Archive for the 'blogging' Category

Why do I have this blog again?


The last couple of days have had me thinking again why I started this thing. My original reason was to have some place of my own where I could spew all my thoughts, annoyances, rants, wonderful ideas and plans to take over the galaxy. Up till now I can’t say I didn’t enjoy my own little place of horrors, but I started wondering about what I’m really getting out of this all. I know my original reason was because I couldn’t stand blogs with a different opinions that put a cork in mine, so I wanted a place where I could freely dump what I was thinking, without the restriction of any opinion dictators (yes, pre-moderated blogs, I’m talking about you!).

Up till now, it turned out to take up masses amount of my time, while most the readers I’ve accumulated so far seem to either get misdirected from some travel sites (what the hell is up with that?), or got screwed by google while they were looking for some decent information. Sure, I knew it would take time, especially since I have hardly acted out any of the plans I wrote in one of my first posts. I guess I just didn’t feel like it.

Anyway, what got more and more clear to me is that there are a gazillion wow blogs out there. Every day I stumble upon more blogs like this one, small time starting wow blogs with hardly any attention. Some seem to have been around for a long time also, but are still sitting in a small dark corner.

Why don’t they get more viewers? Well, like I’ve explained in one of my earlier posts: people need to know that you exist before they’ll start reading for one, but you’ve also got to catch peoples interest. I don’t need an extensive research to figure that out, it’s how it works for me too. I discover blogs either by a search, or via other blogs. That last one, however, is by far the most effective method. If a blog get’s mentioned on another big blog, traffic will skyrocket. I’ve gotten to know nearly all blogs that way. The first one was via a google search, the rest via links and blogrolls.

So, there we’ve hit the biggest problem.

At the moment there’s a relatively small group of blogs that get most attention from the wow community (whatever that may be). These blogs are the first hits you’ll get when you’re looking for wow-blogs. These are the ones that everyone has on their blogroll, so if you know one blog, you’re likely to find them next.

So, effectively this means that to get your readers, you need to get known on these well known blogs first.

There’s only one way of doing that, and that’s become a regular commenter on theirs. With interesting comments, of course. You’ll get noticed, at least by the comment readers, and they’ll click your name sooner or later.

It shouldn’t pose a big problem if you’re someone very social that also likes to talk a lot, though it does also mean that you’ve got to like these known blogs, or at least, care for their topics enough to react. If you really want to become as big as them, some of them need to like you enough to put you on their list, not only so you reach more people via them, but it also boosts you in search engines.

The fact is, at the moment these blogs basically have an oligopoly on wow blogging. If you’re just starting a blog out of the blue and want to get readers without getting boosted by them, your only hope lies with the search engines. With the gazillion small time competitors out there however: good luck to you!

You can write a lot about specific subjects on which you can be sure to be googled often: like making gold, boss tactics, pvp tips: any interesting guide. Perhaps big news items too if you’re fast with it: my post about elitist armory still gets google hits today, for example, but I don’t have good enough sources to pull this off regularly, I just happened to stumble upon that one.

So, where am I going with all of this?

I just realized that I don’t care enough for keeping a blog to go through all that trouble. I could simply remain one of the gazillion small timers and perhaps over time grow a little while doing what I’m doing. The more important question is: do I really care about much attention? That answer is: no. I’m just not so much a social creature in that way. I just like to put my opinion out there, that’s the reason for having this blog. If it isn’t read however, it’s not really effective. To get it to be read, I need to put in effort that go far beyond my goals. This is my conflict.

My conclusion for now is that I don’t think that wow, a game, is important enough to me to put all that extra effort in. I’m not dropping the blog, but I’m not going to post as regularly as before either. Posting takes a lot of time and I was posting nearly every day, without really trying to get people to come here. That’s just a waste of time.

If I ever change my mind about his, I’m going to put all effort in, not just half of it. For now, I’m just going into relaxed-mode.

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Updating looks


I seriously wonder if my host wordpress.com puts little faults in the default themes on purpose, because I just can’t find one that’s really “good enough”. It could be that my definition of “good enough” is a bit high (I can be a bit of a perfectionist from time to time, but laziness usually stops me), but it would make sense on their side to get more people to pay for the hosting, in which case you can edit the stylesheets, font’s and what not.

Anyway, you might see me juggle with pre defined themes in the coming days. Don’t be scared đŸ˜‰ ..My last one had a terrible font that made everything look like a wall of text. Links were not very visible either, quote blocks were just indented pieces of text. I did like the looks at first though, but readability comes first.

The current one (which will probably be different again when you read it) has much better readability, but now the headers are a bit small and the bulletpoints don’t indent (small things that annoy the crap out of me, hehe). It also looks too… I don’t know.. official.

