Tag Archives: Other Blogs

Bookahneer’s Geekwatch: Joining Talk Tyria and GuildMag

Guild Wars 2 Bookahneer's GeekwatchWelcome to today’s Bookahneer’s Geekwatch! The place about miscellaneous interesting news related to Guild Wars 2 – and on occasion, other games.

As some of you may know, I am occasionally writing for Talk Tyria and GuildMag as well. This Geekwatch isn’t about Guild Wars 2 per se, but about those two fan sites that are both looking for new members to fill various positions.

If you’re interested in joining Talk Tyria, head over to this post for more information. I, myself, am a “contributing writer” there and I’m trying to write a post every other month (from now on, mostly about asura if they let me ^^). Next to my job and my own blog and my hobbies, it’s not always possible to write that many other posts and Talk Tyria gives me this flexibility. Guest posts for Talk Tyria are possible as well, by the way!

GuildMag is also looking for writers, but primarily, we’d need somebody who can do design work. Check out the post if you’re interested in that or look for which other positions are open.

What had kept me from applying there at first were the requirements (the English skill being close to a native level was one, for example). In the end, the GuildMag bunch is great and I feel very comfortable there. I think what’s more important than fitting all those requirements 100% is if you’re a reliable person who loves the game and who loves writing/designing, etc. A person that knows what they’re getting into and that does’t just leave a month later again. ;)

That’s the good thing – and the bad thing – of having your own blog: You can just decide to not do anything for a while if you feel too lazy/are too busy. But getting into such a project like Talk Tyria or GuildMag means that there are other people waiting for you to do your part and you can’t just leave for a month without telling anybody. On the other hand, it’s a great motivator to have other people around and I really love that there’s always somebody willing to give me feedback for an idea.

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? ;)

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!

Newbie Blogger Initiative!

Have you ever wanted to start your own blog? Now is the perfect time for it as Syp from BioBreak has started his Newbie Blogger Initiative. This event will last during May and he hopes to encourage many people to start their own blogs!

If you want to know more about it, head on over to the forum he set up for this. There is also a section where you can ask questions, get advice, etc. and as you can see on there, a lot of blogs are participating to help out new bloggers! Of course, you can also ask your questions here but if you sign up on the forums, you’ll find a lot more people there who can help you out!

This blog here has just recently celebrated its first birthday (in March, I think) and we never thought we’d get as far as we did… what with the recent trip to NCSoft Europe in Brighton. Of course, we didn’t start blogging because we wanted to be invited by a gaming company. When we started blogging, I didn’t even know they did that! ;) I’ve always enjoyed talking (my mum loves telling others that I could speak before I could walk) and I’ve always enjoyed writing. I also enjoy talking about games, the mechanics behind them, etc. and, of course, I love talking WITH other players. Getting to know some fellow bloggers in Brighton was definitely the highlight of my blogging experience so far and I can’t wait to hopefully meet more during this year’s GamesCom! So, all in all, blogging is a great hobby for me and it teaches me something every day (English, most of all, which was one of the reasons why we started this blog in the first place). :)

So watch out for many blog posts coming this month giving advice on blogging, answering questions, and sharing their own experiences – not just here on Nerdy Bookahs, of course, but on all the blogs participating.