Those of you who have been around long enough may remember that GameSpot once had a page called the Soapbox that highlighted creative, thought-provoking, fun, or just plain wacky user blog posts and gave them the exposure that they deserved. The problem with this is twofold:
- It didn't really do that at all. It highlighted blog posts written by editors and shoved all the great content that was written by our users into the side column in an unwieldy list. Sure, there was a space on the home page that sort of did this, but the page itself didn't really do anything for users.
- The Soapbox never went away. It has been here all along, but most people probably didn't know that. After all, the space on the home page went away, and we never really did a great job at helping people find the page.
If you've paid attention to our site over the last couple of years, you'll have noticed that our home page has changed somewhat considerably. Entire sections, such as our carousel, were completely redesigned. Other sections were ripped out and cast aside, seemingly never to return--such was the fate of the Soapbox module.
There were a few reasons, really, why this happened. It wasn't performing particularly well at the time. We needed to make the room. In many ways, it was mostly because both the Soapbox module and its associated page featured antiquated design and functionality that we weren't particularly pleased with--design and functionality that we unfortunately didn't have the time or the resources to improve upon.
And so the Soapbox module was scrapped and the page buried, and though we really did want to get around to improving it so it delivered on what we believed its true vision was, we never did. Though there were users who cried foul and asked for it to be brought back, we were never able to.
Mistakes were made, and we totally understand any frustrations that this caused. So to make up for it, we've brought the Soapbox back, and quite frankly, it's better than ever:
- The term "soapbox" is so...old-timey...that we decided to name it something a bit more modern. So now it's called Awesome User Blogs.
- We reversed the polarity of the page. It now features user blog posts in the main column and editor blog posts off to the side.
- We've redesigned the module formally known as the Soapbox and brought it back. Look for it on the home page, platform front doors, and forum hub.
So what are you waiting for?
Head on over to the new Awesome User Blogs page and see what your fellow users have to say about, well, pretty much anything.
And if you've got something to say that you want featured as well, all you have to do is write it down in your blog and mark it as an "Editorial." Our fantastic community team will be picking out the best authors and highlighting their work.
So what do you think? Let us know in the comments below!