Posted in FFXIV, Gaming, MMORPGs

June 2018 Gaming Goals in Review

Tomorrow is the last day of June (where did the month go?) and since I tend not to blog on weekends, I decided to recap my goal-setting a day early. I’m quite pleased with the outcome of June… though I didn’t hit all of my goals, I hit most of them, and went even beyond what I hoped to do this month.

FFXIV Leveling Goals

  • Level Leatherworker to 70 ✓
  • Level White Mage to 70 ✓

This is the first area that I did really well in. Namazu beast tribe quests make speeding through crafting leveling pretty painless, and I took full advantage of that.

Not only did I finish leveling Leatherworker to 70, but I completely finished leveling Alchemist to 70, as well. On top of that, I pushed Armorer to Level 64. So, I’m in a good place to max another crafter in July.

This was a bit of a change in plans. Originally, I wanted to level Armorer next. But when I discovered that I’d need a level 70 Alchemist to craft some of the materials for the high level crafting gear I want to try to make, I took a break from Armorer to do that instead.

I did level my White Mage to 70! So, thankfully, that’s done with.

On top of that, I’ve been making progress on my Ninja, which should easily hit level 57 tonight if all goes well. I’ve learned that Beast Tribe quests in the 50-60 level bracket are no where near as lucrative as the 60-70 level range. So the sooner I can hit 60 on my Ninja, the better.

FFXIV Cleanup Quest Goals

  • Summoner – Lv 60-70 Quests
  • Fisher – Lv 60-something – 70 Quest  ✓
  • Finish crafting quests up to 60 for Armorer ✓

This section is a bit of give and take since I didn’t hit all my goals, but I did go beyond these goals in other ways.

I am happy to say that I did finish my Fisher goals, which completes all of my job quests for gatherers. I’ve also outfitted all of my gatherers in at least the first iteration of Yellow Scrip gear, thanks to weekly delivery quests.

I also spent most of all day finishing quests for Armorer one weekend. This one was a long haul because I discovered that I’d not done a single job quest for Armorer since level 35… and I was over level 60 at that point. Yikes!

When I decided to switch to leveling Alchemist in the middle of the month, I went back and finished all the Alchemist quests, too. Thankfully, I left off in the mid level 50s on that job, so that wasn’t quite as rough as Armorer had been. I still have the final level 70 job to complete on Alchemist, but I’ve kept up with all the other quests along the way.

What I did not do was a single Summoner quest. Sorry. Didn’t happen. Probably because I was so focused on catching up on crafting quests. I guess there’s always next month.

Steam Gaming

  • Try one new Steam game each week

Nope. This didn’t happen. But what did happen was that I tried out a bunch of games on the Switch instead. I messed with the Splatoon 2 expansion, dabbled in Skyrim for Switch (which I haven’t written about yet), and tried out Pokemon Quest. I also played a good chunk of Sims 4 Seasons, which I want to get back to again now that my PC isn’t acting up.

So while Steam games were not on the menu (and I haven’t bought anything during the Summer Sale – go me!), I did play at least one new game for each week of this month in other aspects. That counts, right?

Did you have goals for this summer? How are they going for you?

Posted in Gaming, Sims 4

Sims 4 Seasons Fun

I wanted to get a post about Sims 4 Seasons done before this, but ended up completely distracted by computer issues. Thankfully, I’ve gotten those squared away, and the PC is running great again. I still haven’t sat down with Sims again after being so rudely pulled away… but I think the few days I spent with it is enough to spin up a reaction post.

Namely… this expansion changes just about every aspect of the game in such a way that it completely enhances the experience for me. There’s just so much going on here, I know I will never remember all of it to write about.

Weather and Seasons

Of course, Seasons brings seasons… which means changes in weather patterns. But, just like in real life, weather doesn’t always make sense. I saw snow in the middle of spring, for example, which can actually happen IRL. It was a cool little touch (no pun intended).

There’s also changes in temperature that effect your Sims (and can even kill them). This is something you can toggle on and off, but is also easily handled with the right clothing. Below is my Sim on the right, toasty in her warm clothes… while the Sim next to her is turning blue from cold.

