The Community Hub has been out to PTU for a few days, and I’ve had a chance to play around with it. Below are my thoughts.
My first thought is that the Community Hub is wholly necessary. The RSI forums, as they are, aren’t the greatest place for content. They work very well for discussion, but content tends to disappear within seconds of being posted. The Community Hub intends to get rid of that problem.
Part of the problem is that the best place to share content currently is Reddit, but not everyone uses, or even knows that the Star Citizen Subreddit exists. Reddit, while an excellent forum, isn’t always the best place for community content either. Downvotes can be easily abused, and quality content can go unnoticed on Reddit as easily as it does on the RSI forums. The Community Hub is supposed to be a place to gather all Star Citizen content creators, from authors to image and YouTube creators, from podcasters to Twitch streamers. It’s supposed to be a safe haven for all Star Citizen content, and it’s supposed to be run by CIG and the community in tandem.
Whether it succeeds, we’ll see. Keep in mind, the Community Hub is currently in a sort of PTU. It has limited numbers of people that can access it, so the amount of content, and the amount of use, is currently minimal. Hopefully this will change.
My second thought is that, right now, the Community Hub has some issues. I’m going to list all the issues I’ve had so far below:
There’s no evident way to submit a bug report or comment about the community hub. I’m writing this article because, well, because I have found no other way to make suggestions.
- The first main issue I have is the ‘staff picks’. The nature of the Community Hub is as follow: Users submit their content, be it articles, videos, images, etc… to the hub. Those posts are hidden off the main page until a staff member ‘picks’ the content, putting it on the front page, and in front of everyone’s view.
- Right now, as the Community Hub functions, it is mainly focused on ‘Staff Picks’. Because anything that’s not a staff pick gets hidden, content that CIG staff pick is substantially more visible than any other content.
- As an explanation, even if an article is heavily upvoted by the community, unless it is ‘staff picked’, it will never appear on the front page.
- I would like to see the Community Hub be more about the community.
- The entire point of the Community Hub should be that the community adds to it and runs it, while CIG monitors it, more similar to how Reddit works.
- Possible solutions to this issue include a dedicated ‘staff picks’ section, separate from the list of non-staff picks, or simply removing the ‘staff picks’ and integrating them with the MVP section. Alternately, leave ‘staff picks’ in, but also show the top two or three posts from the non-staff picks as well. Essentially, show things picked by the community as a whole, not just CIG staff.
- The ‘Twitch Streamers’ section shows only the top three most viewed streams. For any less-viewed streams, you have to click through the arrows off the screen, or hit ‘view all’. This essentially hides the streamers that need views most.
- Streamers shown on the front section should possibly be randomized, or possibly shown as a selection of ‘Top’, ‘New’, and ‘Upcoming’, or something similar.
- For the ‘Twitch Streamers’ section, only streamers playing Star Citizen get listed. This isn’t necessarily CIG’s fault however. Twitch’s guidelines say that you can only list yourself as playing a game if you’re actually playing it, but it still suggests some compromise needs to be worked out.
- While the twitch requirement is understandable, it makes it difficult for streamers doing something related to Star Citizen, but not gameplay-oriented, to appear on the Community Hub legitimately.
- While the rest of the sections of the Community hub list content by most watched or most upvoted, the ‘Podcast’ section of the site lists podcasts by newest. The lack of consistency here seems strange.
- As well, the podcast section’s ‘scroll’ arrows do not work, meaning only three podcasts will ever show on the main page, there is no indication that there ARE more than three podcasts, and the only way to see more is to click ‘view all’.
What it comes down to, at least in my mind, is that while the Community Hub is, itself, a wonderful idea, it is woefully underserved by its ‘main’ page.
I would highly recommend CIG implement a ‘Staff Picks’ section, that would grab staff picks from Deep Space Radar, Podcasts, Twitch, and the Citizen Spotlight. That section would remain at the top, showing the staff picks of all the content, and the rest of the content could stay underneath, on the main page, as voted by Citizens.
I’d also like to see some changes to the Twitch section, promoting not only the most watched current streamers, but others as well.
To finish, I really hope that the Community Hub continues to improve, and that it can be the place for content that the Community wants, and needs.