For the last few years WordPress hosted sites have received a set of stats aptly called the “[year] in review.” I posted my results yesterday, mainly because this was my best year in blogging since I have been running with this incarnation of my blog. As I’ve mentioned many times before, I’ve been blogging since the late 1990’s, but this iteration has been in existence since 2005, and I’ve been hosted by WordPress since 2007. I’ve received the review before, but there wasn’t really anything noteworthy to share. This year was in contrast to that attitude, though I’m still not as big as some of our community, I was still proud to have more than doubled previous yearly highs in views and post. It felt worth sharing this time too, because I know I have a pretty decent readership at this point, largely due in part to my involvement in the community that has sprung forward this year. Many of us may have been around for longer than just this year, but we weren’t as interconnected, and that is the major milestone for the year.
Of course, I can’t take credit for anything on my own. I didn’t create this community, I just became a part of it. I didn’t force anyone to start blogging, though I hope I helped to inspire the sense of community, and maybe someone started or kept on blogging because of it. Blogging has been an integral part of my life for many years now, and though I’ve had points where I slacked off, I have always come back to it, and this year has been awesome because of it. I became familiar with many new people, helped run or was involved in events, started a podcast and joined Twitter. All in all it has been a fantastic year and many of you helped me to get through some rough times by just letting me be me, to vent or rant about what came to mind, and to comment, re-blog or counter post.
None of this would have been possible without the Newbie Blogger Initiative. Had I not decided to get involved with that yearly event, I wouldn’t be in this position today, with so many people I’ll probably never actually meet, yet who I consider friends. I remember points in time previous to this year where I wished to be part of a larger community, be it via blogging, social networking or gaming, and that never came into fruition. Sure, there were communities out there, but they all seemed to be segregated to their own little corners of the web. Sure, our community is probably just as much a small corner of the greater Internet, but it feels like it’s consistently growing and the more effort we put into it, just by continuing to contribute our thoughts to the collective, the more it is likely to grow. No matter how much we might disagree about semantics, we can all agree that growing this community has been a rewarding experience.
It goes beyond just the NBI though. Belghast of Tales from the Aggronaut decided the momentum needed to continue, and formulated the Blaugust challenge. As a daily poster himself, he thought it would be a great idea to challenge the rest of us to follow suit for one month. I answered the challenge, as did many others. It brought us all together, pooling ideas and drawing inspiration from one another to get through it. Most of us (myself included) didn’t keep to a daily posting schedule, but I surely post more now than I did before these events.
I tried my hand in running an event as well, not only to help keep our community busy throughout the year (we still need someone to step up with a spring event), but also to combat gamergate and all of the shitty things happening in the game industry in the months leading up to October. Bragtoberfest was my answer to the negativity, in which we could get together to play games and in turn blog about them. I also challenged folks to brag about their achievements in games, because what better feeling is it than to meet your goals in games? Of course, that didn’t cure the gamergate disease all by itself, much of the foolishness is still going on, but I hope that it at least took people’s minds off the negativity for a while.
December was upon us quickly, and this year Syl of MMOGypsy.com decided that we needed to create a virtual advent calendar on the web. Bloggy Xmas was born, and members of the community wrote posts around the topic of gaming and community. I participated in this, right around the beginning of the month. You can check out all of the awesome posts on the official blog. We were also treated to Listmas (which also happened last year) courtesy of Murf and United We Game. I also participated in this, coming up with a couple of lists that won’t win any awards 😀
It would be remiss of me to not mention the Podcast that myself and Eri of Healing the Masses started back in June. Not only has it been a blast to come up with different ideas and then totally crack jokes and not take anything seriously, but it has also been a way to convey our feelings about various issues surrounding the gaming industry. I’m hoping to be doing this for a very long time, but we’ll see how long she can stand me and my Aussie jokes. We were also kindly invited to a larger group of podcasters from our existing community that came together to form The Gaming and Entertainment Network (TGEN), which has been a fantastic experience as well.
I can’t say that the year has been entirely positive though. Aside from the gamergate fiasco and some of my own personal woes, we lost an amazing guy who was a fellow blogger. River passed away this year and the community was devastated. We took to our blogs to say our goodbyes, and posted pics of scantily clad women as was his style, as tribute. He is still missed. Another passing of the torch occurred more recently, when Roger, Brian and Sean decided to throw in the towel on the Contains Moderate Peril podcast. I was personally affected by this, as my guest spot on the show was my first podcast experience, and Roger had been a mentor in the field of podcasting for me, but I know that he’s still active on his blog so it’s not a total loss.
There have been some other great round-ups of the year, and here are a few of them:
Here are some of my best posts of the year, that sparked dialogue amongst the community:
Overall I feel like it’s been a great year to be a blogger and a podcaster. Here’s to many more to come!
#blogging #podcasting #community