As I move into 2023 I feel that a need to update / revise / revisit / reevaluate / renew my approach to this blog site. The major driver of change is, as always, time, but there are actually many factors in play.
2022 Top Posts
Almost 4,000 views in these two posts which make up ~11% of the total views for the blog in 2022. More personally important to me is my my use of wargames to explore a real-world situation. This is what I really want to do with this blog site: Explore the world and history through the lens of games.
Interestingly, the #3 most popular post in 2022 on my blog was not from 2022, but from 2021. More interestingly, it’s not realted to wargaming, but tabletop roleplaying gaming. “Cepheus Deluxe (Stellagama Publishing, 2021) – The new heroic #TravellerRPG” reminds me that I also have a (small) voice in the TTRPG world. Another part of my hobby life I should share more of.
Blogging – New Approach in 2023
For the past several years I used a “Day” approach to blogging. Miniatures/Model Monday, Threat Tuesday, Wargame Wednesday, RPG Thursday, Family Friday, and Sunday Summary. While that organization certainly helped “bin” my posts it also was restrictive. Sometimes I would go on a streak in a particular segment of my hobby and write several posts for a given day. This meant I had to decide if I post multiple on the same day or spread them out over weeks. I went with the weeks approach which kept content flowing to the blog on a semi-regular basis but also meant by the time something posted I had practically forgot about it as I was maybe two projects or more on.
For 2023 I decided to move to a “series” approach which is allows me to keep my gaming “bins” but not tie me to a day for posting. These are the series I am looking at:
- Blog Report YY-X (I imagine this is where the old ‘Sunday Summary’ posts will move to)
- #Boardgame Bulletin YY-X (replaces ‘Family Friday’)
- Book Shelf YY-X (Books)
- Design Diary YY-X
- History to #Wargame YY-X (this is a series I don’t want to drop as I enjoy reading/playing/writing them so much)
- Miniatures/Models Memo YY-X (replaces ‘Minis/Models Monday’)
- Rocky Reads for #Wargames (Wargame-related reading)
- #TTRPG Roll YY-X (replaces ‘RPG Thursday’)
- #Wargame SITREP YYMMDD (replaces ‘Wargame Wednesday’ and more)
- N1 “Admin” will be personal wargame news
- N2 “Intel” will be a place to discuss various weapons systems in game terms; old ‘Threat Tuesday’
- N3 “Ops” will be for wargame First Impressions or Session Reports/AARs;
- N4 “Supply” will be for preorders and new arrivals
- N5 “Plans” will be for my ‘analytic wargame’ or wargame practitioner efforts
- N6 “Comms” will be for wargame-related news
There will likely be more categories, or maybe even less, in the future but for now this is how I am thinking about the different series.
Pressing On with WordPress
For the past several years I have maintained a kinda low-key social media presence on WordPress. This blog is my social media home and designed for my long-form posting. It’s low-key in that I have only 103 followers of the blog. In 2023 I am looking at different themes on the site as I am feeling a bit bored with the one I have. Changing themes is tough because I have to decide if, 1) I want to use a free theme or make an irreversible commitment and pay for one and, 2) Make sure it looks like I want it to and, 3) Has some backwards compatibility. Never an easy task…
Update: I went ahead and started using a new theme, Radcliffe 2. It requires a bit more work on the use of quotes (I think they need to be Justify to layout smartly) so some of the older posts may look a bit funky…
What I am committing to starting in 2023 is to make a return to an emphasis on long-form posting. I freely admit I moved a bit too deep into the Twittersphere and in doing so I reduced my thoughts to wavetops only. I want to get back to deeper thinking so I will turn back to my blog to be the major outlet for my thoughts and commentary on the gaming hobby.
My persona @Mountain_Navy on Twitter is my primary very short-form posting location. There I am fortunate enough to have just over 1,400 followers (yes, some are bots but I try to purge them as I can). One nice feature of my WordPress blog is that it can automatically post to Twitter which helps me “get the word out.” It also explains why you often see #hashtags and @names in the title of posts. With a reemphasis on my blog I want to limit my Twitter engagements. Sure, I will engage when appropriate but don’t expect multi-Tweet threads (ugh!).
Of my three social media personas, the most active is certainly Twitter. The recent machinations have had some negative effect; for awhile there I saw more than a few tweets about people moving elsewhere. I have a heavily curated Twitter feed that has generally kept the worst trolls out of my sight. What I seem to see are lots of games dual-sited and trying to keep feeds going on Twitter and another.
Late in 2022 I established a presence on Mastodon at user @email@example.com which has so far accumulated around 100 followers. I’ve tried but am not feeling the love with Mastodon. The search engine is terrible and the ability to actually connect and build a network is horrible. Add to that the requirement to construct blog-related postings as an additional step makes “the juice to squeeze” required for my enduring presence there very questionable. Surprisingly, even with my limited network of who I choose to see—or not—I have actually encountered more toxicity on Mastodon than I have on Twitter. I attribute that situation to the heavily-curated feed I have on the bird site and my inability to replicate that effort on Mastodon. Some random likes/dislikes:
- I like 500 character toots (?)
- Mastodon “list” feature, such as it is, does not meet my user demands
- Not figured out how to ‘find’ people beyond my instance; at this point if somebody else toots (reblogs?) or favorites them I might see it…by happenstance?
- Use of #hashtags is a virtual necessity; I need to be better at using them not only to communicate with others but also to make it easier for others to find me
- For WordPress blog to automatically post to Mastodon must upgrade WordPress plan to higher level—FIVE TIMES more expensive!
I am a guest author at the Armchair Dragoons site. I am going to keep posting there too (don’t worry Brant!). I will continue to contribute to Unboxing Days and I hope to also add a few longer-form entries like my History to Wargame series. Spoiler Alert: Am working on a post covering the book Black Cross – Red Star Volume 1 from Vaktel Books and the wargame Wings of the Motherland by J.D. Webster for Clash of Arms that I hope to deliver to Brant in January.
Feature image courtesy Pexels Free Photos