06-22-18_2-57-16AM

There’s a lot of customization to the seasons — you choose how long they last and set up a full calendar. After running through a full “year” of seasons at the default length of 7 days per season, I quickly doubled that to 14 days. 7 days per season just feels too quick. There’s not enough time for transition and events. 14 days feels like a good middle ground.

For all the fan grumbling about the look of the snow before launch, I actually think that Winter is my favorite season in Sims 4. There’s something really serene about the snow falling and the little blanket of snow that covers all the objects outside. The little touches, like windows frosting up, are very nice.

06-22-18_9-55-55PM
My sims went out to eat on a Winter day. Look at that frost on the window!

There’s all sorts of thoughtful touches like this that really impressed me about this expansion. Sometimes it’s the little things that raise immersion.

Sim Events

I really liked the calendar and event features, too. On days with set holidays, you get small goals to achieve that make your Sim happy once completed. These can be things like decorating the house, opening presents, shooting fireworks, etc. Each Sim has different traditions they enjoy and really wish to fulfill… while other Sims might hate those same things and want to avoid them.

I had a really sweet moment when Santa… I mean Father Winter… came to give my Sim a gift on Wintersfest. He gave her an awesome digital camera.

But, she was a broke, single, gardener who was just scraping by on the merits of the plants she harvested. Since the gifts you can give are limited to what you have in your pockets, my Sim rummaged around and could only give him a flower in return.

06-22-18_10-56-42PM

Not only did Father Winter sound absolutely delighted with the gift, but he lifted the flower to his nose to smell it! His Sim identified the gift as a flower and interacted with it realistically, rather that just putting it away after accepting it. I was really tickled by that.

Speaking of events… There seem to be three kinds of events. The big normal holidays, like Wintersfest, the custom holidays you create, and holidays that pop up unannounced. I really like that unannounced holidays because they add a quirky twist to the day.

For example, one random event day said that a brand new TV show was premiering that night… and your Sim just HAD to watch it to prevent being spoiled by co-workers and friends the next day (it happens!). Again, just something little and silly, but a really nice touch.

Gardening

Gardening got a pretty big overhaul and is a totally viable way to make a living now. Though it has its own career track, I decided to start a fresh Sim and see if she could survive on just the little garden she tended.

The free patch before the expansion brought glass roofs to everyone with the game, which really makes some neat skylights and greenhouse builds open up. I built my own little greenhouse for my Sim, which you can see below.

06-22-18_4-02-31PM

There’s some really nice new selling, watering and weeding options for crops, and the profit you make from selling produce was increased significantly. You can also buy seed packs straight from the buy menu now.

Plants are assigned a specific season to flourish. If left outside, they will go dormant in the off seasons. But they will always produce just fine all year as long as they’re sheltered, such as in a greenhouse.

It took a little investment in building the greenhouse and getting the seeds, but once the produce started improving, my Sim was able to live quite comfortably in her little cottage on what she made.

Final Thoughts

Again, there’s no possible way for me to cover everything this expansion pack does. I know I’ve not seen everything it has to offer yet. I feel like this one’s done something right, though, because every time I turn around, I’m being delighted by something unexpected.

I think that the random nature of the weather and seasons really spices up the normal day-to-day Sims play… which can fall into a rut once you get your Sims to a comfortable space. Weather doesn’t change things so drastically that it distracts from the base game, but rather adds another layer of immersion on top of what was already there.

Events and holidays add nice little social touches and days off that encourage your Sims to enjoy their lives outside of the norm… kinda like what holidays should do IRL as well. When I left off, my little single gardener girl had married the guy of her dreams… and come to find out, he lives in a huge villa in the middle of the Oasis town.

It’s a big upgrade for a small-cottage girl. But hey, that just means she can plant a bigger garden now! She seems pretty happy about that. 🙂

06-24-18_2-06-52AM

Posted in IRL, Technology

When the Night’s on Fire

Yes, that’s a photo of the inside of my PC. 🙂

Anyhow, I enthusiastically took a 3 day weekend for the launch of Sims 4 Seasons, and just to have a little time off. I’d planned on coming back to this week with lots of Sim stories to share. That’s almost what happened until yesterday.

