I was told by Frances on my blog that she and Synthia are just going to pick a blog, review and stack for each of the Community News Updates. It's really sad to see that gone because the AUB was what made me create an account on here in the first place.

#4 Edited by Smashbrossive50 (2882 posts) -

@Danyawesomsauce: no wonder you were fighting for the uncommon +1 Orator of Distinction emblem back before the new site went live,I never actually wanted to be featured myself,because my blogging skill haven't yet reach the big-deal criteria,even if I did,it's too late.I will never win the hearts of viewers because my blog focuses on Sonic's stories that I made rather than gaming matters.

#5 Edited by Ovirew (6314 posts) -

Good post, Zyxe.

I'd also like answers to a lot of this stuff, but so far it seems like this is how Gamespot is going to stay for now.

I still don't know if there's some thread where the GS staff are keeping us regularly updated on their progress. If there is, it sure isn't mainstream knowledge.

#6 Posted by Danyawesomsauce (105 posts) -

@Smashbrossive50: I never really tried to get on the AUB, but I did like reading what was posted on them. In fact, it was Zyxe's What Gamer Are You blog that was the first blog I commented on. After that, I started to become more active in the community and then I found Fuse and was on it just about everyday. But then this "new and improved" design took all that away. This place seems so dead with this new design. It's sad, really.

#7 Posted by zyxe (4658 posts) -

I have faith that through constructive criticism, and through voicing our opinions in a less berating way, we may be able to get something back of what we had before. I'm REALLY hoping so. I don't care if it's the AUB or not, it had its own issues, but SOMETHING is needed to get the community back together or it will surely degrade into what every other site is: a bunch of forums with a few regulars and no cohesiveness.