Wednesday, May 23, 2012

NBI: I Refuse To Call It A Blogosphere

  • Before you read this post, you need to answer this question: who are you blogging for? If you are blogging solely for yourself, go ahead and stop reading now. You're doing a great job and the rest of this post is irrelevant to you. However, if you are blogging because you want to be read, my last advice post is for you.

  • I really don't like the word blogosphere. It makes me think that there is an atmospheric layer between 52,000 and 57,000 feet composed of pure self-indulgence. Instead, I prefer the term "blogging community". Because for me, the best part of blogging is the communities that form (much like in MMOs). So to get the most out of your blog, you need to participate in the community.

  • One of the most important parts of community building is commenting on other blogs. You can't expect people to show up and read your blog if you don't let people know you exist. Comments are like advertising. If you leave a thoughtful, well worded comment on a blog, people will be curious to read what else you have to say. Your comments will create a network of bloggers which will lead back to you. This, I will admit, can be work. But people tend to respond to comments by commenting in kind. My wife and I can both track the number of comments we receive based on who active we've been in commenting in turn.

  • Sometimes, though, commenting is not enough. I will get halfway through a comment before I realize that I need to make it a blog post instead. I usually leave a little note indicating I'm doing so, then I go write real quick while I'm still in the mood. React to what other people are writing. Put links in your posts to their posts and attribute them when you are inspired. Those links help build the network between blogs. I know that I'm always draw to blogs that have linked to me. I'm a little vain that way.

  • And now that you're reached the end, now that you're read all of my advice about blogging, I'm going to let you in on a dirty little secret. Blogging about MMOs is a trap. There are only a fixed number of things that you can write about before you run out of topics. For the MMO blogging community to continue, it needs fresh blood like yours. Don't freak out! Blogs change over time, there is no way they can't. But make sure you have something else to write about when the well runs dry.

  • And that's it. I've read a crazy number of blog posts this month. I've even limited my gaming to keep up. I've subscribed to several, already culled a few, and I'm ready to graduate some from my NBI folder to my general Blogger folder. Thanks to everyone for all the great work you've done this month. Keep it up!


© 2012 Marty Runyon. All rights reserved.

5 comments:

  1. May I add that is the best description of what a blogosphere is? I hate the word too. I still write it because it makes me chuckle.

    I think the best addition I can say is even though there are a fixed number of things to talk about, don't be afraid if you're writing the same kind of opinion another person is. Sometimes when you get down to the nitty gritty your opinions can really differ, and it's those in-depth conversations you can have just commenting on a blog that can spark some great ideas and posts.

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    1. Absolutely! I suspect that even though people stop talking about certain topics, that doesn't mean that is all there is to be said. New perspectives are always a good thing.

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  2. How would you feel if it were referred to as a blogscape?

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    1. That reminds me of the movie Dreamscape, so that's alright. Just as long as killing someone in a blog doesn't mean that they die in real life.

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  3. I'm thinking about a snakeman with nunchaku stalking you in your blogscape...

    As for the "well running" dry, I got wise to this and made the decision to combine my movie and gaming blogs 18 months ago.

    You can cover the most broadest of subjects and as a blogger still have days where you can't think of anything to write.

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