It’s been a while since I’ve done one of these Editor’s Letters, but with some recent and upcoming changes to the site, I wanted to touch base with the PlayStation LifeStyle community. If you’ve tried commenting in the last month or so, you’ve noticed our comments system changed from Disqus to a platform called Insticator. We understand this may have been a jarring change, but Insticator is something we are hoping to grow with, and we hope that you all will help us shape it into what you want to see as a community platform.
Insticator has a reputation system that helps those participating in the community earn points for various actions like upvotes, commenting, being “first,” and other community-building actions. Points are lost for certain negative actions, and they can also be used to do things like promote a comment or turn off replies to your own comment. Additional ways to earn and use reputation points may be added in the future too as Insticator’s capabilities expand!
Earning points reflects on your rank within the community, which helps differentiate random one-off comments from the engaged PSLS community members. In a way, it’s like combining our old forums with the comments system to create a good platform for discussion and building up the PSLS community. We’d love your continued suggestions on additional features you’d like to see and ways we could use the Insticator platform to continue doing just that.
Disqus Logins Going Away
During the transitional period as we’ve been getting set up with Insticator, users have been able to log in using Disqus, however, Disqus integration will be going away on September 7th. What does this mean for you?
Don’t worry, you aren’t losing your history. Existing comments made through Disqus logins will still be visible on the site, but the option to login with Disqus will be removed. If you’ve logged in to Insticator since the transition with your Disqus account, you’ll receive an email to set up an Insticator login with the same credentials, which will map your existing Disqus comments and history to your Insticator account. This process will also be available from the login page if you miss the email.
Even if you haven’t commented on Insticator since the transition, you’ll still have the option to map your previous comment history with your Insticator account. Users will still have the option of logging in via their Facebook, Twitter, or Google authentication, but use of Disqus accounts as an Insticator login will be gone.
PSN Card Giveaway
To help build the PSLS community with some of our strongest and most longtime members, as well as encourage new members to join the conversation, we want to reward you for continuing to participate in discussions. We’re going to be giving away $15 PSN cards to 10 of the most active and engaged community members on the site in the month of September. All you need to do is make sure you’re signed up for Insticator and participate in the discussions, welcoming other users and becoming a foundation of the PSLS community. We know who some of you are already and we see you, but we’d love to see even more people engaging with each other. And remember, keep it civil and friendly. Disagreement and debate is okay, but disparagement is not. We all love PlayStation here, and our strength as a community is that we each have different interests. You can refer to my past Editor’s Letter on conduct in the comments for more details on what conduct is encouraged.
We’ll be keeping an eye on the community throughout the month of September to see who’s going to win the PSN cards. Sign up for Insticator and start participating in the conversation now if you haven’t already. To the ones who’ve been with us for years and those just joining, thank you to everyone for being a part of what we do here. We wouldn’t be here without you, which is why we want to do this giveway, to give back to our most engaged fans, new and old.
We also encourage our community to engage with us on other social platforms. If you’ve got a Twitter or Facebook, head over there and join those communities. There are lots of great channels to talk about the content we’re posting and the conversation that surrounds PlayStation. Every one of us here on this small team lives the PlayStation lifestyle in our own unique ways, but at the center of everything, we all have PlayStation in common.
Other Site Changes
We’re actively engaged in making a number of other site changes in an effort to improve the user experience, and we welcome your feedback on anything and everything that is happening. One of the major things we are trying to do is improve site speed but removing unnecessary widgets and interfaces. See a navigation panel missing that you’d usually use? It was probably a victim of that purge. If anything disappears that you like to see or actively use, let me know. We want to balance the user experience with getting rid of things that aren’t actually being used or doing the site any good. Your feedback is really important here because the PSLS experience is your experience.
We’d also love to continue to receive feedback on content and editorial decisions. Some of these are informed by budget. Some of these are informed by bandwidth and time. And some of these are informed by pageviews. But we’d like to complete that picture by understanding the kind of content that you want to see. Have we been sorely lacking in features (the answer is yes, but I’d love to hear it from you)? Live streams? Videos? Podcasts? What would you like to see PSLS do to improve our uniqueness and put our voice out there? As Editor-in-Chief, I want to do it all, but knowing what you want to see or hear helps me make more informed decisions about where to put my limited time and energy.
Community is important to me here at PSLS. In fact, when I think about how I got my own start at the site, it all began with joining the community in the comments and winning a Borderlands 2 t-shirt nearly 10 years ago. (You can find the literal award-winning picture in this gallery of glory.) Sure, it was an XL and never fit, but to me, PlayStation LifeStyle has always been founded on community, and it’s something we could certainly focus on a lot more.
Thank you to everyone for reading this and continuing to return to the site. We continue to welcome your feedback and suggestions and engagement in the community. While I can’t promise we can take action on everything sent our way, I can promise we read it. As we near the launch of the PS5, PSLS is in a better position than ever to continue to be the site for those who live the PlayStation lifestyle. With our community at the core of everything we do, we’re aiming to make the PS5-era the best yet for PlayStation LifeStyle.