Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Evolution of a Blog

In my first post today, regarding the changes to my blog's layout, I mentioned that using a two-sidebar layout better suited my "purposes." But that made me wonder, just what are the purposes of my blog? I'm not second-guessing myself in any existential way, I guess. The existance of the blog is not threatened. But rather I really think I need to codify what I want to accomplish with this blog before I progress any further.

When I started it, I really just wanted to use it as a means to keep track of my attempts at getting back into roleplaying. It was also meant to be a way for me to find an outlet for my nostalgia, in order to clear away the cobwebs of the past and return to participation rather than longing for recapturing some earlier time in my life. With regard to nostalgia, I found the following on the excellent Black Gate Magazine blog in a recent post:

"As Tolkien scholar Michael Drout states in Rings, Swords, and Monsters, nostalgia is a longing for something you cannot return to (if you can reach the object of your longing, it’s not nostalgia, Drout says)."

The sentiment that being able to obtain that which you long for means you can banish nostalgia is powerful to me. Because I don't just want to sit around and yearn anymore for a return to roleplaying. I am finally, after a long absense, striving to obtain that which I desire.

And I also wanted to start participating more directly in the RPG blogosphere, because I had been reading a lot of entertaining blogs and I wanted to start connecting with some like-minded people, as another means of moving my relationship with the hobby away from some dusty memories of a "gilded age" and into an active part of my present life.

So do I need to have some sort of blog "manifesto"? I don't know about that. But here's a brainstormed list of what I want from my blog:
  • Catharsis for nostalgia
  • Keep track of my "return to gaming" progress
  • Connect with other gamers (for conversation, camraderie, advice, information, a pool of potential players, etc)
  • Provide a place where people can go as a resource for finding RPG-related materials (using the sidebars of my blog)
  • Share my experiences and thoughts with like-minded people

I think those are my main motivations.

The inevitable questions to you all out there: why did you start your blogs? How have the purposes of your blogs changed over time, if at all?

Enough navel gazing. Thanks for reading, as usual.

1 comment:

  1. I got myself a website when I started running a play by email game back in 1994 or 1995. That was before Firefox, Internet Explorer, or Netscape: Mosaic was the browser and Geocities was the web service provider people used. I started the site because I wanted to build trust between myself and my players. Much later I discovered wikis and started writing on Meatball Wiki. Again, the question of trusting people, real names versus weirdo nicknames, etc. came up. We derided blogs as the inferior solution to wikis. Some of us started maintaining a "diary page" on which we posted stuff that didn't belong onto a real wiki page. I moved my own homepage from Geocities to a real wiki. And as I kept updating my diary page I started realizing that what I was in fact doing was keeping a blog. I finally decided to go all the way and do "real" blogging on my wiki. The main point has remained the same: build trust between myself and the people I want to interact with online, whether it was Free Software I contributing to, people I gamed with, family I wanted to keep in touch with, or ideas I wanted to write down for my future self.