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 MANAGEMENTThe 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 BLOGSI 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 REVIEWSWhen 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 LAYOUTFor 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:
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