Anyway, be prepared.. And don’t hesitate to give some tips if you know some wordpress hacks (excluding writing in html mode, I hate that).. Anyone out there? Ah well.. I’ll just pretend đŸ˜‰

The secret of success


Well, success in blogging in this case.

This might sound a little overambitious, writing about the secret of success with just two posts in the history and no reader base that I know of.

..But this is not meant to be a guide, this is more me overthinking the subject. Mind you, I don’t need this to be some top rated blog, no, I’m not good with that kind of pressure! But I don’t want it to be a waste of webspace either, that would just be senseless. What’s the use of having a blog when it reaches 0 people? “None!”, says Loken. I could disagree a little with him, because it still functions as some sort of diary to rant my heart out when I need it, but… Well, I don’t want a diary.

There have probably been many blog posts about the subject. I remember coming across the subject on many blogs I read. I would have linked those posts if I could find them again, but I can’t. One of them even wrote a real guide (ok, losing that one is plain bad). Of course, I’ve also got my own theories. Combining my own and the theories I’ve read, I came up with the following list of items:

Base plan

  • Have something interesting to say: seems like a no-brainer, but it doesn’t have to be every post. At least have something every now and then. This is also “in the eye of the beholder”, so it’s basically out of my control, but it’s about putting effort in. Things that are considered interesting are:
    • News (with sources)
    • Facts (with sources/proof)
    • Theories (well explained)
    • Humor
  • Write guides / Teach: This has some overlap with previous point, but basically: pose as an authority on subjects.
  • Specialize: Write about paladin tanking, priest healing, mage dps, gold making, guild running, end content raiding. I’m not doing this btw, I enjoy doing more then one thing too much. I’m the typical jack of all trades, master of none. I’ll try sticking to a small subset though.
  • Post regularly: preferably every day, but avoid long unannounced pauses of two weeks or more.
  • Keep post easily readable: use good writing skills, spell-checking, no overly long paragraphs, sentences, avoid walls of text, etc. This also means having a good blog layout, fonts, etc. There are two problems I see here, one is that this blog host doesn’t allow changing the themes, and they have very small default fonts. The other is that my native language isn’t english and I was never really good at languages in the first place. I just hope these handicaps will not pose a to big of a problem.

Extra Ideas

Note: I’m writing every possible tactic here, even downright terrible things to do, as long as they’re effective!

  • Advertise: blog plugging, forum linking, etc. This is probably inescapable to get started.
  • Keep the blog clean: I’m not very sure about this one, but it seems to be held high by some bloggers, basically it’s moderating comments (Note to self: check commenting settings) to keep trolls and spam out. Personally I like an open atmosphere, but it’s not good when trolls pester decent folk away.
  • Branch: Take the subject from another well known blog, and write about it yourself. It’s like writing a comment (so it can be supporting/opposing), but on your own blog. It really needs to be an interesting  (or humorous) viewpoint/addition, anything less will have an opposite effect. It also needs one of the previous two points to get noticed. Personally, I’m not that crazy about this tactic, I see it as a filler tactic when you don’t have a subject of your own.
  • Make lists: Top 10’s, best ways to, things like that.
  • Best of the week: Or worst of the month, etc. A collection of funny, or interesting things. It can be anything, from jokes, to screenshot, to news. Kinda like the lists, but it doesn’t have to be ranked, and returns regularly.
  • Cliffhangers: Make posts that have open endings, short previews of what’s coming next, etc. This works best to keep readers, not gain them.
  • Drama: Cause drama, mix in with existing drama, mention names of well known blogs, people, or guilds. Nothing attracts people as much as a good old fashioned conflict. “There is no such things bad publicity” is not a joke, it’s the rock hard truth.

I’m sure there is more to add to this list, this is just what’s in my head right now. Any additional tips would be very welcome. Also, I’m not planning to do all of this, it’s just an interesting subject to think about for me now.

The list makes me realize that having a blog requires much work if done well, and I wonder what the true reward is. And let’s face it, there needs to be a reward for people to do anything. I can fool myself by saying I’ll feel good by helping a large base of people getting entertainted, educated, or up to date, but that good feeling is an indirect result, there’s another reason that lies between. I guess the true reason for people having a blog is a social one: for status, for power, for attention. I’m not sure what’s mine, such things probably lie deep in the human psyche, but I do hope I’ll find out.

