|Gauls: a sampling of Nate's incredible figure painting|
Call me an old fuddy-duddy, as I know the Interwebz have been around for ages now, but I still find it slightly mind-blowing that a stay-at-home like me has (virtual) friends all around the world that I've never met in person (and probably never will) but can still chat with about my various geeky passions. Probably the most 'distant' of these is New Zealand's Nathan Ward of Natholeon's Empires who I'm talking to today about his wargaming blog...
(1) How long have you been blogging and how’d you get into it in the first place?
I've been blogging since October 2007. I originally started out on WordPress with NDC Wargames but at the end of 2012 I switched over to Blogger because I liked some of the features better. In my first ever post I wrote: 'I’ve read that keeping yourself honest with a blog is a great way to stick to a painting schedule, and boy do I need to do that!', and to be honest that has been what my blogging has been about ever since.
The idea to blog at all came from an article in Battlegames magazine, and I figured it was a easier way to go than maintaining my dear departed Geocities website that I had set up in 2002.
(2) What do you blog about and how frequently do you post?
The main focus of my blogging is the wargames figure painting that I do. This allows me to stay on track with projects and commissions and to get feedback from people on my work.
Alongside this I have also posted battle reports, wargaming rules that I have written and wargaming rules that I have created amendments for, like Eagle Rampant, my suggestion for using the Lion Rampant ruleset for the Gallic Wars.
I've tried to have some regular features, but to be honest I find it too easy to let them slip, and in terms of hits and feedback from readers, these haven't been what people want to read. Despite enjoying comics and being a huge Star Wars fan, I have kept posts about these things to a minimum. The blog is really a wargamer's blog.
(3) How does your blog stand out from all the rest?
To be honest, I don't know that it really does. I think it fits nicely into the wargamer's blogosphere - there is some eye-candy, and a few thoughts, and these things have a regular group of readers who like to comment. I figure my blog is one of several you might check up on in an evening cruising through links, and for that reason I try to keep the writing and pretty pictures as balanced as possible.
(4) What’s the best (and worst) thing about blogging?
The best thing is definitely the community that you enter into. There are people that I consider friends whom I have never met. It is a camaraderie of like minds and there is a lot of generosity of spirit out there. The worst thing would be finding the time to blog on a regular basis. This year I have blogged more than ever before, but between family, friends, painting and gaming, blogging often takes a back seat.
(5) Do you have any self-imposed rules (or guidelines) for your blog?
In general, don't overdo the writing. Try to be entertaining. Most puns are terrible, but use them anyway. Don't be afraid to state an opinion, but be considerate when doing so.
(6) Name one blog everyone should be reading (other than your own).
Only one? Wargaming With Barks would appeal to HeroPress readers the most. He is an excellent painter and has a love for Star Wars. His comic strip battle reports of playing Imperial Assault are particularly good.