Thursday, December 4, 2008

Time to dig for new jewels of WoW blogging

The activity on many WoW blogs recently has decreased, as Typhoonandrew noticed in a grumpy post the other day. Without scientific proof – I don’t keep records, I don’t even read the blogs through feeds, so there’s no counting there – I must agree. I always get a lot of inspiration and input to my own blogging from reading other blogs, but lately I’ve had the feeling that I haven’t been fed with tons of ideas the way I’m used to.

Prefer playing
There are several explanations for this. One, obviously, is that the expansion is too good. We all have a limited amount of time to spend on the game. Questing and killing in Azeroth is just a small part of it – we probably spend about as much time planning our playing on guild forums, following discussions about theorycrafting on other forums, looking up strategies for dungeons and raid instances, reading blogs and listening to podcasts. It’s no wonder it’s hard to get time to write our own stuff.

Another explanation is the time of the year, which is very busy for many people. Projects are supposed to be completed before New Year, exams are upcoming and there’s a bunch of holidays, which not only will demand our mental and physical presence with our families, but also take some planning and preparation.

All in all I think it isn’t a too wild guess that whatever time we’ll be able to spend on WoW, we rather use for actually playing the game, levelling and gearing our toons, than blogging about it.

The Blogosphere
Still all hope isn’t lost for the addicted WoW blog reader. The Blogosphere contains a lot more awesome blogs than you have a clue about. Let’s be honest – isn’t it easy to become a bit lazy when it comes to blog reading? We establish habits where we check out the “established blogs” and the blogs which happened to be around when we started blogging or blog reading a year ago. We read the blogs that EVERYONE else will read and link to.

Do we really give the new bloggers the chance they deserve? Almost every day a new blogger is introduced at the Blog Azeroth forums. Do you check them out? And if you do so, do you give them a second review when they’ve been around for a month, to see if they have developed their blog a bit further? Hands up, who hasn’t been there, writing their first confused “I don’t know why I blog but I’ll try it out” post? It will take any blogger a few weeks to see what shape their blog will take. Don’t judge the newbies too quickly!

And if Blog Azeroth doesn’t give you enough of new food for thought you could brows through the blog list at Twisted Nether Wiki. That’s SOME list, isn’t it?

To get established
I think it’s a bit sad to see how hard it seems to a new blogger to get established. There’s something in the media logic that leads us wrong. Really, the blogs with the highest number of readers aren’t necessarily the ones that are most read worthy. And yet they keep attracting new readers, thanks to their size. There’s something magnetic in it. People seem to think that “so many readers can’t be wrong”. They can.

If you look at my blogroll I follow a mix of blogs. Some are well established – but there are also a number of not-quite-as-often-mentioned-ones. I could go on and give a little rant about every single one, but I’ll just give you a few examples of blogs which I enjoy and that aren’t mentioned and linked to quite as often as they deserve:

Groups of Words. This blog contains… a lot of words. Interesting, well written posts about a range of topics. You will never find a “look at this silly screenshot” post here. It isn’t updated quite as often as I’d wish as a starving reader. But when he writes, he does it well. Don’t be scared off by the layout, which appears a bit broken in my reader (IE). Content is king in my world, and this blog has content.
Altoholic's Are us. Altoholicmom writes personal posts, written from the perspective of a player who's been around for a very long time and knows the game by heart. But she also provides very useful posts, such as the Wrathgate guide the other day or the Northrend Daily Quest. The name is a bit decieving. This blog is NOT about how fun it is to create 9 alts on 10 different servers and level them to 20. You don't have to be a fan of alts to be a fan of Altoholicmom. Tis is a general WoW blog, and a very good one. She's obviously got 4 (four) readers. That's ridiculous. They should be 400. At least.

Artisan Level. It’s a mystery to me why I’m about the only blog I’ve seen linking to her. This blog is awesome. For some reason it makes me think of Chick GM (the wonderful blogger who’s been silent now for a couple of months, maybe because of health reasons, I hope you’re OK if you’re reading this). Oriniwen is a guild leader and shares her experiences, her victories and defeats, her worries and ideas, with all of us. Obviously she hasn’t got quite the same authority as Chick GM and her guild isn’t a cutting-edge raiding guild (what I understand). But she writes about guild life from the leader aspect in an honest, personal manner and I guarantee she’ll give you food for thought.

Greedy Goblin. If you follow his blog you’ll never get out of reading. He posts every single day, sometimes even twice and I can’t understand how he managed to keep it up. What makes this blog so fun is that it mixes good hands-on-advice about how to make gold in WoW efficiently with philosophical rants about economical laws in the game as well as in real life. I don’t always agree with Gevlon. He’s pretty provocative in his goblin views (just look at the comment he made on this blog yesterday… oh dear!) He loves to call people “stupid”, something Larísa wouldn’t dream of doing. And that’s why it’s so good. I want to be annoyed and provoked from time to time, I want to get stuff to think, even if I’ll turn up in a completely different position.

