Syp over at Bio Break has been behind the coordination of the Newbie Blogger Initiative, which seeks to encourage those people on the cusp of blogging by giving them a little push.
If that hasn’t convinced you (and why would it?), there’s a Newbie Blogger Initiative forum that’s been set up to provide a source of information to you. Want to know the best platform to blog with? What to write about? How to overcome Blogger’s Block? Which MMO should you blog about? What happens when you want to change the focus of what you’ve been blogging about to something new? Well, you can ask there and people will provide you with answers. (Sadly, I can’t answer any of those questions here. Mainly because I don’t know the answers. Ask the NBI forum. It knows all! Sees all!)
Okay, maybe I can answer that question.
- You should blog because you want to, even need to. Because you like to write and you have a MMO / MMOs / area that you think should be focused on. And I say, “want to / need to” because blogging takes time. Time that you could spend actually playing the game you are writing about.
- Because you’ve got a view point that you don’t think is being covered elsewhere. Hopefully that viewpoint isn’t at the Timecube end of the ‘unique’ spectrum, but having something different to say is important to getting readers. Don’t worry if that view point isn’t fully formed when you start blogging, but have it in mind when you think about what you will be writing about as time goes on.
- To remember what you thought at that point in time. Although we carry the perception that we can remember our own thoughts and feelings across time and those aspects remain consistent, the reality of it is that we can’t. You’ll forget what you thought in detail about that patch that made / broke your favourite MMO, and mix up the timing of events. But if you blog it, it’s there in stone* for you to return to and remind yourself of what you thought back then. (*Obviously not true, unless you also record your blog on some granite using a chisel and hammer.)
- Because it can’t hurt to try. Probably can’t hurt. Unless you write something that offends a lot of people who then come and flame you relentlessly (in a verbal way, let’s hope). But that’s unlikely to happen in the first 30 days of blogging. Probably.
- To practise writing and communicating ideas. Sure, the future will be all voice recognition and motion sensitive controls that mean you can write out 500 words in 30 seconds just using your eyebrows, but right now the ability to construct an argument in writing with a beginning-middle-end that flows seamlessly from one point to the next is a valuable skill. Like all things, writing improves with practise. One or two blog posts a week can add up to a lot of practise over the longer term.
- Because you want a job in the video games industry. Let’s be honest: lots of people do and there are cases of bloggers being hired by video game companies. Now, the odds aren’t good that it’ll work, but it won’t hurt to show your potential game dev employers that you can string more than two words together and are passionate about what you want to do.
- For immortality. Your thoughts will be on the internet forever!
Or maybe you have an entirely different reason. But whatever it is, the important thing is to give it a shot if you have the interest. Ask a few questions at the NBI forums, start something up in WordPress and take it from there.
It’s easy to start and you may find yourself on the pathway to something you really enjoy doing.