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Posted by Sweep (8830 posts) -

I have used giantbomb a long time (since launch), so I think I have earned the right to speak up about what I feel are the problems with giantbomb. Also to suggest ways of fixing them. Here are some of my biggest giantbomb beefs:

COMMUNITY MANAGEMENT

The community lacks direction and composure. There are hundreds of great writers, reviewers, active members, who's contributions to the site go un-noticed. What the site needs is a place where all the best user-created aspects of the site are collected and displayed in a way that makes it easy for the users of Giantbomb to navigate. At the moment ZombiePie is doing a fucking stellar job maintaining the Community Spotlight on the forums, and as such I would like to put him forward for the role of Community Manager. A community manager is not a mod; their job is to promote, not to police. A community manager would basically put forward content which they feel deserves to be seen by a wider audience. The best user-generated content of the site would then be directed into a more accessible page to make it easier for people to find. It would be sort of like an RSS feed of all the best user generated content on Giantbomb.
 

THE BLOGS

I have said this many times before and i'm going to keep saying it until something happens; Blogs are fucking nuked on this website. In order for a person to find the blog of a user they are not currently following they must find that blog on the forums. But, as I have said before, a lot of the best blogs aren't suitable for the forums. You can combine the way they are posted but a Blog Post and a Forum Post are entirely different entities. The difference being that a Blog post should be a personal explanation whereas a Forum Post should promote discussion. Also not all the blogs written on giantbomb are written about videogames. SO, the situation we currently have is that there are dozens of great blogs being written every day that are being completely ignored. What this basically means is that writers lose the confidence in their work and stop writing altogether.
For a start, there is no need for "Followed Blogs" to be both on my profile page and the homepage. The Homepage should go back to displaying the "Community Blogs" that currently only appears on the homepage when nobody is logged into the site.
 

USER REVIEWS

When was the last time you read a User Review? A long fucking time ago i'll bet, unless it was posted in a blog - the fact that people are posting their reviews in blogs is perhaps the best demonstration of how the actual review section of the site is being ignored. I propose that there is a section of the site put aside for "Top 5 User Written Reviews Of The Week". Under every Review there is currently the option of clicking "Did you find this review helpful?" - how about we culminate the most useful reviews and stick them somewhere people can find them. The "Featured User Review" on the homepage is a good start, but considering the wealth of great reviews being written on the site you would have thought it deserved a more prominent position than the bottom of the page.
 

THE LAYOUT

For every problem presented there are always cop-out solutions. These are usually hidden behind menus and, unless explained, are pretty abstract. For example did you know you can find a list of all the content written on Giantbomb under the Users > Activity Feed option? I did. Do you know how often I use that feature of the site? Never. Because it's a fucking hassle. I don't want to sift through an endless list of random junk. I want clear concise categories that make finding what I want easy. At the moment the list is cluttered with "This person is now following this person!" and twitter spam. The activity feed needs filters to display only one type of activity: Blogs, Reviews, whatever. And then put that feed in a more obvious position so I don't keep forgetting about it.
 
I'm not just going to bitch about the site because, lets face it, I fucking live here. So I spent some time on photoshop and I would like to invite you all to see:

Project BombShelter:

 
  
As you can see the point of a community page like this would be to promote and make sure the great user-generated content of giantbomb is being found.

 
Let me know what you think.
 
Thanks For Reading
Love Sweep
Moderator
#1 Posted by Sweep (8830 posts) -

I have used giantbomb a long time (since launch), so I think I have earned the right to speak up about what I feel are the problems with giantbomb. Also to suggest ways of fixing them. Here are some of my biggest giantbomb beefs:

COMMUNITY MANAGEMENT

The community lacks direction and composure. There are hundreds of great writers, reviewers, active members, who's contributions to the site go un-noticed. What the site needs is a place where all the best user-created aspects of the site are collected and displayed in a way that makes it easy for the users of Giantbomb to navigate. At the moment ZombiePie is doing a fucking stellar job maintaining the Community Spotlight on the forums, and as such I would like to put him forward for the role of Community Manager. A community manager is not a mod; their job is to promote, not to police. A community manager would basically put forward content which they feel deserves to be seen by a wider audience. The best user-generated content of the site would then be directed into a more accessible page to make it easier for people to find. It would be sort of like an RSS feed of all the best user generated content on Giantbomb.
 

