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New Blogger Initiative a Year Later – Who Survived? May 9, 2013

Posted by Wilhelm Arcturus in blog thing, entertainment.
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It was just a year ago that Syp kicked off his Newbie Blogger Initiative plan.

nbimediumedit

The idea was to inflict blogging on as many newcomers as possible by getting a bunch of old cranks to give semi-useful and often contradictory advice about blogging.  And link whoring.

As is clear from that, I went for a humorous/cynical/sarcastic spin on the whole thing.  That was because, in the past, I have read so much horrible, inappropriate, or just bad from all rational perspectives advice on blogging that it practically puts me at the laugh/cry fork in the road.  And I always choose to laugh, which doesn’t make me very popular at funerals I must admit.  I end up thinking “A little song, a little dance, a little seltzer down your pants” and it is all down hill from there.

Yes, there are a lot of nuts and bolts things you can speak to about themes, fonts, statistics, comment moderation, spam, and the like.  But when it comes to the actual motivation and philosophy of blogging, the only universal I could come up with is:

Be the blog you want to read.

Which isn’t very helpful.

And I have nothing for any subsequent existential crisis which might result from realizing that you don’t actually want to read your own blog.  But it seemed better than telling somebody they need to put a picture of a cat in every post or whatever the SEO experts are saying of late.

Anyway, there was much enthusiasm.  Lots of people trotted out advice of all sorts (a list of some of the posts here), some of which was actually more useful than I expected.  Nobody actually told people to post pictures of cats.  The usual wet blankets had to chime in that it was all a wasted effort, because that is what wet blankets do.  Why deny them their place.

In the end, by my count, 110 new blogs were created and were being blogged on by new bloggers here in Blogsylvannia.  I have them all listed and linked in another post.

But now that a dozen months have flown by, I thought I would take a look at the mortality rate for NBI blogs.  Of 110 who started, how many are still active?

The answer is 30, or 27% of those that started.

Active is, of course, subject to interpretation.  My bar for being considered an active blog was still being at your URL (or having noted a forwarding address) and having posted something on or after April 1, 2013.

That leaves the following blogs, which you should go visit and congratulate.

  1. Adventures of Danania, Supergirl of Lorien
  2. Ald Shot First
  3. Altaclysmic
  4. Beyond Tannhauser Gate
  5. Bloodthorne
  6. Casual Aggro
  7. Casually Vicious
  8. Conveniently Placed Exhaust Port
  9. Dreadblade
  10. Elfkina vežička
  11. Funsponge
  12. Game Delver
  13. Goetia’s Letters
  14. Mighty Viking Hamster
  15. MMO Juggler
  16. MMO One Night a Week
  17. Neurotic Girl
  18. Ravalation
  19. Red Neckromonger
  20. Sephora’s Closet
  21. stnylan’s musings
  22. That Was An Accident!
  23. Unwavering Sentinel
  24. Vagabond Goes for a Walk
  25. Warlockery
  26. Warp to Zero
  27. White Charr
  28. Why I Game
  29. Wynniekin’s Adventures
  30. World’s End Tavern

Is that a lot or a little, good or bad?

I suppose it depends on your point of view.  The only other data I have on the subject is from when I did The Great Survey of Linking Blogs back in September 2011.  During that I went back and checked on all 281 of the outgoing links for blogs that at some time put me in their blog roll.  I found that of 263 unique blogs, 74 were still active, which totals up to about 28%.

So 27% from that sample size seems to be about par for the course, as far as I can tell.

New World Tavern and Casual Aggro did similar round up posts, though their criteria was a bit different (as were their counts), so they came up with 40% and 25%  respectively.  As they say, your mileage may vary.  Avatars of Steel also has a post about the NBI, while there is a class of 2012 badge up for participants over at Ravalation.

And what of the other 80 blogs?  A bit on that after the cut.

I have put the remaining blogs into three categories, one of which is an exception cases.

