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Hard to believe tomorrow marks the half way point of 2013 - the year is half over. We're also about two or three weeks away from the 100th consecutive episode of Blog Herding. I normally post this unofficial guide to blogging at the beginning of the year, but given the high turnover of regular bloggers and the influx of new bloggers, I thought it might be beneficial to post it again, or at least the parts that matter and are still relevant. So, here goes...
(Originally posted on January 01, 2013)
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 podcasts are regular gamers like you and I, and they
often welcome members of the community to join them on their shows. (EDIT: Some of the podcasts have quit production and others have somewhat of a sporadic schedule, but when they do post them, they're great.) 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 first
article you might want to read was posted a few months ago by Game Informer
staff member, Jeff Marchiafava. His post titled, Why
You Should Blog At Game Informer outlines various reasons why you might be
interested in blogging here at Game Informer. One more great resource to read
is from the former Game Informer Associate Editor and Blog Herding master,
Annette Gonzalez, who posted this guide to assist with blogging - How
To Get Your Blog Herded. In the coming days I will post a companion blog to
this one detailing the process used to select blogs for blog herding. 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
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
As I mentioned yesterday, I have created a group at Game
Informer called the Unofficial GIO Bloggers group which can be found here.
Initially, this will be a place to park this blog and others like it as a quick
reference for anyone interested in blogging. Eventually, I hope it turns into a
place where those desiring to collaborate on group projects can share ideas or
those who might struggle with the blogging application can ask for help. It's a
work in progress, but feel free to start following it now.
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.
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 by interacting with
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!
This blog was more of an introduction to blogging at Game Informer. If you're familiar with the Blog Herding feature and interested in learning more about it, you might be interested in reading this blog too - Blog Herding 101.
Again, welcome to the community. Happy blogging. All the best.