Posts tagged ‘blogging’

Blaugust Finale

Today’s the last day of Blaugust. I’m pleased to say I haven’t missed a day, which around the 7th or 8th I wasn’t sure I would be able to manage. In part I think it just took a few weeks to knock the rust off of the mental gears needed to post something everyday, but it was also a matter of having the courage to cover more personal topics than I usually do. a final piece fell into place around the middle of the month when I stopped worrying so much about “was it ready” and got to the point where I started to think “good enough, publish it.”

This last change was the most valuable part of Blaugust for me. I have long had a bad habit of writing up a rant or opinion piece on whatever the current big issue was in the MMO space and then saving it as a draft with the intention of coming back the next day to proof it and then publish it. Except I rarely ever came back to it the next day. Writing provides enough of an outlet that I don’t have the same need to get it published unless I do it right when I’m done.

I know a lot of bloggers struggled this month and maybe it’s because I’ve been doing this on and off for years. Or maybe it’s because I’ve been through the NaNoWriMo experience a few times and that was much more difficult. But I really enjoyed this and having a daily deadline was necessary motivation for me. I hope either Belghast or someone else takes up the idea next year.

Beyond the writing challenges and growth that I’ve enjoyed this month, I’ve also enjoyed the community aspects. I’ve added a few new blogs to the blogroll and my RSS reader, and picked up some new friends and followers on Twitter.

Thanks Belghast!

Day 31 of Blaugust

Year five?!

This has been, by far, the roughest year for me with blogging. I’ve been on a hiatus of sorts since April and only last week really started to feel the need to start writing here again. Really I don’t feel like I’ve missed too much as far as topics or news. It seems like it’s been a really quiet year overall for MMOs. Not that I’ve really been playing them anyway. I had a brief stint with Defiance before I got burned out on the clunky UI and severe lack of any social environment in the game. I also spent quite a bit of time with Star Trek Online this year, Cryptic did extremely well with their Romulan expansion, and that’s coming from someone who doesn’t actually like Romulans much. No, what I’ve been spending most of my time playing this year has been Minecraft, specifically modded Minecraft. I mentioned back in April that I’ve found the Feed the Beast mod pack and since then have move on to customizing my own mod pack.

Anyway, I want to thank anyone that’s still stopping by to see if I’ve gotten off my lazy butt to write, and hopefully you’ll be hearing more from me for the rest of the year. It’s best not to make any promises, but I will say that I’ve finally managed to get into Dwarf Fortress after many failed attempts and that it’s unique among the single player games I’ve experienced in that it makes me want to write about the events that happen in the game. Beyond that, I’ve recently dropped back into Champions Online for more than a brief check in, so you all might finally see origin stories for a few more of my heroes like what I did for the Silver Hunter.

Thanks for reading.

Four years, almost missed it.

On Friday as I was leaving work, I looked at the calendar on my phone to see if anything was planned for the weekend and saw that Sunday was my blog’s anniversary. I nearly missed it.

I hadn’t realized that it’s been almost exactly a month since my last post, but I guess it’s not that surprising to anyone who follows me on Twitter. Things usually get quiet around here when I’m in the obsessive honeymoon stage of a game affair. For most of the past four weeks that’s been Guild Wars 2, but the last few days have also seen Torchlight 2 take up some of my game time.

I keep intending to sit down and write up all of the notes I’ve been taking while playing GW2 but I always end up playing instead, which is a bit of a review in itself. Obviously I need to work more on easing up on the self-editing.

Anyway, thanks to everyone that’s stuck around over the last twelve months to read my ramblings and leave comments. Even after four years I always get excited when I see an email saying there’s a new comment.

Wow, three years.

Today marks three years of blogging!

I have to say, I never expected to still be writing this long. I hoped I would be, but I don’t think I actually believed it. I’ve lost count of the number of abandoned writing project I’ve started over the years and despite my best intentions, a part of me didn’t expect this endeavor to be any different.