Getting started


Yay, today I realized again why I wanted a blog for myself. I love to read blogs and comment on them, but there’s just this thing that always seems to happen to me. Some, in my opinion, completely innocent and even friendly (meant) comment get’s either deleted or blocked by moderation. This usually made me feel both bad and pissed, because just like in game I just hate to get silenced. Then I feel bad because this guy likely misinterpreted what I said, but since you don’t get the answer why, you can only guess what he took wrong. I hate guessing. And it is all just too minor to send a PM for. But it remains annoying me for a while. I hate pre-moderated blogs anyway. I know there are many trolls out there, but censorship is not the solution. It get’s way to easy to just block posts that have good arguments against your ideas, instead of discussing it.

If someone asks for an opinion, why don’t they just mention that, in fact, they just want you to agree, or tell them it’s all fine and they’re great, because they need an ego boost or something. I can even do that, no problem! Fool yourself all you want, it’s your blog, your party. But otherwise, I’m just going to say what I think, honest, probably very blunt, but with good intentions. I’m just naive in that way.

Yep, I’m terrible with handling people’s egos. I’m even bad with my own! Like yesterday, where I did a perfectly good [Lord Jaraxxus Must Die!] PUG run, with my paladin tank. I never tanked that place before. My tank is actually an overgrown bank char, which I found out was fun to play. But that didn’t stop me from charging in there with just dps/healing experience for that place and a meticulously composed personal tactics sheet. I thought I knew it all. Well, wrong! Of course there’s always something you just didn’t expect that could happen. Like a DC at the moment Gormok walked in. Which is great, knowing that I just bought my Blizzard Authenticator, and now I had to find the damn thing for the code, while in the back of my head, my poor colleague was getting slaughtered by impales. But DCs happen, so no way I could’ve foreseen that. When I finally got back in I could just grab gormok for 5 seconds before he hit the ground.

So, kudos for that offtank and both(!) healers! And /bow to the great dps.

Anyway, Dreadscale and Acidmaw were up. I would take Acidmaw, and the offtank would take Dreadscale. The rules of this fight seemed so simple to me. Mobile tank get’s a debuff, raid get’s the other, raidmembers walk to mobile tank, et voila! I just keep threat, and face the jormungar away from the raid. But of course, before I could even get decent threat on acidmaw, that bastard paralytic toxined me, while he was grounded! I didn’t even know he could do that to his tank then, I never noticed that happening before. So I was a bit shocked for 3 seconds. None of the many tactic sites or videos mentioned this and the other tank was on the other side of the room already also. So all I could think of was having him drag that worm all the way to me, while trying to avoid the entire raid that was in between us.

No way of getting that done smoothly now is there.

Anyway, lots of raid damage, and a bit of a mess, but we survived. Yet I can’t help but blame myself for not knowing that could happen, and how to handle it.

Finally, Icehowl. Ah, an easy fight! At least that’s what I thought. Tank and spank, with a short run like hell phase. This bastard does hit hard though, I didn’t expect that. For some reason, I guess frozen healers, my health got to about 5%. So out of reflex I pushed my lay on hands key, but nothing happened because I was stunned. Screw PVP because before my my brain could yell “NOOO!” to my fingers, they pushed bubble!

Well, it saved my ass, though I still had Ardent Defender, yet not the poor DPS that was trying to beat me to my threat. So there I stood, as tank, bubbled, and while I was playing whack-a-mole with the elusive Divine Shield buff icon, which jumped around like crazy with all those temporary raid procs going on and off, the offtank was doing his best to grab that wild ape.

So many times I told myself to make a switch on/off macro for that damn shield, just in case. I finally did that now.

The funny thing is that I think nobody noticed it. In chat the offtank got blamed for something to which he admitted. I still don’t know what it was. I doubt it was because he acted as a backup tank on the boss, which is his job, so I hope not. Panic bubbletank thanks him for that.

To my surprise, Jaraxxus himself, which I considered a much trickier fight, went smooth. And even though the raid was saying thanks for the smooth run, I was still cringing of the fuckups.

Tank you aren’t really allowed to make mistakes, only dps can get away with a them, but that’s probably the reason why I think DPS is boring. Subconsciously, I probably like to stress myself out to the point of grinding teeth and pushing my keys through the floor.

But I think that’s a good thing. It pushes me further. It’s easy to just tell myself I did awesome, while in fact it was just mediocre.

First!


I’m not much of an introduction guy, but I guess it’s a bad start to not tell anything about me and my evil intentions. So, in short: I’m a Warcraft player and this blog is about exactly that. Raiding, leveling, pugging, making gold, class mechanics, whatever I have on my mind at anytime and need to share. I’m doing this mostly for the other blog owners, so they don’t have to endure any of my comments that were sometimes larger than their original post. No wait, I’m doing this for YOU of course, my faithful readers.. Hello? anyone there yet? No? Shoot.. Ah well, I guess if everyone just moves a few inches, there’s room for yet another Warcraft blog.

Welcome, by the way!