Daily Archives: January 16, 2009

Reflections on 1000 Posts

Somewhere along the line in the last month I passed the 1000 post mile stone.

This is actually post number 1,032.

Given that I have been at this for just a quarter past two years, I have been posting more than once a day over the life of the blog.   Being a celebrator of milestones, I thought I would reflect a bit on what I have learned.

Doing something 1000 times is purported to impart wisdom on a person.  You are supposed to gain some insight on life from folding 1000 origami cranes, walking 1000 miles, or scrubbing out 1000 public toilets.

I rather suspect that, for some, the insights might end up being along the lines of, paper cuts hurt, the security line at the airport really isn’t that bad, and I need a better job.  But I tend to be too literal at times and often miss the profound whilst off in the corner examining some minor detail.

Still, I can figure some things out.

Readership

A lot more people read this blog than I ever expected.  And most of you do so during working hours.  Seriously, there is a huge dip in readership on Saturday and Sunday, and then a great big spike again on Monday.  Am I hindering or helping the economy by reducing productivity?

Thanks for stopping by!  I won’t tell your boss.

Change of Focus

I wanted, when I started writing, to tell a lot of tales of days gone by.  That was the plan, the reason “ancient” is in the name of the blog.  I ended up not doing quite so much of that as I thought I would.   It turns out that my memory isn’t that good, so a lot of those tales have big gaps in them.

I also started off posting frequently about upcoming games, games I was looking forward to, games I did not understand, games I might play, games I might not.  That has tapered off quite a bit.  I did not, for example, dedicate a single post to Age of Conan last year.

On the other hand, I have ended up writing more and more milestone pieces about making levels or other accomplishments.  And shortly after I started the blog, the Saturday night instance group formed and somewhere along the line Thursday became the regular recap day for what happened to the group the previous weekend.

What I like, what you like, and what Google likes

There seems to be three categories of posts, the ones I like, the ones that you, the readers, like, and the ones that somehow end up on the first page of results returned for certain Google searches.  Well, there is a fourth category, which is “none of the above,” but we’ll leave that alone.

The post I tend to like the best are tales of days past or me trying to be funny.  For the former, I get that they tend to be tales that mean something to me and maybe one or two other people, so the audience is limited.  As for the latter, well, we all think we’re funny, yet most of us are not.

Then I’ll write a post that I think is okay… I mean, I chose to post it… I don’t post everything I write… really…  but which I feel is probably pretty forgettable.  And then that will get 20 comments and ping-backs from two other blogs and a guild forum and I’ll have to go back and read it again to make sure I actually said what I thought I said.

And then there are those posts that I write on a whim that somehow end up being at the top of a not unlikely Google search.  For example, as of this moment, if you search on “king ping wow” (and Google will offer that up as an option as you type it), this post is the top result.  And I am still the number two result for “wow guild name generator,” and the post just points to the number one result.  Some day I’m going to drive up the street and pound on Google’s door until somebody explains to me how this happens.

(Yahoo, on the other hand, hates me.)

Milestones

Oddly enough, as time passes, the posts that I tend to feel a bit silly about posting at the time, the minor achievements like levels and such, tend to be the most valuable, at least for a matter of perspective.  My brain seems to sort events into things that happened recently, say the last few months, and things that happened a long time ago, more than 18 months or so, which is pretty bad when it comes to precision.  That and there is this mental gap where nothing apparently happened.

So, for example, when I wrote the 30 million skill points post this week, I went looking for the 20 million skill points post, which I was sure happened just a few months back.  It was actually seven months back.

I am also glad I put the names and levels of everybody in the instance group when I post about them.  I was going to stop at one point, when the group had settled down, but then I realized that those posts are really the only “growth chart” our group has.

Memories

One of the objectives of this blog was to preserve in writing some memories about what I was doing while gaming.  What games I played, what I accomplished, what I failed at, what I liked, and what I did not.  And in that I think I have succeeded.  For most readers I am sure that once a post slips off the front page of the site, it fades from memory, gone and forgotten.  For me though, the ability to go back and look at what I was doing at a given point in the past is a gift.

I only wish I had started earlier.

I wish I had started in 2004 when I was getting back into MMOs with EverQuest II and I hated World of Warcraft. I did some guild forum posts about my first venture into WoW that would have been amusing in hindsight.

I wish I had started in 1999 with EverQuest, logging events and levels.  At some point I was playing with a regular group and we went and did the quest for Ghoulbane for my paladin.  Today I cannot remember who was there, when we did it, or how much effort really went into it.

I wish I had started in 1993 with Sojourn/TorilMUD.  My first days impressions would have been priceless.  Now all I have are some memories that have managed to stick to the Teflon that is my brain and a folder full of email which consists mostly of out of date stats for items in the game.

I wish I had started in 1986 when I was learning to play Stellar Emperor.  I would love to have some record of the campaigns and lists of the people with whom I flew.  The same goes for Air Warrior.  All I have is a stack of GEnie LiveWire monthly magazines which gave only scant coverage to the gaming scene on the service.

I wish I had started in 1983 when I got my first real computer.  I do have some written logs of that time, including complete maps for the game Wizardry, but most of that time has faded in my brain.

Heck, I wish I had started in 1977 when I got an Atari 2600 for Christmas.  At least then I might have some written proof that the Wikipedia article on Adventure is wrong.  The article says the game came out in 1979 based on an interview with Warren Robinett, though he said 1978 in other places.  In the end all I have is a picture of my brother and I sitting in the living room of a house we moved out of in 1978 with the game clearly visible on the TV screen.

But in the end, I started, and I am happy that I did.

So if you’re thinking about starting a blog to chart your course or to preserve your memories, start today.

Now back to ancient history and meaningless milestones.

Oh, hey, I passed 500,000 page views yesterday.

Go me.