Monday, May 7, 2012

R is for Reflections

Time to put the Blogging from A to Z Challenge to bed.

First, I wrote last week that I didn't think I would do this again next year. It felt very limiting, yet looking back I still managed to cover a couple of topics that I planned to write about ever since I started this blog, like the unbuilt trope in cape-and-sword roleplaying games and using 'soft power' to address player character choices in actual play. I liked how the post about interpreting the rules of the game turned out. In the end, the whole thing ended up feeling very contrived; I was writing about topics because they fit the format, not because they were necessarily the topics I wanted to talk about that day, so overall it wasn't a terribly satisfying experience

After a week to let the results sink in, I think I may try this again next year, but with a narrower focus. Really Bad Eggs already has a pretty tight focus as it is, that tiny niche within the niche that is cape-and-sword roleplaying games, and I felt that trying to draw that net even tighter would make it harder to find things to write about - and judging from some of the pure fluff I posted, it was a little hard at times. But I have an idea for a list of A to Z topics for 2013 that both fits the focus of my blog and wouldn't be overly difficult to match to the format. So I'm keeping an option on 2013 after all.

Second, Really Bad Eggs' followers increased by 50% over the course of the month, while page-views dropped by 20%. At the host blog, participants are urged to "spike the blog numbers!" so that every blog in the challenge ends up with at least a hundred followers. While I understand the sentiment, and I appreciate everyone who chooses to follow Really Bad Eggs, for me the payoff of blogging is not counting noses, but rather the exchange of ideas. If I can be said to have a rubric for success, the highest tier is participation through comments. My goal is to inspire and inform, and comments are integral to that process. In any case, I hope that the people who choose to follow this blog do so because Really Bad Eggs has something to say to them, not to run up the score.

Last, I'm slowly playing catch up reading other participants' blogs. April was not the cruelist month, but it certainly was the busiest of the year to date. Camps, carnivals, sports, amusement parks - my already thin leisure time was emaciated last month. I don't anticipate getting through the whole list, but my present goal is to read and comment on at least one hundred blogs.

So that's it until next April.

Badge courtesy of Mark at The DM's Screen


  1. Mike: I had the same problem with the A to Z last year, finding myself scrambling for topics. This year I did the same thing you're planning for next year. I sat down in March with a calendar and put down a letter and topic for each day. Some of them changed as the month progressed--some of the ideas didn't bear fruit while other ones popped unbidden into my head. But I was able to at least keep pace, if not ahead, with the daily blog.

    I would recommend the challenge again heartily, even if it's just fluff or a single paragraph. I saw a lot of those in my brief perusal of other entrants' blogs. Most of those, while short, were still interesting...some downright intruiging.

    1. I made a list beforehand that covered about two-thirds of the month, and I used maybe half of them - one I just outright forgot to write when the day came up. What I really missed was the spontaneity of the rpg blogoverse, of responding to other blogs and such.

      What I'm considering for next year I can actually write over the course of the next eleven months, and use the A to Z posts as a sort of 'extra' blog post each day, rather than as the focus for the whole month.

  2. It did, however, gain you new followers...
    Besides, that was not a fluff piece, it was an insult!

    1. Lots of new followers, most of whom don't actually seem to be reading anything, based on page views.

  3. Congratulation on finishing the challenge. I didn't visit all blogs during the challenge but, cross my heart, I'm visiting every single one with reflections post!

    Evalina, This and that...

  4. Congratulations on suuuurviving! :) A challenge it was, indeed!

    English Speaking Zone