Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Find that blog!

It's been quiet at the blogs lately. Not so many people are posting, and not as often as they did, and it seems there aren't so many newer blogs either. A lot of posts seem related directly or not to all those Chaos marines, or Dwimmermount, or new monsters.

(I'm not digging the new Chaos for various reasons, on the subject of Dwimmermount I like empty space, partly for this reason, and I love homebrew stuff like the monsters.)

I'm guessing it's just the cold and the darkness, an autumnal, getting-back-into-college blip. Trouble is, this could set off a downward spiral of less reason to check in, less jumping from blog to blog, so less traffic and fewer comments as positive reinforcement, which could mean bloggers spending more time away, or elsewhere, or just moving on.

In case it isn't the time of year, and to brighten things up, I want to enlist the help of one of the most consistently stimulating gaming bloggers I've had the pleasure to read. The posts are in my view generally excellent, often very rigorous and at times highly personal. They push the limits too. The person likes the games that many of us do, and is knowledgeable and engaging, and a theorist and philosopher. So who is it?

I could probably tell you straight, but it's not so simple. Believe it or not, I've actually been forbidden from linking to this mysterious blog. And get this: I was even asked to remove all the links to the blog I'd ever posted. I did of course, because I understand we're all built differently, and I'm a generous person. Plus I loved the idea of being asked.

As an aside, I wasn't asked to remove the references themselves so they're still here...

Which is to say that while I haven't explicitly been banned from giving you the name you need to find the blog quickly and easily, implicitly I feel I have. Which is excellent news.

It's how we'll heat things up. How? Go find this blog. I don't think you'll regret it. Think of it as a secret valley, a pocket universe, an Eldorado or a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. I don't think I've ever seen a link anywhere but here, and I don't even remember how I found it, but I can give you clues, and maybe let you know if you're getting warmer.

By looking - or just knowing at the back of your mind it's there - you might click through to blogs you wouldn't usually, explore more, and that might get noticed in the stats, and generate interest, and prod cold, tired, disheartened bloggers, happy they're being read.

And there's clearly more than one outstanding blog out there, possibly hidden as well.

Better yet, leave a comment or two. Respond or start a discussion. It's pure sunshine.

Or start your own blog...

You'll be doing us all a good deed. So good luck, and see you there - if you make it...


CounterFett said...

I've noticed something very much the same. Lots fewer active blogs, and less people swinging by. A bit of this I blamed on my rather 'eclectic' posting of late...gamers want to see gaming.

It just seems to be almost epidemic lately.

Zanazaz said...

After a long break I am back to blogging, and hopefully soon I can get some gaming in. During my long hiatus I didn't check the blogs much, in fact very little, but now I'm refreshed, and enjoying the blogging world of gaming once again.

I'm not sure I feel up to finding this blog you mention, but I hope someone does find it. I'm curious...

Timothy Brannan said...

And I am post 2-3 times a day to make for it all! ;)

Thanks for the monsters plug.

I am very curious about this mystery blog too.

Zab said...

Interesting. Mystery blog...I started a blog back in September. Its hobby related rather than gaming. Frankly, blogging is like a whole other part of the hobby just like taking photos of models is too. And it's really Fun! I wish I had time to post more than once a week and maybe the more I do it the easier it will be. Hmm, mystery blog...

Lefteris Antipope said...

I am back to blogging as well. How long this is going to last? I really don't know. It comes and goes depending solely on what (and if I have something) to say.

John Till said...

The picture for your blog post on my blogroll today was quite intriguing : it was a featureless yellow box. I imagine if I stared at it long enough without clicking, I could go insane. This was a very intriguing post as well.

Paul´s Bods said...

Mystery Blog? If I haven´t found doesn´t exist :-D
I´ve noticed a "downturn" in blogging activity recently..not traffic necessarily but people posting new stuff. Usually i can´t keep up..and wouls spend a lot of time running around trying to look and comment but recently, the blog rolls seem a bit static..only the hardcore are active to their usual degree.

Porky said...

Thanks for the comments everyone.

