Tuesday, July 10, 2018

It's Back! They're All Back! : Blaugust, NBI, DAW

Just a short post today to thank Belghast for once again stepping up to host the traditional posting bonanza that is Blaugust. Even better, this year he's had the brilliant idea to combine Blaugust with two other staples of the blogging calendar that I think we missed last year - the New Blogger Initiative (aka NBI) and Developer Appreciation Week.

Bel has all the details in his opening post over at Tales of the Aggronaut. There's a sign-up form there so he can estimate numbers and also a link to the Blaugust Discord.

Going off on a tangent, I have to confess Discord weirds me out a little. Nothing to do with what it's used for but more the disturbingly conversational way the app itself goes about updating. I get the feeling it's talking to me as though it thinks of me as someone it knows personally but doesn't much like. I also get the impression Discord thinks I'm not very bright because it tends to jolly me along as though I was a small child.

It's probably my age but I'm not keen on software that personalizes itself. I don't allow Cortana to speak or indeed do anything for me and I don't like to address Google out loud as "Google" as my phone asked me to do yesterday. I'm all for AI that works like AI in movies and books but this kind of pretend personality is all a bit uncanny valley as yet.

I'm going to have to get used to it, I guess. Variety (Variety!?) reports SuperData as claiming Discord poses a major threat to Steam.

“Previously, Steam was invaluable not only because of its storefront but because it facilitated social connections between players,” said SuperData research manager Carter Rogers... Now, Discord is where gamers’ main friends lists live, not Steam.”
Valve has noticed the competition and taken steps to do something about it. The new Steam chat UI looks oddly familiar...

So, Discord it is. I imagine I'll get used to it.

I also volunteered as a Mentor. When Syp ran the first NBI he invited me to take that role, which was exceptionally flattering seeing as how I'd been blogging for less than a year at the time. Of course I did have a decade and a half of apazine experience behind me and apazines are just offline blogs, but I don't think Syp knew that...

Anyway, I'm mentoring for Blaugust, not that I have much of an idea what that entails. Looking back at my previous posts on "How to Blog" I suspect it will mostly mean giving out advice that I don't follow myself. When was the last time I backed this blog up, eh? EH??

The official start of the festivities is July 25th when the Prep Week starts so I'm a getting a bit ahead of myself but the main reason I'm posting this is for the NBI side of the house, to give anyone who might be thinking of dipping a toe in the blogging waters a bit of a head start. Each previous NBI has turned up a number of new (or new to me) blogs that went on to be some of my most enjoyed and most read and I'm hoping 2018's event will bring out a few more, or bring back a few that have lapsed.

The original NBI was focused on MMO blogging but this time around anything goes. I've been thinking for a long time about starting a second blog, somewhere I could link the huge number of odd and seldom-seen music videos/live clips I find when I'm trawling YouTube. Maybe I'll start that up - it could be quite low maintenance.

If you've ever thought of starting a blog now's the time! And even if you haven't, maybe now's the time anyway!

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