On Blogging, A Selfish Message

There's some people closing blogs. There's some other people discussing the utility or lack thereof of certain kind of blogs. There are other people (and bloggers - irony!) that claim that blogging is pointless and vain.

I wonder what is wrong with those people.

Primary Statement: If one person one time gains any benefit from any one thing that I've collected in my personal internet resource I call a blog -

It is an unqualified total success.

Secondary Statements;
Having a blog does not preclude using forums, however using private space instead of public space insures the freedom to discuss what topics you wish, allows inclusiveness to the data stream to be completely voluntary, and leaves you in control of backing up, organizing, and tagging your information.

Is it your right to do what you wish with your blog? Well, if you buy and own rare copies of books and then set them on fire, it may be legal, but it's still a dick move.

The proof is in the pudding
Do some bloggers blog because they are self centered, and narcissistic? of course! In fact if you look at the whole of the blogging, you find that the most popular blogs are almost exclusively of this type! (unless you think that Perez Hilton is a model of modesty).

Your time and your life is your own. Choose to follow the blogs you find useful. I find those that nae-say the activity of blogging do so out of jealously of one kind or another.

I would say the vast majority of blogs are terrible, but the fact is that the person who's blogging is creating things. And even if many very popular blog authors in our particular community think some blog output is worthless because it doesn't fit a certain creative threshold, isn't popular enough, or as I was told once "not worth even reading because it wasn't in a printed book form and was .pdf only"* they are still doing something worthwhile with the time they have in their life, instead of tearing someone else down.

Be realistic
Many RPG online communities (forums) are filled with the worst kinds of people. I am a rational minimalist, and am constantly examining my thoughts for beliefs ('things one thinks without proof') and attachment out of a desire to eliminate them. Also, I am a total failure at eliminating them, discovering new attachments and beliefs daily, if not hourly. This is anti-ethical to the modern way of life. I am blessed because the value of the work is in the attempt. The Forge is an example of an insular hostile community that got one thing critically correct. Nothing lasts forever. Blogs have a purpose, and a place in life, and even the most successful will end with their owners death.

So while it is in season, enjoy.

*My psionics document is awesome, and has been used in every campaign since I wrote it. It's awesome regardless if it jumps through all the hoops you demand that hobbyists jump through for you. Don't own a printer? Can't access one of the numerous print on demand websites? Can't use a tablet at the table? You are failing at the DIY aesthetic.

16 comments:

  1. I agree with your entire statement.

    Even though my blog is, I'm certain, amateurish and uninteresting to everybody but me, there have been scattered reports of people liking what I have to say and responding with kind words, or that my thoughts have led to their interesting thoughts.

    As tiny and unimportant as it is, I'd keep blogging even if not a single person ever read it again. But we all have our own reasons for things, I suppose.

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  2. I agree... absolutely.
    I don't think a little bit of narcissism is so bad... as long as it is not destructive to others. Being a wallflower is perhaps the furthest thing from being a total showboat, but if you didn't think that what you had to say was worth reading by someone, why bother posting it on the internet?
    The one thing I can't get behind is the way some people seem to want to actively discourage other people from doing whatever it is they do. There is nothing I can do about it, but I still think that people should not be shits out for 'LOLz' just because they can get away with it.

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  3. If one person one time gains any benefit from any one thing that I've collected in my personal internet resource I call a blog -

    It is an unqualified total success.


    If you can hear that, it's the sound of me doing a slow clap. Thank you very much for this post, and that particular statement in particular.

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  4. I've always suspected that Facebook is killing blogs. I avoid forums as to not have to remember a different account for each one.

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  5. Is it your right to do what you wish with your blog? Well, if you buy and own rare copies of books and then set them on fire, it may be legal, but it's still a dick move.

    And a hearty amen to this as well. I am tired of hearing dickheads who use their blogs to spew bile fall back on the "my house, my rules, I can do as I please" argument.

    I know that I'm stretching the metaphor a bit, but what do you do when you invite people to your house? Do you insult them outright and abuse them? Uh, usually not. Granted, one expects their guests to show them respect as well. But then again, do you throw guests out of your house if they disagree with you on something (again, I'm not talking about a guest that calls you an asshole, just someone who gives you some constructive criticism)?

    I think the ancient tradition of hospitality can apply to a virtual place just as much as it applies to a physical place.

    And if you didn't want visitors to your blog in the first place, then yes, why have a blog?! It's the cyberspace equivalent of an open house, for the love of God!

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  7. Within 3 months of starting my first blog, I had a job offer. So anyone who thinks blogging is pointless doesn't realize that people who are looking for writers DO look at the people who are already out there, proving that they can write consistently and well.

    But that's not even why I do it. I write a blog because I need to create something in order to maintain my own self worth. When I don't write, I feel as though I'm wasting my life.