I should clarify - just in case - that the call for comments wasn't for comments here, but for comments in general. It can take a few seconds to add a voice and I'd say there's a benefit to all involved, to the commenter, to the host and to all the readers.

For the bloggers wanting to encourage comments, I recommend switching off verification. It really speeds the process up. It's in the 'Settings' list under 'Posts and comments', and choosing 'No' removes it.

Whatever you choose - and even if you're not choosing - for more to think about on that subject, have a read of this.

@ CounterFett - I think we do find eclectic things scary, or we've developed to find them scary, and I get a similar impression here. It's almost as if we need to know what to expect before we click, as if the click is life or death, or we can't allow ourselves to be surprised, or see anything that doesn't fit the paradigm.

Personally, I love more eclectic blogs, and the fact you post about so many different things. You very often surprise me, and that's just fine.

@ Zanazaz - It's good to see you back and easing back in. It's easy to overdo it and burn out, and that could be behind a lot of the stop-start posting we see, which I've been guilty of occasionally too.

Fred was an excellent post and I'm very happy you're carrying on with Kinship. I think I've said before how brilliant I think it is. I don't know what you're planning, but I hope it involves some form of publication - or maybe even crossovers with guys like Hereticwerks, or through something like the Ends?

Have you thought about running games in Kinship online, through the blog or G+?

For anyone who hasn't been following Kinship, all the labelled posts are here.

Porky said...

@ Timothy Brannan - I think you taking the leap the way you have is doing a lot of good. One post a week, or one overall, is a comfortable posting schedule for a creative series, to help stop that burnout.

The fact it's your blog hosting it is also a help, for the mix of people that read - there are blogs signed up that wouldn't usually come into contact. The various clusters of blogs don't seem to overlap or engage as much as they could given the similarity of the core subjects. The general theme is really exploring fiction, however we do it.

If anyone reading wants to join in Monstrous Monday, all the info is here.

@ Zab - I think you're right about that similarity. I'd say blogging itself is not so different at root from the hobbies we're actually blogging about - there's the visual element in the presentation, and the creativity and expression generally in the writing, and there can even be aspects of gaming in there too.

It's definitely good fun, and it should get easier. Practice makes perfect after all, and getting used to the various processes naturally helps, even familiarity with the interface. In a way you could be lucky you can't post so often - it could help keep the creative, expressive tension high and mean the interest stays high too.

@ Lefteris Antipope - It's the same here, although I usually find I have too much to say and it's more a question of filtering out the more obvious excesses. I hope it does last - I like reading your perspective on things and I never get tired of looking at that painting. I guess we wouldn't do it if we didn't enjoy it, or get something worthwhile out of it, even if it's as simple as the schedule being a prod to activity and engagment. It's a kind of mental and maybe even spiritual exercise. I hope we're all doing for a long time yet.

@ John Till - That opens a can of wormy ideas for sure. It's almost a Lovecrafted concept, maybe Cthulhoid - in his house at the Expanse lively Porky waits dreaming?

@ Paul's Bods - That's what I see too, and at the very least it is easier to keep up with what is posted. Hopefully the extra space will mean more new bloggers moving in to freshen things up, maybe really surprise us. It's been possible to sense waves of new arrivals over time, so maybe we're on the cusp of one now.

As for the mystery blog, you might well be right. If you don't know it, it could be a figment of the imagination. The last hope could be Ray and Fran.

Timothy Brannan said...

Took your advice and ran with it.

Beedo said...

Porky - I have come to a conclusion - clearly it's time for some more clues.

The blog hunt scavenger hunt is stuck!

Drance said...

All things have ebbs and flows, my friend. This lull, too, shall pass. Never underestimate the folks in this here hobby! Now, the game is afoot! Could there be more clues pending? ;-)

Porky said...

@ Timothy Brannan - That's a great way to go. Unspoken expectations and quotas self-imposed or otherwise would be going too far, but running an occasional feature like that and just taking a chance to plug a lesser-known blog is ideal.

@ Beedo - I'm really only part-serious about people finding this specific blog. Mentioning it is more a way of making a point, and a mechanism for generating some dynamism. Still, it could be found and I do think finding it would be a boon for whoever does, and the search could be good fun in itself of course.

