My exposure to the Newbie Blogger Initiative (NBI from here on) was limited until this year. During the first year my only knowledge of the event was from reading a few posts from participants whose blogs I happened to already read. I didn’t follow any links to other blogs or to the official site, for reasons I’m not sure of. I read the participants’ articles and then went back to whatever I was doing at the time. I remember off-handedly thinking that the NBI was akin to NaNoWriMo, and though that’s also something that interests me, I didn’t feel the inspiration to participate at that point in time.
Within the last year I’ve become a more active blogger. This has nothing to do with the NBI, I motivated myself through some reflection. The NBI is something that might have helped me get to this point faster though, and my self-reflection had me remembering why I started blogging in the first place. We didn’t even call them blogs yet; the term “web log” (where “blog” is derived from) hadn’t been coined. They were home pages, and they lacked any sort of focus, design principles or real content. “Clown Pants” would be an adequate term. Eventually a group of my friends and I decided that we should form a collaborative web page where we could all post articles, and though this still didn’t have all that much purpose or content, we ended up as part of a network. I don’t recall the name of the network, but we were provided hosting to do with what we pleased, had quite a few other sites in our blogroll that we conversed with and formed a community. This was rather short-lived (from the late 90’s to about 2002 or so), and then it seemed that blogging was dead for a while, as anyone who I knew that participated had given up the hobby. When I started up this blog, I wasn’t sure how much of a community would be out there, but I went ahead and wrote what I wanted to write anyway.
I remembered how much more fun it was to write for an audience when thinking of my past. I wanted that sort of audience again, however small it may have been. I might have built up a little bit of a reader-base on my own, but I know that it has expanded much more rapidly just through my short time as a supporter of the NBI. I want to help shape a community. This has been sorely missing from the Internet in years past, and the support of a community alone can inspire someone to try and do something more than just write words for themselves. Don’t get me wrong, I firmly believe that you should write for yourself, and not worry about what other people think. But that is a core value you will have learned by the time you come to a point that you want an audience of like-minded individuals. When we write for others it is a gift we give of ourselves.
One day while doing my rounds I stumbled upon the Gaming Blog Nexus. I saw it as a great way to get some of my posts out into other networks (most of my traffic usually came from search engines or from within WordPress). From there I ended up on the NBI homepage, noticing announcements that #NBI2014 was coming, and they were looking for volunteers who were existing bloggers to help organize the event. I gladly volunteered, and next thing I knew I was getting involved in all sorts of cool things. I can’t spoil anything here, but I think this year’s event will put the others to shame.
As one of the Old-Guard (a nickname for veteran bloggers), I feel like I can contribute to this budding community by helping others with their writing, sharing my own stories and experiences, and participating in the NBI event by writing articles and playing games with other bloggers. I just wish I could have been involved sooner! While the official start date is still a couple of days away, I wanted to get this out there now. I have a guide to add to the wealth of information the community has already created, that will be coming May 1st.
#nbi2014 #NBI #newbiebloggerinitiative #community