Blogs CAN Be Community

Belghast published a fantastic post today talking about the community of both MMO blogs and World of Warcraft blogs and the differences between the two. It wasn’t until I published my comment that I realised I had a lot to say about this subject so here goes.

Warcraft Beginnings

Many of us have our origins in the World of Warcraft blogosphere. It was the game that projected the MMO market to a more mainstream audience and so many of us have our beginnings in this game, in MMO gaming, and in blogging. Of course, not all of us, for sure, but even those who started back with EQ, Ultima, and such will have played WoW at some point or at the very least considered doing so.

Those of us who started in WoW blogging will most likely have signed up to Blog Azeroth and met other WoW bloggers through the forums there. There’s an introduction forum to introduce yourself and your blog, so very often new bloggers will interact most with other new bloggers and then go on to check out the shared topics and various community events which get bloggers, new, old, known, and unknown alike interacting and getting to know each other.

Drifting Away

This is all fantastic, but World of Warcraft isn’t forever and isn’t the only MMO out there and many of us drift away eventually. Some stop with MMOs, some move on to others. Some stop blogging, some switch to a more generic MMO based blog. Sadly, this is where things get a little tough. As Belghast says in his post, “…with the non-wow MMO blogosphere is ..no common point of reference that we all have… instead of immediate bonds over shared experience, what I found instead were a bunch of wholly independent personalities, not all of which were that open to new people operating in their shared space.” This is the comment that really hit home for me. Yes, I’ve been fickle with my posting since changing my blog up, and yes, I have made a few friends that I’d like to think are very open to newer bloggers and don’t mind my fleeting existence in this ‘sphere – you guys are wonderful, by the way. But there are those that (and this could well be down to my poor mental health) make me feel.. not so much unwelcome as disinteresting. They couldn’t care less if new people start blogging in these parts or not and this is, I feel at least, the issue with keeping people in this little blogosphere that we like to call a community.

So What?

As I said in my essay comment on Bel’s post, which was almost a blog post in itself, “The MMO blogosphere CAN be as communal as the WoW blogosphere. I have seen it. All it requires is a bit of inter-blog commenting, Twitter discussions, link love, whatever. But interaction is the key.”

Lots of us are great with commenting, discussing different things on Twitter, linking up to other blogs in some way or another, and of course there was the Newbie Blogger Initiative (which I just missed out on yet again this year), which is all brilliant, but I feel there is a lot we could learn from the WoW blogosphere. Remember the shared topics? Easter Egg hunts? Secret Santa blog post exchanges? Heck, I even remember a secret admirer programme a few years back for Valentine’s Day! They were all great fun and brought people together, introducing bloggers and blog readers to blogs they may not have previously known about. We need more of this, the only problem is time. And a lot of us don’t have it. I, sadly, know full well that I would start out with the best of intentions and quickly forget a post, leaving it to stagnate, so I’m not entirely sure where to go from here. However, I fully believe that something can be done. What do you think?

8 thoughts on “Blogs CAN Be Community”

  1. I have been thinking all day about what I would say to respond. Firstly I have to thank you deeply for being there for me even when I am feeling moody and spawn a post like today’s. Like I said in my own comment… sometimes your perspective gets skewed. I was going through a period where I was just feeling deeply disconnected from people. Then a day like today happens when I am forcibly tackled hugged by the internet.

    It was a really odd day to say the least. Basically people are more than just pixels to me. When I read your blog and subscribe to it… I am saying that I care about the person behind the pixels. There are so many blogs that I follow that regularly talk about things I simply don’t care about, but the fact that the person I am following said it makes it interesting to me. Sure this means I have a truly unruly blogroll and it sometimes takes me days to sift down through the stack to a specific blog post, but I feel like I am constantly expanding my world. Ultimately at the end of the day that is what blogging is about for me… sharing of myself and hoping to get others to share with me in return. I am just glad that some people like you truly get that :)
    Belghast recently posted..Blogs Are Not Community

  2. Blogging is fine to introduce people to one another through a shared interest, and that interest can be as narrow as WoW, or as wide as MMO blogging in general.

    But it’s the slowest form of community. You need to find a blog in the interest you want, and if you’ve never read ANY blogs, how would you do that? You’d need to find someone in person (in game, forums, etc) and then stalk their blog URL or something like that.

    Blogs DO offer a more intimate community, which is good and bad, I guess. It’s good because you REALLY get to know a people, but it’s also bad because walking into a group that’s so insulated feels excluding unless you A) play that game, or B) blog about the same kinds of things.

    I prefer to do my communitying via social networking. I forget how I met the people I pal around with there, though. It may have been blogging, but I suspect it was just feet-first into Twitter.
    Chris recently posted..Levelcapped in 2014

    1. The best part of Twitter is that is doesn’t matter how you started talking, just that you did start talking. But I’m with Belghast when it comes to the following/unfollowing thing. Yeah, we all unfollow people from time to time but it does get a bit sucky when you think you’ve made a connection with somebody and they unfollow you. But it’s a thing that happens. :)

  3. “My milkshake brings all the boys to the yard. I could show you but I’ll have to charge”

    Jaedia you have some valid points, but then again Scary is right, there is a selfishness to this. Our motives are dubious. Why do we comment, tweet, etc. From true sense of community, or is it we are just marketing ourselves.
    Riv recently posted..I Stand Alone

    1. A bit of both. Obviously there is personal marketing involved, we all want the blog we put time and passion into to be actually read, but for the most part, we do this because we enjoy it. There is no monetary profit in it, after all, just ego and/or community. :)

  4. Over the years of trying to get mom bloggers together like Blog Azeroth, my efforts have failed. Shoot even Syp’s NBI has failed to gain traction with bloggers beyond the selfish plugging to be a part of a great event like that even Syp didn’t head up this year. It’s very hard to get us all in a community like Azeroth because we lack the focus as general MMO bloggers. Like someone said in the comments, we want people to come to our blog that’s why we link and spin off and comment and tweet and more of a run on sentence of items. We want to be part of a cool blogging community but we all want to be the center stage all the time.
    Scarybooster recently posted..Mistakes

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