Blaugust: Not Good Enough Says Gevlon

I don’t follow the Greedy Goblin aka Gevlon, so I wouldn’t have seen his post were it not for posts from Contains Moderate Peril and Endgame Viable. I have however read many a post particularly from Syncaine about his writings and this is part of the reason I don’t follow. It seems that Gevlon is the trolling type, or if he isn’t an outright troll, he does tend to have some controversial views that probably provide page hits but little in the way of reputation. This is fine though, to each their own I say, and if he carries on despite some posts outright blasting him, then he’s really dedicated to his craft. I laughed when he would talk about League of Legends or PUBG and his strategies to game the system wouldn’t work. But I digress.

In Gevlon’s recent post, the Goblin goes on to crunch some numbers (albeit it only appears that he is looking at October’s post numbers, why he passed up on numbers for September is beyond me) of which show a decreased posting output from the upper echelon of posters from Blaugust. He didn’t bother looking at blogs that didn’t make the at least 25 posts back in August, which would further skew things. He listed this blog having 10 posts, which was probably true for October, which isn’t even a completed month, and doesn’t count the 17 posts I made in September.

Most of us that participate in Blaugust are already established. We encourage newbies to join in or start a blog, and some do. Very few stick with it, and those of us who have been blogging for any consistent amount of time know that it takes time and committment to keep a blog going. As Roger said, Blaugust can be a crash course into blogging, and many will find themselves exhausted at the end of the event. But is the event made in order to retain a larger blogosphere? I would argue that no, this isn’t something that requires further commitment. Generally speaking most of us have our own self-imposed rules and schedules and we all fall back into that which is naturally comfortable after an event like this one. It started as a challenge for established bloggers to push themselves to post every day for a month. To that end, it pushed many of us to do that and for many this wasn’t the first time.

What made Blaugust Reborn a little different is that it included the Newbie Blogger Initiative tenets this year, so we also were encouraging new bloggers to get involved and for non-bloggers to start. So the combination of the two may show the attrition more than usual. Regardless, as a blogging event, I’d say it was very successful, as it has been in all the years where it was run. Gelvon says this isn’t enough, but I think if even one addition is made to the wider blogging community, then that was a positive effect. Deriding it just because people have lives outside of blogging leaves a bad taste in my mouth.

Looking at his list I see plenty of people still blogging, we just don’t usually blog once a day. There is mention of a “Goon that he won’t link to” which I assume is Wilhelm, as he’s the only blogger I see talking about EVE these days. Whatever the case, I see a thriving community of bloggers that are still doing their thing, and have been for years. For some of us, when you’ve been doing this for so long it becomes a part of your life, for others it can easily be written off. I hope to see more events in the future and will participate as they come along. If no one sticks around afterward, let’s just think of it like a party that has come to an end. Everyone goes home and back to their own lives. This is okay.

Blaugust 2018 Aftermath

Blaugust has come and gone and I managed to complete the challenge, posting 31 times in August. As this sort of schedule is not something I am used to, usually averaging about 3-4 posts per week, I’m glad that it is over. That’s not to say that I didn’t enjoy myself, despite having two surgeries and an overall busy month with the child going back to school and whatnot. It was a blast to find things to write about, to read so many awesome posts from the resurgent community, and to have something of a milestone to reflect upon once again. Not having any community event happening for more than a year, it was nice to have this sort of connection to the wider set of bloggers out there, new and old. Many of us have been doing this for so long that we sort of forget that there are other people out there putting in the same sort of work. I salute you, fellow bloggers, and hope to see you again next year, as Belghast has already alluded to another round in 2019.

It was Labor Day weekend here in the States, and as such I took the time off from writing (or thinking about writing) to play some games. I’ve dipped my toes into Destiny 2, and played some more ESO over the weekend. I also went to the theater for the first time in months and saw The Happytime Murders, which was a good time and the first date night I’ve had with my lady in a long time. Plus, the spoiler season for Guilds of Ravnica (the next MTG expansion) has begun, so I’ll be jotting down some thoughts I have on these things and will get some more posts out this week. We’ll be back to a more normal (for me) schedule so don’t expect daily posts anymore, but I’m going to try and keep it fairly regular nonetheless.

There were a fair amount of awards given out for this event, and having completed the challenge I’ve earned the “rainbow badge” which I’ve displayed on the sidebar as well. Belghast has a great tabulation of the month over on his blog, and a bunch of other people have been doing their round up posts as well, though I’m feeling a bit too lazy to compile stats at the moment. Rest assured that I had a good month in terms of views, likes and comments and I’m happy with that. Here’s to doing it all over again next year!

