Professional Blogging

Have i mentioned how much i like the Global Chat column on Massively Overpowered? I think it was the first one that started featuring blog posts of “regular people bloggers” on the more respected sites relating to our genre. Liore did something like that on mmorpg.com a while back, but i think that this column was discontinued- it’s hard to tell with mmorpg.com’s way of organizing their content. Then there were Murph and Belghast, doing their thing on MMOGames.com, but i think that one was discontinued, as well.

Massively Overpowered, MMOGames.com and MMORPG.com- what do they have in common? They’re more or less branding themselves as “professional bloggers”, if you will. Their staff gets paid (i think) for their posts and they have a big audience. The strengths and weaknesses of each one of these sites can very well be a post on its own (one i started to draft several times already).

In short i would say MMOGames.com has the most potential of the three and has taken several great bloggers in, but its informational structure simply isn’t quite there yet. Still, the site reminds me of reasons i used to really love Massively in 2010/2011: its’ authors are bloggers who love their games and are quite stable in their selection of MMORPG they play. With a little more continuity and a better structure/home page and less crappy games on their sidebar, this site could be great.

MMORPG.com is a mess- the site looks outdated, i can see no structure in their content and navigation whatsoever. It’s even hard to discern which games they cover, as they have adopted RPGs along with multiplayer games. While i do like some of their authors and commentors, this site needs a do-over badly. They promised being close to launching a new layout when Massively closed last year- possibly as a way of trying to catch some of that audience, but it still hasn’t happened.

As for Massively Overpowered, it’s the most professional of the three. The layout (despite being at least based on a free WordPress template) is clear and functional, as is the navigational and informational structure. The authors know how to write and, at least in my opinion, have a very professional stance. However, i feel it has developed to a news site more than a “blogger site”. Even their game-specific columns are oftentimes more about news relating to the games than, well, describing gameplay experience, the lore or whathaveyou (exceptions being Anatoli’s old Guild Wars 2 column and the new Black Desert column by Matt Daniel).

Are bloggers full of themselves?

All the more happy i am when Massively Overpowered does something “bloggy”, like featuring content of “regular people bloggers”, highlighting podcasts or something similar. I am, of course, happy if/when i or someone else i’m close with gets a mention there, but i’ve read some interesting comments in the last two i was mentioned in, as well.

It must have been the topics at hand (future of MMORPGs and Black Desert impressions earlier), with the latter seemingly counter to popular opinion- the quotes, despite being well-chosen, made the impressions seem worse than they were- so we got a lot of “how dare these bloggers have a different opinion than i?” comments and the former with being positive outlooks on the MMORPG genre as a whole or Daybreaks…stuff…in particular, where we got the “why are bloggers perceived as special?” and “why do they think they’re special?”-treatment.

Well, i’m kind of new in this whole thing, not very deeply connected to others from the blogosphere and not a popular blog by far, especially here on the new site, so these comments still kind of get to me- no, i don’t think i’m special or my opinion matters more than that of, say, a commentor on Massively Overpowered or on a forum or reddit. I’m simply adding one layer of personal enjoyment and community building on something i enjoy without that part. And i’m pretty sure that’s more or less what every one of them does- adding something, in this case writing, to their hobby.

Why i love reading your MMORPG blog

Perspective

MMORPGs can be played in many different ways- maybe you enjoy dungeon runs, or roleplaying, or questing. Maybe you care about the lore, the quest-givers, your guild, pvp, gear or costumes. Maybe your thing is the economy, crafting or even horse-breeding. Whatever it is that gives you the most enjoyment in these games, chances are that it’s not exactly the same thing that i enjoy most. But maybe i’ll like to read about it or try dabbling in it myself to see if i might enjoy it. Or you’ll give some inspiration regarding ideas i could use in our small guild.

Opinion

Is the MMO genre dead? Could Daybreaks hickups result in something good for Everquest 2? Is that game/ingame shop/game “pay to win”? Is pay-to-win even possible? I don’t know, but i sure have an opinion on most of these topics. Some Oftentimes it’s not a well-founded or 100% thought through opinion, so i love reading what other people think, especially when it’s about games of minor interest to me.

Games

Speaking of games, some of you are seducers, writing great posts about games i might have crossed off my list or didn’t have on my radar, and your excitement is contagious. Maybe i’ll send you a bill for the next purchase 😉 But you could be playing a game i love to read about or i didn’t keep in touch with and i’m wondering what impact some new feature/expansion/content has on players who stuck with that game and you’ll offer some insight. It’s really not about the game someone’s playing, as they’re in the same genre anyway and some stuff that works in, say, World of Warcraft, might be transferrable to a similar experience in Black Desert, for instance.