The exception is Giddeon’s Hammer, which got consolidated into a general blog by the same author.  So does that count as still up or not?  I decided that, since there were no game related posts since April 1, it did not.  But it gets a special mention here at the top.

Then there are the deleted blogs.  When you visit their URL, they are no longer there or their domain has been camped or taken over by some other entity.  There were 10 of those.

  1. Beyond Reproach – Deleted
  2. Big Numbers – Deleted
  3. Glimpses from Middle-earth – Deleted
  4. GnomeGates.com – Deleted, domain camped
  5. Horn & Ivory Gates – Deleted
  6. Mistress of Illusions – Deleted
  7. MMO Asylum – Deleted
  8. Noob Raider – Turned Japanese
  9. SWTOR from Scratch – Deleted
  10. Windy Acres Ranch – Deleted

Which leaves us with 69 blogs still around but no longer being updated.  Those are actually the most interesting of the bunch, since those have a last post date.  So we can see how long people lasted at the effort.  The first four months saw more than half of those whole would stop give up.  But that seems reasonable, as people figure out whether the blogging is for them or not.

  • May – 12 stopped
  • June – 9 stopped
  • July – 7 stopped
  • August – 6 stopped

After that drops start to slow down, but people keep dropping.

  • September – 4 stopped
  • October – 5 – stopped
  • November – 3 stopped
  • December – 3 stopped
  • January – 2 stopped

Then there is a sudden surge.  I am not sure what happened in February.

  • February – 11 stopped
  • March – 6 stopped
  • April – 1 stopped (said farewell)

Which brings us to the full year.

Beyond this point is my data set of blogs I considered inactive and the date of their last post.  You can double check me for errors, if you are so inclined.

  • Raspberry Jammed – May 4
  • Adamant Nomad – May 11
  • Battlemastered – May 13
  • Omens of Onterion – May 17
  • Eons and Eons Away – May 17
  • MMOARprz – May 17
  • My Staff is Bigger Than Yours – May 18
  • We do it the WASD Way! – May 20
  • Toastman’s Blog – May 21
  • Wynnie goes F2P – May 25
  • Middle-earth Initiative – May 28
  • Donovan Drones – May 30
  • thenotsonewnoob – June 2
  • /con mmob – June 4
  • Not Too Heavy – June 5
  • Newbie Hobbit – June 11
  • The Diverted Muse – June 17
  • Lotro Family of Flosiin Nightsong – June 21
  • Crafty’s Corner – June 21
  • AntiPlasmaFrequency – June 25
  • Gaming for Introverts – June 29
  • EVE All Night – July 1
  • Real Adventures in Fake Worlds – July 1
  • Argus or Bust – July 1
  • Gaming Abroad – July 9
  • Horrible Ball of Fire – July 13
  • commentarilies – July 23
  • Warcraft Street – July 25
  • The Roaring Silence – August 1
  • Wald’s Wanderings – August 8
  • Geo’s Ironman Challenge – August 15
  • The Altoholic – August 15
  • Stabby McStabStab – August 19
  • The Incidental Analyst – August 23
  • Warrior Needs Time Badly – September 21
  • Backseat Game Design – September 22
  • Lotro Cinna – September 25
  • Click to Loot – September 26
  • Aggrolicious – October 7
  • TFScribbles – October 14
  • Flask Half-Empty – October 24
  • Priest All The Things – October 29
  • Auction House on Farm – October 29
  • Deathstomp – November 1
  • Landroval Style – November 7
  • Kaw Kaw! Get in the Bag! – November 25
  • Trippin Tyria – December 18
  • The Poison Mushroom – December 21
  • Unliving a Death Knight – December 23
  • The Butterfly Gamer – January 1
  • The 10th Level of Gaming Hell – January 17
  • Diminishing Returns – February 1
  • TL-DR – February 1
  • Bad Tauren – February 1
  • Musings of an Altoholic – February 7
  • Kemwer Game Blog – February 7
  • Renai Hunter – February 7
  • The Blue Haired Geek – February 9
  • The Frugal Gamer – February 10
  • Image Heavy – February 11
  • Saali in Taborea – February 12
  • Malefic Incantations – February 21
  • Divinity’s Reach – March 1
  • Brazokie’s Blog Space – March 3
  • Scattered Thoughts – March 9
  • Hipstalotro – March 14
  • Inside the Magic Shop – March 20
  • The Loony Bin – March 30
  • Healing Mains – April 11 (said farewell)