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  8. Great post. As someone who has never really managed to get his blog groove going, its always great to keep it in perspective. Even if I'm pretty sure no one has visited my corner of the internet for a long time!

    Shameless plug: www.latetotheparty.ca

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  9. agreed. These blogs bring me pleasure and provocation. I am glad that people are writing them. This is therefore a wonderful time.

    And you've written several things that I, at least, thought were useful, including your traps & empty rooms pdfs.

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  10. Most people are familiar with my 'no-nukes' stand on blogs but I think I have to ask this: How would someone feel if you got a knock at the door one day and some guys walked in and collected your favorite game off the shelves and said they were taking them out back to burn them because the author decided they didn't want anybody playing their game anymore?

    We are losing enough because of copyright extensions on Mickey Mouse and degrading digital media (most people don't realize that the life span of a DVD is about 15 years-and who even has a floppy drive these days and the software to read that unpublished novel with) and then we decide to take it upon ourselves to speed up the process?...it disturbs me.

    I understand a persons rights but I also know that if you just want to 'get things out' do like I do...type a long text out...then delete it without saving it.

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  11. How would someone feel if you got a knock at the door one day and some guys walked in and collected your favorite game off the shelves and said they were taking them out back to burn them because the author decided they didn't want anybody playing their game anymore?
    Well, I would feel like I had the right to protect my home by denying them entry, with violence if need be.

    The comparison doesn't really work for me because the scenario you present has someone removing a 'thing' from my possession and destroying it. I don't think I 'own' what is on someone else's website just by looking at it any more than I have any rights to demand to look at a picture that hangs on someone else's wall if they decide to take it down or turn it towards the wall or deny me entry into their home.

    A better comparison might be the way that Amazon deleted unauthorized copies of some books from their kindle store and their customer's kindles... but even then it doesn't seem the same since I think when you buy a kindle and license the software, you have to agree with Amazon's terms of service (which has something buried in there that allows them to do this -- it seems shitty, but legally I think Amazon is on solid ground). Plus Amazon didn't prevent people from reading the books they deleted... only the illegal copies.

    Of course, if you like content on a blog, you can copy and save it for yourself. A lot of bloggers include a little plug-in that will render the posting into a pdf.
    I accept that people might have their own reasons for wanting to take down their own blogs. This might range from no longer wanting to maintain it and not leaving it up just because to being mad about criticism they may have gotten --- whether or not it is convenient to me is trumped by the right of the author to decide whether on not they want to have a blog anymore.

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  12. @ADD Grongard -

    ...I don't understand a single thing you said.

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  13. @Limpey-Man, if a person can be fined $5,000 for downloading a pdf which has no tangible value outside of the content then I think it does apply. It doesn't have to be a physical object to have value in the 21st century. And not just financial value but intellectual value. If we delete everything we do we have nothing left at the end.

    I have been a creative person my entire life and I realize once I share something with someone else it is no longer just mine. It is a shared common experience. Call me crazy if you want, but that's how I feel.

    @LS-First, let's start with spelling...that would be GROGNARD (you might wanna look that one up if you are not familiar with it...and no, I'm not calling you out, I realize keyboard errors occur all the time).

    And now what don't you understand.

    You see, I don't believe in the destruction of human creative endeavor unless it is harmful (such as child pornography). I don't believe in censorship. We have lost so much of our history because someone decided to destroy knowledge and that experience, imo, is the only thing worth living for. Screw money, looks, etc. It is the knowledge we impart to each other that to me is the finest of human achievements. It can be a game or a painting, music or a novel. I just don't believe in 'nuking' creative work...that's all I'm saying.

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  14. I don't have a lot to contribute to this conversation, but I wanted to say that for me, blogging is just for fun. Just something to do and it's been great getting to know other bloggers.

    And that all I know.

    Happy Blogging :-)

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  15. FWIW, if you're blogging, you're making a public document, and deleting it all when you quit is kind of a dick move. If you want to keep it private, make a private blog, or keep a journal. If you put it out there and people comment and take it in, what's the harm in keeping it up - especially since most bloggers in this space aren't hosting these sites themselves and there's no overhead. If you love the hobby, the hobby is all of us. Think of how enriched this whole community is by the scraps of gaming home-published in the 70s. Gamers 5, 10, 20 years from now may very well feel the same way looking at some of the stuff written over the past few years. So please, if you blog and want to quit later, don't be a pussy - no deleting!

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  16. I just want to say thanks, Courtney, for your Tricks, Empty Rooms and Basic Trap Design and Treasure pdfs. I printed them out and have them in a ring-binder along with Raggi's Creature Generator and some other stuff and they are both useful and nice to own. Thankyou!

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