One of the things I was hoping for with the delay in writing this year’s Blaugust wrap-up was that I might stumble upon some additional insight or understanding, some epiphany or pearl of wisdom I can impart — really? Just something to say that doesn’t feel old-hat.
- Daily posting? Not for me — not outside of a challenge context.
- Content overload! Way too much content being produced to give everything and everyone the duly deserved attention.
- Still a valuable event. Those issues aside, I still view Blaugust as a community event of significant value.
- Ginormous thank-you to Belghast, for once again taking on all the efforts associated with running an event of this scale.
So, could I find anything else to say? What else is there?
*coughs and clears throat*
Finding Community in the Noise
The Blaugust post that has stuck with me the most, that I really can’t get out of my head, is Pete’s. It carries through it a strand of melancholy you typically don’t observe in these posts. While there are several sources, one of those most easily plucked out and identified is around the difficulty in finding the sense of community. That perhaps not everyone was as invested in boosting the voices of their fellow blogger as others were.
I have complex feelings about this that I’m struggling to unpack even for myself — but I can’t say he’s wrong.
Krikket observed in her thoughts piece that the act of pushing to produce more combined with a focus this time around on some much needed self-care led to reading less of what is out there than might normally be the case, even before considering that the volume being produced is far greater.
I felt in a very similar boat — and perhaps more keenly still as a result of nominally being a ‘mentor’ for the first time this year. I certainly attempted to be good about spreading comments around and reading as much as possible. Where I fell away as a result though was from the Discord, where I’d normally be quite a bit more chatty and helpful. I also didn’t rebroadcast other Blaugust participants posts over Twitter very much, finding sometimes days passing between even loading Twitter up to scan through notifications.
I was thinking through all that, and then read my Blapril 2020 wrap-up again where I voiced a query, wondering whether it was just me, or if others had felt it too. A sort of- drawing in, away rather than leaning into the community more as intended.
I felt at the time it was very, very likely to be that the COVID lockdown of the country and inability to socialise very much in real life was finally starting to settle as a weight upon my shoulders. That was likely still a part of it but I believe even more strongly now it isn’t the whole story.
There exists a rather definite possibility that if we’re not careful we can become more akin to strangers (or mayhaps acquaintances) passing by on a busy New York street instead of members of the same club, sharing joy over a hobby held in common.
Blaugust is always going to produce more than any individual can ever reasonably read and respond to. Krikket is right to practice self-care, and in taking the win in being able to do so this time around. Self-care is something many of us are not fantastic at so I appreciate the example being set.
I’m not entirely sure what the answer might be, only that I think it’s something worth considering in advance of the next Blaugust.
Diamonds in the Rough
Stealing a page from Kaylriene’s book — I thought it might be fun to take a look back at some of the posts written for this Blaugust. Running by the numbers, the top five posts written in Blaugust by views1 are:
- No Man’s Sky “Frontiers” Update – Aug 14th
Everyone, myself included, were looking for any available scrap of information about this thing when the teaser trailer dropped! But, it’s here now.
- Bouncing and Blogrolls – Aug 2nd
Perhaps somewhat darkly amusingly given the content of my prior heading here — this post focused on two different aspects of blogger community. Namely; the ability to bounce content ideas off other people’s postings, and the connective fabric that is the blogroll, specifically how one might achieve a dynamic blogroll on WordPress. Pete found another solution for WP folk which I think might even work for free wp.com blogs.
- Coming Games of Interest – 2021 Edition – Aug 5th
A look at some of my most anticipated games throughout the remainder of 2021. Very optimistically, I even attached the scaffolding of a plan around them and how they might fit into my schedule. Nope.
- Don’t Post in the Weekend – Part 2 – Aug 12th
A rather data driven look at why you might not want to post in the weekend. Specifically — why you might not want to post anything you’re hoping for community engagement on over the weekend. Something I didn’t acknowledge in this post? This series was written largely off the back of my disappointment on ‘I’m Starting to Believe‘ — discussing the FFXIV community. Interestingly though, later in the month Kaylriene had this to say on the difference between WoW and FFXIV community behaviour in and out of game. And you know what? I don’t disagree.
- Don’t Post in the Weekend – Aug 11th
Part 1 to the same series; I set the premise but hadn’t yet gone to the lengths of extracting the data in an effort to validate (or invalidate!) my assertion.
If I was to ignore the numbers and just pick a personal favourite? It would be something out of these three I think: The Shape of Motivation and Enjoyment; Big, Baggy, Billowy, Blogger Pants; and > GET PLAYSTATION 5.
The first two there are the more somewhat ‘useful’ posts, or potentially so — but I think the sheer fun of writing out, with some creative license, the process of getting a Playstation 5 in the text adventure format makes that one win out for me. :)
We had two new bloggers join and stay the course with us this time around. Impressively, they both made it to the 31 post mark as well!
If you haven’t had a chance to stop by and welcome them as yet, you can find them here:
I observed both of them do exactly what I would recommend to anyone looking to jump into this crazy world of blogging:
Specifically, start writing and posting. The niceties of the perfect theme and header can come later. Both of their blogs look different now from when they started to be sure, but what they had was enough — because what they had was content.
So if this is you, wondering where to even begin — it’s simple! Sign-up to WordPress.com (or Blogger, if you prefer) and get writing.
Don’t Procrastinate by way ‘Research’ or getting things ‘just so’. It’s a trap! :)