This was just four examples of jewels to be found. There are plenty more out there. Don’t complain about the lack of posting from the established blogs. Go out and have a look I’m sure you’ll find a lot of new nodes on the blog map, which you’ve overlooked until now, following your ordinary reading pattern. It’s time to make new discoveries.


Anonymous said...

Wow, thanks for the awesome review! I actually hadn't heard of any of the other blogs you mentioned in this post, so I've tagged them to check them out. I appreciate your postive feedback, and your story is true. When I started out I named the blog AltoholicsAreUs thinking that I would write about all of the classes, making it... well favorable for any class... but as I got to writing, I do have a lot of high level toons, but I still prefer my Paladin, so she sees the most time on the blog.

I don't want to change my name though. I love all the classes in the game, and I love the game as a whole. Even both factions... So I've changed from focusing on content I see to expanding to trying to write helpful guides to things anyone can appreciate.

This is getting lengthy. What Im trying to say is your orginal feedback to my blog changed how I was writing it when I started out, and since then Ive been trying to carve my niche in the blogosphere. However, in defense of my readers, I only added feedburner since I changed the layout about a week ago, anyone using the old reader wasn't counted, only those who have subscribed since. Thanks to the Northrend Dailies post I had my all time highest hits in a day, and it is indeed higher then four.

Again, thank you for supporting me in coming out the the blogiverse and I wish you successes in your own blog!

Andrea (AltoholicMom)

David said...

So, uh, exactly how many delicious chocolate cakes do I need to mail you in-game to get a review ;)

I agree that overall, blogging is down. I think endgame and the level cap brings a lot of posting, because people have a much more static impression of their gameplay. Why blog about dps or healing when next week your numbers and spells will be completely different?

Gevlon said...

I did linked Artisan Level too!

And thanks a lot for the review.

BTW when you started "Larísa's corner" on some swedish blogsite did you imagine that one day you'll be the "established" one like Matticus or Phelia and people will thank you just for being mentioned?

Anonymous said...

I love reading blogs,i started by reading about 5 one of which was yours and then i started to read the ones on the blog rolls of the 5 i started reading.

I never planned on starting a blog myself but the epic fire/frost/arcane mage battle that was hilarious was so much fun i thought i would give it a go.

I also do not really go to blog azeroth that much as i tend to just use the blogrolls of people i like as i figure if they like them and i like them well they must be alright.

Chris said...

Post frequency drops with game interest.

At the moment I am horribly bored in game, no guild (should make a post about leaving another guild) so nothing really fun happening. Heroics are horribly dull (racked up like 60 so far). I suppose I need to think about what to write more of since the stuff I would normally write about isn't happening at the moment, I feel so adrift.

Still read them all though :P.

Gamer Hudson said...

Drop on by!

Anonymous said...

I've had this absolutely insane writers block. Part of it feels like everyone's doing the same content right now, so every time I think of something to write, someone's already done it!

And I LOVE Artisan Level. Have you seen her photo blog as well? I need to update my blogroll. :)

Captain The First said...

Hehe, I never run out of stuff to read for some strange reason. just following blog roll links alone can keep me entertained for hours and hours on end.

The problem I think most bloggers are facing is that everyone is kind of stuck writing about northrend and I don't think there's much that hasn't been said about that so far.

They'll get back in their raiding jazz soon enough after which the diversity will increase again and most people will get over their writer's block.

I for one never had anything coherent to say anyway so I am not really struggling for post topics.

Fish said...

Personally I read blogs that are linked from sites I read a lot, I will make it a point to check out more of yours.

I think if I didn't have the longest name in the blogosphere I might get more hits.

I think the expansion has caused people to use what time they would be blogging to actually play. I actually blog while at work, so the time isnt inter-related for me lol.

Anonymous said...

@Andrea: I'm relieved to hear that the figure was misleading! When awesome blogs don't seem to get enough appreciation I get a bit worried that the authors will get discouraged. Your blog was fine from the beginning and has only turned better as time has passed.

@David: aawww. I feel bad for not giving a special mentioning to your blog. I would like to give special reviews to ALL of the blogs on my roll because they're all there for different reasons. I guess yours is just a little bit too new, those I wrote about have been around for a while. But I really like your style and i think your one of those bloggers who will last in the long run.

@Gevlon: oh those people thanking me for being mentioned clearly don't have access to my statistics. You can't in ANY way compare me to those bloggers you mention. I'm not established like that and I probably never will be either (currentl 140 subscribers, which is about a 10th or so of what Matticus has). Too many things are lacking here to really become a hit. Too much ranting, too few useful guides, I think. And too many grammatical and spelling errors. But I don't mind, really. This is STILL Larísas Corner of the world and I enjoy it immensly. I had never imagined I would enjoy it so much and hang around for so long.

@Esdras: I'm glad to hear you enjoyed the battle. We'll see if we can get a good fight again when Gnome's back and we've found out our favourite specs in the expansion. Unless we all spec 0/53/18 of course... But I have a feeling Krizzlybear won't. He's too fond of his pet.

@2ndNin: Oh noooo. :( I'm sad to hear it didn't turn out as well as you had hoped on the new server in a new guild. And bored... already! That's sort of sad. Maybe time to try another class, another kind of game perhaps? Turn into an expert in Arena instead of a raider? Whatever will give you a challenge.

