I’ve now been running this blog for over five years. I had to go back and verify that I didn’t read that wrong when it showed up on my calendar the other day. It’s funny, all through school, I always said that I didn’t like writing. Then, my senior year of college I took a class in blogging (it was a Comm Arts class called “Electronic Publishing,” but really it should have been called “start a WordPress blog and read about basic HTML without actually using it”) because it sounded like easy credits for a senior Computer Science major. We were assigned to start a WordPress site and write about something that interested us twice a week, so I started a site where I reviewed retro games and talked about their impact on modern games. That site didn’t continue after the class was over, but it taught me that there was a form of writing that I actually kind of liked! After things settled down a little after college, I started this blog to talk about MMOs as a part of the Newbie Blogger Initiative under the terribly awkward and wordy title “Part Time Core Gamer” (I couldn’t think of anything catchy, so I guess I went for descriptive?). I started out with the goal of posting twice a week, but that was quickly adjusted to once a week, with permission not to guilt myself if I didn’t meet that expectation. I think that’s why I’ve lasted this long; it’s not an obligation for me. If I can’t think of anything to write about, I just don’t. It’s not a great way to grow a super popular, high traffic blog, but I’m not sure that’s really an attainable goal in 2018. This is just a side hobby of my gaming hobby.
A lot has happened in the last five years. For instance, my blog is the first place where I referred to this girl that I was getting to know as my “girlfriend” even though we hadn’t made it “official” or anything, mainly because “girlfriend” was easier to write than “this cute girl I know that I’ve been hanging out with that might be my girlfriend? I think? I mean, if she wants to?” I had my blog linked on my personal Facebook at the time, and she stumbled upon it and realized that I was talking about her. She must have been ok with it, because she is now my wife. While life hasn’t always been great over the last five years, she always is. I’m also proud of the fact that she has gone from rarely playing games on her PlayStation when we first met to now playing Elder Scrolls Online more than I do, with way higher crafting levels.
I’ve come and gone to a lot of different MMOs in five years. Flipping casually through my posts, I went from being lukewarm about Guild Wars 2 to it being my main game for several years, now back to being a little lukewarm on it again. More recently, I’ve gone from being lukewarm on Elder Scrolls Online to it being my main game, so take that as you will. I posted a lot about Marvel Heroes and WildStar, and more recently about how we lost them. I’ve posted intermittently about Star Wars The Old Republic and Lord of the Rings Online and Star Trek Online and a number of other titles, and I’d really like to go back to those games, but not right now. I just hope they’re all there when I want to go back.
It seems like, more often than not, the posts I’m really proud of don’t get a ton of hits, but the posts I just threw together on my lunch break blow up. I know I’m not alone in this. The post that got my all-time most hits was “Philosophy Shifts in Heart of Thorns, And Why They’re Wrong” from January of 2016. It got over six times as many hits as its followup, “Things Heart of Thorns Is Doing Right.” That should tell me something about how negativity sells, but I don’t want to be that kind of blogger. To be fair, the “Why They’re Wrong” post was featured as a headline on Massively Overpowered‘s Global Chat column before the “Doing Right” part was posted. Also, thanks for the signal boosts over the years, MOP! You definitely get more eyes on my site than anything else. After Guild Wars 2, my Lord of the Rings Online posts seem to be most popular. I try not to be too metric-driven, because, again, this blog is for fun, but it’s interesting to look at from time to time.
In closing, thank you to everyone who reads my blog. There aren’t thousands or even hundreds of you, but thanks to those who do. Thank you to everyone who leaves a comment. It means a lot to me, even if I’m bad at responding. Thanks to my fellow bloggers for giving me things to read and think about. Thanks to the people who run projects like Newbie Blogger Initiative that gave me the push to start blogging again five years ago and Blaugust that, while I don’t really participate, gives me a lot of posts to read and encouragement to keep going.
Blogging may be considered a “dead” medium, quickly being replaced by podcasts and YouTube and Twitch, but I’m glad that there are still those of us who prefer it, and a community of people who want to nurture it. I don’t know if I’ll still be blogging in another five years, but I really didn’t know I’d be blogging this long.