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How to write a forum post (linkage)

July 1, 2011 Comments off

It always strikes me as the epitome of hubris to link here to the stuff I write elsewhere, so I try not to do it much. However, I did make myself laugh with this week’s MMORPG.com column: How to write a forum post, and maybe it’ll amuse you too.

The Subject Line

This is vitally important if you want people to click though to your frothing rant carefully thought-out post. First off, you need to make sure you use caps, and as many exclamation marks as will fill out the subject line.  If it doesn’t say “URGENT! DEVS PLZ READ!” nobody will care, so do not forget those. Alternately you can keep it simple: “I quit!” or “This sux!” will also guarantee that your post will grab attention.

Not that the advice applies to anyone who reads and comments here – and I actually mean that for once. You are ALL beautiful and unique snowflakes with an unparalleled grasp of rhetoric and debate.

With chuckling thanks to Ctrl+Alt+Del and the amazing ImageFindingWoman at MMORPG:

Categories: writing Tags: , ,

Cheap-ass link to prove I haven’t died

February 25, 2011 3 comments

Wot I wrote on MMORPG this week.

I wouldn’t mind exploring the whole sandbox/theme-park thing in a bit more depth than is possible over there (mostly because I don’t think I can bore the readers of that site with the walls of text I’m capable of here), but I’m not feeling it right now.

Feel free to write your own post in the comments though. I’m cheap. I’ll take any content I can get.

More WoW screenies.

In the words of a guildie: "Future me is kind of an ass." I agree.

Best. Quest. EVAR. Nothing like rolling around blowing up/incinerating 1,000 gnomes. I couldn't stop...

Categories: MMO, WoW, writing Tags: , , ,

Cheeseburgers have cheese in them

January 19, 2011 20 comments

Here’s something I’ve never understood about the internet opinionating. It used to happen on the old mailing lists and bulletin boards, it used to happen on forums, now it happens on blog and article comments. Person A writes “ABCDE”, very reasonable and pretty straightforward stuff, and person B lets off with a diatribe out of nowhere.

Here’s an example. Call me a literary critic (since I’m trained to be one), but I think Syp hits the parental nail on the gaming head. It’s rather poetic and it’s incredibly sincere, and for my money you can’t ask for much more in a blog post. Course, I don’t expect every single “gaming journalism” blog post I read to be a review of GT4 or SuperMario In Your Pants, The Sequel.

And here’s the rather mystifying “omg you left hair in the sink, I’m moving back to my mother’s!” comment. Um, what?

It’s not, mind you, that I have anything against readers being fickle bastards and altering what they like from week to week. I’m exactly like that myself.  I just don’t understand the causality in this case, even though I’ve seen it happen a million times over the years.

Person A: “Cheeseburgers have cheese in them.”

Person B: “OMG you are SO full of cheese! I can’t believe I ever read anything you wrote! How can you claim to be a legitimate emailer / poster / blogger / journalist / carbon-based lifeform?! I’m off to a blog about real Limburger!”

/blink

It’s happened to me a few times on MMORPG.com lately, too, though to be bluntly honest I try not to read the comments over there, or at least only through slitted, somewhat glazed, unjudgemental eyes. But okay, I do read them. And occasionally I’ll get an “OMG you’re full of shit! This is SO inaccurate! You are a tool of the MMOlitary RPGdustrial combine! You call this game journalism?!”

Actually, no. That’s why this blog’s subtitle is MMO musings and commentary and that’s why the MMORPG gig is marked as perspectives. Pure opinion. No facts implied or advertised. Bias inherent and admitted. What’s so difficult to grasp about that?

I should know better, but I still boggle at the gap between what we write and what people read.* God knows that’s caused a lot of online drama over the years, especially if you count game chat as a medium. There’s already a gap between what you think and what you say, and then between what you say and what people hear, simply in normal conversation — but add non-physicality and a wholly typed medium and you’ve got a recipe for misunderstanding that makes me wonder how we manage to communicate online at all.

Even so… even knowing that what one says and what is understood are never quite going to match up, I still have to wonder at the strange gap between “Cheeseburgers have cheese in them” and “That’s it, I’m outta here.”

Yay for freedom of speech and blog-reading choices!

~

* Or indeed between what person A says or does and what person B hears or expects. There’s a reason two of the most-used tags on this blog are “design” and  “expectations”. Maybe I should move on to marriage advice too. (And the first person who calls me Dr. Ysh will have a contract taken out on them. Just sayin’.)

Cheap Tricks and Friday content

January 14, 2011 1 comment

Yes, I’m that cheap. Here’s what I wrote for MMORPG this week, go look if you’ve a mind to.

