Rants tag

Rants, ruminations, and rambling reports from the front lines* of the Massively Multiplayer Multiverse.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

To Blog or Not to Blog

Sometimes I wonder if I should just pack it up. I get tired of the hype and anti-hype surrounding this gaming community. Even among people I really enjoy talking to here and on Twitter or G+, the debates seem to endlessly rage. This, on top of the fact that I don't to have more than a few serious followers (I love you guys). It's a bit of a blow to the ego to realize that after two years of doing this, I'm still penny-ante.

But I wonder if I could stop. This is my little corner of the Internet, where I can rant about anything (game related) or exult in the pure fun of a game. I just don't know. I guess I'm fishing for a little encouragement this August morning.

37 comments:

  1. I know the feeling, I go through this every year myself. Right now, in fact.

    I spend an hour minimum on any given blog post, but most end up taking 3-6 hours. Then I get no comments. Or I can take a few minutes on a Google+ post and get pages of discussion.

    I hate feeling like my hours of writing just went to waste because I never know if anyone else even read it if there's never any commentary or discussion.

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    1. I've said it before, but until they unblock G+ at work, I won't have a huge presence there. I like the format of it, though. I know what you mean about feeling like your time and effort are wasted sometimes.

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  2. Don't Stop...Believin'! Or Be-loggin'!

    Write what you want, when you want. Or, alternatively, set out some limits. I tend to vacillate between the two. Sometimes I get too loose and need to make a rule (ie, "one post a week on Thursdays") and sometimes I get too tight and need to back off.

    In either case - consider this a dose of encouragement. I read 'em, every last one of 'em.

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    1. Thanks for the encouragment, HZ. Believe it or not, yours is one of the few blogs I read religiously.

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  3. Write! Writing is an excellent cathartic activity and you shouldn't stop just because of a debate here and there.

    As Jorge Luis Borges once said,

    “A writer - and, I believe, generally all persons - must think that whatever happens to him or her is a resource. All things have been given to us for a purpose, and an artist must feel this more intensely. All that happens to us, including our humiliations, our misfortunes, our embarrassments, all is given to us as raw material, as clay, so that we may shape our art.”

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    1. I started out thinking I'd have lots of stories (fan fiction?) and talking my experiences in games. But so much of my stuff is a rant against this or that bit of what I perceive as ignorance or stupidity. It's what I get passionate about. But much like TSW—which I love—the environment is wearing.

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  4. This is why I don't usually dip into the fan wars, I just bloviate about game design, the game industry, business models and art.

    For what it's worth, I've slowed down a fair bit lately. I have too many other things to do. And, well... I want to write other things, like journals for my kids and books. They probably won't grow up and wonder about what dear old dad posted on his blog.

    As fun as blogging can be, especially when writing about something entertaining (your pick; this *is* your corner of the 'net, after all), there are other things to do.

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    1. Very true. I just know I have a good book in me. I need the discipline to get it out.

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  5. You should blog because you enjoy blogging and stop if you don't. It's for you, not your audience. If you take a break it isn't forever, just until you feel you have more to say.

    Also from reading your comments, I'm glad I haven't really gotten around to Twitter and G+ yet (especially Twitter). I have accounts for both but I don't really use them. I may have been protected from the worst of the storm that way.

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    1. I initially joined Twitter in a effort to drive a little more traffic this direction. But it's long since grown into a great place—usually—to have conversations with folks all over the world that I share interests with. G+ is more long form, but much the same. Most of the people in my circles are folks I know from Twitter.

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  6. Are you kidding, you can't stop blogging; I'd be down one of my favorite blogs if you do.

    I know each person's blogging style and topics of choice are completely personal and it could be hard to "force" a post out if the writer really doesn't feel it, but have you considered blogging about less heavier topics? I mean, I see you've peppered your blog lately with a variety of posts, like guides, advice articles, screenshots. Maybe do more of those, or just more carefree posts chronicling your journey in game or your good experiences.

    Myself, I've recently decided there are certain subjects that I should just stay away from on my blog -- WoW killers, fanboyism, etc. as that often invites the kind of rage and other less savory behaviors in the hype/anti-hype cycle that you speak of. Hey, a new game is out, I just want to enjoy it, I don't want that stuff getting me down. I realized that times like this, I don't even really think about it, subconsciously I think I just tend to write the kinds of carefree posts I was talking about. Dear god, just look at my Sims 3 series. I don't think I write those for anyone or any reason but my own twisted enjoyment :S

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    1. Weird. I thought I had replied here.