Developer Appreciation Week: Two For One

The third week of Blaugust was scheduled to be “Developer Appreciation Week,” which is something the blogsphere has put on in the past. I’ve never participated in this particular event, and thought maybe I should make at least one post related to it to not only stick to Bel’s schedule but to also actually show some appreciation. Those of you who have been reading this blog for any length of time know that I tend to only write about games I enjoy, so I have heaped praise on many a title over the years. I’ve not really hyped up a developer before though, and in this case, the one that I’d like to show my appreciation for is Bethesda.

Bethesda is responsible for one of my all time favorites in The Elder Scrolls and Fallout series. As developers of these huge open worlds, they have whet my appetite for a deep single player RPG experience. I’ve had my dislikes too, but overall games like Fallout 4 and Skyrim were amazing titles and gave me a love for single player games that I hadn’t felt since before I got into MMOs. I poured countless hours into their big open-ended RPGs and loved them, and then we got the ability to toy around with mods on top of that and by that point you’re putting MMO hours into a single player game. They got me hyped up again this year with the teaser trailers for the next Elder Scrolls game and another game that’s taking their formula to space, not to mention Fallout 76 which will finally bring a multiplayer aspect to one of their beloved worlds. Bethesda’s been a favorite company of mine for a long time now and I don’t see that changing anytime soon. Not only are they developers of games that I love, they also publish for another big name in the industry:

id Software is single-handedly responsible for turning me into an FPS fan. Wolfenstein, DOOM, Quake and all of the iterations over the years have been great, and now that Bethesda are publishing them I feel like the quality has gone up a notch or two. I have not been disappointed with any of the recent remakes/reboots of these franchises. The sequel to the last DOOM is coming by next year, more RAGE, Quake Champions is still being developed as we speak (but is very fun already) and the next chapter in the Wolfenstein series is coming as well. Not only do these games push the envelop graphically, they have come a long way in their story-telling and just how damn smooth and fast you can expect an FPS to run. id Software spurned a whole genre that has seen countless copies and iterations but can all be traced back to early 3D outings by this team. Without either of these companies, these genres would not be what they are today and for that, I thank them. Looking forward to making new memories with these companies’ games.

Blaugust Reborn Begins

The time has finally come my friends, Blaugust Reborn officially starts today. I’ve posted about it thrice so far, once to announce my involvement and another time to give a little inspiration and finally to report on the participant list along with giving some tips. I know for a fact that participant list is out of date by now, as the Discord Server has been poppin’ and last number I heard was something like 60 blogs that have gotten involved. It’s not too late to sign up either, so if you’d like to do that head over here. Because I’ve participated in Blaugusts years past along with helping to run the NBI I figured I should be one of the leaders (mentors) to get out in front of the pack and try to provide some writing prompts for the community to get started with. Blogging for 31 days in a row is a challenge even for those of us who have been writing for years and I can’t imagine the pressure for newbies as its been so long since I could be considered one. So here are some prompts you can feel free to steal to help get through the month!

  • Share one of your passions that isn’t normally found on your blog. If you blog about games, try writing a post about a movie or book, etc.
  • The Gamer To-Do List – I presented this one a few years ago and other bloggers do something similar each month.
  • Explore your origins as a writer – more for veterans but, did you always have a passion for it, or are you just now feeling like its something you want to do?
  • Why do you enjoy blogging? – this one is more for veterans as well, but you might be able to answer this by the end of the month if you’re new.

Hopefully these prompts will help to get you started or give you some inspiration later in the month when the well runs dry. I know that my plan has been put into motion already, as I’ve drafted this post early and have a few other posts scheduled ahead of time so that I don’t have to crunch. Having a challenge like this ahead of me has changed my usual modus operandi. Typically I will open WordPress, write a post and publish it in one sitting. Sometimes I will have some drafts saved to have as a reminder of something I want to get to, but at this point I know that I have had some writers block in the past month so I want to have as many posts ready to go early as possible. I would suggest you do the same, getting ahead is much better than falling behind if you want to complete the challenge!

Blogging is Dead! Long Live Blogging!

I’ve signed up for “Mentor” status for this year’s Blaugust/NBI event, and as such it’s up to myself and fellow mentors to try and steer new blogging participants in the “write” direction (I see what you did there). Some of us that have signed up to be mentors have been doing this whole blogging thing for a long time, and others for only a couple of years. I can tell you from experience that it doesn’t matter how long you do a thing, you can still learn new tricks and still be hit by writer’s block. As such, I’d like to share some of the things that I have learned and hopefully this will help someone to get started or be inspired to keep going.

