Grinding to Valhalla

Interviewing the gamer with a thousand faces

Riknas (Chapter 5)

Posted by Randolph Carter on June 20, 2009

MMO community connection:

Free Play Podcast

Chapter 5: Blogging/Podcasting

When did you first start blogging/podcasting?

My first delve into the podcasting community was in a Tabula Rasa podcast for PlanetTR, the largest community site available actually, my co-host Andras has actually been with me in it all the way. This first project we called, “Behind the Front Lines”. We’re still archived here actually.

The second project Andras and I touched upon is actually the precursor to our current project, the Free Play Podcast. Originally it was the Free Play Blog and was a heavily structured, weekly review blog that Andras and I alternated between, as we gave overviews of F2P MMOs.

Our biggest project (Still being continued actually) is the Free Play Podcast, which has the same point as the Free Play Blog, but is a bit more broad as we cover news and more discussion topics. My personal favorite is the fact that it’s no longer a “taking turns” game, where we both reviewed the same game together and are thus able to give more opinions and overall better coverage of the game being discussed.

My latest project is my first solo work, called the Riknas Rants, which is a very general blog that I occasionally write up on Gax Online to talk about possible projects and what I consider good discussion topics that aren’t about F2P MMOs, and not necessarily even about (But most likely) involving MMOs.

Why do you blog/podcast?

That’s actually a question I’ve asked myself a lot, and for a while I really wasn’t sure. It’s not so much that I didn’t know, but I just forgot it a lot. I listened to Massively Online Gamer a lot before I started podcasting, and now I still listen to a lot of the shows on Virgin Worlds. They were all entertaining, but what I had admired most were the podcasts about individual MMOs, like Warp Drive Active. What they did was become part of the community, they kept players attached to their game, and in a sense, the listeners that subscribed to the show become a community within the community. I liked that, I wanted to form a community, or solidify one. If by talking about something I love, I could actually bring people together, and, provide people some entertainment along with it? At the end of the day I’d have to ask myself the “real” question, “Why NOT?”

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

No doubt. When the schedule breaks, so does the release schedule. I have set times for playing the game, playing a game with friends, the recording schedule, and the editing schedule. Albeit, I haven’t been able to follow it as of late, I most certainly stand by the routine as an essential part of keeping things moving and successful.

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

There can be a grind to it. It’s the fine tuning of the show that turns things to a grind, the anticipation of, “Oh man. I totally have to edit this and it’s going to take forever,” all that jazz. As much as I want to enthusiastic all the time, I can’t say it’s a riot cutting out deadspace and digging around through sentences saying, “Wait lets cut that out,” “Eh, no, maybe that will work let’s just cut this part out.”

What keeps me going is the same reason that I blog in the first place, I just need to keep telling myself, “I’m bringing people together, there are people who want to know this stuff.”

By contrast, what do you find pleasurable about blogging/podcasting?

The recording process is, and always will be a blast. It’s like having a set of topics to have before talking with your friends. Recording is something to look forward to, where you really get all those ideas going and your mind starts running as you try to put all your experiences into words.

How many people offline know you blog or podcast?

Really, only a handful. I may start handing out business cards at some point though.

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

Set aside from time for it, be it by mental note, writing it up in a pad, putting it in your PDA or teaching a carrier pigeon to go to your friends house who will then send you smoke signals to check it out, otherwise it will be a horrible mix-mash of thoughts that just won’t come together even long enough to get a punchline in.

Second, know what you’re going to talk about. There’s no real explanation necessary.

Last, really, follow the cliche, love what you’re talking about so that you can just throw all your enthusiasm and energy into it. Be it text or speech, people will see that you have something to say and not just doing it because it’s a second job to you.

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

Editing is not, and never will be, fun. Ever, and if you want to make sure you have a show done on time, you’re going to need to edit yourself. That’s it really.

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

No, never. I might take breaks every now and again, slow down my pace, but I can’t imagine a future where I just stopped trying entirely. I don’t want a future like that.

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?

Are you kidding me? I want someone to play every single podcast I ever participated in so they just knew how all the things I’ve done, if only to shove it in the faces of people who say, “Eh, he never did anything in his life.” Oh yea? Well I have 20 hours of me talking about different MMO aspects and payment models. And that was just for his first year of the show. Sit down, it’s going to take a while.

And if it takes someones entire life time to sit and listen through it? I think I officially won at life.

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