The lights are on
Veteran Member - Level 11
Regardless of where you live, what games you play and what
system you play them on, if you're reading this then you're either very lost or
you're right where you want to be. It's January 01, 2012 - New Year's Day (although
depending on where you are the day might already be over) and you are at the User
Blog section of the Game Informer Online website.
We've grown as a blogging community over the course of 2011.
The last four months the community has posted a whopping 2,000+ blogs, many of
which are featured in the official weekly Game Informer newsletter that is
delivered to thousands of people around the world. Several of the veterans have left or are
simply missing in action, but others that have been here awhile are still
around and supporting the community. There is no denying the influx of new
faces joining the ranks of the blogging community. As such, I thought I'd take
a moment and welcome all the new people that I might not have had the opportunity
to chat with yet and even those who might be browsing but haven't taken the
plunge to join the community.
Whether you utilize Game Informer as your sole source of
video game industry news and current events or not is irrelevant; you will not
find a more dedicated, supportive and prosperous video game blogging community
on the entire Internet than you will here at Game Informer. Of course that's
just my opinion, but I've been around to some of the other sites before I discovered
Game Informer's community...and none of them were as robust as what you have
available here. Sure, once you reach a high enough level, your blogs will show
up in the User Blogs section and enable you (and your blog) to receive hundreds
and sometimes thousands (yes, thousands) of views. Sometimes you'll even
receive feedback or comments from official staff members (who also happen to be
the same ones featured in Game Informer magazine). But even more than views and
comments, you'll meet people here that are encouraging and friendly. They will bend
over backwards to help you. You'll find many of the people that socialize here
in the blogging community game together, chat with one another outside of the
confines of Game Informer and even send each other gifts and presents. We're
like one big family of geeks.
Of course, you would expect blogs from the blogging
community. There are certainly plenty of those here. But besides blogs, there
are some high caliber podcasts that are advertised via the blogging section.
The hosts of these fine podcast are regular gamers like you and I, and they
often welcome members of the community to join them on their shows. But even
more than the blogs and podcasts facilitated by the GIO User Community...we're
also a community that promotes and participates in charity events; a community
that hosts free contests complete with prizes and rewards; and a community that
fully supports and endorses Game Informer magazine and the other divisions of
the Game Informer Online communities like the forums and user reviews.
Everybody, and I do mean everybody, has a role to play at
the Game Informer Online Blogging Community. If blogging isn't your thing, then
be the best reader, audience member, viewer and/or commenter you can be.
Bloggers enjoy constructive feedback, so if you read something you really like,
leave a comment...and if you read something you don't agree with...then leave a
comment. The best approach is to be as diplomatic and professional as you can
be. I always say, "If you don't have anything nice to say, find a nice way to
say it." You'll find some bloggers have mixed feelings over the star rating
system and dismiss it altogether. It
would be nice if you mark a blog way down, at least offer an explanation why. A
lot of hard work goes into posting most blogs, so it can be discouraging if the
blog has hundreds of views, mostly positive comments and one person comes along
and gives it a 1 star. If you don't feel like leaving a public comment, good or
bad, you can always send a private message too.
If you're interested in trying your hand at blogging, there
are some great posts around to aide you with the process. The former Game
Informer Associate Editor and Blog Herding master, Annette Gonzalez, posted
this guide to assist with blogging.
To Get Your Blog Herded
Another great resource that I think a lot of people either
don't know about or just overlook since it's not readily obvious when you go
to blog is the official Game Informer Site Help page that has an entire
section devoted to Blogging including the following topics:
Then of course, from time to time, you'll have members from
the community post their blogging tips and recommendations. One of my personal
favorites (no, not my own) is from the legendary GIO blogger - Hist. What makes
Hist's blog so special is he focuses more on the actual mechanics of how to use
the website instead of techniques, policies and principles. His post will
reveal some of the quirks associated with the website. While I love the website
and blogging at the website, there ARE a few anomalies that will frustrate you
if you don't know about them. You can read his blog here:
Posts and Some Other GIO Blogging Tips
Okay...well my final comment is this. And please trust me when
I say, I post this for those who are honestly seeking to join the community. I
do so as a humble mediator just trying to support everyone in the community. Also, these are tips directed at fitting your
blog into the community - I'm not going to tell you what to blog about or how
to blog about it, only how to seamlessly integrate yourself into the community.