      I love your Sims posts. I don't comment much because I'm not super familiar with the game. But it fun to hear about all your man-whoring.

      I do need to do more slice of gaming stuff.

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  7. I've heard the uneasiness about low comment numbers before. I certainly feel it too, sometimes.

    I think the problem with few comments is that what draws comments are controversial posts. Make outlandish claims; take an extreme position; belittle a popular group of people; and I bet you'll see your comments section explode. To a certain extent, that probably also goes for page views. You'll probably also be remembered.

    The question is: do you want to write those posts? If you do, more power to you! But I don't think you do.

    I realize that many of my own posts are either very balanced "on the one hand... but on the other" writings, or convoluted in the way I convey my message. These don't draw a lot of comments, because I assume people read them and then say "yeah... I guess he's right? Or not? Maybe?". One doesn't get comments that say "nice writing", typically, except in the spam box.

    To me, that is totally ok. Would I like to have more page views and comments? Absolutely. But I realize that the way I write is not conducive to that, and I'd rather keep writing like that instead of change it.

    It's a bit weird, because when I talk, I can often come up with nice and short quips off-hand. It's just when I start writing that I realize that I need to cover this... and that... and I should mention these things too, would be unfair not to...

    Ok, since I'm already rambling again and this comment is already longer than your post, let me try the short quip thing:

    The most efficient way to produce feedback is to to write something short, easy to read, offensive, and wrong. There must be other ways, but I'm not privy to that kind of arcane knowledge.

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    1. I think this post illustrates your point, even though it is not really polemic in and of itself. I wrote in about five minutes, and it has generated far more (and longer) commentary than many of my hours-long, wordy efforts. Thanks. :)

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    2. Oh, polemic isn't necessary for feedback, but often sufficient. ;)

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  8. As this is one of my favorite blogs, I certainly hope you keep at it :-)

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    1. Thanks. Mostly a little discouraged today. All Y'all are awesome. :D

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  9. I've found that, especially when it comes to comments I would make on other blogs, that I have so much more to say... and in a comments section, who wants to read a wall of text? I find it definitely cathartic, and even if I have significantly fewer loyal followers than you do, I still keep it up for mostly my own feelings. Getting a nugget of recognition from time to time is nice, but it's not why I'm doing it. :)

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    1. There's an interesting tangent to that I think....some blog posts don't really elicit feedback/comments. And it can be hard to tell from "views" whether or not the post is a "success." Some blogs I comment on very regularly, some I don't, but I may read both very actively. Something for us all to ponder I suppose.

      Oh, and sense you read mine religiously, I guess I should give you a more regular or at least populated reading schedule, lol. I've been slacking lately!

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    2. @HZ No worries. When you post, I get an email. :)

      You and Ocho are both right, though. Some blog posts aren't really invitations to discussion, and others inspire such lengthy responses I end up posting on my own blog and linking back to the OP.

      OTOH, I have posts where I explicitly close with a question, and nobody responds. :P

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    3. Don't I know that well, lol. I have gotten to the point where I just refuse to leave a question/invitation at the end of the post, so as not to kill the discussion.

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  10. Just for your encouragement: I read all your posts, even if they're about games I don't even play. If I don't have anything intelligent to say (which is usual :P), I won't pollute your blog with it, but that doesn't mean I didn't like what I read. I love your writing style: honest, to the point and still entertaining. Many articles are thought-through (is that a word?), which I like as well.

    I don't know your visitor numbers, but it looks to me you actually get quite some comments. I always think: there are famous blogs out there with loads of pageviews but with little comments, or with little in-depth comments (= attention-seeking troll comments). Which would you prefer? I myself reckoned I'm happy with a small blog with my silly thoughts, but with the personal reactions of kind readers on it. But perhaps that's just me.

    Was that enough fish? :)

    No honestly, blog only if you feel like blogging, but know that there are those who actually like to read what you wrote.

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    1. Wow, a whole basket full. :D I'll take your word, "thought-through." That's the beauty of English: functional shift. I enjoy your posts about various games, that I am not playing, in addition to the ones I am.

      I certainly don't want trolls, and would squash them quickly. This is MY corner of the net, after all. :) I have a post brewing about that, as well. Not that it's really been a problem here.

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  11. I enjoy reading your posts so I hope you decide to keep writing!

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    1. Thanks, Rebecca. I enjoy yours, as well. I guess I need to do more commenting myself.