So here goes with a clue then: at least one reference here related to giant engines of war that are fusions of man and machine.

I ought to say now to everyone whose interest has been piqued or is actively looking that I won't do confirmations or the colder/warmer thing for specific names, just because that would be against the spirit of the implicit restriction. Assuming we get as far as that of course...

@ Drance - I'm an optimist too, and I think in the longer-term we're looking at a flow, rather than an ebb. On the hobby in particular, I also agree. Details may change over time but a fair number of genies are well and truly out of their bottles.

Dave G said...

For me, it's a seasonal thing... from a few perspectives...

Sept 1st is new fiscal for many businesses... meaning August is a month of filling in last minute projects and September is getting a leap on new much needed ones.

That, and climate change causing illness...

These are both reasons my blog has drifted lately. Been off work with a bronchial infection for 2 weeks.. finally getting better.

Porky said...

I didn't think of that, the funding aspect, but it could be especially relevant if people are posting over work systems.

Maybe burden of work too, either increased workload, or looking for work, or returning. I'm wondering if demographics could be an issue too, maybe births - the most common birthday is apparently in mid-September.

Illness is almost certainly a part of it too, given the predominance of the northern hemisphere, and I'm glad you're getting through yours. At this point in our history the sun always comes out again, and knowing that might help. Hopefully it's your last for the season.

Paul Thornton said...

Good call on the blog hunt. Even if people don't find your kick ass blog of mystery, they are going to be looking at other blogs, finding things out that rock, and getting more involved in the community. One might be forgiven for thinking that that is in fact your reason for this post.

If so, then all power to you. I'm new to this blogging lark, not even been at it for four months yet, and anything that's going to get people searching for new blogs is great for me, and the community.

Now, to write an article about giant robot war machines and watch the traffic flow to me! ;)

Zanazaz said...

Porky, yeah Kinship will eventually be... something published. The last time I made a query on my blog about running something online I didn't get any responses. It would have to be via blog because of bandwidth issues. A Kinship roleplaying blog would be fun if I could get some interest in it.

Minitrol said...

WHen I saw thwe titwsl of this blogpost my interest was piqued and I wasn't disappointed some great content and korero here and quite a few blogs I hadn't checked out! Awesome! Yet also...shame on me for not checking here as much as I have other blogs.

It seems I caught the GW fever of late. I am workin' through it...

I don't know if you remember some time ago you told me to start the blog Porky and it took a while but I finally did get it up and running a slow start this year but I find the process of designing what to write and when to write as intriguing as finding out who is actually reading this stuff anyhow?

All the best I will be sure top make more effort to look in here again!


Love the thoughts on GW IP and what we as players actually own.

Minitrol said...

Sorry for the spelling all fingers and thumbs today!

Porky said...

@ Paul Thornton - Getting more of that kind of activity is definitely a big part of it. It's good for all of us that you've started too, and the more the merrier. Your latest post helps for sure.

@ Zanazaz - If you want to have another go at getting up interest, I'll echo the call here, and depending on when and how it happens, I'm more than happy to play in a play-by-blog set there. Kinship would be a great place to explore.

@ Minitrol - No worries - if not for those thumbs we'd be in a very different world indeed. I'm glad you started the blog, and not only because it seems we agree on a few things. I don't think I'll ever understand fully the bigger mysteries of blogging. I'd say good advice to a blogger would be just to post what you'd want to see posted and be as true to your own nature as possible, and run with it as it develops.

Mike Whitaker said...

Definitely curious about the mystery blog. Once I'm done with a rather mad painting schedule for Sunday (arrrrghhhh!!!) I'll start looking.

Re posting frequency, I *try* for one a day, and when I have some quiet time I try and build up a queue of scheduled posts, but I don't always succeed.

Porky said...

That seems a useful rhythm. Once a day means it's part of an immediate routine, but the willingness to let it go from time to time makes sense too, to avoid the kind of burnout mentioned higher up. I also have trouble writing ahead of time, although I usually have a lot of notes and drafts scattered about making slow progress.