Comments»

1. couillon - May 9, 2013

Add 1 more to the mix. Last December, the NBI helped me start my own gaming blog over at mmogumbo.wordpress.com. At first I didn’t know where or how to get started but browsing the NBI forum took away most the mystery of creating a blog…yeah, anyone can do it! and guided me thru those awkward first steps. Thanks NBI!

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2. Bree - May 9, 2013

Neat data! But by this metric, my own blog, one that offered advice to the newbies, would be considered closed because I post essays only every few months. It’d be interesting to see these data revisited in another half year.

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3. Wilhelm Arcturus - May 9, 2013

@Couillon – Somebody mentioned that the forum was down now. Is that so? Of course, I don’t even remember where the forum was at this point.

@Bree – Not closed. Just not active. I figure any blog still standing has the potential to resume. I expect Aggro Me will start up posting again any time now. That is why I will probably never self-host. Too easy to go away.

Besides, you have that other site to keep you busy.

(And somebody tell me you got the “little seltzer down your pants” reference without having to Google it.)

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4. Belghast (@belghast) - May 9, 2013

Really awesome to see the blogs that are still going strong a year later. This was a really awesome idea to do a recap :)

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5. Wilhelm Arcturus - May 9, 2013

@Belghast – Reviewing things a year or five years (or more) later is part of my schtick. My month in review post helps me with that. Nice to see other people had the idea as well.

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6. avatarsofsteel - May 9, 2013

That was a very interesting read indeed! I’ve linked you in to my very lightweight collation of posts marking the 12 month point since last year’s NBI – I’m delighted so many survived, I think the NBI was great and would love to get some new bloggers started this year too.

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7. Virtual Party celebrating the original Newbie Blogger’s Initiative | Avatars of Steel - May 9, 2013

[…] Wilhelm Arcturus has done a very thorough and interesting analysis of NBI 12 years on – http://tagn.wordpress.com/2013/05/09/new-blogger-initiative-a-year-later-who-survived/#comment-82095 plus he has a talent for making the raw numbers interesting, lucky […]

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8. stnylan - May 9, 2013

The NBI was a really neat idea – would never have had the courage to try it on my own. I still sometimes have to pinch myself that I am still posting a year on.

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9. Tyler Murphy - May 10, 2013

Thanks for the mention! My blogging has slowed down again as of late, but I still very much enjoy it. The NBI was one of the better parts of my 2012. :D

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10. Link of the Day: Beyond the Hot Brunette | Inside the Magic Shop - May 10, 2013

[…] 2113, which might have taken a while given its natural course.  You have the recent series of NBI posts to blame for this “I am alive” post […]

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11. tjedgar - May 10, 2013

seems to be a common trend, if it weren’t for my recent styarting of a DND next campaign it is entirely possible that Bloodthorne.com would have been in the dead pile, nice to see a good number survived throughout the year though, had you asked me a year ago I wouldnt have put the number at 30, I probably would have guessed 20-25

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12. Ravanel Griffon - May 10, 2013

Impressive number crunching. I was half expecting some graphs with it at this rate! The long list of deserted blogs at the back made me feel sad, but it’s more or less to be expected. I do like how many people still remember the NBI and how much it meant for the newbies (for me, being one, it certainly did!).

I made a badge during a crazy moment for all NBI-involved people, enjoy: http://i.imgur.com/dyXARnW.png. :)

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13. Ardent Defender - May 11, 2013

Interesting post on the NBI as I remembered it from last year since even made a few post to help support it. Had just about forgotten about it till I saw your post on it and it came right back to memory. Glad to see and read the review and just interesting the numbers how things turned out a year later.