On Sunday, I was trying to slide in a little quick Ninja leveling in FFXIV. While running a Leveling dungeon with Syn, I noticed that I was having crippling lag spikes. Anyone who plays Ninja knows that lag is that job’s worst enemy.

At first, I just thought it was the game or connection. But this wasn’t the normal kind of lag spike. It felt like when you’d left a Steam game to download in the background, or something else running that was working your PC heavily. It was this kind of stuttering lag that I felt was coming from me and not my connection.

When we finished the run, Syn asked, “What’s the temps on your PC?”

I hadn’t been monitoring anything like that lately (though I should), and it’s been super hot outside (and inside) due to the summer. So I installed HWMonitor, and saw that my CPU was running at 105 C!!

I was basically boiling my poor machine and it couldn’t run straight! I had no idea!

I shut it down and opened it up. I cleaned the insides out and tested that the fans were running. Everything looked okay, though the fan on the CPU really did need a cleaning.

At first, I thought that would fix it. But when I fired up FFXIV or Sims 4 and put it under load again, it was still running at 90-100C, even with the case open and a fan pointed inside.

Bummer.

After troubleshooting it a bit and getting no fix, Syn sent me the link to a good replacement fan on Amazon. It wasn’t too expensive, and is supposed to be better than my existing fan, so I’m waiting for that to come in tomorrow. Hoping that will fix the issue.

In the meantime, no gaming on my PC. 😦

Thankfully, I have a gaming laptop.

Though it’s nowhere near as gutsy as my PC, it can still run basic Sims and FFXIV. Just no major raids or anything too taxing. I hooked it up to my monitor, mouse and gaming keyboard, and aside from the difference in system speeds, it does more or less what I need it to in the interim.

The sad thing is that Sims is PC dependent, so the family I was building up for the previous two days are off on the main PC. All my saves, custom content and stuff are also over there. I’ve been keeping my Sims install on my laptop completely CC and mod free, so moving it all over is not much of an option.

Thankfully, the new fan has already shipped and should be here tomorrow. Hopefully that fixes the situation.

UPDATE: Replacing the fan fixed it! Woot! 

Aside: I have no idea why I decided to title this post after an old Mike Oldfield song. I was trying to think up a title, and When the Night’s on Fire popped in my head. It has nothing to do with overheating PCs (When the PC’s on Fire?), so go figure.

Posted in Gaming, Sims 4

Looking Forward to the Sims 4 Seasons Expansion

The newest expansion for Sims 4 — Seasons, is gearing up to drop at midnight EST on this Friday. I’m trying to temper my feelings for the pack, but I’d be lying if I said that I wasn’t pretty excited by what I’ve seen.

In fact, I decided to officially take a vacation day so I could immerse myself in all the expansion has to offer. I’ve learned in the past that Sims expansions require at least a full day of my time for me to feel like I’ve got a grasp on what all they have to offer. Since this releases on a Friday, that lines me up for a long weekend (of Sims).

Traditionally, Seasons has been one of the most popular and requested of the Sims expansions, right up there with Pets. With this version of Seasons, we’re not just getting weather, but a focus on an in-game calendar and holidays.

In the past, Seasons had holidays, but they were usually something quickly done with. This time around, you can make a calendar, create your own holidays and traditions and deck out the house with decorations (other houses in the neighborhood will also auto decorate I heard).

I think this is something you have to set up in advance, but the house seems to automatically remember what your decoration preferences for holidays are. Or, that’s the impression I get.

Not to mention how the world transitions from one season to the next — winter doesn’t just pop into spring, it slowly changes. Also, there’s a huge overhaul in the gardening system that has to take into consideration seasons. That should be fun to learn.

Not to mention, certain places actually have climates — the jungle and desert shouldn’t get snow, for example. And they have their own specialized seasons, too.

Of course, despite all the good things, some folks had to find things to grumble about, like the lack of snow depth . Sims 4 has always been under fire for one thing or another by disgruntled community members. I can’t completely blame them, though, when we’re seeing more stuff packs pop up now than ever.

