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  • Make Clubs, Make Blogs, Make Memories!

    Get involved and learn how you can best take advantage of these cool features!

    Hi everyone! It's been about six months since we launched the (relatively) brand new Blogs feature, and a year and a half since we launched Sonic Clubs, and I wanted to take a moment to check in and highlight some of the cool things the Sonic community has been doing (as well as talk about how you can use these features to enhance your Sonic Stadium experience)!

    Launching any new feature is a challenge for a community-based site like ours, as people are often used to doing things a certain way and may not immediately see the benefits of playing around with new functions like Blogs or Clubs. The great thing is, we're getting a lot of new users join our community every day (if you're one of those people, let me quickly say 'HELLO' to you! :wave:), and these guys come in keenly curious about how they can use all of the features we have available on our platform. So hopefully as we experiment and grow these spaces, we can encourage other members to get involved as well!

    Sonic Clubs

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    First, let's talk about Clubs. We launched this back in September 2022, as a means for Sonic fans to create sub-communities and groups to go deeper into the subjects they care most about. We've got a Club for Merchandise, Chao Raising, Sonic animation, and more. Recent Shadow the Hedgehog news will no doubt encourage the members of the dedicated Shadow Club we have as well! Maybe the Knuckles TV show will do the same for the Knuckles Club.

    But, Clubs don't just have to be about Sonic. Some of you have made Clubs centered on Final Fantasy, Dragon Ball Z... even long-lost gaming mascots from the 90s! And that's great to see!

    I've also been encouraged to see Clubs appear that focus on community interaction and events. Like one that recently popped up that aims to organise multiplayer sessions for Sonic Superstars (which, given the online player count, may well be an absolutely vital thing to do!). SSMB Community Game Nights, where people join up to play together for a range of games (not just Sonic), and a whole role-playing sub-community based on Skylanders. No, I don't necessarily get it either (I am way too old), but I don't have to really - people are having fun, and that's what counts!


    Spotlight: 'Sonic Circuit Intensity' Club

    One of the big opportunities with Clubs is that you can use it as a hub to centralise content relating to a cool project you may have going on. A group of Sonic community members have done just that; they're working on a Fan Game and they want to use the Club to engage with other fans, share development updates and even do outreach for development staff and collaborators.

    Check out the Sonic: Circuit Intensity Club here! The team have just set this up, and they're looking for people to join the project to help with graphics, design and other things. You can use the special Club Forum they set up to pitch in, and the team has also created a Club Blog which they will use to post updates relating to their game!


    That's how flexible Clubs can be, with the right attitude and a good sub-community by your side. You can set up many kinds of apps to run alongside your Club; a Forum, a Calendar to track events, a Blog to allow members to speak their mind, even a Gallery. Try to think of ways you can keep the conversation going in your little pocket of the Sonic internet!

    Also, you may have noticed this already, but any forums/calendars/blogs etc that are created from Clubs can also be visible from the relative section main pages, if you have the privileges to see them (so on the Forums homepage, for example, you can see Club Forums listed underneath the regular discussion Forums). So there are ways for your Club to be present across the site - you might even entice someone to join your Club!

    As it happens, I am keen to hand over leadership of the initial Clubs I created on here (Classic Sonic Fans, Modern Sonic Fans, Merch Hunters Anonymous, Raisin' Chao) to any interested parties who might want to expand and encourage more activity. Hit me up via DM if you're interested - you have to be okay with managing club communities and be generally a cool person (and you still have to follow the rules!).

    Sonic Blogs

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    A much more recent addition to the Sonic Stadium platform suite, Blogs was set up to allow fans to stand on a virtual podium and get out whatever is on their chest. Have you played a recent video game, or watched a movie, and felt compelled to write a review about it? Do it on a Sonic Stadium Blog! Are you a content creator that makes videos that you want to share with the rest of the fanbase? Create a Blog here and post your updates! There are many ways to express yourself here.

    While the activity around this feature has been encouraging since we launched, it's apparent that it might not be incredibly obvious to some people what the use case for a Blog is, compared to creating a good old fashioned Forum Topic. Well, don't worry - we're not removing the Forums any time soon, and in fact both Forums and Blog can co-exist! Think of it this way:

    • If you want to share something with the community and start a discussion about it (i.e. you want to talk about your childhood as a Sonic fan and want to know what others' experiences were), you can make a Topic. 

