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  • A Sonic News Update, Sonic Wiki Integrations and A Sneak Peek...

    We've been tinkering away behind the scenes. Cool things to come!

    Hi everyone! It's been a while since I wrote one of these Site Updates, and truth be told I miss chatting with you all about how the Sonic Stadium is evolving this year, so I figured I'd have a quick catch-up with you all about things I've been working on over the last month or two, and put a spotlight on some features that you might have missed!

    With June being Sonic the Hedgehog's birthday month, there's a lot of potential news, games and events to get really excited about - so to prepare for that, I spent a lot of time bolstering our Sonic News browsing experience on the site.

    As you know, we already have the Wordpress blog which is the current home for a lot of our news content. But we are laying the groundwork for much of this material to be carried over - and to continue - on the SSMB platform in the near future. This way, there will be one unified destination for all aspects of the Sonic Stadium, from news to community!


    When we first started implementing Sonic News into the SSMB platform, we used a page design that largely mirrored that of the Wordpress blog. We've taken some time recently to tweak that design so that it reads a little better for our audience - let me know if you like this reading experience!

    One thing I wanted to draw attention to is the area marked in red in the image above. If you are logged in to your Sonic Stadium / SSMB account, you can opt to BOOKMARK most pieces of content across the site in order to receive updates (either by way of notifications as you browse the site, or by periodic email newsletters). This feature isn't just available for News stories, but almost everything on the site - Forum Topics, Calendar Events, Sonic Wiki entries... you name it. Give it a try!


    We've also added some extra functionality at the end of a Sonic News story. You can see related entries in the in-house Sonic Wiki that have been assigned to an article, so you can explore more and find more information about the product or item being discussed. There is also a 'Tips Credit' section that appears when the Sonic News staff wishes to acknowledge Sonic Stadium users for tipping us off on certain breaking news items.

    You'll notice that there are some comments in the screenshot above (highlighted in green). I wanted to quickly show this to you to illustrate another cool element of this new Sonic News platform - the integration of News and Forum comments on a given article. See, if you read a Sonic News article and feel compelled to write a comment on the News story page...


    ... it will automatically be posted on the associated SSMB Forum Topic for the same news item! Stories posted by the Sonic News team will create a complementary Forum Topic for users to comment there if they prefer the message board experience. But we also allow for Sonic Stadium users to post news they think is interesting to the Sonic News forum, (think of it as another sort of 'news tips' activity, only you're also sharing the news directly with the Sonic Community as well as us).

    We talked about this before, but as a reminder - if a news topic is posted before Sonic News writers get to writing a story themselves, the newer Sonic News story will link to the existing topic - so any comments you might have already posted in the forum will also be displayed on the Sonic News side of the site! As you might have seen, we also reward Sonic Stadium users who successfully get their topics converted to a Sonic News article - if you want those tasty Achievements and Points, contribute!


    One thing that I'm also working furiously on - which seems to be an eternal project! - is a restoration of old Sonic News and Sonic Stadium content from yesteryear. Any news articles that are tagged with a Sonic Wiki record will be displayed within that Wiki record's page! Just head to a record and click the 'Articles' tab. It's still a little work-in-progress (as is much of the Sonic Wiki, to be honest - we're still in Beta!) so the sorting is all over the place, but I'm thinking it will be a good way for Sonic fans to be able to rediscover old news and features related to their favourite Sonic product.


    Also, while I have your attention real quick, I wanted to point out that Sonic Wiki records also support user reviews. It's been around for ages actually, but I'm not entirely sure if anyone ever knew about it! So if you fancy sharing your thoughts about the latest Sonic game, you can do so!

    Note that not all Wiki records allow for user reviews, and the Sonic Wiki itself is still in a state of construction (the Wiki is a collaborative project - if you see some missing records or incomplete information, please consider spending some time to help contribute to the project).


    Drifting back to News updates... on large-screen devices, if you hover a mouse over (or on tablets, tap) the 'News' option in the navigation menu, you will see a brand new dropdown that shows off the four latest stories on Sonic News, as well as a group of links to the different News categories we have on site. I wanted to introduce this so that if you were ever curious about the latest happenings in the Sonic world, you have an instance place to find out without clicking to another page.

    Finally, I wanted to offer a sneak peek to all users about an upcoming new landing page for the site. By clicking the Sonic Stadium Icon (the semi-transparent winking Sonic logo at the far left of the navigation bar, next to the Search icon), you will get taken right there so you can see for yourself.

    If you're on mobile, you can also click here to check it out.


    We had a lot of feedback from our Reader Survey in January about the purpose and functionality of the existing home page on the Sonic Stadium Wordpress blog, and this new design intends to address a lot of that. We have tried to use the space to incorporate all of the major pillars of content that our audience most cares about - News, Videos, Events, Wiki and Social/Forum updates.

    In time, this will replace the main 'home' of the whole SSMB platform (so when you click the 'Sonic Stadium' logo at the very top there, you'll be taken to this landing page instead of the forum home). But we're not quite there yet. There are some things we need to do behind the scenes before we can fully transition over. In the meantime, the logo navigation links will work as normal (and if you're curious, you can click the Sonic Head logo to head to the above home page).

    So! A lot of structural and design updates to share today. Next time I hope to be able to share some exciting new features and projects that will take this new evolution of the Sonic Stadium to the next level. I hope you continue to enjoy the site and look forward to seeing what we have cooking! 

    The Sonic Stadium may link to retailers and earn a small commission on purchases made from users who click those links. These links will only appear in articles related to the product, in an unobtrusive manner, and do not influence our editorial decisions in any way. All proceeds will go to supporting our community and continued coverage of Sonic the Hedgehog. Thank you in advance for your kind support!
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    @DreadknuxLove the new features and the contents you worked on sonic stadium website and the forum as well. You guys put a lot of effort and worked really hard on both the site and the forum's to 👍 

    I know I have not been here for that long but I'm glad I've found this great Sonic news website and the forums as well. The community Is so friendly and everyone as well.

    I enjoyed contributing to the forums and replying to other Sonic fans as well. I like to say thanks for making such a fantastic site and Sonic community as well. I wish you and the staff the very best and keeping the site going and my support as well 😊


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