As for this expansion, I feel the team put a ton of work and love into it. I just hope that the expansion plays well and lives up to the hopes of the players.

I’m probably a lot easier to please than most, but I’m just here to have some fun.

Now, which family should I play?

Posted in Second Life

SL15B Celebration – Happy 15th Birthday Second Life!

Yesterday marked the beginning of Second Life’s 15 Birthday Celebration. You’ll find sim after sim of amazing builds, colorful crystals, free goodies, and lots of music. The Posse and I headed out to see what we could see and take part in the hunt across the sims. Even after spending several hours exploring, I feel like I’ve hardly scratched the surface of this event.

You can find a lot of history of SL, from Bear Island (with over 170 collectible Linden Bears) to talks and displays (some with a hint of humor).

Some of the displays were incredibly original. All of them were super colorful as well.

Here, Amoon and I find bubble sitters among the crystals…

We spent a lot of time being amazed by the media-art creation of Thoth Jantzen. This was some of the most incredible work… I wish I had a landmark to share because everyone needs to see this stuff. I did a search for his name and could see that he’s been featured quite often in previous celebrations.

Certainly look for his display. It’s a don’t miss! Screenshots can’t do it justice. And it was really cool to be able to talk to the creator while we were visiting.

There were pretty incredible music venues, too…

Like a huge area with crystal chandeliers everywhere…

And this place with an absolutely HUGE animated snake coiled around it. Very cool!

If you just want some free gifts, they’ve set up gift tables in the Spectacular sim.

Posted in FFXIV, Gaming, MMORPGs

FFXIV: “What We Do is What Defines Us”

It’s odd how one of the most enjoyable parts of the new patch for me is the crafting beast tribe quests. To say that it’s renewed my desire to improve my crafters and learn about crafting in FFXIV is an understatement.

The Namazu quests are the last things you’d expect to strike home in the heart of an artist/creator. But this weekend, that happened for me.

I’ve become more endeared to these quirky little creatures as I spent time helping them rebuild a cultural celebration meant to save their race. I still didn’t expect to be moved by the ending of the final quest the way I was. Especially this:

ffxiv_06162018_113723

Suddenly, I was reminded as an artist… writer… creator… why I should do what I do. And that it shouldn’t matter if someone else sees the value in the act of creation. That’s hard to remember sometimes in the age of the Internet when we’re conditioned to constantly seek out feedback, reinforcement and positive feelings.

For just that moment, I felt like the creators of these quests — the writers, the artists, the musician, the designers… all of them — were speaking to me on a personal, creative level. It’s not always easy to remember the people behind the game and all the time and effort they put into making something for your enjoyment. It’s far easier to criticize a game for what you don’t like (I’m guilty of it, too).

But there in that quest, these game creators were speaking to the players. “Not everyone always sees or values what I create… but there’s something in me that makes me create anyhow.” And that’s a powerful, noble value… that mysterious drive is why we have so many of the creative works we do in this world.

…Not that there was any lack of feedback and reinforcement from the Namazu for your help.

ffxiv_06162018_113906

As a matter of fact, as if all the easy crafting levels, enjoyable quests, and other perks weren’t enough, the Namazu gifted me with something quite unexpected.

ffxiv_06162018_113846

Yep. That’s right. My own wearable Namazu Bell necklace!

This was something I didn’t even know that I needed until I got it. Sadly, a lot of my outfits cover the necklace area, so despite instantly taking it and glamouring it over all of my neck pieces, it only showed up on a few of my jobs.

ffxiv_06162018_115137

I was also being good this weekend and went back to work through all my Alchemist job quests that I needed to do in order to catch up to my current level. Thankfully, I left off at level 53. Most of these were easy to either craft or purchase, so I blew through them, earned at least a level and some for my efforts, and a bunch of Allagan pieces to throw at the Domans on reset.

…But why is it all of the Alchemist quests have to do with either killers or dead bodies? Really?

I also focused my weekly deliveries on gearing up my Fisher a bit so that I’d be in a better spot to try and finish up the level 70 job quest. That’ll knock out another goal for this month.