First though, I’ve stolen this compiled list of this year’s participants from Wilhelm, and I must say it’s a nice looking list, containing both members of the Old Guard along with a good amount of new blogs:

  1. A Green Mushroom
  2. Aeternus Gaming
  3. Ald Shot First
  4. Ash’s Adventures
  5. Athernes Adventures
  6. Aywren Sojourner
  7. barely readable diary
  8. Beyond Tannhauser Gate
  9. Bio Break
  10. Book of Jen
  11. Calamity Jess
  12. Can I Play Too
  13. Casual Aggro
  14. Contains Moderate Peril
  15. Deez Wurds
  16. Fresh Eyes in Gaming (not yet live)
  17. Gamer Girl Confessions
  18. Gaming Conversations
  19. GamingSF
  20. Geeky Dad Fitness
  21. Going Commando
  22. Gray’s Cozy Nook
  23. Heattanu’s Game
  24. I’m Not Squishy
  25. Inventory Full
  26. JVT Workshop
  27. leaflocker
  28. Mailvaltar – MMOs and other stuff
  29. Me vs. Myself and I
  30. Moonshine Mansion
  31. Municipal City
  32. Murf Versus
  33. Nerdy Bookahs
  34. Neverwinter Thoughts
  35. Nomadic Gamers, Eh!
  36. Pizza Maid
  37. Princess in a Castle
  38. Professorbeej is Awesome
  39. RandomX
  40. RunningShoes.tv
  41. Scarybooster
  42. Shadowz Abstract Gaming Blog
  43. Shards of Imagination
  44. Simply Janine
  45. StarShadow
  46. Stropp’s World
  47. Tales of the Aggronaut
  48. The Ancient Gaming Noob
  49. The Path They Walk
  50. ThisThingIsNeat
  51. Through Wolfy’s Eyes
  52. TroytlePower
  53. Why I Game
  54. WoW Alt Addiction

That’s quite the list, and here we thought that blogging was a dying art!

Jokes aside, blogging has been “dying” for years. When I first migrated over to WordPress.com people were talking about blogging being dead, and that was 11 years ago (WordPress just notified me that my anniversary was a few days ago, having migrated back in 2007). Honestly, there is a smaller amount of blogs out there now as opposed to back then, but the Internet has changed. YouTube wasn’t the phenomenon that it has become, streaming wasn’t a thing yet, and though Podcasting was still an option then it wasn’t on my radar nearly as much at that time. As it goes, everyone has their preferred method of content consumption, but just because little Timmy only watches YouTube videos doesn’t mean you should give up on writing because Timmy’s older brother Johnny prefers reading. Also, there aren’t any rules that say you can’t do multiple things if you have the time. I used to maintain this blog and also run a podcast while simultaneously streaming and making some YouTube videos as well. Don’t be afraid to dabble until you find your preferred creative outlet!

I’ll agree with Wilhelm that WordPress.com is probably the best option for a budding blogger. It’s free, you get plenty of customization options and the stat tracking is good. There’s also plenty of storage space for your screenshots and other pictures, which help to make your blog posts more dynamic. I have zero experience with Blogger or Tumblr though, so I could be biased. Still, I would advise against spending money as paying to blog seems silly until you are established and know that you’re in it for the long haul.

Finding your audience is another matter, as most people go into this idea of blogging thinking that they’ll write about this one thing and paint themselves into a corner. My school of thought comes from the late 90’s when I got my start, when I was part of the E/N crowd. E/N = Everything/Nothing and means that you can literally write about anything that you want. I’ve had comments over the years about guides or adventures I’ve written about being appealing, but some people like when I give a more personal touch and write about my life. Your audience will grow primarily by having a good output moreso than the content you’re writing about. If people know that you’re going to have out a post every day, or a couple of posts a week, they’ll come back to consume that content regularly. If you only post once every 6 months you probably won’t have much of an audience, so keep with it!

That’s not to say you need a schedule. I’ve maintained an output of about 15 posts per month for about a year, so about one every other day. Wilhelm and others post every weekday and some post every single day. Find what works for you and try to stick with it. By the end of Blaugust you will have found a way to make 31 posts, one a day, so you should be able to tell if you like that sort of schedule or if you’d prefer to dial it back a bit. My real life schedule is hectic so I don’t have the time to write every day (Blaugust is a challenge every time) but you might. To each their own.

That’s the advice I have for you today. Now I’m going to try and figure out what I’m going to write about next month. Happy writing!