Is making a blog worth it?

I unfortunately lost interest in the world I was creating for Gygax 75 Challenge, but it did spawn a lot of great ideas. I’ve been reading a lot of Arnold K’s Goblin Punch blog, and I’d love to do something similar. I think posting about my world-building could potentially serve as inspiration, drive discussion, and provide new food for thought.

But I really dislike Google Blogger (really blogs in general, love the info within, hate the exterior), and I think I might not stay disciplined about posting.

Pros of Blogs

  • Organized space for all your content
  • Can post whatever comes to mind
  • Easy place to reference
  • Accepted medium in the OSR sphere

Cons of Blogs

  • Hard to write on (in my opinion)
  • Difficult to find/ interact with audience
  • Might be hard to consistently post without interaction with audience
  • Don’t look great

I wonder if posting my thoughts on a setting here at the Pit would be acceptable. Would you find worldbuilding/setting specific content interesting if I posted here or would you rather peruse that on a blog.

A lot of you have blogs, and I’d love to hear your opinions on whether you think blogs are worth the trouble.

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I’d prefer to read it here. Blogs are nice but I don’t like checking in to see if they’ve posted new stuff. Normally I only visit a blog through a twitter mention, or if there’s a thread here about it.

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I’m in agreement. I’ve no clue how people check to see if blogs have updated, and there’s sooooo many out there. Plus commenting is super clunky.

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I think here would be a great fit. Along with @SunkenPlanets, I really only ever check blogs whenever they’re linked to me. I will end up bookmarking most of those links, and will often end up at the same blog, but I don’t actively “follow” blogs.

What I do is when I’m in the mood for this content is visit the Pit then check my social media for people discussing what’s being posted on blogs.

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I started a real blog long after I started writing about RPG, because it felt too much trouble so I get what you are saying. In the end I settled for a Telegram channel for the short pieces and a lightweight blog for the longer things, but I’ve tried other options in the past.

Telegram Channel

This is how I started and is still my main interface with the hobby sphere. It’s extremely easy to set up, the functionalities are pretty nice (especially if you add a few bots) and it notifies your followers when you post something.

Pros

  • Easy to set up
  • The interface is simple both on mobile and pc
  • Easy to follow
  • You can create a discussion group linked to the channel for the community

Cons

  • It’s difficult to get a follower base outside Telegram
  • Long posts are rendered pretty badly

Telegraph

Telegraph is a posting platform (I wouldn’t call it a blogging platform, since it doesn’t collect your posts) which requires no registration or setup whatsoever. I started using it along with my Telegram channel (I think it’s why it was built in the first place) for the longer posts. You just go to the main page, start writing and then share the link.

Pros

  • No hassle, just write
  • Posts are written in Markdown, so you have a lot of formatting options
  • Nice interface for the readers

Cons

  • You have to collect and share your posts elsewhere
  • No way to comment

Write.as

write.as is a lightweight blogging platform, easily integrated with the fediverse if that’s your thing. It has a really simple and nice interface both for writing and reading and allows to either group your post in a blog or to post as anonymous and work like Telegraph.

Pros

  • As easy to setup and use as the previous tools, but more like a “real” blog
  • Fediverse integration
  • RSS feed (more on that later)

Cons

  • Still no comments
  • Pretty bland without a paid plan (6$/month)

A note on RSS feeds

Since basically all of you said you don’t follow blogs, I’d like to point out that there are tools which allow you to get notified in case of new posts or to just get a feed off the new posts in the blogs you follow. They come in the form of web pages, apps or bots. I use manybot’s RSS autoposting feature to manage a private Telegram channel with recaps, since Telegram is the app I use most across al my devices. Here is a nice (and more complete) list of RSS readers if you are interested:

Check it out and see if it can improve your experience with blogs!

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I have a blog and it’s fun to put your ideas somewhere. Writing reviews is also fun since I’m the type of person who can’t shut up about something if he really likes it.
Every now and then someone comments on it and that’s cool too. I wouldn’t run a blog if you’re just looking for internet popularity and followers but for a dedicated site to put your writing to, yeah.
(It can be weirdly intimidating seeing the “bigshots”-blogs kinda)

I use an RSS reader together with a big list of OSR-bloggers I downloaded from somewhere.
I check the blogroll channcel in Chris McDowall’s OSR-Discord for new blogs and put my own stuff there too.

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I agree that blogs can be clunky (especially if you use a browser with built-in tracking denial, you have to open another browser to comment) but I’ve generally found it worthwhile. I started mine December 2018 and just started writing even though I didn’t have an audience, and only later found out how to advertise myself in the community. Now I have a decent readership and an identity in the sphere.

If Blogger isn’t your thing, wordpress also works, and there’s a few other alternatives floating around. If you do start one, I’d advise you to hold lightly to what you think the blog is going to be about. I started mine trying to imitate Goblin Punch and building a wacky setting, which I wasn’t very good at. I pivoted to analyses and systems hacking, which is much more my speed. You’ll discover over time what you like to write and what people like to read.

