By Jensonb 216 Comments
Wall of Text Alert. Here is a Summary of my Position for Forum Dwellers:Giant Bomb Community Content is as important as Editorial, and the two should be integrated to give Community Content the same prestige as Editorial,
which it deserves.
You can read the full Blog Post below. If you wanna speed through it, the highlights are in Bold Italics Underlined.
And the Wall of Text (Highlights are in Bold Italics Underlined):Recently, a good friend I've made through Giant Bomb, by the name of Sweep, posted this . It's a Blog detailing his thoughts on the Giant Bomb Community Content & how it should be promoted, amongst other related things. If you haven't read it, check it out, it's a good read. He makes a lot of great points - and Jeff has revealed in there that the staff are considering a lot of it.
It, and the discussion that erupted in the comments, got me thinking though. Thinking about the site, where it's come from...Where it's going. Most thought provoking of all was a sentiment in the comments there that I've seen all the way through the site's life which runs completely counter to what Giant Bomb is all about to me.
That sentiment? "It's their Bomb and we're just living in it."
It usually manifests whenever someone is trying to promote Community content - even the staff. Yep, it's most evident in the comments on the Answers to the QOTY. There it takes the form of people complaining about how much they hate the contributions and how they just want to see and hear from the Editorial Team. In discussions like the one Sweep prompted, it takes the form of people projecting that opinion onto the masses - r epeated claims that "Most people are only here to see what the Staff say", or "the Community is dumb, the only thing worthwhile is the Editorial".
Those statements, made as absolutes as they are, are complete and utter bullshit. I've been here this whole time, right back from when we used the Comments on the Wordpress Blog as a Forum, through the Chatroom on the Justin.tv channel on launch day when I sat up all night waiting for, and eventually playing with, the site, and up until now where the site has ballooned into something much larger than I ever imagined. And through all that time, I have never seen a scrap of evidence that "most people are ONLY here for the Editorial".
Never in all my time on the internet have I ever seen a Community create so much amazing content, so fast, in such a broad array of media as right here at Giant Bomb. Sometimes I sit in awe at the things people have contributed - the Mass Effect 2 Mega Guide, some of the amazingly detailed Wikis, everything ZombiePie does, TurboMan's burger review videos, the sheer masses of Forum Posts and Wiki Points a lot of my fellow users have, awesome Lists like the "Doing a Brad" List, the VOLUME of reviews some users have contributed.
Y ou guys in the Giant Bomb Community make me ashamed of how little I've contributed sometimes. I look back at my largest contribution - The Bomb Should Have A Face Podcast and wonder how we ever thought something as miniscule as a Podcast was supposed to contain a summary of everything you guys are doing. I've been here this whole time, and I'm a nobody. Because Giant Bomb's users are some of the finest content creators on the entire internet. I can't keep up with you! The only place I've come close is in the F1 2009 Wiki - and that's because I think I'm the only significant F1 fan on the site!
And as ashamed as I feel of my own paltry contribution, I feel nothing but pride in Giant Bomb. All of you, together with Editorial, have made this site a joy to use. I've made friends here, launched my pseudo-Career as a broadcaster here and I've spent hours, maybe days, consuming just a tiny portion of what's produced.
So I'm saying here, right now: The belittling of our Community & its contributions has to stop.
A big step in the right direction would be the Bomb Shelter concept Sweep conceived, but it has to go further. The Staff alone can't stop all the hate. Not even with the help of a few Community Managers. If (When) the Staff find a way to get the Content up there alongside Editorial, we have to help. Way back when, a bunch of us tried to use Bomb Should Have A Face to spread the love. It was too small. The "Bomb Shelter" concept requires us to all come together and help eachother, the staff and the mods out. If you see a way to vote up content, or vote it down, use it. If people are in the comments hating on users' content for no reason, consider drowning them out with praise, or constructive criticism. I've been remiss in doing this myself. But no more, It has to be done. I genuinely believe, based on what I've seen since I came here, that there is a whole lotta love in the Giant Bomb Community. Let's use it.
Lastly, I would like to tack something onto Sweep's "Bomb Shelter" idea. I feel that the Engineering team's concept of promoting content on various pages is not flawed . It just needs refining. The "Bomb Shelter" Tab should act as an engine driving which content makes it out into the "Editorial" walled garden . That way, the best content on the site can be seen by those who just read Editorial (Eg, the unregistered lurkers, link followers etc.).
For example, the homepage currently shows a featured review at the bottom, and some Topics. I say, throw that review into the promo bar at the top of the page, with the Editorial. Do the same with the Cream of the Crop in other categories - Blogs, Lists, even Wikis. This has sort of been done in the past. But it's through Jeff or another Editor manually adding in a post, like the one pimping out the Mass Effect 2 Mega Guide, or through the since defunct Weekly Bomb Drop (Which was a fairly inefficient way of doing it - since evolved, via "The Community is Still a Threat" into The Community Spotlight Redux - incidentally my favorite Forum Topic).
Anyway, I didn't mean to ramble on at you so much. My point is, the attitude that Community & Editorial are these two separate walled gardens must end. In the words of Jeff Gerstmann: "building a community of people...is a big part of what Giant Bomb is all about". The Community is in this site's blood. It's pumped through the site's very core, the Wiki Database. It's our Bomb too.
And if that bomb's going to go off, then Bomb Should Have A Face.
PS: That last part was just for old time's sake, I miss the old community show. ;)