Like I did last year, I wanted to mention a few numbers (for my own reference later on if no other reason). I’ve published 309 posts and 1,724 comments (doubling last years numbers for both). My Red Dead Redemption post is still the most popular post on the site by a ridiculous margin (7,674 hits versus 1,170 for a Minecraft post) and I wish I knew why. My final hit count for 2010 was 21,939 (up from the YTD of 12,284 on last year’s anniversary), and 2011 has already busted that at 23,177.

Not bad for someone who vacillates between daily rambles to sporadic rants.

I wanted to send out a special “Thank you!” to the people who stop by regularly an leave comments: MMOGamerchick, Yeebo,  Anjin, Longasc, xXJayDuBXx,  Tesh, and Rowan. While the recognition is nice, it’s the chance to engage in conversations that I really enjoy.

Thanks for reading.

Second Anniversary!

Today’s the big day! I now have two years of blogging under my keyboard. That’s 158 (counting this one) posts written with 800 comments (likely half of them mine).

Last year I had one goal: post more. I barely managed 50 posts during my first year, so for my second year what I really wanted to do was double that and write 100 posts. I’m pretty happy that I managed that and a few more, I started pretty strong in January with 15 and did pretty well most months.

Even better than meeting my posting goal, has been the new connections I’ve with readers and other bloggers this year. I’ve had some good discussions in blog comments, on Twitter, and in game chats. I have to say that the new friends I’ve made has been the best thing to come out of blogging for me.

Since, I mentioned stats last year I figured I should again. I hadn’t been paying much attention to them this year and there were some surprises to me. Hopefully none of these come off as bragging. I’m know that there are other blogs get a lot more traffic, but for someone like me who is sporadically productive (if improving), I feel pretty good about them.

  • Traffic jumped right at the start: 537 in December to 1,449 in January (I imagine because I was fairly regular about posting for a change)
  • Monthly hits for the year haven’t gone below 1,000 (except for February at 943)
  • June was the biggest month ever with 2,005 hits (due to the LotRO free to play announcement)
  • Three most popular posts (both this year and all time): LotRO F2P?!? at 1,246, Red Dead Redemption at 1,246, and LotRO, Cosmetic Gear, and the Wardrobe at 366.
  • The total hits for 2009 were 2,504. Year-to-date for 2010 is 12,284 (um what?).

I can’t think of anything else to add at the moment (and the twin siren calls of Civ5 and Minecraft are getting a bit too enticing), so here’s to two years passed and more to come.

Thanks for reading.

100!

This is my 100th post for the blog. While not a huge number compared to some, it is significant to me. First, because it’s 100, that’s just a big round number. Second, I did fifty posts during the first twelve months I had this blog and one of my goals for 2010 was to hit 150. I figured if I could hit 100 by July, I would be doing good, and it’s March. That’s much faster than I expected, and I’m wondering now if I should up my goal to 200 instead.

Great Idea: Dev Appreciation Week

Scarybooster had an excellent post yesterday where he thanked game developers for all their hard work and made an effort to look on the positive side of MMOs. Today, he had an even better idea and declared next week is Developer Appreciation Week. To join in, just pick a day and post something that a developer has done that you enjoyed.

What’s a Blue Kae Anyway?

Curious about why I use the name Blue Kae as a handle on various games and as the name for this blog?  Wondering if I picked random Scrabble tiles, or there’s some deep dark Dan Brownesque mystery?  Scarybooster has the full story go check it out. [Note, I've inserted Scary's original post here since he lost the original during a horrible blog upgrade accident.]

Yesterday, I had a post about playing a hero in real life and games. I don’t consider this post playing a hero, but it is a way to help a person get noticed. Brian aka Blue Kae is one of the nicest virtual buds I have “met”. I enjoy reading his blog and talk to him over Twitter daily.

