Wrapping up Blaugust 2019

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And just like that another month of August is almost over again. Time flies if you’re having fun, as the saying goes.

Counting this one I made it to 15 posts this time around. Quite a step backwards from last year’s 31, but since I wasn’t sure if I’d even manage to pen this many I’m pretty happy nonetheless.

From the second week onwards all I’ve been talking about is Warframe, and I expect that trend to continue for a while because I’m still having loads of fun. Since we’ve just returned from our vacation I didn’t have time to check out my new frames yet, which I’ll do right after finishing this post.

Or maybe not. Turns out I was wrong when I predicted it might take the folks at Digital Extremes a good while to introduce a playable version of the shawzin. In fact they’ve just released a meaty content update that already delivered it to us, alongside other goodies like a brand new frame, new weapons etc.

I’ve only tested it for like two minutes, but I dig it a lot. It sounds like a shamisen, which of course fits the game’s space-ninja theme perfectly. You can either strum about freely or try to record whole songs. There are also some pre-built songs you can play along to.

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It’s basically Guitar Hero in space, what’s not to like?

It’s activated via an emote, which I had at my disposal right away since I’d already bought the decoration before. Nice! They’ve also released some colour variations, according to its description one of them even sounds differently. I’ll wait for a video of it to pop up before buying though.

Apart from playing Warframe I also look forward to reading all those posts my fellow bloggers have undoubtedly written during the final stretch of Blaugust. I guess there are at least a hundred new pieces that I very much want to read, not counting the catching up I have to do over at Massively OP.

First I’d like to once more say thank you to all mentors and participants of Blaugust, and of course to our host Belghast. It’s been a blast just like last year, and I hope I’ll be reading all your blogs for a long time to come. Also a big welcome to everyone who’s started just now. I think you’ll find that this is a great community all year round. I know I’m happy to be a part of it. Cheers!

The curious consequences of a header

Blaugust 2019 is in full swing, and according to Belghast’s schedule it’s Topic Brainstorming Week right now.

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I’ve not signed up to Blaugust as a mentor since I don’t feel experienced enough yet to give advice to other bloggers. There is one thing I have put some thought into lately though, and that is the art of choosing a good header for your posts. That’s what I’ll talk about today, and maybe it’s an interesting topic for you too.

To be honest, I’ve never put much thought into choosing a title for my blog posts other than what’s a servicable header for the post’s contents and also suits my overall style of writing?

In my opinion that’s a good approach, but it has its drawbacks, as I’ve had to realize. More on that later.

The first of those two intents is a no-brainer. A post’s header should give readers at least a broad idea of what the post is about. It doesn’t need to outline its whole contents though, after all it shouldn’t be too long. If the post is about one specific game, for example, I often exclude its name from the title and introduce it in the post’s first paragraph instead.

It’s also totally ok when a header doesn’t give away too much and instead tries to provoke curiosity, as long as the post itself does actually satisfy that curiosity.

The second bit, infusing the header with your personal style, is also an approach I highly recommend, at least if it’s your personal blog and you’re not writing for a site where your style might not be appropriate for some reason.

Pretty much all bloggers I follow do exactly that. Bhagpuss, for example, likes to use musical references in his headers, which I really like (although I admittedly don’t get many of them).

Personally, I like alliterations. I don’t forcibly try to think of one every time, as that would most likely get old pretty soon, but if one comes to mind naturally I’ll gladly use it.

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In hindsight this one might have been a bit too much

However little or much thought you put into a post’s header, it can have entirely unforseen consequences. One of my own posts made me realize this, which is why I’ve started to think about the topic at all.

Moon mining for fun and profit

This post of mine, published on January 22nd, 2018, has had by far the most views of all my posts, more than twice the amount of the next highest. I’d noticed its appearance in daily statistics every now and then, but didn’t think much of it. Only when I had a look at my overall statistics a while back I grasped the scope of it.

The thing is, the post is nothing special. Just a little recap of my first experience with moon mining in EVE Online. Hence I didn’t understand why it had so many klicks at first.

Thinking about it I then realized that the reason for the unusually high amount of views is without a doubt the post’s header. Not because it’s particularly witty or anything, but because it contains a combination of words that I’m sure many an EVE player has googled at some point: “moon mining” and “profit”.

To all EVE players who came here in hopes to find specific instructions for making lots of ISK by mining moon goo: I apologize.

Now, I have to admit that I still don’t always scrutinize my headers for Google-misunderstanding-safety – Is that a thing? I think it should be – but if I intend to use words like profit, money, rich or something along those lines I’ll at the very least think it through one more time before actually using it from now on.

So yeah, a post’s header can have more to it than meets the eye on first glance, more even than the author themselves realizes. One more reason to put some thought into it before hitting the publish-button, isn’t it?

Blaugust 2019 kicks off

The game, as Sherlock Holmes likes to say, is on.

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This year’s festival of blogging is now officially underway. I’m pretty excited to be a part of it even though it’s my second time already. Time flies.

Fortunately it’s not mandatory for participants to publish a post each and every day because I’m not sure if I’ll be able to this time around.

We’ll be on vacation from 20th to 30th and have no internet connection most of the time, so there’s that.

What’s more though, writing feels…kinda hard at the moment. There’s no particular reason for it – at least none that I’m consciously aware of – but for the last couple of months I’ve needed substantially more time to finish each piece. Some I’ve tinkered with for a whole week until I was finally satisfied enough to publish them.

On the occasion of this blog’s first birthday I talked about my rather high threshold for topics I deem ‘worthy’ to write about, which hasn’t really changed. After many a fleet op in EVE or playing any other game I wonder if I want or should write a post about it, and very often I’m like nah, too boring.

Right now there’s something else though. Even if I have a topic that I really want to talk about I can’t just sit down, start to type whatever comes to mind, and boom, a couple hundred or even a thousand words have appeared just like that. For a while it worked like this, at the moment not so much.

Writersblock

I don’t really think it’s something serious like writer’s block, I guess sometimes my mind is just too occupied with other stuff lately.

Anyhow, until we board the train to offline-land I’ll at least try to indulge you all with something new to read every day.

Should you find yourself wondering what is this Blaugust everyone’s talking about anyway, here’s everything you need to know. You can still sign up, too. The more the merrier.

Another round of Blaugust incoming

It’s that time of the year…

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Once again we gather to celebrate our hobby and show the world that blogging is not, in fact, dead.

The challenge Belghast, the event’s inventor and host, has laid out before us is the same as last year: to post at least once every single day during the month of August. I we feel like it, that is. Nobody is forced to do anything.

I’ve already signed up as a participant, meaning that I don’t quite feel like a newbie anymore, but not experienced enough to perform the role of a mentor either.

Last year I was up to the task and published a total of 31 posts, exactly one per day. I’m not sure if I will be able to hit that target this time around though, as we’ll be on an internet-free vacation from August 20th to 30th. Some timing, huh?

Anyway, Bel has all the info you might need and the application form here. If you’ve ever thought about starting a blog but never did, now’s the time. You can also join the Discord channel and ask any questions you might have about blogs or blogging, we don’t bite (usually).

I had much fun and also learned a lot last time around, so I’m looking forward to what this year will bring. At the very least there will be many, many great posts to read, and for that alone the event is a blessing for our community as well as every reading- and gaming-enthusiast out there.