Tag Archives: blogs

New RPG Blog Alliance

Geek Related has been part of the RPG Bloggers Network pretty much since it began in August 2008. It’s simple – just a RSS feed aggregator – but it’s quite useful, and it’s how I often go read what’s up in the blogosphere.  Like many people, the hassle of actually setting up a RSS reader has never appealed to me, I’d rather just go to a Web portal. And it’s been quite worthwhile for the blog, the plurality of my referrers come from there, especially on new-article days.

Now, the RPG Blog Alliance has opened its doors and I’ve signed up.  There’s an interesting history here – an early breakaway the RPGBN was a Ning site, the Role Play Media Network.  It wanted to ‘do more’ and be more of a social network.  It didn’t get much use and recently closed its doors.  So now the RPGBA has opened up, it’s more of a blog aggregator (the RPMN’s fatal flaw was no way to aggregate blogs, and it was supposed to be for bloggers, so…) but also has social stuff – a forum and now a Google group.

I am not sure if the RPGBA has the magic mix needed to succeed or not. On the one hand, I don’t mind another aggregator.  Yay hits.  On the other hand, I’m unlikely to go use both the RPGBA and RPGBN home pages for my daily blog-checking, I’m probably just going to use one.The RPGBN’s is winning for me because it’s more concise – there’s lots of blog posts in a day and so the more articles I can see per screenful in my browser wins.

And I’m divided on the value of the “social aspect.”  On the one hand, why not? On the other – the most valuable “social” thing you can do as a blogger is go comment on each others’ posts, generating community and clickbacks.  Having any of that discussion hidden in a forum or mailing list reduces its worth. Plus, it’s not like there’s not a bunch of major RPG forums out there if you just want to hobnob with gamers. And already the fragmentation of having both a forum and a separate, unrelated Google group is worrying. I know they want to try to collaborate and accomplish Greater Things – but my experience with Internet groups accomplishing Greater Things is bad, the usual vicious infighting turns into open war the second anything like money gets involved.

Of course, one of the real underlying issues is that the RPGBN isn’t exactly firing on all cylinders.  It seems to have tech problems from time to time, like just today my posts are appearing and disappearing on it, and whoever’s running it isn’t keeping up with new blog signups and whatnot, so that’s creating some pressure for an alternative to arise.

So, I wish both the networks luck, have joined them both, and will see what happens!

A Gripe About My Blogroll

Dang it, where are all the good RPG blogs getting off to?

I’ll be honest, I use my blogroll more as a list of bookmarks of things I want to read regularly than any kind of promotional tool.  But they all seem to be drying up as the folks on the list aren’t doing much any more.  I’m tempted to purge the heck out of the list but don’t know what to replace them with!

Before anyone gets bent out of shape, these blogs are here in the first place because they’re my favorites.  But my general quest of “I’d like to read something interesting and frequent on gaming that’s relevant to me” is getting harder.

A Character For Every Game gave up on its eponymous mission and is just posting maps, which I don’t use.

Chris Pramas of Green Ronin isn’t posting about gaming much at all on his blog.  I already cut Erik Mona’s blog for the same reason.

Greyhawk Grognard almost quit but got his act back together IIRC.  I love Greyhawk even though I don’t game in it any more.

Grognardia is still going strong.  You know, I don’t play OSR games, but it seems like it’s only the OSR blogs nowadays that are active and actually talking about the fricking game!!!  Still one of the lynchpins on my rotation.

Louis Porter is a new addition and is always entertaining, so he’s safe.

Lamentations of the Flame Princess used to be better; now it’s about 100% about the things Raffi’s publishing, which while that’s well and good is a bit to narrow to keep my attention (10 posts just on the cover painting?  Really?).

I have a soft spot for goth girl Erin Palette, even though she doesn’t post about gaming that much.

