Category Archives: Newbie Blogger Initiative

Blogging in a foreign language

I had wanted to write this post as part of the Newbie Blogger Initiative, but due to real life, I couldn’t. I figured now that it’s NaBloPoMo and I need every topic I can find to fill this blog with relatively reasonable blog posts, I can still write about this “issue”. ;)

When I started blogging, I had several reasons for doing so. For one, I like gaming and I wanted to talk about it with people who share my hobby – other than bookahnerk, of course. But I did not want to limit my correspondence to German-speaking people. I don’t mind them, of course. I am one of them, after all. ;) But I speak and write German every day, so it wouldn’t be anything special, let alone a challenge. I also felt that with all the studying I had done for my university degree (I studied psychology), my English reading comprehension was really good, but my production of the English language had gotten rather bad. Reading scientific papers, textbooks, etc. that were mostly in English was great, but I had noticed that forming my own sentences had become harder. So my goal was to be able to communicate with a lot of different people from all over the world who love gaming and practice English at the same time.

I think the worry that my English could be too bad was there, in the back of my mind, but since I started this project to get better in English again, it wasn’t a major concern. And if you, dear newbie blogger or interested reader, are worrying about this “issue”: You shouldn’t.

I have not had any person be rude to me so far. The worst I’ve seen is people criticising my writing style as “clumsy”, but that was over on Reddit where a post of mine had been linked and not here on this very blog. But even if anybody had been rude to me personally, I guess it shouldn’t be my concern either. Writing in a foreign language is hard. Of course, it is. And reasonable people know and understand that!

GW2_GromffMy conclusion so far is that it enriches your life to be fluent in a second language (it doesn’t have to be English, of course), as it enables you to speak to people who come from a different cultural background. Learning about other people’s cultures is always great if you ask me. And I personally just love hearing how people spend their lives in different parts of the world. On top of that, the goal of speaking – or writing in – a foreign language is to be able to communicate with others and not to show how smart you are. ;) So as long as you can get your point across and other people can understand you, you’re doing just fine! And with practice, you will get better anyway. And believe me, writing in a foreign language will be very easy one day. Just give it time. But don’t shy away from even starting your own blog, because you worry your English might be too bad.

Newbie Blogger Initiative 2013

nbimediumThe Newbie Blogger Initiative 2 is starting tomorrow. Some of you may remember that last year, Syp from Bio Break had initiated the first round. The result of the NBI was a forum filled with questions surrounding blogging, helpful answers and discussions. Additionally, several people started blogging as a result. Unfortunately, the forum where most of the conversations took place isn’t available anymore.

But as this initiative had been really successful and popular, the second round has now been started. Syp is not “in charge” anymore, but the NBI has instead gotten a permanent home at http://www.newbiebloggerinitiative.com from Roger Edwards. NBI officially starts on October 1. You can already sign up on the forums as either a sponsor (giving advice, answering questions and so on) or a newbie if you have recently started or are thinking about starting a blog. If it’s anything like last year – and I strongly assume it will be – then we will once again have a warm and welcoming atmosphere where no question is too dumb to be asked and a lot of bloggers will gladly help out with all sorts of problems you may be having. NBI also has a page with goals listed.

So, if you’ve ever thought about starting a new blog, now is the perfect time to do so!

NBI: Time to say goodbye

It’s the last day of May which means that the Newbie Blogger Initiative will be over on midnight. It’s been a very interesting month and I got to read what other bloggers had to share. While I have been around for a long time (more than one year with Nerdy Bookahs and a very long time with a personal blog), I still learned a lot and even heard answers to questions I had never thought of asking myself until now.

Once again, thank you, Syp, for hosting the NBI! I don’t know how long the forums are going to be around but there is so much information for new bloggers. Be sure to check it out!

If you want to have a look at all the new blogs, Syp posted them in his blog today. The same post also lists all the entries we have written about the NBI with lots of advice, rants, etc.

Also, we wanted to add that while we’re not advertising for it, Nerdy Bookahs is open for guest blog entries. If you feel the urge to write something for us, contact us through the different means we offer (you know, G+, Twitter, email) and we can set something up for you (that is, when you want your entry to be posted here. We’re not going to tell you what you need to write, of course).

