Every so often a Six Of The Best interview subject will say something that perfectly expresses thoughts I've been kicking around, but in a far more eloquent way. This week, it's the turn of Jens Durke of deep-diving, old school RPG blog The Disorientated Ranger who said: "I keep telling myself that it‘s better to write something long and substantial for the reader to indulge in than flooding the 'Net with bits and pieces of stray thoughts that nobody really cares to connect."
(1) How long have been blogging, and how’d you get into it in the first place?
My first blog post is dated November 7, 2011. Damn, I'm working on my seventh year now… doesn't feel that much.
Back in the day the Internet had been vibrant with all kinds of creatives talking old editions. I had been into it, big time, and when we started a new campaign I grabbed the Dungeons & Dragons Rules Cyclopedia from the shelf and took it places. The Internet made me do it, really.
Old school D&D, tinkering with the rules (I crossed the RC with HackMaster 4e and whatever else I could find), my game changed almost on a weekly basis in 2011.
At some point I thought I should try and give back, so I sat down and started The Disoriented Ranger blog.
(2) What do you blog about, and how frequently do you post?
Nowadays it‘s mostly about game design and (I think as a natural consequence of writing a game) the underlying philosophies and social dynamics of our hobby. There‘s also a bit history in there (that game I write, Lost Songs of the Nibelungs, is set in 550 AD), a bit D&D (Lost Songs is, at its core, still very much D&D and we play the odd classic D&D RC mini-campaign every now and then), some reviews and whatever catches my interest when I‘m sitting down to write a post.
I'll also have development posts about the other stuff I have in the works (modules, other role playing games or supplements).
That said, I don‘t get to write as often as I wish and I try to keep an average of at least four posts a month. Doesn't work all the time, but when I post it‘s usually something my readers can chew on for a bit.
I keep telling myself that it‘s better to write something long and substantial for the reader to indulge in than flooding the 'Net with bits and pieces of stray thoughts that nobody really cares to connect. Plus: summoning huge walls of text seems to keep the trolls away...
(3) How does your blog stand out from all the rest?
Wow, does it? I‘m out there, doing my thing, and sometimes people find me. Sometimes they stay. What more could I wish for?
Anyway, if you believe the people who cared enough to give me a bit feedback about that, one of the things that comes up frequently is that I take the deep dive into topics.
It's something I'm actually trying to keep up (another reason for the low number of posts). I'll offer research to my thoughts or build things over a long time, I'll try to connect all the dots. Sometimes it works (I think). My impression is that not many take that time. I‘m also funny (no, not really).
(4) What’s the best (and worst) thing about blogging?
The reception of the last thing you wrote can be both. It's a high stress situation and the body is eager for that next dopamine kick, while being anxious about all sorts of possible neglect. Will you get positive or negative comments? No comments? How to reply? It‘s all over the place.
The best thing, however, is the writing itself. There's something liberating to the process and it really helps exploring a subject. It‘s something I can get lost in over the course of a day ...
(5) Do you have any self-imposed rules (or guidelines) for your blog?
I try to avoid fillers and politics (I‘ll write the occasional "Get off my lawn"-post, which kind of is political, but I keep it to a minimum). The new thing I'm trying recently is called "finishing what I started" and it takes some getting used to (started a series about oWoD‘s Vampire: the Masquerade over a year ago and didn't yet get back to it yet, so...). But, you know, I chose the title of the blog wisely, if nothing else.
(6) Name one blog everyone should be reading (other than your own).
That‘s a tough one. So many good blogs have disappeared in the last couple of years or turned political or commercial, it‘s a bit disheartening, to be honest.
I almost feel a bit disconnected. That said, I’ll find something new and interesting every now and then. If it’s a blog, I’ll usually add it to my blog list to keep track on it.
One of the latest additions I really enjoy reading would be the blog Cruel & Unusual Punishment. Drain is up to something ...
|Monkey Business - an old school adventure by The Disorientated Ranger's Jens Durke|