@Hudson: hmmm... I was just about to delete your link. It's the first comment EVER I've got that felt like self promoting and nothing else. From comments I expect a little bit more, at least something to add about the post itself. But I forgive you for this time. I think your blog seems quite interesting, at least it's got lengthy posts. But I need to spend a bit of more time on it before I'm sure it deserves a place in my blogroll...

@Isisxotic: oh yes, I noticed her new blog the other day. I'm normally not a fan of screenshot blogs, but she's so charming that I think I'll drop by and have a look at this one too from time to time.

@Captain the First: you have got your own agenda, definitly, and you could easily too have been one that I had mentioned specially. I'm glad to hear you're not running out of content to blog about!

@Fish: it's funny that you have the longest blog name, but the shortest name of your own... Anyway I like your blog a lot and I hope that more people will find their way to it through my blog roll. Everyone reading this, go and check out Fish! That's an order.

Anonymous said...



I'm horribly sick today and have completely lost my voice, but coming to The Pink Pigtail Inn today was more soothing than laying on the couch with the kitten, a comfy blanket, a hot cup of tea and a stack of smutty novels.

Larisa, I really feel that you were my 'first friend' in the Warcraft Blogging Community and I can't even explain how much the reccomendation means to me. You are a name and a favourite in the blogsphere, whether you know it or not and I adore you to the tips of your little gnomish pigtails.

I also love the fact that you've encouraged me to check out the Altaholic Mom. Superb blog!

Huge hugs from me to all of the Warcraft Blogsphere, I learn so much from all of you every day.

Unknown said...

I just follow blogs from the blog links that I read and then I follow links again ... and the cycle goes on.

I stop by Blog azeroth once in awhile to check out new blogs and occasionaly I stop by and leave a comment.

BTwy how is your heroic 5man adventures larisa? Are you getting ready for some 10man naxx?

Anonymous said...

I had no idea the WoW blogosphere was even out there until someone invited me to contribute to it (/bows in general direction of Aurdon). I've enjoyed my little foray immensely, and one of my favorite things has been watching your blogroll slowly make its way onto my favorites list. It has pretty much become my at-work reading list.

Thanks for the wonderful read and all the recommendations, explicit and otherwise. :)


Anonymous said...

@Oriniwen: oh... that was a heartwarming comment. Thank you! I bet you have several admirers out there, they just haven't come around to speak up. I hope you'll get better soon and that playing around in Azeroth may distract you a bit in the meanwhile from the pain of being ill. /hug

@Herc: I had my first little adventure in Naxx 10 man yesterday. Great fun! I'll probably write a few lines about some aspect of it today.

@Rhii: thank you! If you need another blogroll to explore I suggest the one of Blessing of Kings. I really love his mix and share his taste when it comes to blogs.

Anonymous said...

"You can't in ANY way compare me to those bloggers you mention. I'm not established like that and I probably never will be either... "

Um, yeah I can. In my opinion, this is one of those "established blogs" and one I check every day, except maybe weekends when I'm too busy playing. :)

And I'd have never known that English wasn't your first language had it not been mentioned before.

Funeral said...

I usually go through Blog Azeroth every couple of days and check out the new blogs people have posted about. I don't really participate in reviews and such, mainly because I feel I'm a bit unqualified considering the nature of my blog.

Personally I just blog about my little adventures I have and the progress I'm making in the game. There are other people out there with more experience who dive into the theorycrafting and hardcore class related blog posts that I feel like I'd come off as a fool trying to do so.

Which brings me to why I think there has been a slow down with blogging. Yes, everyone playing the expansion has taken up their time, but also this stuff is new. It's not the same class or raid dungeon that they've been playing for a year. Many people don't really know what to post about. It's not like anyone can do more than a half-hearted attempt at writing about end game WoW because they aren't there.

I think once people have been level 80 for awhile and really know the gear, the quests, the dungeons, and the specs like the back of their hand... we'll be back to seeing constant blogs about them all.

Oh and thank you for adding my blog to your list. I was happily surprised when you did so shortly after I launched.

Xdawgg said...

Well, since I came to a close...or pause in my characters storyline, I can get my blog rolling along....

Check it out so far...


Anonymous said...

Well, I have been blogging for about a month and a half and I must say...I like it.

You were the first person to comment on my page so I always stop by to see what you have to say.

When I first started my blog I had no idea what it was going to be about. It is consitenly changing but its getting better.

I will never turn down advice / critism from establish bloggers. So feel free to stop by =)

Anonymous said...

Hi Larisa!

Yeah, I'm a textophile. 'Sexy' and 'texty' sound the same to me.

I wish I had more time to write as well. My growing family and a full-time job and a happy family life and playing games mean that writing any single blog post takes quite some time. I know that blogs are supposed to be all about regular posting, but I'd rather write one substantive post than five middling ones. I mean, I've been trying to post this comment for four days! :)

Thanks very much for the highlighting the other blogs you read. Word of mouth is more important than any list to me. I look forward to checking them out.