THE BLOGS

I have said this many times before and i'm going to keep saying it until something happens; Blogs are fucking nuked on this website. In order for a person to find the blog of a user they are not currently following they must find that blog on the forums. But, as I have said before, a lot of the best blogs aren't suitable for the forums. You can combine the way they are posted but a Blog Post and a Forum Post are entirely different entities. The difference being that a Blog post should be a personal explanation whereas a Forum Post should promote discussion. Also not all the blogs written on giantbomb are written about videogames. SO, the situation we currently have is that there are dozens of great blogs being written every day that are being completely ignored. What this basically means is that writers lose the confidence in their work and stop writing altogether.
For a start, there is no need for "Followed Blogs" to be both on my profile page and the homepage. The Homepage should go back to displaying the "Community Blogs" that currently only appears on the homepage when nobody is logged into the site.
 

USER REVIEWS

When was the last time you read a User Review? A long fucking time ago i'll bet, unless it was posted in a blog - the fact that people are posting their reviews in blogs is perhaps the best demonstration of how the actual review section of the site is being ignored. I propose that there is a section of the site put aside for "Top 5 User Written Reviews Of The Week". Under every Review there is currently the option of clicking "Did you find this review helpful?" - how about we culminate the most useful reviews and stick them somewhere people can find them. The "Featured User Review" on the homepage is a good start, but considering the wealth of great reviews being written on the site you would have thought it deserved a more prominent position than the bottom of the page.
 

THE LAYOUT

For every problem presented there are always cop-out solutions. These are usually hidden behind menus and, unless explained, are pretty abstract. For example did you know you can find a list of all the content written on Giantbomb under the Users > Activity Feed option? I did. Do you know how often I use that feature of the site? Never. Because it's a fucking hassle. I don't want to sift through an endless list of random junk. I want clear concise categories that make finding what I want easy. At the moment the list is cluttered with "This person is now following this person!" and twitter spam. The activity feed needs filters to display only one type of activity: Blogs, Reviews, whatever. And then put that feed in a more obvious position so I don't keep forgetting about it.
 
I'm not just going to bitch about the site because, lets face it, I fucking live here. So I spent some time on photoshop and I would like to invite you all to see:

Project BombShelter:

 
  
As you can see the point of a community page like this would be to promote and make sure the great user-generated content of giantbomb is being found.

 
Let me know what you think.
 
Thanks For Reading
Love Sweep
Moderator
#2 Posted by mikmanner (91 posts) -

Wow you have such energy, should put it to good use! Make a game or something

#3 Posted by turbomonkey138 (4950 posts) -

Wow i was expecting to see you complain about the forum like most people do . Bomb shelter is a great idea :D

#4 Posted by Max_Antrax (107 posts) -

Yeah i agree that stuff is fucked up they should really change some stuff too make the community a bigger part of GB

#5 Posted by Jensonb (1722 posts) -

I'm Jensonb & I Approve This Message.

#6 Edited by dankempster (2249 posts) -

HEAR HEAR! You have my support, Sweepster! Where's the petition I have to sign?

#7 Posted by Red12b (9081 posts) -
@turbomonkey138 said:
"Wow i was expecting to see you complain about the forum like most people do . Bomb shelter is a great idea :D "

This is sweep we are talking about, he don't bitch without offering solutions,
 

I agree completely Sweep, 
And that Photoshop of what things could be is amazing, 
 
+1 vote to sweep's Idea, Snide make it so!  

#8 Posted by ColumnBreaker (1159 posts) -

I demand featured user reviews with various star ratings!

#9 Posted by AhmadMetallic (18955 posts) -

very cool thoughts and the bombshelter will probably encourage me more to read community entries.. SWEEP FOR PRESIDENT

#10 Posted by MattBodega (1903 posts) -

This is an excellent mock up, but, at the same time, don't you think that your page violates one of the key points of your argument?  This Bomb Shelter page is just another page. You may many fair arguments about the site layout, but your own suggestion seems to be a whole new page entirely, whereas many of the features you want (Access to blogs, seeing things promoted to the front page, like user reviews) is already on the front page. 
Your argument is salient, make no mistake: the community presence on Giant Bomb deserves a boost in visibility and access, if only to encourage more people to get invested in the site and be more thoughtful/attached to the content they produce. The whole "point" of the community part of Giant Bomb is centered around a desire to make content, be they wiki pages, lists, blogs, or whatever weird thing you want to be making. However, because of the focus on Giant Bomb's editorial offerings, the site squanders good opportunities to give users the incentive to actually make that content. Building a thoughtful, active community of users who WANT to make content only serves to forward Giant Bomb's wiki, it's guide section, and it's selection of writers, and it would all help to build a community united around more than just the Bombcast inside joke of the week.
Great post!