    • If you have something you want to get off your chest, without necessarily inviting conversation (for example, you read all of the Archie comics and wanted to write about an overarching theme or narrative you thought was interesting), it could work well as a Blog.

    Of course, there can be crossover between those two definitions (you could absolutely rant about Archie in the Forums and talk about your childhood in a Blog), but broadly speaking a Forum's job is to communicate and start a discussion with other people, whereas a Blog is something personal; less about the group chat and more about you standing on a soapbox and speaking your mind.

    There have been some great Blogs created with this mindset - while I did set up some generic Blogs for Reviews, Community Projects and general Soapbox stuff, for users to post into (lowering the barrier of entry so that people don't necessarily need to think about making their own Blog just to write something), some of you have been making your own spaces and that's fantastic to see.

    For example, @Rabbitearsblog created their own reviews blog so that all of their work could sit in one place, as did @Maria.Sosori with her gaming-themed space. @Cyb3rkn1ght created a Blog chronicling cool game ideas that pop into their head, which is really creative, and @Starry Skydancer is covering the NiGHTS fanbase with their Blog too. There's even a Pokémon themed Blog, courtesy of @Lorekitten - so it doesn't necessarily need to be all about Sonic.

    Personally, I've been using the Blogs system to post an archive of my old-school video game reviews (and maybe one day, between site work/real work/family life, I'll get round to writing some NEW ones) as well as writing some Sonic fandom/site-related thoughts that I figure don't really work well as a post on the Sonic News side of the site. I definitely want to write more, though.


    Spotlight: Ryan's 52 Game Challenge Blog

    One of the Blogs that has stood out to me in recent weeks has been @Ryannumber1gamer's, simply because it's so active (where does he find the time!? Can I borrow some?) but also because it's sort-of multi-dimensional in what its accomplishing. The Blog, which chronicles Ryan's thoughts on the games he completes over the course of 2024, ties in very neatly to a year-long Community Event that we are running on the SSMB right now - the 52 Game Challenge!

    This is a great example of tying in a community project to a Blog - in fact, a number of other users have had the same idea, and are writing Blogs based on games they completed as some kind of extra-curricular activity to their involvement in the 52 Game Challenge. It's giving me a lot of ideas as to how we can approach future Community Events and how we can involve people who want to be creative in many different ways...


    At the moment, the Blogs are being (quite rightly) used for personal thoughts and musings by way of the written word. But I think there are more ways we can use this feature, for content creators that live within the Sonic fanbase.

    • If you have a YouTube channel, why not create a Blog and post your latest videos (along with some behind-the-scenes info / description, maybe)?

    • Are you working on a Fan Game, Music Album, Mod or other project? Start a Blog and keep the fanbase informed on your progress and updates!

    • Maybe you have a Podcast, or a web comic, or any other creative endeavour where Blog-style posts would benefit? Give it a shot, and see how people respond!

    Both Clubs and Blogs have real potential to capture the community's collective thoughts and activity over the course of the next year or two, and as we evolve the site into a full-fat community platform for Sonic fans, we'll be finding ways to encourage, reward and promote activity in these areas of the site.

    I encourage you all to use your Sonic Stadium account to the fullest! And if you'd rather not bother and just want to use your account for lurking/reading stuff, that's totally fine too! But if you ever get the itch, know that we have a bunch of tools to help with that scratch.

    Have a great weekend everyone, and I'll see you next week for a rather cool site event that we've been cooking up.


    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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    I should probably clarify that my blog isn't exclusively for Pokemon -- while most of my articles thus far have been Pokemon-themed, I did post an article about the Sonic cinematic universe today, and I have plans for more non-Pokemon content as well as Pokemon content in the near future.

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    I GOT MENTIONED??? ME???

    I know I shouldn’t be freaking out about this, but I just feel, very thankful for you, actually seeing my stuff! It’s been a while since I posted; we all are busy people, but I’m glad to keep going!

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    Yay, my little Final Fantasy club is better advertised here then I can do on my own. :3 

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    juanpablomorales

    Posted

    Should I make a blog about what is going on myself lately? I mean I should try making a blog.

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    IDK what to do for a blog other than show off Funko POP! Concepts, but that's already sort-of happened lol.

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    On 4/19/2024 at 5:44 PM, Dreadknux said:

    @Starry Skydancer is covering the NiGHTS fanbase with their Blog too.

     

    Barely! Thank you for the shout-out anyway.

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