Also, the way people usually check to see if blogs have updated is via forums with blogrolls (like the Pit or the OSR Discord), via subscription lists that sends new posts by blogs you follow directly into your reading list, or via other blogs’ subscription lists, which is good for finding new blogs. I get a bunch of traffic because Anne of DIY&D links to me, as an example. I also wouldn’t get intimidated by the ‘big shots’. They were once small blogs too, and they’re a lot closer to their average reader than you would think.

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Completely anecdotal and incredibly biased, but I find near-universally that the more engaging ideas come from blogs rather than more open forums. It’s an incubator of sorts, a place where you can collect your own ideas in one place and cross-pollinate with others more easily.

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I’ve been struggling with this one myself. I want to have a place for my monster conversions, where I can give world info for my players, and where I can “converse, cajole, and otherwise hobnob with my fellow GM wizards” - but I’m worried my players will peek at the GM-ish stuff, and the world in general may be appalled at how little I actually DON’T steal from every other GM I know.

I’ve even set out the blogger real-estate for just such a thing, but, so far, the spirit is poor.

Still, it would be fun once it had some steam going for it.

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I agree 100% with this - I like blogs as a save-able nudge for some of my own ideas-in-ddevellopment, too.

The first one on that list, Feedly, is the one I’ve used since Google announced the emminent self-destruction of G+ and The Great OSR Diaspora Of 2018 began. It’s served very well to keep me abreast of things and I am one of the least code-ey people you may know, so it had to be easy to use.

On a fun note, I am a professional developer and I find Feedly too complex to use :smiley:

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I’m certainly glad that I started my blog - after the ‘demise’ of G+ - and on balance it has made the end of G+ a net-positive for me, actually! :slight_smile: I will sometimes post links to my blog content on forums like this one, though I try not to bombard them, keeping it reasonable. As other have said, RSS feeds, links from other blogs, etc., will actually feed a fair bit of traffic (though my traffic always spikes when I highlight a post on some relevant forums).

If you DO start a blog with OSR content, then go to https://campaignwiki.org/osr/ and follow the “please join!” link at top right. The OSR RPG Planet is a feed that updates (I believe) about once every four hours. Every time there is a new or updated post for a blog on the list, the title and first few lines show up in a feed that you can check anytime by navigating to the link. This is a great way to stay abreast of most of the blog developments in OSR-land.

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I don’t follow blogs at all, never really have.

/r/osr and The Pit are it for me.

The only time I go to a blog is if someone links a specific post.

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It’s the first time I read about that feed and I already love it.

I’m don’t follow blogs (besides Bastionland) but the most important and useful things I’ve read about OSR have been from blogs. Between the actual proper way to run traps, puzzles, the principles behind OSR play- everything. I’ve never read an old-school DMG or or anything like that. I’m not sure what my point is besides that they’re very very useful for the amount of people who read them but something about their form makes them simultaneously the best and worst place to get information for me.

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Yes, of course it is.

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I enjoy writing a blog regardless of whether anyone reads it. It’s a great place to organize thoughts. And get out ideas. Some of which I tweak, some i just leave

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I started blogging because it seemed silly just to keep stuff in notebooks or my head where no one else would see it, or make use of it.

Blogs are great for wandering through and getting lost or finding hidden gems.

Also, in terms of visibility, there is a weekly blogroll posted on r/osr (just gone up 1215 BST) every Sunday where you can post your latest entries:

https://www.reddit.com/r/osr/comments/gldkq9/osr_blogroll_17th_23rd_may_2020

Posted either by me or u/sofinho1980, and it does bring traffic, as well as being easier to track things down if you didn’t bookmark something.

I try to re/tweet it on the day, about mid-week and just before the next one is due.

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Back in the G+ days, it was a pretty common mode to write thoughts longer form on a blog and then share the post for discussion. This resulted in a bifurcation of comments, but different people tend to comment on social media platforms compared to blogs anyways. It worked pretty well; blogs give you more control, allow you to build a reputation with a unique perspective, and the URLs are more stable and easier to reference.

I imagine that could work here too, though the etiquette around sharing one’s own blog posts may yet to be established.

You may want to ensure that you have a good way to backup everything you write here. (Maybe Discourse makes that easy?) A tremendous amount of knowledge went up in smoke when G+ ended, but the blogs stuck around.

Just generally speaking, I think blogging as a medium is more autonomous and independent. Like, you come to my blog, you get all my priorities. The blog roll on the side is blogs I read. Etc.

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I’ll add a couple of resources I’ve found on the weekend:

  • Hacker Spring a post-by-email blogging “platform”, basically they will publish any email you send to them, without the need of registration. It’s probably the lazies way to post I’ve ever found.
  • If I could bring one thing back to the Internet it would be blogs this is a very interesting post on why a lot of people (like me) miss blogs. It doesn’t feel 100% correct, but I found it very interesting.
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