Feel free to skip to The Point if you are in a hurry, this is all going to be an explanation of why this post exists. You do not actually need to read it unless you are curious.
I find myself somewhat surprised that I have been able to maintain something approaching a weekly posting schedule recently. I mean, if I am honest I must admit that I am far too busy with school to do such an irresponsible thing. I suppose that if something is important enough to you…
With that mostly irrelevant pre-amble: I have a blog for a number of reasons. These include, but are not limited to:
- To provide me with an outlet for sharpening my writing skills.
- To provide me with an incentive to commit my ideas regarding roleplaying to “paper”.
- To provide me with feedback on those ideas in hopes of generating better, stronger, faster ideas.
- Honestly, because I, in my towering arrogance, think I am a clever fellow with clever things to say, and that other people can learn important, or at least useful, things from me.
(1) Is sort of silly here. No one is critiquing my prose here, my ideas maybe, but not my prose. Since I get huge amounts of commentary on my writing for school, my blog is not really a great place for me to learn to write well.
(2) This is actually surprisingly effective. Since I perceive myself to have an audience who will benefit from my ideas I write a lot more about my thoughts on roleplaying. This writing sharpens my thinking, and in some cases changes it. I am the only one who can read the back end of this blog, but I have a pretty good number of posts in draft stage. One of those is a 2500 word monster essay that I quit writing half-way through when I realized that I was flat-out wrong regarding the point I was trying to make. So this is surprisingly helpful.
(3) On this issue I am failing fairly miserably. I am averaging less than one comment per substantive post. Since my posts are almost all over 1000 words, that strikes me as rather low. Further, only one of those comments got me thinking in a direction to improve my ideas. The others, while appreciated (and they were!), did not really accomplish my number three goal.
(4) My towering arrogance can only withstand so much evidence against it. Admittedly that threshold is relatively high, but it does exist. I know that at least some people are reading what I write. The site statistics show a number of hits to the primary feed (though very few to the comment feed, which I find interesting), and I would bet that at least a couple of the people who have this blog aggregated read it. But I never hear from any of you! My poor ego is taking a terrible beating. More than that, I am beginning to doubt that my ideas, or at least the ideas I am choosing to share, are indeed helpful to anyone at all.
Which brings me to the point of all this: This blog is, at least in my mind, a public service. I want to offer my thoughts on roleplaying games to people who will find those thoughts interesting and benefitial. The underwhelming level of discussion could indicate a number of things from people’s: lack of time, prioritizing other discussions, or simply a general disinterest in the things I find fascinating.
Since the lack of discussion fails to meet a number of my goals, the most important of which is that the blog is actually useful, I call on you. What can I do to provide a better blog for you, gentle reader? Longer articles? Shorter articles? A less rigid posting schedule? Should I present my thoughts on the most discussed roleplaying theory idea of the week? Is it as simple as changing my writing style here so that I come across as less sure of myself?
I hate feeling like what I am doing is not doing anyone any good. Especially since my aforementioned towering arrogance insists that I can do people very much good. What can I do that would be good for you?
If you read this blog, I want to hear from you. Even if it ends up being a “keep doing what you’re doing, I just don’t have anything to say” I will feel better about myself. Though I must admit that the fact that you do not have anything to say about it makes its utility suspect to me…
So, talk to me!
ADDENDUM (Feb 12, 2006, 05:14CST): I got an email from Frank Filz indicating that attempting to comment is generating an error. I, myself, have been unable to duplicate the error, but the question arises: how many other people are having it? If you have tried to comment, and have not been able to, I would appreciate an email at thomas.robertson at this domain (thesmerf.com). Include what details you can (as in, what stage of commenting you got an error). Thanks bunches.