Now I can only wave and say goodbye to this initiative. If we’ve been able to encourage you to get a blog on your own, we have certainly done a great job. And if we haven’t but you’d actually like to start your own blog, we’re all still here (I’ll take the liberty of speaking for all sponsor blogs now ^^) for further advice, answering questions and maybe even for encouraging you. Just because the NBI ends now doesn’t mean we won’t welcome any more new bloggers! ;)

Edit: I just saw that Syp encouraged us to repost the list. I’m going to concentrate on the new bloggers and will repost this list here now. If you want to have a look at the advice posts, please go visit Syp’s blog (I linked to the entry above). :)

New blogs to check out:

Bookahneer’s Geekwatch (May 25, 2012)

Welcome to today’s Bookahneer’s Geekwatch! The place about miscellaneous interesting news related to gaming (will most likely include at least one piece about Guild Wars 2 ^^).

We’ve heard sad news yesterday: 38 studios layed off all their employees yesterday (including all from Big Huge Games). What I found fascinating and encouraging was how fast the hashtag #38jobs appeared. Not long after, a Google document was created listing the various gaming companies that currently have job offers available. That’s what I love about the internet and the sub-communities. People sticking together and helping each other out! Let’s hope those people that are currently without a job will find a new one soon!

The Guild Wars 2 community is as active as ever. Just two examples today: Tilion from DragonSeasonCom gave an interview about their website to Video-Games24.com. Since it’s a Greek website, most of us would probably not understand a single word, so Tilion posted the English translation. Valerian from commentarilies posted a really good piece about the melee mesmer in Guild Wars 2. Yes, I’m biased here because I myself fell in love with that class. Although so far, I prefer a pistol as off-hand weapon. I’ll have to try the other options more, though.

The last week of the Newbie Blogger Initiative is ahead of us. The World’s End Tavern has a list of the new blogs. Have a look at it and maybe you’ll find your favourite new blogger over there!

And last but not least, there’s Because We May starting on May 24 and running till June 1: Independent developers putting their games on sale:

“For the last week of May (May 24 through June 1) our games will be deeply discounted to celebrate online stores that give us control over pricing: The App Store, Google Play, Steam, Desura, IndieVania, and a few others.” (quoted from their website)

NBI: Why haven’t you started your blog yet?

It’s now May 13 and the Newbie Blogger Initiative has been around for 13 days already. Maybe you haven’t heard about this initiative before. Syp from BioBreak started the Newbie Blogger Initiative trying to encourage potential new bloggers to start blogging now. He invited those who have been blogging for a bit longer already to “sponsor”, that is, to help with advice, tips or answer questions that new bloggers may have. The official forum has lists of sponsors, new blogs, and a lot of advice already. Check it out if you want to know more! In case you already know about this initiative and you are interested in blogging: May I know why you haven’t started a blog yet?

Maybe you’d really love to “do something like that” but writing isn’t your thing? There’s more than “just blogs”. You may not be a blogger but what about doing a vlog? Let me link you to two examples: Angerina and TriggerSad – those two videos should be the first ones they uploaded. Maybe that can serve as an inspiration for you. :) Both have more than this one video up, so go check them out if you like! You can also see that they have different approaches. But maybe you don’t care about the visual part, then a podcast could be better for you. GuildMag recently started one. Or have a look at Casual Stroll to Mordor and their podcast. As you can see, there are lots of things you can do to talk about your passion.

