Grinding to Valhalla

Interviewing the gamer with a thousand faces

Ravious (Chapter 5)

Posted by Randolph Carter on May 29, 2009

MMO community connection:

Kill Ten Rats

Chapter 5: Blogging

When did you first start blogging?

Awhile ago. I started with a simple commentary blog on whatever I was thinking about. I felt it was lame. Then my friend and I created a blog devoted to vignettes, which we termed as stories less than 1000 words focusing on one scene. It was great, but fell flat due to lack of any other feedback. Before joining Kill Ten Rats, I finally moved from Blogger to WordPress, and I created Game Scribe, which had some success. I would have kept that up, but I joined Kill Ten Rats and my blog time went to the better blog.

Why do you blog?

Mostly because I like refining my ideas. Good blogging is not easy. You can’t just slap your opinion or rant down and expect an audience that sticks around to see what you say next. I think about MMO gaming a lot, and I come up with tons of ideas for blog posts. I would say less than half even get a mention in any post. They are just too hard to refine or they are not timely.

It also lets me be creative. My blog post up on May 26, 2009, for instance, compares the fast-food industry to MMO design. I like creating analogies like that. To try and push the thoughts of the blog-o-sphere. It can get addictive.

Do you have a schedule or some sort of routine you try and follow when blogging?

Kill Ten Rats is very much a post when you write style blog. There are no requirements for the contributors. That being said I try and push out two quality posts per week. Sometimes I get more, and sometimes I get less. The great thing about having multiple contributors on Kill Ten Rats is that if I slack off, the others seem to somehow know to fill the content holes. It’s weird that we seem to work usually very tightly without ever having background discussions.

Is there some grind involved in blogging? If so, what is it and how do you cope with it?

Usually idea formatting is the worst. Like I said above, you can’t just slap down your train of thoughts and expect it to be a good post. So many times I have to break the posts back and rearrange the parts in order to get it to flow. I also hate going back and linking a lot of times.

How many people offline know you blog?

Just a few close friends and my wife. I try to keep my online identity and real life identity separate. It’s not that I am ashamed or anything. Just I want to be accountable for my opinions in the arena I throw my opinions…. not outside of that.

What advice would you give someone who wanted to try their hand at blogging?

Don’t rush posts. Re-read what you write, and try and be your own devil’s advocate. My worst posts are by far the ones that I got excited about and wrote as a knee jerk reaction to some dev post or something. Your readers take the time to think things through, and you just can’t spoonfeed them your thoughts. If you have smart readers, you might have to stand behind your ideas.

What is something you know now that you wish you had known when you first started?

Don’t assume things about your audience. They won’t always agree with you, and if you write like they should you will get nailed to a plank. If you are positing something use phrases like “I think” and “in my opinion.” I know that it is always just “in my opinion,” but when a blog post makes a black and white statement that is fact… well this is the internet, where facts burn.

Can you picture a future where you will hang up your keyboard and no longer blog?

Sure. Blogs die. Contributors take breaks. I might slow down a bit from 1-2 posts/week to 1 post/2 weeks, but I doubt I will turn in my spurs until I no longer think about MMOs…. and that will be a banal, stark day indeed.

At your funeral, what song(s) would you have played as your corpse is set alight and cast out to sea on a funeral barge?

Actually I have legally planned to be burnt on a funeral pyre… it’s going to take some more work and bending of “dead body” laws…. but, The Doors “Land Ho!”

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