I first heard about the Newbie Blogger Initiative last year, sadly just as it was ending. I thought it was a great idea then, and I still do, so I’m supporting it this year in whatever small way I can.
New bloggers need all the support they can get, because it can be pretty discouraging at the beginning. I’ve been writing and blogging about various things for years, so I know all about how daunting it can be to find and build an audience. (Honestly I only know about failing miserably at it.) Blogger communities like the NBI help tremendously.
Case in point: A year ago, I had no idea there was anything like an MMO blogosphere. I’ve followed Tobold’s Blog for a long time, but I always thought it was an anomaly. Then I saw him post about the NBI, and that led me to find many, many other fantastic MMO blogs to add to my reader. And that is a great thing, because let’s face it, MMO blogs are essential for getting through those endless work days that interfere with playing time.
On a more personal level, I love the concept of a community of gaming bloggers because it feels like a place I can fit in. Once, I dabbled in blogging about politics. That got pretty stressful because there is always an "us versus them" sort of mentality in that community. I tried to focus on just being an observer looking at all the fighting from the outside (which I was), but it was easy to get sucked into it, and political readers generally don’t want to look at things objectively, so eventually I stopped.
But with MMO blogging, I don’t feel like I’m an observer of a strange community, I feel like I’m actually part of the strange community, so it’s much more comfortable for me. And even better, all MMO bloggers are basically on the same side, so there’s no real conflict to worry about. Well, let’s say less conflict to worry about. This is the Internet, after all.
One other reason to like NBI is that it began with Justin Olivetti. I’ve always liked his work at Massively (not to mention all the other things he does). I feel like he’s the lone voice of moderation there, whereas everyone else is at the extremes of MMO zealotry.
So I’m happy to be a part of the Newbie Blogger Initiative. Help support your local blogger!