I still have a long way to go, though!

Posted in FFXIV, Gaming, MMORPGs

FFXIV: Level 70 White Mage! …And Leveling Progress.

Yesterday, I reached another goal for this month — to level my White Mage to 70. This one I was glad to get done with since healing is often stressful for me, even in Alliance Roulettes. I haven’t been doing Alliance lately since Syn hasn’t been around, and I don’t like running it on my own (especially as a healer). But I was already level 69 at the beginning of this week, and a few days of Beast Tribe quests got it done.

I’m not real sure what I’m going to work on next… or if I’ll just take a little break on my battle classes. I’m still leveling my Alchemist through Namazu quests every day, and I don’t see the crafting portion of beast tribes going away any time soon for me.

I’m actually doing pretty well on getting all of my jobs leveled at this point:

ffxiv_06142018_175946

Especially if you consider that this was where I was when I started this year:

battlejobs

I still have an overall goal to get all of those lower jobs to 50 before the year is done. Obviously, heals and tanks aren’t my favorite.

Right now, I’m kinda strapped on Grand Company seals, which are used to pay the squad to run dungeons for fast experience. I spent most of mine on the materials I’ll need to make the Odder Otter Walls… which I haven’t quite done yet, either.

I still need to put some time towards those lower jobs, though, because it’s a huge help to consolidate gear when overlapping jobs are on the same level. It’s part of the reason why all the ranged jobs were leveled first — they use the same gear. Whereas other than Monk and Samurai, the melee often use their own sets of gear. There is overlap on some of the accessories, I suppose.

I guess Astro would be the next logical thing to level seeing that would put all my healers in the same gear at 70. Dunno. I’ll have to see what happens!

Posted in Gaming, Nintendo Switch

Splatoon 2: Octo Expansion

It was pretty late for me last night when the Splatoon 2 Octoexpansion released. It was a good chunk of content that took a while to download and install, so I didn’t get a lot of time to play with it before I had to head to bed.

So far, the expansion is much like what I expected it to be… just a bit more lighthearted. The trailers made it out to be dark and gritty, but of course, par for the course of Nintendo, they managed to lighten up a story that has some pretty dark undertones.

There’s still a lot of questions that dive into lore such as… What’s really going on with the Octolings that make them the enemy of Inklings? Obviously, experimentation and mind control of some sort is hinted at. But then, there’s also this underground network in place for the ones who “wake up” and head for the Promised Land.

2018061323011100-CBA841B50A92A904E313AE06DF4EF71A

Playing a young and mind-muddled Octoling girl or boy, a promised land sounds like the best option you’ve got. So when the train pulls up, it only makes sense to hop on. No one told you there would be tests and 4 thangs (not misspelled) to gather before your dreams could come true.

Tests, of course, are short challenge stages with a specific set of weapons and a goal to achieve.

2018061407580500-CBA841B50A92A904E313AE06DF4EF71A

I was short on time, so I only cleared the first stage. It wasn’t terribly difficult, which is good considering I’m super rusty at the game at this point.

You get three lives per stage and each stage costs a certain amount of an in-game currency to challenge. Winning nets you more currency to use on future stages. I’m not sure what happens if you run out of currency, though.

Anyhow, these can’t be too neck-breaking difficult, because someone is already an Octoling down in the city as of this morning. Probably someone who had all day/night to play. :p

2018061407571700-CBA841B50A92A904E313AE06DF4EF71A
Playable Octolings are the reward for finishing all solo content

The overall response in game to the expansion seems positive. There’s certainly a feeling of support for the Octolings who are waking up and coming to the other side.

2018061407561700-CBA841B50A92A904E313AE06DF4EF71A

2018061407565900-CBA841B50A92A904E313AE06DF4EF71A

2018061407573200-CBA841B50A92A904E313AE06DF4EF71A

I’m looking forward to putting some more time into these missions. If nothing else, they can hopefully help me dust off what little skills I had and maybe get me back into the game where I left off. I really like the idea of playing an Octoling girl, especially that pony tail hairstyle! 🙂

2018061407575600-CBA841B50A92A904E313AE06DF4EF71A

Posted in Gaming

E3 2018 Impressions

Everyone’s talking about E3, so I may as well jump on the bandwagon. E3 has not traditionally been something that hypes me. I go into it without expectations, and the best that can come from it is unexpectedly being hyped over something.