It’s actually kind of odd doing that writing gig. Compared to this blog, I don’t feel as free to say whatever the hell I please, partly because they’re paying me for the columns but partly because it’s not my site. I know that shouldn’t really make a difference, but it does. It’s not just my opinions, it’s my opinions as published by a pretty large and popular gaming site. (That said, I’m really vanilla compared to some columnists. I’m probably being overly nice about the whole thing — and I mean nice in the older sense of the word, definition #2.)

Not that it’s gagging me entirely, you understand, or I wouldn’t have written the word “asshat” about 75 times in last week’s column. Still, it’s weird. Add to that the fact that I don’t really understand the readership and you’ve got a column I mostly enjoy doing but also somehow dread doing every week (which may help to explain why I’m always shaving the submission deadline so close *cough*). I’ve actually been tempted to dredge up some of my better posts here (as defined by me, rather than as defined by traffic, or I’d be writing about Hugh Laurie’s hawtness every day) and see if I can’t rework them for the column, but that still feels like semi-plagiarism and recycling, even if it’s only myself I’m copying.

I dunno. Maybe I’ll grow into it and get comfortable with it, the way most other bloggers I know who do “commercial” columns seem to have done. Or maybe I’ll always feel a little uncomfortable about it. And maybe that’s not such a bad thing — discomfort should at least keep me from getting too blasé about it and writing utter pap just because I can.

Am going to leave you with a couple of pix to ponder. Upon one hinges the fate of an entire world. Upon the other hinges the fate of one (admittedly somewhat used) brain. From the sublime to the squamously ridiculous, as Mr B might have said if he’d read more Lovecraft.

Why I blog (and other things)

January 10, 2011 6 comments

Actually, it’s why Harbinger Zero blogs, but he may as well have been channeling me — and a number of other bloggers I know — when he wrote it. Here’s a snippet; clicky the linky if you want to read the rest.

HZero is a blogging site dedicated to bringing you insights into the world of MMORPG’s from someone who has been playing them for a long time now.   Sometimes those insights are my own, sometimes they belong to another.  Most of the time, its a blending of those two things.

HZero is a site dedicated to bringing you my opinion.  Not yours.  You are welcome to post up with an agree or disagree and why.

Apart from the fact that I have zero interest in doing interviews (sorry!), Mr H-Z pretty much took those words right out of my mouth.

I’ve only been blogging a couple of years, which isn’t much in real time but is probably a geological epoch in Internet years. I started blogging because… well, because a bunch of people in Casualties of War were blogging and I didn’t want to stand out from the crowd; also, it seemed like fun, I’d had a bloglike (like a roguelike only more bloggish) over at LiveJournal for a while, it seemed like fun, and I like to write. I’ve got opinions and I don’t mind sharing them and I really don’t give a shit whether people think they’re worth sharing or not — which is the beauty of this newfangled intarwebs. I can post what I please, how I please, at whom I please: if other people like it, that’s like extra bananas, but if they don’t I can still do it and at least please myself. Eeexcellent.

Apparently I am now an eleeeeeeeet! blogger, too. I hadn’t actually thought about that when I commented on HZero’s post, though in hindsight it does seem somewhat disingenuous — and the reason I’m mentioning it now is not to really ram home how freaking leet I am, but rather to point out that leetness, at least in the blogging world, seems to be a case of either excellent self-promotion (which I lack) or sheer unadulterated luck (which apparently I don’t lack). Content doesn’t hurt either.

The Massively Top-10 Blogs nod I still don’t understand, because there are dozens of worthier blogs out there — except that presumably my style pleasethed (it’s a word) the author. If you don’t care about someone’s blogging voice then you won’t get this, but one of the main reasons I read Righteous Orbs is not because they’re orb-like or righteous, but because Tamarind can ramble even more than me and that’s saying something. I may write walls of text (not so much lately), but Tam writes Great Walls Of Fucking China text and you’ll LIKE it! And I really do like it. Doesn’t matter what the RO crew (is two people a crew?) is talking about — they could be describing the curative properties of the Toadswallop herb — it’ll be entertaining. So yeah, voice and writing style matter, and I suspect that’s why I have most of the readers I do have. Certainly not for my incisive insights of my up-to-the-second news content.

As for the MMORPG gig — I’m still half-convinced that’s JoBildo’s way of getting back at me for some sin I don’t even remember. I’ll give you back your pants, I promise! The fact that Monsieur Jennings had a column there (which I miss) in no way influenced my decision — oh and while we’re talking about him, there’s a blogging style I enjoy right there, and there’s content, so it’s like a double dose of blogging goodness on every post.

I’m still rather on the fence about the value of said gig, though the fact that it’s paying for my game subs probably doesn’t hurt, and the people involved are lovely. Props to the Amazing Picture-Finding Person! And that MMORPG crowd… it’s a different place out there, whole different set of people, passing faces I don’t really know and am not always sure I want to know. It’s more akin to posting on one of the Great Old Forums (you know, the ones with tentacles — FoH, F13, etc.) than it is to posting on this blog, so in that sense it makes for an interesting contrast. We’ll see. (Which is Texan for “HELL no!” by the way, and English for “I think you’re full of shit but I’m giving you the benefit of the doubt.” As in, this epicurean delicacy sort of tastes like vinegar mixed with poo but if you tell me it’s a treat for the tastebuds I shall try it one more time and we’ll see.)