I try to do post like this not to draw attention to my blog or force other bloggers to link me, but because I like to get to know my bloggers. I want you to know what I know. For me, blogging is a great social network. This is my Facebook. I enjoy these type of posts the most, because I feel like I am getting to know a friend. I don’t treat my blog as a competition between other bloggers for hits. I won’t ever tell you how many hits I get or how many comments I have, because it doesn’t matter. What matters is if you like what you read. That is why I have stars at the end of each post. I don’t need you to comment, but I do like it when the stars are filled out so I can gauge if you liked the post or not.Anyway, this post is not about me, it is about Blue Kae. He is great guy. Check him out on Twitter or his Blog.

I bought an Xbox 360 two years ago to play Mass Effect. I also got a Zune 80gb about the same time. I knew when I signed up for a Live account that the nickname would be attached to both devices and I had never been happy with the nickname I had on the original Xbox. Mostly because it was so forgettable that even now I can’t remember what it was. I didn’t want any l33t speak or other garbage and I’m not a big fan of names like xx_killa_xx. I think names are very important, especially in online spaces when that’s your first impression of a person. Unfortunately in most MMO’s I pick names based on the background lore and for Xbox Live there is none.

So here’s the criteria I had:

1. nothing stupid
2. nothing too long
3. something that could be shortened easily that I would still like
4. something that I could use in other online spaces beyond Xbox Live and Zune

Of course a lot of the names I tried out on Xbox Live were already taken.

I ended up looking at two word combos as a way to have something easily shortened. My intials are B K and my favorite color is Blue. I also thought Blue would work out good as a shortened version. Kae, I made up. I liked it because it sounds like the letter and I’ve always liked the ae vowel combination (yes I know that’s weird). So I checked online and Blue Kae was free on Xbox and on Gmail.

In September of last year when I was thinking about starting a blog, I couldn’t come up with any clever titles I liked. So instead of something clever like Bio Break or Dubious Quality, I just went with my gamertag and registered Blue Kae

… Treat others as you would like to be treated.

While you’re there be sure to check out my three most favorite Scary posts [links removed since they're all broken now, see above for why]:

  1. Suck It!
  2. Aion Character Creator
  3. Playing the Hero

First Anniversary!

Today marks the one year anniversary of the site.  It all started with rants about DRM and the RIAA.  Even though I’m not in Syp’s league for productivity, I have been happy that I’ve stayed with the site.  I’m at 50 articles published (including this one) and yes I did have to scramble a bit this week to hit that number.

When I started out last October I had 24 hits for the month.  January saw my first real jump with 62 hits and the blog stayed in that neighborhood until April when it jumped to 92.  Traffic jumped again in May to 132 and peaked in August at 142 with September on track for the 140+ range as well.  So right now I’m averaging 4-5 hits per day.  Not hugely popular, but not bad considering my sporadic posting rate.

So huge thanks to those of you who stop by regularly to see if I’ve gotten off my lazy butt and written anything new, and an extra huge thanks to those who’ve left comments.  While I don’t write here for anyone but myself, it’s always nice to get feedback and encouragement.

My goals for the blog for the next year are to post more regularly and more often.  This anniversary kind of snuck up on me and I did have to push a bit to hit the 50 post number.  So for this next blog year, I’m planning to double my output and hit the 150 post mark by this time next year.  So now that its on the internet, maybe I’ll have more motivation to make it happen.

Comment Spam

I don’t like spam, not like anyone does, but I understand why email spammers do it.  Send out enough email and you’ll get at least a few people to click on a link, it’s not like sending an email is expensive.  I don’t understand blog spammers though.  Why would a spammer take time to continually try to post spam comments to a blog?  Is it intern spammer training?  I don’t get it.

What prompted this whole train-wreck of thought was my comment spam queue.  I check my spam comment queue sporadically, sometimes daily, sometimes weekly.  When I checked the queue today, there were 248 spam comments ranging from 4/10 to 4/18.  What’s interesting though is they are all for the same post.

The spam filter I use works very well, I’ve had zero problems with spam comments showing up and I haven’t had to mess with moderating commenters, so the comment spam is more interesting than annoying.  Still, spammers seem to really like that one post.