Last year, the Switch was new territory, so just about everything they announced there was pretty exciting. This year, there’s a lot of things people seem excited about, but very few that have anything to do with me.

So, I’m going to run down the list of stuff from the Reddit Megathreads and just talk about whatever comes to mind. Those threads are pretty awesome if you need a recap on anything, so I encourage you to check them out.

Not Relevant

So, as I said above, there’s a lot that’s not relevant to me. I don’t own an XBox or a Playstation, so none of that is of any interest to me.

Not interested in anything that EA threw out there, not even Anthem. Absolutely not interested in their Origin Access Premier program. I didn’t even have anything to do with the original Origin Access thing… never been a fan of Origin, and just use it because I’m forced to in order to play Sims games.

Ubisoft... eh. Nothing I really care about there. I own, but have never played, some of the Assassins Creed games, so the new one isn’t a huge deal to me.

Of Some Interest

So Bethesda’s offering.

I know everyone is going nuts about Fallout 76. I’ve never played a Fallout game as the theme of the series just never felt that alluring to me. For those who are excited and concerned about it, I hope it turns out to be more than what you hoped for. I doubt I’ll play it.

Fallout Shelter is now on the Switch. It came force-installed on my tablet, but I never played it there. I might try it on the Switch since I’m getting fed up with Pokemon Quest at this point. That’s a big maybe.

Elder Scrolls Legends for the Switch has my interest. As long as there’s plenty to do without forcing me to play against real players, I might give that a try. I do enjoy card games, I just don’t enjoy forced PvP in card games, and card games that nickle and dime you to build a deck.

The biggest thing for me here is the Elder Scrolls VI tease. It was only 36 seconds long, but enough for me to go, “Oh shoot. I still haven’t finished Skyrim!”

Now, I can’t really be hyped for something that is probably a good ways away, but it was enough to motivate me to crack open my copy of Skyrim on the Switch. We’ll see if I can stick with it in any way.

Square Enix had a couple of things of interest for me.

Of course, there’s the FFXIV and Monster Hunter World crossover event coming up. As someone with no access to MHW at this point, and being uncertain of whether I can afford the time to get into it once it comes out on the PC, can I just say I really want a Palico in FFXIV!

I mean look at this! Warrior of Light Palico!

monster_hunter_4_ultimate_june_dlc

*sigh*

If I play Monster Hunter World, it will be for the Palico.

Anyhow, we got also some info on ticket sales for the FFXIV 2018 Fan Fest, though I’m unsure if we’re going this time.

And, other than that, the only bit of exciting info from this was that we’d see Dragon Quest XI in September. Hopefully, on the Switch. Still looking forward to Octopath Traveller, but it was expected, so not a hype thing.

And that just leaves Nintendo.

Nintendo’s Offering

I guess I was hoping for something surprising here, but really, none of it was. Other than the sad lack of a Switch Animal Crossing — I didn’t expect it, but I held out a tiny bit of hope.

I’ve never gotten into Mario Party, so that didn’t interest me much.

The huge thing is, of course, the new Smash.

I wish I could be excited for Smash, but I learned when playing Smash for the Wii U, that there’s a disconnect between where those games are going and my aging gaming skills. The new Smash games just have too much going on, things happen too fast, and I tend to get muddled trying to follow the flow of the battles.

Smash_Ultimate
Too much of a good thing?

So, though I loved the first two Smash games, I actually sold my Wii U version after my sister and I struggled to find fun in it. We really did try.

Of course there’s the new Pokemon, which I’m already sold on. An upcoming Fire Emblem is nice to know about… but only reminds me that I didn’t actually finish the previous one I picked up for the 3DS. Oops.

And, nothing to do with E3, but we found out that the Splatoon 2 Octo Expansion is releasing tonight! I know what I’ll be trying!