Personality

Some of you, i can only admire for your writing capabilities. I tend to babble a lot- many of you are able to write short, concise blog posts and still inflict your personality and character into your posts. There are bloggers who cut their content’s word count by half and their posts seem to be of the same or better quality, and have the same amount or more personality and character as before. Sometimes, you’ll even share some aspect of your real life, and some of you make it a point to blog about your real lives quite often and in the same posts you deal with your gaming life.

Community

As i’ve said, i’m not deeply connected. Sometimes i think that’s my fault, for not being able to put personality/character in writing, sometimes i think it could be a location/time-zone/server location-issue. But i can see connections all over- people commenting on each others’ blogs, ping-ponging blogging topics, creating guilds, organizing blogging events and so on. And i’ve also made a few connections via blogging that i do value very much.

So that’s why i love reading your MMORPG blog and hope you enjoy writing it as much as i do reading it.

And i’d like to point you to my Blogroll– i’m not sure if i’ll stay with this one, but it is the one i like the most right now because i can include as much as i want. It might still need some configuration, but this is just too good a moment to let it pass.

Advertisements

17 thoughts on “Why i love reading your MMO blog

  1. It’s hard to be put out in the limelight like with the Global Chat on Massively OP. I’m used to my small audience of people who come and read what I write and sometimes I’ll provoke a comment or two (which is great)
    But when you are in front of a large audience, you get their most vocal as well. Some of these people are used to talking with little or no filter and not used to talking to a blog with a smaller audience.
    You summarize this subject well when reading blogs (and comments on larger sites) to get a diverse opinion. I like to get that too so I can temper my own opinion with the larger view.

    1. I think what surprises me the most is that there’s some kind of “those up there” attitude regarding people who blog. On some level, i can see where this is coming from, but i think it’s totally uncalled for. Some of these commentors seem to think that for bloggers, it’s all about…well, gaining a reputation, or page hits or something. I’d think that these days, if we were in it for that, there’d be better ways. I have also read a comment about the BDO “reviews” being very bad considering we were making money off of writing them.

      Another thing that had me worried is that, of course, Massively Overpowered doesn’t want their comment threads dominated by negative comments and might consider removing the column just like those other sites did. But then i went to take a look and there were very lively on-topic discussions in other editions of the column, so maybe it’s a topic/opinion thing, as well. The funny thing is that traffic-wise, there’s not always a huge spike in blog visits, something that was very apparent in the BDO impressions edition- most of the impressions were actually quite good and yet the commentors simply extrapolated the quotes Justin put in the column which gave a different tone on the author’s opinion- of course, because he’ll look for some quotable sentence in the post and usually it’s the part with some kind of summary.

      I love the small scale community we can build on our own lawns. In most cases it’s friendly, comments add to the discussion, we get to know people and it gives us support when we see others “liking” our posts or commenting on them. That’s a great thing.

      1. So I think you inadvertently landed on a point. Blog review topics just don’t generate a lot of eyeballs, either for the site that is posting them… or the sites that are being featured. On a site like the former “WoW insider” it catered to a very specific niche of players that were super into World of Warcraft. So when I was featured there during the golden era of WoW, I essentially got “slashdotted” with my site stats going insane over night and then petering out after a few days. When a “multidisciplinary” site for lack of a better term features a blog, you are really targeting a small niche within the total group of people that hit that site. Folks just don’t really click through.

        I personally walked away from my column because it was completely destroying my love of reading other blogs. I had a blog roll full of 600 or so blogs that I felt like I had to read each and every post each week and try and come up with some global trend to summarize. The fastest way to get me to go from something I love to something I dread doing… is to attach a job to it. I used to love programming as a hobbyist, and now the last thing I want to see when I get home as a professional is more code. So knowing I “had” to read blogs every week to be able to write a column, killed the enjoyment of the process.

        Even after leaving the column it took me about four or five months before I have finally gotten back in the habit of reading other blogs for enjoyment. As to why sites get rid of these columns… firstly they take a lot of work. Like I said I was reading anywhere between 500 and 1000 posts a week, or at the very least skimming them for anything that seemed interesting. Then trying to drill them down to the best representation of whatever trends I happened to see in the blogosphere. Then there is the side effect that for the amount of effort that they generate… they really don’t attract a lot of eyeballs. The lack of eyeballs means that they column itself is not serving up advertisements, and the money spent could be put somewhere else that is likely to get more readers. Other than backing out of the column, I was not involved in the disappearance of the Bonanza, but I have to figure it was largely due to little reader interest.