The Paizo blog isn’t that thrilling as far as blogs go, but I play the hell out of Pathfinder so I follow it to keep up.  It could use about 1000% more posts by the various Paizo luminaries on gaming stuff, previews, stuff that got cut from publication, etc.

I love me some Robin Laws games, but his blog really is getting interminable.  Most of what could be considered gaming content is some kind of abstract diagramming of dramatic structure of Shakespeare or something.  Come on man, did someone cut your balls off after you made Feng Shui and Rune?  Get lively!

I like Zachary’s RPG Blog II but now he’s making noises about quitting/slowing down/just covering some Palladium.

I was following Tresca’s blog just for the Cthulhu story hour, which is great, although dementedly the blog is just a pointer and the content is posted at ENWorld.

I added the Escapist on a whim but don’t read it much.

The Free RPG Blog is on thin ice, it was gone for like 2 months there.  I like its role in pointing out free games and pimping 1km1kt.

The RPGPundit has degenerated into 10 page posts on Legion of Super Heroes stuff.

I like my fellow Austinite Trollsmyth.  He’s also gone mostly OSR.

I added Uncle Bear recently because I remember him from the old days but I just don’t read it much.

NiTessine – like him, but posting level is down to like once a month.  To me the point of my roll is to hit it to read stuff whenever I’m bored.  If it drops to less than about 1/week, then I just stop going back.

So as it stands I am thinking about cutting about half of these, and the other half certainly don’t fill my all consuming need for RPG info!

So who should I add instead?  Seems like all the actual game designers I like (Laws, Mona, Pramas, etc.) just don’t really blog about gaming much beyond pretty focused stuff on the corp-sites they’re pimping but really not much even there.  Unless they’ve moved gaming blogging to other blogs I don’t know about.  I wonder if Steve Kenson has a blog besides the M&M site one…  Or any of the Pathfinder guys…  And many of the other bloggers have settled down into a sub-sub-niche and are refusing to budge (Pundit and LSH, Zach and Palladium…)  If someone’s only coming out with something once in a long while, that’s what following the RPG Bloggers Network is for; I want to put people I specifically seek out and read on my blogroll.

I could add more OSR stuff I guess, but there are diminishing returns there – I dont’ use any mechanics stuff and since it’s a fairly insular community other good posts tend to get reblogged a lot so that I end up seeing them.  No 4e, that gives me hives; I do have Gnome Stew and Dungeon Mastering down the the bottom part of my roll but with 4e comes a lot of posts I can’t use – not just ones that are mechanicsey, but focus on posting for noobs and products for 4e and all that, a lot of noise to the signal I’m looking for.  Zak from “D&D With Porn Stars” is generating more good gaming content than 90% of these bloggers, if I can get over having a blogroll link about porn stars on my gaming blog.

I play mostly Pathfinder but that means I’m interested in real thinking and content on any D&D other than 4e, and also play/am interested in pretty much all other roleplaying games – from OSR to indie/storygame – but not to the point where I want to follow something that is totally into them exclusively in super depth…  And ideally posting once a week or more!  Let me know, who do YOU follow that I should add?

RPG Bloggers Network – One Week Old, Already Better Than Gleemax

Check out the new RPG Bloggers NetworkIt was announced less than a week ago, and is run by Dave Chalker of critical-hits.com.  It’s a much better idea, in the Web 2.0 sense, than Gleemax.  Where Gleemax was “come use our shit software and blog here!  And we’ll own what you post, you know,” this is really just an aggregator for existing blogs.  WordPress, Blogger, etc. all do blogging much better than any random gaming company is going to come up with, and tags, search, etc. exist to drive navigation nowadays without everything having to physically “be in one place.”

So all you have to do to sign up for the RPG Bloggers Network is send them your site name, URL, and a feed, and they syndicate it to one place with all the other folks who’ve signed up!  Simple and elegant.  I found it because half the gamers’ blogs I read frequently were suddenly part of it!  So I’ve signed up too.  Join us!