#11 Posted by CaptainObvious (2995 posts) -

Groovy!

#12 Posted by Sweep (8830 posts) -
@MattBodega said:
" This is an excellent mock up, but, at the same time, don't you think that your page violates one of the key points of your argument?  This Bomb Shelter page is just another page. You may many fair arguments about the site layout, but your own suggestion seems to be a whole new page entirely, whereas many of the features you want (Access to blogs, seeing things promoted to the front page, like user reviews) is already on the front page.  Your argument is salient, make no mistake: the community presence on Giant Bomb deserves a boost in visibility and access, if only to encourage more people to get invested in the site and be more thoughtful/attached to the content they produce. The whole "point" of the community part of Giant Bomb is centered around a desire to make content, be they wiki pages, lists, blogs, or whatever weird thing you want to be making. However, because of the focus on Giant Bomb's editorial offerings, the site squanders good opportunities to give users the incentive to actually make that content. Building a thoughtful, active community of users who WANT to make content only serves to forward Giant Bomb's wiki, it's guide section, and it's selection of writers, and it would all help to build a community united around more than just the Bombcast inside joke of the week. Great post! "
People would want to make good content a lot more if they had a better chance of it being seen. Instead of having to look at 20 different pages I thought a single page with all the best stuff was an easy way of sorting it out.
 
I would also like to add that ZombiePie does as much of this stuff as he can do already, just unofficially. He is my hero <3
Moderator
#13 Posted by Jensonb (1722 posts) -

ZombiePie is indisputably awesome. He is a a badass, benevolent and truly outstanding guy who would be absolutely perfect for this purpose.

#14 Posted by armaan8014 (5337 posts) -
@Sweep: Im with you! The photoshop work u have done would be great if turned into reality!
Let's hope this happens
#15 Posted by Rallier (1739 posts) -

Hope that this or something similar happens but I've got little faith in it.

#16 Posted by crunchUK (5963 posts) -

The problem with giantbomb is that everybody is so boring these days and there's just an endless brief of generic MW2 threads or yet another thread about what somebody thinks about an upcoming game. The fun of internet forums is all gone, basically.

#17 Posted by Rowr (5487 posts) -

someone promote sweep already. 
 
also i own the rights to "bombshelter", i haz copyrights.

#18 Posted by Sweep (8830 posts) -

lol "Project BS"

Moderator
#19 Edited by FelixLighter (206 posts) -
@ColumnBreaker: That could becoming confusing, a star rating of a star rating.  I would think an Amazon-like system would work better (23 of 40 users recommend this review).
#20 Posted by Max_Antrax (107 posts) -
@crunchUK said:
" The problem with giantbomb is that everybody is so boring these days and there's just an endless brief of generic MW2 threads or yet another thread about what somebody thinks about an upcoming game. The fun of internet forums is all gone, basically. "
Not everything is about MW2 or an upcoming game some people really make interesting things and they should get more attention thats were this is for. 
#21 Posted by StarFoxA (5140 posts) -

That community page looks great but... where is the space for great wiki pages?

#22 Edited by Meltac (1999 posts) -

  @Ahmad_Metallic said:

" very cool thoughts and the bombshelter will probably encourage me more to read community entries.. SWEEP FOR PRESIDENT "

Exactly what I was thinking :D
#23 Posted by Sweep (8830 posts) -
@StarFoxA said:
" That community page looks great but... where is the space for great wiki pages? "
fuck I knew I forgot something ><
Moderator
#24 Edited by Red12b (9081 posts) -

What I think contributes to the problem is that there is no breakdown, As Sweep has said there are no Categories for Community made content, I follow people for different reasons, Reviews, Blogs, Forum threads, and a few friends that I have made here and talk to frequently, If this proposal gets off the ground, Categories should be a main focus,

There are some people I follow and they make brilliant Blogs but I mostly don’t see on the forums, and then there are people that I haven’t followed yet but read their Blogs quite regularly, I don’t want to add to many people to my following list, as then that becomes to cluttered and defeats it’s purpose, which in turn then defeats the purpose of the follow option,

I see no reason for this not to work, Although this has been brought up before by multiple people, and even some people have even taken the initiative and created a thread of Community Blogs and other such content, But because of the way the Forum chews through topics it got lost,

We need a Page, A community only page edited by people in the Community, For the users by the users, You could use the Wiki format so you don’t have to rewrite a whole lot of code but just restrict it’s edit ability to (as Sweep has said) Community Manages,

Also, Sweep does a fine Job but it’s out of the way, it’s on the Forums when it should have it’s own area,


Giant Bomb has a large Core userbase that uses the site everyday, I may not be well known but I have logged on to this site everyday since it’s inception, and I think a lot of people can say the same thing,

I think it’s time to let us provide some content, there is enough of it to go around.