There will be some who read it and ignore it or dismiss it because they don't
want to be a part of the community. They find joy in disrupting the community
and causing strife. These tips are not directed at you. My thoughts on blogging
are simple - blog however you want. If you want to troll or post five blogs a
day or bump your blogs...fine by me. You're only hurting yourself and your
reputation. But if you're here and reading this and wanting to be a positive
and productive member of the community...then what I offer are a few pointers
that I try and adhere to...and what I see other successful bloggers follow. I'll
limit it to five simple tips.
1. Read the links I've
provided. They'll help you. I've been blogging here for a while and I still
go back and reread them from time to time. If you don't want to read them or
you have additional questions or comments, ask someone...heck, ask me. I field
questions all the time about blogging. I even review people's blogs when they
ask me to. I know many of the bloggers here do the same thing.
2. One blog a day.
There are so many bloggers here, it's quite common to post a blog and by the
end of the day it's off the front page. So, simple logic would suggest that if
you post a bunch of blogs in one day, you've just moved everybody else's off
the page even quicker. You're likely to upset your fellow bloggers if you do
this, so don't.
3. Don't bump for the
sake of bumping. Most bloggers recognize the above action is bad, so when
it happens then they in turn bump their blog to get it back on the front page.
Other bloggers recognize this, and then they either do it or they get upset
about it. There are acceptable reasons to bump - if you revise a blog and make significant
changes or it's a blog about something that is going to happen and then you
provide an update after it happens.
4. Review your blog
after you post it. There are certainly anomalies with the website that are
usually fairly obvious if you review your blog after you post it. If you don't
know how to fix it, ask someone for help. Often times these errors result if
you use a word processing application like MS Word. You'll either see some
crazy formatting code in the text of your blog, or it will cause the infamous
truncation error that cuts off all the blogs posted after yours. If you notice
that all the blogs after yours are Bold or in Italics, chances are your blog is
causing it. When you click the publish button, don't just go back and take a
look at the finished product and see what it looks like, but also check out how
it looks on the blog page with the other blogs. If you think your blog is
screwing things up, edit it and see if it is you causing the problem.
5. Post blogs in the blog
section; forum posts in the forums. Everybody has their own idea on what a
blog is and that idea would differ from blogger to blogger. But there is almost
a universally accepted standard on what a blog is not. A one sentence question
or statement is not a blog. Just because you can post a one sentence "blog"
doesn't mean you should.
* Appreciate your
audience. I don't expect everyone to uphold the same policy that I do, but
my philosophy is simple - if you take the time to read my blog and provide a
comment, then the very least I can do is respond and acknowledge your comment
with a reply. I'll generally reply to every comment, whether you agree with me
or not, and as long as you're civil about it I'll respond with the same respect
and professionalism. I think this is an important aspect of blogging. I usually
only go back a handful days to check old blogs for comments. I've seen a bunch
of different ways to respond to people who comment - just pick one you're
comfortable with and stick to it. If you want to blog, then chances are you want
an audience. And the best way to build an audience is my interacting with them.
Again, these are things you can choose to ignore if you want...but
don't be surprised if you ignore them when you tick off the bloggers who work
hard to support the community. If you want to fit in and be a part of the team, then these are things you might
want to take into consideration.
Well, that's all I wanted to say. Welcome to the community.
Enjoy your time here. If there is ever anything I can do please don't hesitate
to ask. I see another wonderful and prosperous year from the blogging
community. Existing friendships will be strengthened and new ones will be
forged. There are certainly numerous topics that are coming our way to blog
about and there are plenty of able bodied bloggers who will certainly be
blogging about them. And if you're here just to read blogs, never underestimate
the importance of the role you play too!
Here's to 2012 - let the blogging begin.