So, all in all, E3 has only achieved one thing — encouraging me to play my Switch more! I guess that’s not bad overall. Maybe I’ll actually get somewhere in Skyrim this time (I say that every time…).

 

 

 

Posted in Blogging, Internet, Webcomics, Writing

The Passing of Project Wonderful & A Look at Current Blogging/Creativity

Does anyone remember Project Wonderful?

They are (were) a little company that allowed you to pay into the site and place ads up on other sites in the network. You could also place your own ads up on your page and people could purchase those in return.

A Short Look Back

pwadI used Project Wonderful quite a bit for various old blogs, writing sites, but especially for our webcomic, Wayrift. In fact, I think a high number of our long-term readers at Wayrift came from discovering us through Project Wonderful. For a small webcomic, it was an affordable option, and it really did connect a lot of the comics together.

At the height of advertising on Wayrift, I was not only breaking even, but making a little extra here or there. I won’t say that traffic was flooding in, but it wasn’t terrible, either. It was a pretty viable way of getting fresh eyes on our content. But for some reason, it fell out of practice for us to use it.

In fact, I haven’t used it a whole lot in the past 5-6 years. I did try a short stent with it last year, but didn’t really see a ton of results, and I was putting more money than I was getting views for. But even so, I never guessed it was on its last legs.

Relevance to the Blogosphere

Project Wonderful sent out an email yesterday (see it here) to inform all of us that this is the end. It said a few things that were relevant to how I’ve been feeling about the small websites, our blogs, and the health of the blogosphere. While this may be on the negative spectrum, I do think it’s relevant, and what I wanted to repost here:

…in the past several years, the internet has changed. Large sites like Facebook do all they can to keep readers on their network, rather than sending that traffic out to individual websites. As such, many readers – who used to visit dozens if not hundreds of websites a day – now visit only a few sites, and things like the indie “blogosphere” (remember that?) are disappearing. We’re hopeful that individual creators can adapt – either by embracing these walled gardens in a way that protects themselves, or by finding other ways to draw attention to their work – but as a network founded on supporting independent websites, our options were limited.

It’s certainly no secret that I’ve seen less and less in the way of active blogging as the years go by. There’s a certain set of writers who are either too stubborn, too dedicated or too frustrated to fold up shop and stop posting. But aside from those folks (thank goodness you’re here!), I’ve seen things slowing down as the years pass.

If we’re getting new folks in this space, they’re either hard to find, they don’t know the channels it takes to reach out and be heard, or they simply fizzle out after the magic of the new-blog smell wears off.

nbi_supporter_badgeThe NBI used to help a lot with that, but even that had trouble drumming up the energy and time to run. There wasn’t a whisper of it that I heard last month. I can’t say a lot because I’m in the same boat — with work and everything, I just don’t have the time to organize something of this magnitude. But it’s still a sad thing.

Interestingly, when I went to Google NBI, I found that there still appears to be a NBI Reddit out there that sometimes people post to, even recently. I wonder if that’s a tool that could be used for something more than it is now.

Anyhow, I’m starting to ramble. I don’t know that I rightly have the words to express my thoughts. I came from the early days of learning rudimentary HTML code in order to build your own free GeoCities site… because if you wanted to put your work out there, that was the best option you had. Due to that barrier, if you consistently made something good, it was noticed.

As the Web has grown, our options for communication have gotten wider to the point that everyone can easily spin up a site or a blog and share their thoughts. But just as many options as we have to be individuals online, as Project Wonderful has pointed out, with social media, our communication-vision has begun to grow narrower…

You can’t blame people for wanting to go where they think everything is (Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, Tumblr, Wattpad, etc.). But where does that leave all the creatives on the fringes? The new blogger. The new online web novelist. The uptsart webcomic. The digital artist…

Folks who are developing a craft and trying to find an audience? They don’t have much of a choice but to go where they think that audience is. Even if that means that they’re straying far from home into the sometimes scary world of social media. Even then, that doesn’t promise they’ll be seen or heard.

These thoughts are nothing new. They just keep getting stronger as the years go by.

I dunno. What do you guys think?