I exchanged a brief email with Col Corbane the other day, and – amongst other things – I noted that our particular corner of the blogosphere has changed somewhat in the last year or so; maybe in the last year-and-a-half. Here are some of my thoughts on blogging since May '08… Where did it start?
Well, when I started blogging, many of the other blogs that I was aware of were relatively basic and relatively disparate. They were also fewer and further between. Now there are blogs everywhere, and most have the good wit to be affiliated to one of the ‘hubs’, like BoLS or the excellent From the Warp.
For those of you unaware, there was a moment when Ron almost stopped FtW, and I believe that would’ve been a sad loss. As it stands, I’m sure he’ll forgive me embarrassing him by noting the superb way in which he binds our corner of the web together. Kindness to strangers and generosity of time are two of the things which make this such an enjoyable way to waste time on the internet.
There were a number of fellow bloggers who were very encouraging in the early days, not least the early ‘Flylords’ over at BoLS. BigRed seems a personable chap, and I enjoyed being allied to the BoLS Alliance, but – alas – I found the hosted ads during the US presidential campaign rather distasteful. Not the Flyboys’ fault, but not something I didn’t want to be linked to.
I was blogging for a month before I got my first comment – from Brian over at See My Inner Geek, and then (like many bloggers) I spent months chasing comments and blog traffic. With fewer blogs about though, it was easy, and a rather rewarding validation of my holiday time.
How did things start to change?
Mostly, things with my blog started to change when I got bored of (grew out of?) chasing comments. I realised that the blog was becoming simply a means of logging my work and – just as importantly – tracking my progress. This was helped by life changes too, like moving across the country and getting a new job. Moving away from my very occasional games also forced me to focus more on the [painfully slow] completion of my Imperial Guard.
A lack of funds helps, too!
It’s probably worth noting that new IG Codex fired a bit of life into the old girl, too.
Where am I now?
Now I’m increasingly aware that my blog is something of a dinosaur. The format is basic, the content unglamorous and my miniatures rather quotidian. The good news is that despite all of this – and despite the Technicolor temptations of newer, shinier blogs – I have a core of readers who still seem to enjoy my work and (apparently) 180 followers: thank you, followers. It’s startling to think that 180 strangers in the world are even remotely interested in my ramblings. Cheers.
I’m not likely to change. There’s a chance, I suppose, that I may at one point cease: I certainly don’t imagine I’ll be doing this in a few years’ time – real life or Mrs Drax may yet put the kybosh on that.
The most recent thing to give my hobby some new energy is of course the fact that I finally joined a gaming club – a very friendly and welcoming place where I’ve enjoyed a series of great games, on great tables against great opponents.
Finally, why do I keep doing it?
I enjoy it.
I love the fact that I’ve managed to meet up with stalwarts like Col Gravis, Suneokun and TSINI – and what absolutely cracking chaps they are! Hell, I even managed to get a surprise game in with Suneokun, and some fish and chips too.
In addition to this, a number of other bloggers have been immensely generous; immensely – both with words and with material. I have, for example, had a number of freebies sent through to me, including bits, miniatures and (in one case) enough parts to make my most recent salamander conversion. Thanks to (among others) Col. Corbane, Zzzzzz, Fallen 73rd and Kevin (or The Other Kevin – I for get which, I’m afraid).
For those of you unaware, my 'Admiral Drax' header at the top there was in fact created gratis by Suneokun: top bloke.
Most important of all though, are the relationships I’ve been able to strike up. Readers and fellow bloggers have been absolutely great, and the comments after I posted about the birth of my little baby daughter last year were indicative of the marvellous spirit there is out there. Now I'm also pleased to be on a wavelength with the likes of Col. Hessler, Hal'Jin, Rasmus Olesen, Loquacious, The Antipope and Rogue Pom (amongst others).
Kind words; kind people.