Psychochild's Blog

A developer's musings on game development and writing.

15 October, 2013

Return of the Newbie Blogger Initiative
Filed under: — Psychochild @ 1:06 PM
(This post has been viewed 9274 times.)

In grand Psychochild's Blog tradition, I'm here to tell you news waaaaaaay after the fact. Anyway, this post is about the return of the Newbie Blogger Initiative! Do you write about game stuff, particularly MMOs, and want to get some attention to your writing? Want some experienced bloggers to lend some guidance while you explore the crazy world of blogging? Then this is the initiative for you!

Anyway, I signed up to be a mentor, so I should probably post something, right?

An awesome origin story

As some of you might know, the brilliant Syp over at Bio Break created the Newbie Blogger Initiative. It introduced a bunch of new bloggers to the MMO space. This year the brand new Newbie Blogger Initiative mantle was taken up by Doone over at T.R. Red Skies and Contains Moderate Peril.

Since I've worried about the health of MMO blogging in the past, I obviously whole-heartedly support this endeavor!

Is Blogging Outdated?

Encouraging people to blog might seem like encouraging people to memorize the locations of pay phones and use them exclusively while away from home. As I said in my post about blogging earlier this year, social media is taking up a lot of what used to be the domain of blogging. But, as I said, I think there's a lot of value in blogging. It allows for a lot more insight, you get a better sense of community, and you have a lot more control over your blog posts than you do over your social media streams.

Of course, an important part of writing a blog is participating in the community by reading blogs. (Bonus tip: insightful comments are a great way to get people to go visit your blog!) With the death of Google Reader, it's a bit harder to keep up. I've found a home with CommaFeed; it's like me, a bit rough around the edges, maybe a bit slow at times, but it does the job fairly well. I still read a few hundred different blogs, and although I'm horribly behind, it helps me keep abreast of what is important to some of the most active MMO enthusiasts.

Some practical advice

So, I think the best advice I can give is to consider the question: what did I know how that I wish I had known back when I started blogging? I think the most important thing for me was just taking the plunge and start writing. If you go back and read my early blog posts, I really had no focus and no real voice. I enjoyed participating in forums and I certainly had quite a bit to say, but I didn't know what I wanted for my blog. I eventually settled into what I did on most forums: discussing issues from the point of view of a developer who is also an enthusiastic player. Perhaps with a bit less trolling. ;)

I think the other thing I've learned over the years is that unless you have aspirations of making a living at blogging (even I flirted with that, but let me tell you: don't do it), it really doesn't matter how many "hits" you get. I'll take 10 enthusiastic readers and and regular comment writers over 1000 people who just skim my posts. Hell, I regularly don't post for... (checks post dates).... a month (?!?!) at a time. But, there are still people that stop by and read my writing and leave terrific comments.

But, while you shouldn't worry too much about how many people visit your blog, I think it is important to value and respect your readers. Cultivate the type of community you like, and participate in the comments as much as you can. In the end, the readers really do make this whole blogging thing worthwhile. :)

Got questions about blogging, suggestions for newbie bloggers, or any other question? I'll answer them in the comments below.

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3 Comments »

  1. I haven't even started on my NBI post(s) yet, though I have a couple ideas. I tell myself I am just waiting for others to tire so I can pick up the slack or something. No need to have all the posts up in a single day.

    Comment by Wilhelm Arcturus — 15 October, 2013 @ 2:49 PM

  2. I've missed my old "i maek gaemz" blog so much that I've recently jumped back in, so this is both interesting and relevant to me =)

    I'm a higher percent 'dad' than gamer now, but I'm hoping that gives me an angle that hits home w/ people like me who just woke up one day and realized their definition of themselves as a gamer has changed sometime between college and kids.

    I'm afraid of your advice, but it's done me well in the past =)

    Comment by Patrick Rogers — 17 October, 2013 @ 8:06 AM

  3. You know there's an article (written in 2004) roaming around the Reddit forums for EQNext in which this guy talks about how MMO's have been building layer upon layer of poor design choices for years; all for the goal of attracting newbies to replace the aging gaming veterans.

    It specifically cites Neverwinter Nights on AOL (which started my MMO career), and how the players transported themselves to Meridian 59 when it finally shuttered itself. I thought to myself... who do I know that use to work on Meridian 59. Immediately I remembered your blog, from about a month or so ago when I stumbled into it.

    Anyhow, as one of those newbie bloggers, you can credit yourself as a source of inspiration to take it more seriously. I also enjoy how you don't "spam" the net with 25 posts a month. When you post, its usually something meaningful. I've taken that to heart. I write when I want to, when a subject strikes me as interesting. Sometimes that means I'll be more prolific, sometimes not.

    Guess I really didn't have a question in all of that mess.

    You should write something about Guilds. We come from an era of gaming when they meant something. I'm posting mine up shortly over at scree.org.

    Comment by Craig 'Scree' Schupp — 17 October, 2013 @ 7:23 PM

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