EDIT: I know I have basically re-cycled what Sweep has said, but this is in my own words and for a while I have wanted to say it.    

#25 Posted by Tiwi (1401 posts) -

yes sir, I agree.

#26 Posted by ColumnBreaker (1159 posts) -
@FelixLighter said:
" @ColumnBreaker: That could becoming confusing, a star rating of a star rating.  I would think an Amazon-like system would work better (23 of 40 users recommend this review). "
I wasn't being serious. I just found it humorous that the mock up had nothing but 5 star user reviews featured, art imitates life.
#27 Posted by Sweep (8830 posts) -
@ColumnBreaker said:
" @FelixLighter said:
" @ColumnBreaker: That could becoming confusing, a star rating of a star rating.  I would think an Amazon-like system would work better (23 of 40 users recommend this review). "
I wasn't being serious. I just found it humorous that the mock up had nothing but 5 star user reviews featured, art imitates life. "
thats because all those games deserve 5 stars!?!?
Moderator
#28 Posted by crystalskull2 (437 posts) -

Great ideas, dude. It'll definately be helpful if these can be used correctly.

#29 Posted by Brendan (7696 posts) -

Ryu Hayabusa and I are all about this idea.

#30 Posted by Ineedaname (4319 posts) -

I agree with the majority, but even if there was more of a noticeable section given to the community, the reason I'm here is for 4 awesome dudes and Snide (maybe Drew and Andy on occasion.) Even with these changes and a bit of a focus shift, I'm still not sure if I'd pay much more attention, I imagine that to be the same for alot of people, the reason this place grew pretty quick was the dudes who are running it.

#31 Posted by ColumnBreaker (1159 posts) -
@Sweep said:
" @ColumnBreaker said:
" @FelixLighter said:
" @ColumnBreaker: That could becoming confusing, a star rating of a star rating.  I would think an Amazon-like system would work better (23 of 40 users recommend this review). "
I wasn't being serious. I just found it humorous that the mock up had nothing but 5 star user reviews featured, art imitates life. "
thats because all those games deserve 5 stars!?!? "
THIS SYSTEM IS ALREADY COMPROMISED. ABORT.
#32 Posted by Kowbrainz (923 posts) -

+1 for great post.
 
You've expressed a lot of issues I've had with the site over the past few months. It seems with every redesign the site starts pushing the new features forward, which is a good thing, but then a lot of the older features take a seat behind everything else. Trivia hasn't been talked about in ages and I haven't answered a single question since they were taken off each of the specific game pages. Wiki points deserve to be shown at the forefront of user profiles, perhaps in the forums next to one's achievement score or something.
 
I agree that user reviews should get a bit more light too and not just the featured ones for (usually) brand new titles. I've had four comments on my earlier reviews back when user reviews weren't split into "reviews for new games" and "most recent reviews", but since I don't usually get to write about something the very week it comes out nobody reads my stuff anymore. :,(

#33 Posted by Jeff (3425 posts) -

A CM's job is to promote and police, really. He/she works directly with the moderation team and gives them continual guidance, while also working to promote within the community. It's something we've been discussing internally for the past few months. Good to see what we have roughly similar ideas about it.

Staff
#34 Posted by Lies (3866 posts) -

I'd really rather see the plethora of broken ass features around the site fixed (LIKE THIS RAGE INDUCING GUIDE SYSTEM). I've long since lost interest in being a member of the giantbomb community- which is sad, cause I really liked it when the site had just launched. Obviously these things evolve, but I don't feel it's going in a direction I really care to participate in. Maybe your proposal would help, who knows, but in a lot of ways giantbomb now seems like a community oriented site with a community that just doesn't care.

#35 Posted by TheHBK (5466 posts) -

Problem one, I would never visit this Community Spotlight.  done.  Nobody gives a shit about someone elses review unless its about something other than a game or something the guys here have not reviewed yet.  Thats why you dont see Mass Effect 2 reviews all over the place.