Great followup on the NBI.

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14. Ald - May 11, 2013

Congrats to the survivors.

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15. Jackie - May 12, 2013

Being the blog you want to read is great advice. That’s literally how I started. I wanted a place to save, organize, and post all of my links and game information for reference and for referring to elsewhere. I started with building my own HTML page for LotRO, but then I found WordPress, which did everything so much better.

Great post, and grats to all of the one-year graduates. :)

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16. Wilhelm Arcturus - May 13, 2013

If I had been feeling really ambitious, I would have cataloged the blogs by type (general gaming, game specific by particular game) and then broken out the list by how many there were of a certain type (I would guess WoW blogs would top the list) and then the survival rate per type. Somebody else can feel free to jump on that if they want.

Personally, I always felt it was a mistake to make a blog about playing a specific game… and I say this as somebody who has such a blog… because if you fade or take time away, then your blog suffers. Either you are off topic or stop posting… unless you trick the users into providing content, which I did once as well.

But maybe this says more about my level of commitment than something about blogging.

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17. Rowan - May 13, 2013

I’ve heard the “seltzer” phrase before, but couldn’t place it. :}

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18. Personal: Blogiversary | stnylan's musings - May 13, 2013

[…] writing still a year later. Various folk have marked the one-year anniversary of the NBI. Wilhelm, AvatarsofSteel, Ravanel, all have good fact-filled posts, and I recommend them to […]

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19. I Feel Old | A High Latency Life - May 17, 2013

[…] Ancient Gaming Noob – Compiled a bunch of Data. My eyes they bleed. […]

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20. Aidrana - May 23, 2013

Great read! I’ve struggled a bit in deciding what to do with my blog, since I still do enjoy writing but no longer play WoW. I’ve been considering changing my blog to write about any game I play, and after reading your post, I’m more confident that’s the right direction to go.

I’m really torn because there are so many things I’d like to talk about, but feel like I need to keep it to a limit. I really love working with WordPress, and work with video a lot, would it make any sense to write about my personal hobbies whilst writing about gaming? It feels like it would make it less about video games. I’m afraid of making that mistake of boring people to death with content that has nothing to do with video games, heh.

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21. The Next Generation is Better than the Original | In An Age - July 19, 2013

[…] great crime is? They have a choice, whereas we did not. Do you think the New Blogger Initiative failure rate of 73% is a new phenomenon? It is not. In fact, I was pretty surprised the number that survived was that […]

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22. Psychochild's Blog » The other online community: where did MMO bloggers go? - July 20, 2013

[…] think this is a larger issue for other MMO bloggers as well. As The Ancient Gaming Noob reports, only about 27% of blogs survived after being encouraged by a bunch of bloggers to start blogs. Kind of sad, as I really enjoyed a […]

Like

23. MMO Community Trends - T.R. Red Skies Gaming Blog - July 23, 2013

[…] wonderfully informative post about the results of the Newbie Blogger Initiative was published over at the Ancient Gaming Noob. […]

Like

24. Return of NBI | Tales of the Aggronaut - September 24, 2013

[…] to seeing what all comes out of it this time.  Back in May, Wilhelm did a post running down who all had survived the year.  We had 110 start new blogs during the program and a year later 30 had survived.  So as […]

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25. The Newbie Blogger Initiative is back! | MMO Gypsy – Wandering online Worlds - September 30, 2013

[…] and rose to the occasion, while blogging veterans gave helpful advice as sponsors (or otherwise). Roughly a third of those participating remained, which I would personally call a great success; blogging regularly […]

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26. New Blogger Initiative | Sheep The Diamond - October 2, 2013

[…] about the kind of outcomes this sort of digital project can achieve, I encourage you to read the data that was collected over the last year.  It’s incredibly […]

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