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Old Screeds

Blogging Manifesto [12 Jan 05]

I suppose I should have started off with this topic: What is this blog, what do I want to do with it, how is it structured, what isn't it. Well, better Nate than lever.

Rebecca Blood talks about two basic kinds of Web logs: The filter-style blog that points (via links) to other sites on the Web, using annotations to filter and edit the Web for other people; and the journal-style blog, which offers more personal thoughts and reflections. Rebecca also mentions "topic-oriented weblogs, alternative viewpoints, astute examinations of the human condition as reflected by mainstream media, short-form journals, links to the weird, and free-form notebooks of ideas."

The journal-style blog can be very fun to read, espcially if the blogger is a good writer. A few stand-outs in this category are Heather B. Armstrong's -- a real journal-blogger's blog -- and Andy Ihnakto's YellowText -- which is consistently hilarious and thought provoking, but, alas, Andy sometimes falls into silent streaks.

The personal blog is also, I think, easier to do. It takes very little research to write about your own life, a topic about which you can write with expertise. I've been looking around for gaming blogs for a few months now, and I've found several notable journal-style blogs by gamers and game designers:

But all these journal-style blogs left me wanting something. For years, now, I've been reading political blogs, like Andrew Sullivan's Daily Dish and The Daily Howler. These analytical and content-driven blogs are always meaty and chewy, with something to think about, or with a new idea to digest. That's what I was looking for in a gaming blog, but I just could not find it. So I decided to write one myself.

I want to give you readers out there something substantial every time you read a new screed. You are interested in RPGs, or D&D, or maybe even wemics. I want to give you new content and to serve as a filter/editor for other gaming content online. So once a week I write about some point of D&D rules (my By the Book screeds). Once a week I offer links to game-related content on the Web (my Click Here screeds). And once a week I write about liontaurs (my Lion Around screeds). That's three screeds a week. I'd write more, but that doesn't pay the rent!

I wanted to keep my blog on my GeoCities site, so I hand-code it every time. That means there is no comment submission mechanism at the end of each screed. Probably that's just as well -- how discouraging to see "0 comments" after every post! But I am very open to comments -- if you e-mail me, I'll add them to the archived screed, like I did with this one. So keep those cards and letters coming! LOL!

One more thought: I should mention a couple very meaty game blogs that do not focus on pen and paper RPGs. Greg Costikyan's Games * Design * Art * Culture is incredible, although it focuses almost exclusively on computer and mobile electronic games. Still, Greg's pen and paper RPG credentials (creator of Paranoia, among others) are impeccable. And I also enjoy Torill Mortensen's thinking with my fingers. She's an academic who studies RPGs and other games. Although her blog has lots of journal-type stuff too.

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