But maybe you really love writing and would love to start a blog… if only you didn’t worry about so many other things. One thing that I’m pretty sure a lot of people are concerned about is whether the world needs yet another blogger. If you look at the forums and see how many newbie bloggers “checked in”, you can see an overwhelming 113 posts indicating that we now have more than 100 new bloggers. Do we need this many new bloggers? I say: Why not? For one, not each of those bloggers will stay active. Some will realise it’s not for them, others will sooner or later retire and concentrate on other aspects of their life (it’s the same with every hobby and people shifting their priorities). But that’s not the most important thing here. If you get into blogging because you want to have thousands of readers, then you may be disappointed. Get your expectations right before you start. You will not become super-famous and have a zillion readers immediately. Maybe you’ll never have many readers. At this point, I’m going to repeat what I wrote in my previous NBI post: Ask yourself why you want to blog! If you get into it and are happy with a few dedicated readers, then this goal is easy to accomplish. Even if we’re “a lot of bloggers”, there’s even more gamers and potential readers out there. So I’m certain that you will get your readership. Thus, saying there are too many bloggers out there isn’t a valid argument if you ask me. And let’s not forget that there are as many opinions out there about games than there are gamers. So, adding your opinion to the pool won’t be a bad idea at all! ;)

What I worried about most before starting my own blog (which only lived for a very brief time before I started Nerdy Bookahs with my boyfriend) was whether I am good enough. Now, after a year, my answer is: Yes, I am! And so are you! You will not be perfect just like nobody else is perfect. But there’s a great thing about us: We can learn from our mistakes! ;) The NBI comes with the aforementioned forum and I’ve read a lot of useful things that I hadn’t known or even thought about before. I certainly know that it helped me and it may even make me a better blogger… well, whatever a “good blogger” is to begin with. Maybe read Finding your voice at High Latency Life. We’re all different and we all have our own styles. So I’d say it’s really difficult to say one blogger is bad and one isn’t. Either I like somebody’s writing style or I don’t. But if you never start blogging even though you really want to, then you’ll never find out how many people will actually think you’re a great blogger and who want to read every post you publish. ;)

Also, I have found bloggers to be something like a “sub-community”. Especially on Googleplus, I’ve talked with several other bloggers (and now on Syp’s forum, of course) and so far, each of the bloggers I’ve talked to have been very helpful with giving tips or advice. I’m certain that even after this month, those who are current “sponsors” and those who are currently “newbies” will be around and help others get started (or just give general advice even if your blog has been around for longer). You just need to ask and I’m sure you can enjoy the vast resources that are available with the amount of bloggers around.

To sum it up, the worst thing that can happen is that you’ll give up again after a while. But in the meantime, you will probably have gotten to know a few interesting people or interacted with other gamers. So where’s the harm? ;)

Bookahneer’s Geekwatch (May 12, 2012)

Welcome to today’s Bookahneer’s Geekwatch! The place about miscellaneous interesting news related to gaming (will most likely include at least one piece about Guild Wars 2 ^^).

NCSoft has gotten a new German Community Manager. Please welcome Ramon Domke! I’ve only met him once so far where he was sent to say “Hello” to me from Al’Ellisande. ;) But maybe we get to meet again during GamesCom. Germans may know him from Wartower which is a pretty big German Guild Wars Fansite (I don’t know if it’s *the* biggest. I just know it’s big).

His first day of work will be on Monday (May 14) which is also the day ArenaNet is hosting their next Guild Wars 2 stress test. You can find the announcement here. Our task in this stress test is written down in more detail here. They’re asking us to “rush the servers and crowd Tyria”. In other words: Don’t expect to get to play much. ;)

On Tuesday, May 15, Diablo 3 will finally be released. Now while I haven’t bought the game and probably won’t do it for quite some time (read: until it’s much cheaper), we will get one copy that was bundled with the subscription for a gamer’s magazine I got bookahnerk for Christmas. So we will get to play the game. In order to get back to the setting and the story, we had a look at YouTube and found a few nice videos with the cut scenes from Diablo and Diable 2. You can start watching them here (for Diablo) or here (for Diablo 2). Those videos show the cut scenes and the most important conversations within the game. If you just want to see Diablo 2′s cut scenes, you can find them here.

Also, don’t forget that the Newbie Blogger Initiative is still running until the end of the month. If you’ve ever wanted to start your own gaming blog, now is the perfect time to do so!

NBI: Why do you want to blog?

