Friday, January 15, 2010

Blogging independently?

Greetings everyone... I hope you'll forgive me a not-quite-40k post. I've got a poll up that I'd like some feedback on. The long and short of it is that I've been invited to write for a 40k agglomerate site. They shall remain nameless for the nonce. Check that. During the time writing this, I've managed to get invited to a second one... Hah!

I've got a decent number of followers here. I'm also not writing for profit, hits, pseudo-fame, or some misguided Pygmalion complex. I write to get these things out of my brain and on "paper". It helps me be a better player. If publishing them helps the next guy, so much the better. It also gives me something interesting to do when I'm bored at work. But as the wise Lao Tzu says, "A wise man knows he doesn't know." I'm not the platonic ideal of an armchair general... I miss things, make mistakes and am ultimately human. One of the best ways I've found to mitigate this is by having others read my ideas. Thus having a larger audience is good for more than just the ego boost.

Now, there's hundreds if not thousands of 40k blogs out there. I'm not really doing anything that someone else isn't too. Maybe I cover it a little differently, with more math, or just my own little spin and models... but there's still a lot of background noise out there. The blogs I see with any regularly high followings fall into one or more of three key groups.
a. Star Power. Typically these are older and more established blogs doing some sort of "guru on the mountain" thing. I have this rep for Eldar on Warseer, but certainly not on the blogosphere or other sites... nor am I sure if I want it. The role tends to be aloof and unassailable, dispensing nuggets of wisdom to the unwashed masses and immune to reproof. It kinda stifles free debate, especially if the author wants to categorize things into black and white.
b. Blogfeeds. Groups like FromTheWarp help a lot to be more than just talking to myself. One of the big things I like about FTW is that Ron is all about external reference, high bounce rate, and just covering his basic costs. If he happens to pick up some extra traffic or commissions, that's just a side-effect. This cannot be said of all the feed or rings out there... Still, with almost 500 members, distinction is difficult to achieve.
c. Agglomerates. These are a central site on which several authors post, joined because of similar locale or interest. This has the advantage of screening out the detritus posts, sharing out the work, tapping a broader spectrum of talent, cross-pollination between authors, and theoretically sharing to a larger audience. There's the downside of pressure to perform, content uniqueness, and conflicts of interest... such as if there should be a profit and if/how it gets shared.

So my thoughts come down to this:
1. I can say thanks, but no. I stay here, do my own thing and see what comes. This doesn't really increase my audience, but I also avoid a lot of potential headaches.
2. Join and put all agglomerate specific articles on that site and my other stuff here. I get the bigger audience, but I might be scrambling to keep this as anything more than a "my models" blog, especially if I join two or more.
3. Join and post agglomerate articles there and here. It probably wouldn't drive traffic here, but would get that wider audience idea. Of course, it might mean having to stay on topic a little more...
4. Join as an 'honorary' author... which is to say, do my own thing, but allow the site to harvest any content they feel would be agglomerate appropriate. This would mean no pressure to post as the decision of "appropriate" content is up to the agglomerate editor rather than me.
5. Something else I haven't thought of?

Cheers and thanks for any feedback!


  1. Personally I'd go with 1 or 4, to avoid 2.

    3 is also a possability, as it might get you writing about things you don't normally do. I'm thinking that if these mysterious agglomeratians ask for a particular topic.
    But if they're just asking for you to write something and send it in once a week, 1 or 4.

  2. Didn't see the poll at first...

    I voted to stay, simply because I don't like my blogging to be beholden to others.
    Like you I just post my thoughts and ideas, and don't liek the idea of tying myself up with responsabilities.

  3. This is a difficult one, personally I'd say join the group blog if you're going to post about something specific such as tactics / modelling etc.

    If you're just going to continue to blog as you do here, then stay here and keep your stuff unique.

  4. Depends on the group blog. If it's a generalist blog, I'd just let them harvest articles from you here.

    I've kicked around offering to do guest content here and there, but the problem is that if you're doing unique content, then there's the issue of "What do I put on my own blog?"

    I mean, you tend to do a lot of analysis, and if you kick out all the analysis on the other site, then what do you post here?

    If it's a topic different than your norm, then it might be good for getting you to think about other stuff that you don't usually do.

    So to that end (since I can't seem to get the poll to work for me, for whatever reason) I'd go for either 2 or 4, but if it's going to be too much effort or a duplication, then I'd keep true to Maunderings.

  5. I don't have much to say, since most of it has already been said, but my vote goes to #4, as it seems that they're requesting tactics/mathhammer/unit-reviews based on the comment in #2.

    However, I can see some merit in #3, making it a close second for me. But, depending on how much you'd have to do to make your posts "stay on topic", it might be better to just go with #4.

  6. #4, in order that you both retain your independence and not dilute this blog.

  7. Hey Folks, I REALLY appreciate the feedback.
    One site is a generalist agglomerate. I want to stay focused on here and doing my own thing, so I've offered choice 4 to them.
    The other is a topic-specific agglomerate. I've offered a mix of 2 and 4. I'll write unique articles for them, but won't agree to be topic exclusionary. They're also welcome to harvest items from here for anything that they like, but I'll retain the original here.

    We'll see what the responses are like... Generally, I'm okay with writing for other sites, but won't sell out to do so.

  8. For those of you interested in a follow-up:
    I've agreed for option 4 with The Wraith Gate. They will be harvesting posts of interest as well as requesting the occasional specific article. (First harvest went up today and first commission, "Eldar vs 5th ed Tyranids", is currently in the works.)

    I've also agreed to a mix of 2 & 4 with Space Wolves. I'm writing some appropriate vehicle tactica for them, with option for more Wolf articles when those are done.

    Mainly, I'm going to stick with Maunderings and see where it takes me. Should be an interesting ride...