And now for a short WoW update, mostly because I have some screenies to share. Eloise is now within spitting distance of level 80, and if you’d told me a month ago that this would be the case, I’d have laughed in your face. What me, level?! But here it is, and here I am, with a less badass but more kickass bow and a totally kickass pet who really shouldn’t be hungry as often as he is given that he is a damned ghost! (Yes, yes, I have the right talents, plz don’t talent-build me. This is hyperbole and yes, I have plenty of feeding fish too.) Speaking of pets, I still haven’t named him. Been using the names of Romantic Poets for my cat pets — don’t ask, it makes sense to me, all right? — but… I’m not sure. All the good ones I already used. I guess I could phase over to neo-romanticism but isn’t that getting just a little obscure, even for me? Oh well. In the meantime, it remains Spirit Beast the Uninspired.

The journey has been a lot of fun and I’m not done yet! Some pix.

Eloise always gets her man - or, I wish they all could be Ashenvale-a men

My old gryphon reminded me of someone, I just wasn’t quite sure who. And the crowd goes wild!

The Grizzly Hills… not for the faint of heart or weak of bladder. Lines around the block I tell ya!

If those goblins had a player guild, I would totally join in. Awesomesauce in name form!

And finally, goat-punting — all the fun of gnome-punting and none of those pesky lawsuits and mechanical-ninjas breaking into your house at night!

 

Spam spam spam spam spam and articles

October 30, 2010 7 comments

The spam onslaught continues. Granted, the stuff doesn’t actually make it to the posts (yay Akismet!), but it irks me even if it just sits in my spam box. Go away, spammer entity! I do not need green eggs, ham, or nekkid pix of some nubile semi-famous starlet or other. Or even of famous ones, come to think of it. It’s all photochopped anyway.

Now that that’s out of the way, here’s the link for my newer, famouser, mega-gaming-audience mind-altering column. First MMORPG.com, next the world! Come on Pinky, we have work to do. It’s just an intro — for some reason, it seems not everyone knows who I am.

Final aside, since it’s the weekend and I have things to do and people to see. Brian “Psychochild” Green & Co have been doing a game-design challenge this last month. If you don’t already read his blog, you should. Here’s a link to get you started.

In last-minute breaking news, I’m told Stargrace had snot-coloured pancakes this morning, in honour of Halloween. She claims it’s only food-colouring. Uh-huh. I’ll stick with my GrapeNuts! Her new site design, however, is anything but snotty.

That is all. Have a good weekend and do not get killed and eaten by zombie velociraptors!

Categories: Misc., Site, writing Tags: , , ,

Holy Spam, Batman… and other things

October 27, 2010 19 comments

So, I hadn’t checked the dashboard for this blog in a few days. Logged in just now — to announce something completely different — and saw 100 spam messages in the spam box.

For this blog, that’s a lot. 2-3 spam comments a day is about normal. But a hundred… ouch. So if there was a genuine comment amid the endless exhortations to log on to porn sites, I didn’t see them. Sorry! Too busy checking out pron, dontcha know.

And now for something completely different.

For reasons best known only to themselves, I’ve been asked to contribute a column to MMORPG.com.

For reasons best known only to the Mi-Go, I accepted.

A couple of hours after I’d accepted, my brain went AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH! And has been doing the same for the last couple of days, albeit at a slightly lower, background volume. Me? A column on a proper site for proper readers? (Sorry guys – I know you’re all cardboard cutouts, I just didn’t want to say anything.) They’re going to eat me alive! It’s a shark pool over there!

OMGWTFBBQAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!

While my initial goal was just to share the news with the small weird dedicated readership of this blog and assure you it’s not going to stop me posting here — you know, at the huge volume I’ve been putting out in the last couple of months — I am also unashamedly looking for pats on the back. I’m scared spitless! Only real bloggers do big-site column thingies, and I’ve never actually considered myself a real blogger — just a fringe onlooker occasionally making comments on what interests me. And writing to deadlines? Aieeee, that’s going to hurt. I have enough of those in my RL work.

So there you have it. The big-time beckons and I’m certain I’m going to catch my glitzy new high heels on the red carpet and splat my non-raiding ass all over the floor. The journalists will have a field day!

On the other hand, it’s much more likely that nobody will notice. Which, come to think of it, might actually be worse.

I’ll let you know when I have a column name and URL and whatnot. But first I need another Valium or three.

 

Categories: Misc., Site, writing Tags: , ,
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