When I started writing an EVE blog in 2009, I had no idea where it would lead. I didn't really have a goal, it was just for fun and an outlet for creativity.
But writing Freebooted also proved to be my gateway to the wider EVE community and changed my game experience from the more solitary journey I had begun in 2003 to a far more communal one.
That journey has resulted in me having the privilege of helping to maintain and encourage a blogging community at a grassroots level, working with other community enthusiasts on a variety of projects from podcasts to Blog Banters and swimming amongst this tide pool of amazing literary and oratory creative talent. It is genuinely rewarding to play a role within such an amazing online ecosystem.
More recently, concurrent to my EVE blogging community duties, I've had the opportunity to write elsewhere. I won the chance to maintain a regular EVE column with community hosting providers Guild Launch, I've written a number of articles for EON magazine and I've even been addressing issues in the real world, leading to my publication in a national newspaper which had real world impact.
This all ended up being a blessed safety net after my paramedic career ended due to injury.
All because I started a blog about my favourite computer game.
Turning Up the Volume
But the next exciting stage of my journey has just begun and it's something I can share with you.
Folk who follow me on Twitter may have noticed I've been writing the occasional article for a new site called GameSkinny. It's essentially a gaming news and culture site, but with a difference; we - the communities of the internet - provide the content.
Amy White, the GameSkinny Senior Editor, explains it far more succinctly than I could in her intro article, “Public Beta: Go Time for GameSkinny”:
Here's what we know:
How depressing is that? I've been through it myself, and can tell you there's nothing to encourage a person quite like an audience, and that nothing discourages quite like the absence of one.
- No one knows games as well as the players who love them;
- Lots of gamers start blogs and video channels to share their interests and know-how;
- Without marketing, SEO and PR most of those blogs and videos never reach the audience that would love them;
- Lacking an engaged audience, people just stop making things!
On the surface GameSkinny is a bright, fresh news site, with a sleek, responsive design. (Have you seen it on your mobile phone or tablet yet? Sometimes I just hug my iPad when the site loads.)
Under that shiny exterior lies the beating heart of GameSkinny: You.
Why publish on GameSkinny? Because you want to spend time creating cool content, not finding an audience. Let us worry about marketing, traffic and all that other stuff. You just do the part you care about: Making something great and interacting with the people who check out your posts.
So far, writing for GameSkinny has been an amazing experience for me, a real eye-opener. In part because it's really broadened my opinion and experience of games. For years, I almost exclusively played EVE and started suffering from a very narrow gaming viewpoint, perhaps even exhibiting a degree of Stockholm Syndrome.
But after reading about and -gasp- playing other games, I now have a much more accurate yardstick with which to measure EVE. I can appreciate far better what EVE does well – it is the undisputed champion of certain gameplay aspects – and what it does badly. It is my hope that this will make me a better EVE blogger.
The purpose of this post is to invite my fellow bloggers, and readers who have often had the itch but don't want to set up their own blog, to come try out GameSkinny. Broaden your horizons, throw up some content and give the GameSkinny marketing droids a short-circuit.
On a personal note and for clarity, this venture will not affect my EVE community duties in any way and I will continue to maintain Freebooted and the Blog Banters to the best of my ability. I do also provide GameSkinny with EVE-related content, but I have a very clear view of which content goes where.
How you use GameSkinny is entirely up to you, but I see it as a fantastic platform to reach an audience, build up a body of work for portfolio purposes and just have fun interacting with the wider gaming community.
I'm really excited to see where this road leads. Why not come along?
Labels: Broken Paramedic, community, EON Magazine, GameSkinny, Mail on Sunday, paramedic