Howdy folks! I'm sure many of you expected an instalment about the GB Civil War, unfortunately there was too much of that to handle at the moment, so instead I bring you a lesser known incident. So without further ado, it's time once again for another thrilling instalment of...
Notable and Interesting Events from the History of the Giant Bomb CommunityPrevious instalments in this series include:
1. Persona 4 Endurance Run Ep. 50 Uproar
2. The Modelling Gig
3. ItalyCanadian9 Gets Exposed
4. His Name is Endogene
The day is February 4th, 2010. The site had recently had an update in which one of the features was a new Facebook integration option. This new feature allows friends on Facebook to know what you're up to on Giant Bomb, if you allow it to do so. One notable forum user, Sweep posted a blog airing his views on this. He posts his opinion on the Facebook feature and ponders the separation between Giant Bomb and the real world. His own life is the example he uses to question why someone would think of linking Facebook to Giant Bomb. To him, Giant Bomb is his own personal domain where he can geek out. He wouldn't want any of his real life friends, family, colleagues to know about any random postings at 2am in the morning. He concludes by saying how ironic it is that it would be easier for people on Facebook to find his blog posting than people on Giant Bomb unless it were attached to the forums.
The blog seemed to have been misconstrued as a blog bashing the new Facebook connectivity feature. Some users have told him to ignore it, while others discuss the use of Facebook connectivity. All appeared well until Dave Snider came in to read the blog. Unless you haven't already figured it out, Dave is a staff member responsible for the design, technical details and engineering of the site. So he was involved in all site updates. Apparently he perceived this blog post as a challenge to his manhood, and he launches into a tirade ranging from the integrity of the website, to pressures from advertisers. It was quite a surprise for those users that saw it.
I think every felt the passion that Dave put in his typing. Although misdirected, as the point of his blog was to ask the question "How many people will use this feature and why?" This might not have been clear from the beginning, but knowing Sweep he had no malicious intent. Snide and Sweep are cool now, no grudges. This blog came at a time where community content was being pushed for recognition (Giant Bomb Civil War). So no doubt it was a trying time for everyone.
" Show me one place on Giant Bomb where we force your content onto Facebook? Show me one place where we don't ask you to click a button to push your content somewhere. Find the place where Giant Bomb spams you. Find the preference that sends you tons of email as a new user without your permission.
Reality: Facebook is huge. It's the largest site in the world. We can't avoid it. It's just there and people use it everyday. There are many ways this integration could have gone down. We could have forced every comment/post/review you made to automatically push to facebook and twitter. We could have been THAT company. We didn't. We did the best we could. We made it no more than 25 pixels in height and asked you if you wanted to share your content with others instead of just doing it without your permission. We asked you to not only push one button, but push many other buttons after that to make sure you were OK with it. We did this because we hate when other websites force that decision on us.
Facebook is what it is. You having to see a very small blue button on your page is not the end of the world. This is beyond reactionary. It's just silly. Will we eventually add a preference to turn them off? Yeah, probably, when we're done capitulating to the dozens of other bugs we deal with on a daily basis. When have we not caved into user concern over this kind of stuff? When has Giant Bomb not been the site that doesn't take ethical user procedures to heart? When have we not been clean with our audience about our intentions? We have fucking preferences to turn off god damned editorial off from OUR OWN message board, how does that even make sense? That's why you are here, because we're not fucking IGN. But to simply assume in so calice a tone that we're evil for giving people the option to share their interests with their friends is just wrong.
Seriously. Show me one place on this site where we don't expressly ask your permission for something. Show me one place where the action you took requires an extra click of bullshit to get through. It doesn't exist. I know because I designed every part of it. And it was designed with a purpose. To be the best mother-fucking best gaming website in the world. We're either that or we're some evil monopoly forcing ad, Twitter, Email and Facebook spam on you without your permission.
This is the most ethical site on the Internet of its size. From its Editorial team to its Engineering team. Sweep. Love you tons, followed your stuff and you've been an amazing contributor to the site over the years. But you're just wrong here. We've done nothing to your experience but add a couple avoidable small footprint buttons to the site. You're over-reacting. You're causing a fuss.
As for your community rants over the past couple weeks. Giant Bomb is no different than the rest of the Internet. If you want to have your shit seen, you need to market yourself. We provide the best tools we can to allow you to create your content, but it's up to you to make sure that content is viewed. That is not our responsibility. I didn't sit on GeoCities for years trying to plug my Xwing VS TIE Fighter site, I went outside to other sites to try and get my stuff seen. There's really only so much we can do. Show me a large editorial site that does it better and I'll do my best to imitate it. Fuck man. Show me one site that even allows your blog to be broadcast outside of a profile page!
You've got plenty of options when it comes to gaming sites. Gamespot, 1up, IGN and the like. When it comes to community, I know we're better. So do you. You want a site that focuses on the community over the editorial? Go to any of our game pages. You'll see small summaries of editorial comment and large sections of community content. That was and is still fucking risky for us. We get shit about it every day from advertisers. Show me one other editorial game site (scratch that, editorial site in general) where you can search for a topic and see the editorial content as the minority of the page layout. I'm not talking wikipedia, this site has professional, best of breed reviewers. We're literally gagging them on game pages to push user content forward. It's insane. We shouldn't be doing it. But we realize our content gets stale and only a thriving community of fans can keep game pages fresh.
As for everyone who doesn't want their "friends" to know about their life on Giant Bomb... you have two options. Find better friends who accept you as you are or don't click the small ass buttons that pop up. It's a pretty easy decision. But don't blame Giant Bomb because you're trying to hide your passions from your friends. Do not be afraid of who you are.
Gaming is fucking cool. Don't be ashamed. IceWind Dale II love needs to be spread! "
You can read the blog post here. Dave's post is on the third page with comments going first to last.
Looking back, do any of you use the Facebook/Giant Bomb connectivity? Have you seen a staff member react so intensely to a thread before?
For those wondering, my next instalment will be coinciding with E3. Think of what happened during an E3 in the community and you'll know what I'll be covering (Pending approval with the mods). Beyond that, a few suggestions would be very helpful.