Thursday, June 5, 2014

On Realigning Our Brand Identity... (Whatever that means...)

Another day, another batch of captives... Sigh.

Back in the days when I was an audio-visual / show production technician, I used to do a lot of business meeting where business presenters used to use a lot of PowerPoint slides and buzzwords. Very good-looking presentations, but there never seemed to be anything solid in the thing; this is where I first heard the phrase "So-and-so gives good meeting."

Ah, right. The moment I 'give good blog', will somebody slap me up the side of the head? Thank you.

I am, as some have noted, in the process of changing a lot of the way I do things, both here in my little corner of the Internet and downstairs in the game room. This process started last fall, as the horribly cold weather hit here in the Twin Cities, and my forced indoor existence gave me a lot of time to ponder.

My reflections led to the Big Changes in the game room, like the new table, and the emphasis on small-table actions as part of small micro-campaigns. Let's face it; everyone has busy lives, these days, and having a more or less fixed set up that can be rapidly changed around has been my goal since last summer. The new table allows for this; I no longer have to spend three hours on a Saturday morning to get the game room ready for guests; the change-over now takes only fifteen minutes, and is very easy on me. The return trip is just as fast and easy - I can now concentrate on the game itself and not on the process of managing the venue.

Time - time is what's the issue here. I have so little of it available, that it has become very precious to me. I type very slowly; I have both dyslexia and ambidexterity, and it's a nasty combination. Coupled with my work schedule, and it's a time-killer. From my perspective, the time I spent typing had better show some return on the investment - it's time I could be down on the workbench painting, to be blunt.

I happened to think of looking in on an Internet forum that I used to visit, and I was kind of horrified that my last visit was back in May of 2011. I took a look at my other forum accounts, and the same story unfolded; the ones where I had posted recently were ones where I wound up doing a lot of explaining about Ye Olden Dayes - back when I was young, gaming, had hair, and energy - and I realized that I have very little in common with the current gamer or their styles of play. I never really played what these folks think of as 'D & D', and I have been having trouble following - or in a lot of cases, understanding! - what the conversation is about. I had no idea that "Holmes" referred to an edition of D & D; I thought it was a Victorian British detective.

Over the past months, I've been coming to the conclusion that there's a huge cultural gap between the current gaming world and myself; I keep thinking in terms of things I knew and saw in the late 1970's and the 1980's, and the folks that I'm talking to have little or know idea what I'm talking about. It's not through any fault on their part - I never really played the game that they are interested in.

My problem is, to put it in 'business terms' that I am getting a very low 'rate of return' for the investment in time and effort that I put into blogs, vs. the conversations that result. I get a lot more return from the comments and conversations that get started here on the blog, quite frankly. The issue is where I spend my very limited time - here, writing on this blog and also on my book; painting and building things; Internet forum postings. Something has had to give; I've been spending more and more time on the Internet fora, and less and less time on the workbench and on my own projects.

So, I hate to have to say, I am moving away from the fora. I find my own writing and my painting / building to be much more rewarding personally, and I'm closing down a lot of my accounts; it just seems poor form to have accounts I never use.

I'm in the process of closing down or simply abandoning (depending on how the forum in question works) accounts on RPG.net, odd74, 'Knights and Knaves', Dragonsfoot, Misfits of Gaming, and a few others. I will be keeping Frothers-UK and Lead Adventure Forum, as those pander to my lead-influenced tastes. I am evaluating several others, and will make decisions based on post histories. In kind of the same stream of thought, I will be 'pruning' the list of blogs that I follow here on the 'front page' of this blog; if there has been no activity on a blog for six months, I will continue to follow the blog but remove it from this front page. If the blog starts back up again, I'll put it back, of course.

As a result of all this remodeling and renovation, you'll see a lot more on this blog in the months to come. I hope you'll like it; you are more then welcome, here!