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Blog Moot: The Changes at Only a Game

The time has come to open discussions about the changes in my blogging. I will briefly describe my intentions, then open the floor to the players of the Game to raise any issues they might have. Here are my current plans:

  • Tuesday will remain a Focus essay. This will generally be philosophy-focussed, although by necessity some forays into religion are expected. I will be trying to encourage discussions about this post throughout the week, and most of the other changes are designed to keep the comments roll clear for this purpose.

  • Wednesday will still be the Games post, but it will occur on my company website (ihobo.com) instead of here. I will cross-link round-ups of the content at the ihobo site here, but with comments disabled. All my major game design and games industry content is going to the company blog now – which should give plenty of comments bandwidth for that, and solve the “bus load of tourists” problem when an aggregator picks me up.

  • Thursday will remain Serial day, but when I'm not working on a serial, it will be Mystery day. The Serials produce fewer comments, so they won't disrupt the Focus discussions, while the Mystery posts are shorter and lighter, and so tend to be quieter.

  • Friday will be informal, but I plan to try encouraging Dialogue by commenting on someone else's blog, but posting the link here (or at ihobo). I don't yet know how this will work, but I'm keen to explore new ways of participating in the blog community I belong to.

That's not all. I have also prepared some new blogs to cover some of the more esoteric content:

  • The Minigame Court: this is a new blog I've created to house the minigames. I plan to post notifications about the minigames here and/or at the ihobo site, as appropriate, while the games themselves would be played in the Minigame Court, unless there are any serious objections to doing this. I think it would be nice to keep all the minigame content in one place, but this is open to discussion. 

  • Shadowtail: this is a new blog I've created to track black squirrel and other squirrel sightings around the world. I've also made the Google map for black squirrel sightings open to collaboration. I hope to find one or two people to help me run this, because I don't have time to handle the volume of sightings we got recently, and I certainly can't have those comments filling up the comments roll here. Any volunteers? 

An open question is whether I move the sidebars collating videogame posts to the ihobo site or keep them here. I broadly favour moving them (and slimming down the sidebars) but I welcome discussion on this topic.

Let me try and pre-empt some of the obvious questions.

Q. Will you stop talking about games on Only a Game?
A.
This is and always has been my personal blog, and I'll talk about whatever I feel like talking about here. Because I am about to turn “semi-pro” in philosophy, that's increasingly likely to be philosophy (more on this later...). But I doubt I'll stop talking about games, because games are a large part of my life. It's just that most of the major discussion about games will be at ihobo.com.

Q. I'm only here for the videogames posts – should I visit/subscribe to ihobo.com instead?
A.
Probably. You certainly won't miss much in the way of interesting game posts if you switch to that site/feed as it will almost all be there, and you'll also get all sorts of new extras – like posts from other people in the games industry. I already have content with Noah Falstein and Nicole Lazzaro lined up.

Q. I really like the mix of posts here and I don't want to see it split up! Can you please keep it all together?
A.
Not realistically. Typepad aren't going to increase the size of the comments roll, and I need a way to allow discussions to progress in a useful fashion. That means moving some of the content elsewhere. To begin with I will cross-link it all here, though, so you can continue to visit/subscribe to Only a Game and you'll still be able to follow everything.

Q. Will you please stop talking about religion?
A.
How would that even work? Some of the most interesting philosophical and political questions of our age relate to religious tensions (abortion and gay marriage, to name but two), and I'm not going to shy away from exploring them here. As a result of following five different religious traditions, I feel uniquely positioned to address such subject in a spirit of open enquiry. But rest assured, the ihobo site won't be discussing religion in any way, so if you're here for games you can always move there.

Q. I'm outraged that you would ____________! I'm never coming here again!
A.
Sorry you feel that way. I'm happy to discuss your issues in the comments, otherwise have fun elsewhere!

I hope that I have some support for these changes, so please let me know what you think, for good or ill, in the comments. Thanks in advance for your participation in this moot!

Comments

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I assume you'll link to the ihobo site/minigame blog on the top-left of this page?

It could go between the foreward/recent posts.

I agree on videogame links moving to the ihobo site if all posts are going there. Actually, I've always been taken aback by the height of your sidebar. To me, it's the defining feature of this blog's form (the content being a separate matter).

I think your changes all sound quite plausible in the face of increasing traffic and a divergence in the topics you tend to focus on. Go for it and may they all blossom!

Oh and congrats on turning "semi-pro" in Philosophy. Do you get a badge with that? :)

M.

I think it's a bit of a shame as I like the mix of content here. It's got me interested in and reading about things I would have never considered before. But at the same time, I can completely understand why you want to do this too. :)

I like to link to quite a few of your games articles, so if they all move I'll have to update a fair few links, but that's not a problem, it's well worth it. :)
Thanks!

I agree with all of that. Damn, now I'll have to find someone with a paid LJ account to grab the feeds from the new blogs so that I can continue to use LJ as my aggregator :-).

dj i/o here...

*sigh of relief* ... Glad to see that the changes didn't involve removing anything. Moving the game related posts to the ihobo site sounds like a splendid idea. I think for the moment, I will continue to keep only the main site in my RSS reader, but I hope you will notify us here before you stop crossposting, so I can be prepared to add the other sites to my feeds as well.

It's looking good. Keep up the good work, Chris. You have managed to continually provide thought provoking articles and discussion to my life for over a year now. :)

Mmm, nice clear structure. All seems pretty sensible and well thought out, hope it achieves all that you want :) I'll continue to follow all sites. Here's to more minigames!

Thanks for the comments everyone! Glad to know I have your support. A few specifics:

Q. I assume you'll link to the ihobo site/minigame blog on the top-left of this page?
A. Yes, I hope to rearrange the sidebar completely over the next few weeks, and I would start by linking to the other blogs in the "group", I think. I'll experiment with this and court feedback from the players.

And yes, the sidebar is *huge" - some people really don't like it that way, but it amuses me. :D But the time has come for a slightly more coherent organisation, methinks.

Q. Will the existing posts move?
A. No, you don't need to change links to existing posts - they will remain here for the time being. New content will go to ihobo, but the old posts will still be hosted here. It's too much hassle to move them. :)

Q. Will you let us know before you stop cross-posting?
A. Of course, no problem. I might go on doing it indefinitely, though, I just don't know yet. Let's see what happens!

Q. Do Semi-professional Philosophers get a badge?
A. I hope so! :D

Best wishes!

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