Well, hello there! I didn't see you come in. Actually I did, because I have cameras everywhere but... relax! Take a load off, unwind, never mind that robot over there, and come sit down a while.
What is this place?
This is the Community Blogs section, which is a brand new feature for the Sonic Stadium. The idea is to give you, the passionate Sonic the Hedgehog fan, an outlet to voice an opinion or share thoughts about your favourite franchise with the rest of the community. You can do this by posting a blog entry in any of the existing Blogs listed in the top page, or you can create your very own dedicated blog if you feel you have even more to say.
Post content? Share thoughts? Like what?
Well, anything significant that comes into your head, really! Do you have a long-form article that you want to share, but don't feel that the format works for a Forum Topic? Why not post it in a Blog? Or, if you have strong opinions about a certain game/project and want people to hear you out, you can post it in a Blog, too.
Maybe you have a Sonic fan project that you're working on - you may wish to create a Blog to keep other fans updated on your progress. Or, you could be a content creator with a YouTube channel, Podcast, Twitch or similar - you'd might like to create a Blog to engage with your community on the Sonic Stadium too.
You can even create a Blog in relation to other content you've created on the Sonic Stadium. For instance, you could start a Blog focusing on the art techniques and philosophies behind the fan art you post to the (also new!) Sonic Stadium Gallery. What's more, you can select a Gallery Album to be inserted into a Blog post to associate the two properly. If you run a Club on the Sonic Stadium, Blogs can also be created there too.
But, if you're stuck for ideas, we have a couple of existing Community Group Blogs that you can contribute to without a need to create your own User Blog:
- Fan Reviews, where you can post your own review on a Sonic game, movie, or other commercial product,
- Sonic Soapbox, an outlet for you to put the spotlight on your thoughts or long-form articles relating to Sonic.
"... and that's why Amy having Tarot Cards all the time is stupid. Thank you for coming to my TED Talk."
What's the difference between posting a Blog entry and a Forum Topic?
Good question! There can be a lot of crossover between what is considered a Blog and what is considered a Forum discussion, but really it all depends on the content you want to create and how you want it to be seen. For instance, if you want to talk about the state of the Sonic franchise on the same level as the rest of the community, with a focus on group discussion, a Forum Topic may be best as that encourages community interaction. But if you have a very passionate opinion about the state of the Sonic franchise and want the focus to be specifically on you, a Blog entry is likely to be more what you need.
One thing to note - Blog entries are entirely a personal action, focusing on your specific feelings, thoughts or opinions. So be mindful that if you post a Blog entry with a particularly spicy point of view, you should be prepared for the community to read it and have their own thoughts and comments to add (or counter) to yours. In a Forum Topic, you can throw your opinion in with the rest of the crowd, but if you post your opinions in a Blog entry, all eyes are on you - there's nowhere to hide!
Are there any restrictions to what I can post?
As with anything posted on the Sonic Stadium, our Community Rules apply. So you won't be able to get away with posting anything that breaks our guidelines or terms of conditions (if you see any Blog that break the Rules, you can Report it to the moderation team for review with a button at the bottom of the post).
Beyond that, we'd like to ask that you keep your Blog entries related to Sonic or SEGA in some way - you know, just because that's the whole point of this community and website, right? We can make exceptions if you want to post generally about adjacent topics though, such as video games.
News reporting should be avoided as that is not the purpose of the Community Blog system - if you would like to post Sonic News, please use the Sonic News forum and make a topic there. This way, if it is picked up by the Sonic News Team, your forum topic will be credited, any existing comments will also carry over to the Sonic News story, and you'll be rewarded with Achievement Points and Badges!
However, if a Sonic News story/forum topic exists and you wish to write a Blog entry on the back of it with your own response/thoughts, this is totally fine. We just don't want Blogs becoming a replacement for our site's actual News reporting structure.
All Sonic Stadium members can create one dedicated User Blog which they can customise to their hearts' content, including creating categories and header banners. In addition to this, members can post in existing Group Blogs run by 'the Sonic Community' - posting in these Group Blogs will not count towards your User Blog allocation, so feel free to contribute as much as you like in these areas.
Certain members who are approved as verified community Content Creators (established YouTubers, etc) or Fan Project Managers (fan game developers, etc) may be granted additional Blog creation and management privileges, so that they can nurture their audiences without being limited to one User Blog. The 'Fan Projects & Events' and 'Content Creator Blogs' categories are reserved for these users - if your blog is mis-categorised, it will be moved into the 'Community Blogs' category.
If you want to be considered for verified Content Creator/Fan Project Manager status, please get in touch with me (@Dreadknux) via DM.
Most Importantly - HAVE FUN!
This new Blogs section is intended to be a fun and light-hearted place for community interaction to take place. We used to have a Fan Articles section way, waaaay back in Sonic Stadium's history (and you can read those ancient fan articles in the Sonic Soapbox Blog to see what the vibe of the community was back then) and it was always fascinating and surprising to see the interesting pieces that would come from it. It is in this spirit that we have launched Blogs - post your opinions, share your cool Sonic merch, post your latest content, have fun. And try not to take things too seriously! It's only video games!
As for this particular Blog, I'll be posting here from time to time to share general thoughts related to this very website. A lot of fans ask me questions about this and that - state of the community stuff, how difficult it is to build a fansite, that sort of thing - and I figure this would be a good place to place all of that without gumming up the Sonic News section. I'll also post cool merch we get from SEGA PR and other places, and other random site doodads. Hope you'll stick around for that.