        Folks go to MMO sites to chase news and rumors

      2. Thanks for the insider info. I have to say, when i put those posts together, they do take longer than one would expect them to. And that’s just me, highlighting a few posts from my normal blog rotation i saved during a week or so. I have to re-check them all, then maybe re-read them to get a good sense of what they’re really about as i might misremember and put more weight some point i liked than the post’s author did and so on. Can’t imagine how it is when it becomes your “job”- suddenly, you have to be more objective, read more blogs and try to not have favourites.

        I’ll make a point about giving Justin more support in coming editions. He does it really well and i think he refrains from doing some stuff because of his job at Massively OP (commenting, liking posts etc.), and i think this just comes naturally for him while still being a lot of work.

        I loved when you and these others did similar stuff on the other sites, although i believe mmogames in particular isn’t very big (judging by the fact that they have few comments and participants in polls). I still feel it could be a great site- after all, they have great bloggers writing for them….and also Jef Reahard, although he didn’t post much, if anything. With a better design and editorial focus, that site could be great.

  2. I think you have personality in your writing, or at least when reading one of your posts I have not only understood the subject matter but also gotten a feel for just why you feel the way you do. If that isn’t personality I don’t know what is. I appreciate the mention here greatly. I am super bad about largely maintaining radio silence outside of my little sphere, but I felt like I needed to pop my head out and comment nonetheless. You have an excellent blog and I am happy to have it in my RSS feed 🙂

    1. Thanks so much for your kind words!
      I know what you mean- becoming better at commenting on other people’s blogs is a long-time resolution for me- i’m really bad at it, but i haven’t given up yet 😉 I think it’s actually more difficult when using a feedreader, because you can’t simply comment on the same page you’re visiting when reading- it takes “extra effort”. It’s not much, but as i often read blogs in bed while marking posts to read later by day, it’s a habit that is harder to attain than it should be.

  3. Yeah, I saw comments in today’s Global Chat on MOP saying things like “Why are blogger’s opinions more important than anyone else’s?” The truth is, our opinions aren’t – we play games just like anyone else in the commenting community.

    But we take our thoughts, organize them, spend time researching/writing, and present these feelings in a concise way that can be found all in one place (our blogs). So it’s much easier to sift through a list of blog posts to highlight community thoughts on a topic than it is to pour through hundreds, sometimes thousands, of comments to do the same.

    And, hey, these commenters are more than welcome to start a blog, too. WordPress, Tumblr and Blogger are free! Nothing is stopping them! 😉

    There are a variety of blogging voices, styles, gaming preferences and opinions. I often turn to the bloggers (and sometimes commenters) to get a “feel” for the overall vibes in the community towards a game or a topic. I learn about games I don’t already play, and get valuable feedback on whether something is worth my time/money. I can experience games through stories bloggers tell even if I’ve never picked up the title – and that is worth so much to me!

    I’m always stoked when an article I wrote gets quoted on Global Chat. But I’m also always cheering for blogger friends when I see them there, too! Sometimes I discover new folks (like this week) I’d never visited before.

    Starting a blog is easy. Maintaining it takes dedication. Developing strong writing habits and styles comes with time and practice. Hats off to all fellow bloggers – keep doing what you’re doing. 🙂

    1. Hey, thanks for your comment and kind words. Did you see Justin’s comment over in the comments thread? It’s basically a “what she said” (with a link to your comment here) – he uses some- for him- unusually strong language, as well.
      It’s actually very true- the “maintaining takes dedication”-part. This one is my fourth (the first two of them being in german) and there has always been a time when it became difficult to continue- and the funny thing is: the longer the break, the more dangerous it gets.
      Everything else you wrote: i wholeheartedly agree!

      1. Yes, need to scroll down a bit.

        Edit: oh well, my initial statement might have been a bit misleading- he didn’t cite you, but what he said comes very close to your first comment here.

      2. Huh. I see one of his comments, but it’s not referencing our conversation here. Maybe he edited/deleted his afterwards. Ah, well! Thanks for letting me know. 🙂

  4. I feel like I kind of “live” in the blogosphere when I’m online. One of the first things I open up each morning and evening is my blogroll to check what’s new in the neighbourhood. So yeah, I love it!

    1. That’s true for me, as well- although for me it’s Feedly. Work-related stuff, i read. But whenever there’s a free moment, i’ll scan the MMO news and blogger sites for interesting posts. Early in the morning is a good scanning time, the evening is great for reading.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.