This post is part of the Newbie Blogger Initiative. I’m not asking this question to discourage you but it’s a question you should be asking yourself: What is your motivation for blogging? I’m not going to give you a ton of advice here but before you start your blog-project, this is something that you probably should think about (because, let’s face it, we usually don’t really like getting enthusiastic about a project just to realise it’s not as great as we thought it was…)

If you just want to write for yourself and don’t care whether you have any readers at all, then this question is probably moot. But do you want to write because you love writing? Or because you love gaming? Or because you want to become “famous” in your game’s community/the blogosphere? Or because you want to earn a lot of money with ads on your blog?

If you want to build a readership, you have to give them a reason to come back. This means that you probably won’t be able to write a post once a month and then see your blog grow to have hundreds of loyal and dedicated readers. On the other hand, you’re not required to write one blog post a day either. But if your motivation for writing is that you love writing, it will be a lot easier because you do what you love. Either way, if you don’t think you can devote much time, then have a look around and watch out for websites that work with several authors. For Guild Wars 2, there’s Talk Tyria, for example, where you can apply and if you’re accepted, you are one of several people writing there. So you do not need to write that often because you work together with others. If you’re new to blogging, there’ll also be helping hands available (well, I can’t speak for every fan site but I know that the people at Talk Tyria or GuildMag, to throw in another example, are really friendly and helpful!). Or maybe you’ve got a friend or significant other, etc. who helps (like I have with bookahnerk. He may not be the person writing lots of blog posts – on the contrary… ^^ – but he always listens to my ideas and gives me feedback, reads through my posts and helps me out when I’m stuck). So, whether you have a co-author or just somebody giving you advice, a second person isn’t a bad idea either!

So you’ve got the time and you love writing – and you also want to earn money through advertising. Nothing wrong per se. Just keep in mind that people coming to your blog want to read your blog and your entries (ideally). Don’t make your blog look obnoxious by adding huge ads (blinking banners, anyone? ^^) or a ton of advertising links. Readers don’t like the feeling of just being “another person bringing you money”. You want them to read what you’ve got to say, so make them feel welcome and comfortable! On top of that, if you add ads, make sure your readers know at any time which part of your blog is actual content and which part is an ad. Do not make entries that are ads but look like they’re usual entries. This could give you a bad reputation pretty fast. Don’t forget: Readers who feel comfortable and like what they see will probably tell their friends about your blog! And people feeling comfortable enough to comment may also encourage others to comment (you know how it is… nobody wants to be the first? Well, apart from the “first!”-sayers but who wants those? ^^).

The problem I see with having ads and wanting to earn money is that sooner or later, you may feel inclined to look at your blog thinking: “How can I maximise the money I make with it?” and your goal will be to increase hits instead of just wanting to write about something you’re passionate about. Of course, this doesn’t have to be but I’ve seen blogs where I got that feeling and I didn’t go back there again.

Another word of caution: You’re monetizing by using somebody else’s IP if you write about games (and maybe show off screenshots, etc.). Usually, gaming companies don’t have a problem with it but it may be a grey area that you’re entering here. I have to think of the lawsuit against Warhammer Alliance by Games Workshop. Sure, they’re a fan site and not a blog. But they were sued because of ads after they had apparently even been promoted by Games Workshop a few years earlier (this information is based on what I read on the WH Alliance forums. I couldn’t find any recent information about this – if anybody has news, I’d appreciate hearing about this!).

As you may know, we decided against ads. But it’s up to you. Think about why you want to write and if ads/monetizing would get in the way of your hobby/passion. We’ve made the experience that writing simply because we love doing it, is the best (for us!). I’ve spent most of my last vacation writing about the Guild Wars 2 EUFanDay instead of relaxing, sleeping in, doing nothing, watching lame shows on TV,… ;) But I had fun! All in all, I’m pretty happy with where I am now and I’d enjoy writing even if I had only two readers (you may know who you are because you’re the ones commenting most often here…). Also, I really enjoy getting to know other players through blogging and eventually meeting them in RL (like I did in Brighton). This is why I blog and this is why I love doing it. And this is why I write blog posts even though I’m tired from work. It’s FUN. Whatever you do and for whatever reason you decide to blog, remember to have fun!