#36 Posted by Sparky_Buzzsaw (6107 posts) -

I like and agree with most of your suggestions.  I do actually read a few user reviews each week, but I know I'm in the general minority there.
Moderator
#37 Posted by erinfizz (1048 posts) -

Yeah, all good points, both some new things and fixing existing features. Like, I really loved Trivia when it was introduced, but I miss questions being attached to pages, and ftm they seem to load up in a truly weird, non-random way when I go mess with it. 
 
I would LOVE a real Community Manager here. As a wiki nerd, I most get excited about someone staff level who could help with all the deleting and stuff that mods can't do...but mostly it would be awesome to have someone who's job it was to be around and help out. I honestly have to remind myself this is just a semi-funsies volunteer gig to be Mod sometimes. Logging 2 or more hours a day and then realizing I haven't watched any Quick Looks or done anything fun is frustrating! (Plus, releases are my baby and I haven't paid attention to them for two months....sigh.)

#38 Posted by AhmadMetallic (18955 posts) -

hey that owner guy from all dem videos on the front page just replied to this blog post.  
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
lol just being silly :P

#39 Posted by crunchUK (5963 posts) -
@Max_Antrax said:
" @crunchUK said:
" The problem with giantbomb is that everybody is so boring these days and there's just an endless brief of generic MW2 threads or yet another thread about what somebody thinks about an upcoming game. The fun of internet forums is all gone, basically. "
Not everything is about MW2 or an upcoming game some people really make interesting things and they should get more attention thats were this is for.  "
Had a look round the front page recently?
#40 Posted by Mardarkin (85 posts) -

I wholeheartedly agree.   One of the reasons I stopped posting here - I use it as my main entertaining games-news source - was because these aspects of the community weren't promoted.  The spirit of the site, with its wiki-style editing and sweet database, would be fulfilled even more with the inclusion of these minor perks for dedicated members of GB.  Think of it like DeviantART for games - features and feedback - but with fewer furries.

#41 Posted by Tireyo (6409 posts) -

What a neat idea. The best part of this blog is that Jeff commented on your idea Sweep!! Why aren't you (Sweep) a mod yet? = - P Lol.

#42 Posted by ch13696 (4582 posts) -

I would totally hang out on this site more if there's something like that. I'm all for it. 

#43 Posted by Jambones (1696 posts) -
@ch13696 said:
" I would totally hang out on this site more if there's something like that. I'm all for it.  "
If I could spend anymore time here, lol. I would love to see a community focus. It's a wonderful idea.
#44 Posted by ZeForgotten (10397 posts) -
@dankempster said:
" HERE HERE! You have my support, Sweepster! Where's the petition I have to sign? "
And all these years I thought it was "Hear Hear!" .. oh well. 
 
Anways @Sweep:  
I agree with almost everyting except the Layout. 
I have no problems getting to where I want on this site.  
 
But other than that, I agree now let me sign something and give me free coffee and cake :D
#45 Posted by dankempster (2249 posts) -
@ZeForgotten: Thanks for pointing that out. As somebody renowned for their pedantic approach to grammar, I feel somewhat ashamed after that slip up. Fixed now :)
#46 Posted by ZeForgotten (10397 posts) -
@dankempster: Oh, so I was right?  
Holy hell, I was actually thinking I might have been wrong. 
So.. yeah..  
Grammar Nazis 1324 points 
Normal Users Who Mess Up Somtimes: 1 
We're getting there :P
#47 Posted by mracoon (4961 posts) -

I agree with all your suggestions but I'd wish they'd update the wiki features. That's a part of the site that's been neglected for a long time now.

Moderator
#48 Posted by Snail (8585 posts) -

That seems like a great idea. Good job Sweep. 
 
Also,  the interface of user's Profiles is messed up. I preferred the very first one, the one before the redesign.

#49 Posted by Gamer_152 (14058 posts) -

As much as I love seeing the content of the staff of Giant Bomb and as well as I think a lot of this site is made, you do make some very good points Sweep. It would be great to see both a lot of the awesome community-created content that is going largely unnoticed get the spotlight it deserves and to see more members of the Giant Bomb community be encouraged to contribute more content. The fact that Jeff has said they've been talking internally about the idea of a community manager gives me a lot of hope and I'm really excited about the idea of seeing this kind of stuff implemented.

Moderator
#50 Posted by EpicSteve (6479 posts) -

I totally agree. Great contributors are going unnoticed. I also don't know who to follow if I haven't been exposed to their blogs/reviews by some accidental nature.