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  12. Piah and tush, keep going! As for fallow periods, we all have those; hell, mine lasted over a year and is probably still going to a large extent.

    I love blogging, but when life gets busy with other stuff it's one of the first things I stop doing. It's important to me, but it's not all-important, nor do I think it should be.

    Traffic I can't advise on. I've never much cared about it so it doesn't worry me when I don't have any. :D But as you can see, posts like this one WILL get us coming out of the woodwork. We read a great deal more than we comment (especially those of us who read a gajillion blogs), but we do muster up a pretty good support group when needed. ;)

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    1. "Posts like this one WILL get us coming out of the woodwork." Clearly. And I really appreciate it. :)

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  13. You suck, quit, and open a porn site.

    Seriously you are a great blogger, and numbers come and go. I've been doing this a long time, and sometimes comments, and numbers feed the ego, but I know when I write something great, and don't need validation. You really have to write for you, and not try to please everyone that is the surest route to failure. Also you have to take breaks from time to time, to step back and see what direction you want to go.

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    1. Hah! I'd get way more traffic with a porn site. :P Thanks for the encouragement.

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  14. just to add - I too read and enjoy your blog but am a terrible commenter - I either don't get round to commenting or don't have anything further to contribute...

    my blog is pretty small and I often wonder whether or not to continue..., why do I blog?... I continue because I enjoy it and I really need an outlet for screenshots ;) and I guess that's all that's important really.

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    1. Well thank you for introducing yourself. I just checked out you blog and added it to my rotating list. I love your stuff.

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    2. Just added you to my reader as well! I seem to have missed you in the NBI somehow.

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  15. Well advice from me is well listen to your readers and well the readers who care the most to read your blog loyally and comment the most as valued commenters. You obviously should know who most your loyal readers are by now. Anyway most of the commenters above me have excellent advice in their replay, and good to ponder on their reply.

    I'm not really sure what advice otherwise to give you. Every blogger goes thru periods like this at some point. In the end, you remind yourself… just why you blog in the first place and the passion around why you even do it and consume hours of your day doing it when you could of been playing a game or something else.

    Sometimes it can help not to get caught up on twitter stuff or something in the community that can really put damper on how you feel either way around things. God knows i've been there much with that in the EVE Community. Just focus on what you want to focus on writing about and not necessarily on every opinion piece or whatever the like.

    Sometimes you can just choose to blog less or less frequently and not feel like you have to blog like the daily press. It's a hobby, its something you enjoy doing for fun, make sure your having fun doing it or to some degree. As for me, in the last year i've just chosen to blog allot less, I haven't quit. I just do it less often, because i choose to spend more time playing the game than writing about it or getting caught up in community happenings to feel like i need to comment on or make an opinion about something. I just enjoy playing games, it don't necessarily mean i have an exact opinion about everything gaming or whatever everyone is talking about. I blog less and i enjoy doing so as i have 2-6 extra hours for that day I don't write a blog that i can spend playing a game or sleeping.

    To stop writing isn't necessarily the answer. Its maybe finding a happy medium with writing, frequency and what you choose to write about maybe.

    Anyway just friendly encouragement. We all need it sometimes anyway!

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    1. Thanks, AD. I know what you mean about gaming so much there's no time to blog. :) I've been paying a lot of attention to new MMOs these past couple years. I'd like to say say I'll settle down and enjoy them, but it's seems like I'm shortening my time in each, not staying longer.

      I have a personal goal to post at least a few more times this year than my first year. And I'm on track to achieve it. I also plan to write more slice of gaming posts, as I said to GC, but ideas for opinion pieces proliferate.

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  16. OK Rowan, I might be two weeks late but I did get here eventually and I do read all of your posts. Like Ravanel mentioned, I don't leave pithy comments because I don't play the games you do and don't have anything remotely witty to say. But, for a time, I live vicariously through the window you provide, enjoying what you do. :)

    If it makes you feel better about your Big-Gamer Status, the company I work for has your site blocked, meaning you are big enough to be worth blocking. lol (that is the main reason it took me two weeks between visits, while I sit here catching up on all your posts...)

    Cheers to you! ~Supergirl

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    1. Haha, thanks for the vote of confidence. I had to get my organization to unblock the blog back when I think MMOGC and BlueKae were the only two reading it. ;P And right back atcha, I love reading about Supergirl's adventures in Middle Earth (and Ravanel's, too.)

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