|Anniversary art by Jeremy Hawkins|
FOURTEEN YEARS!!! Who'd have thunk it?
I've spent way longer on this blog than I have on any single piece of paid employment in my life, prior to my career-ending aneurysm in 2005.
Looking back on the last year, productivity, sadly, was down for the second year running.
I published only 1,339 posts, compared to 1,516 in 2019 and 1,744 in 2018, but, if you've been keeping abreast of the blogging world, you know this wasn't entirely my fault.
Let's put aside the general craziness of the real world for a moment and focus, instead, on the rocky road that HeroPress - and all bloggers - had to navigate in 2020 ... with Blogger's massive overhaul of its user interface.
There were long stretches of 2020 when I seriously thought this would be the end of HeroPress.
However, I'm not going to flog this dead horse anymore, what's done is done (whether we wanted it or not).
The increased fiddliness of basic functions, such as inserting pictures and videos into posts (a regular part of the HeroPress norm), has seen me reduce my old "five-posts-a-day" routine down to three, and I'm now keeping track of "available slots" on my blog in a dedicated notebook, with scribbles for the "morning, daytime, and evening" posts.
As far as I can tell, for the consumer, the reader of blogs, nothing has changed, so was it worth all the hoopla? Who knows?
At least it means Google/Blogger is interested in this free service enough to keep updating it, so, broadly speaking, that bodes well for the future of blogging (even if these changes forced a number of users to jump ship).
As ever, I'd like to thank my incredibly patient wife, Rachel, for continuing to encourage me to keep on blogging, supporting my endeavours, and turning a blind eye to the frequent cosplay picture posts that appear on the site.
I'd also like to thank the incredibly talented graphic designer/artist Jeremy Hawkins, of Being Retro and Six Strings, for his Baby Yoda-themed poster (above) celebrating this 14th anniversary landmark.
This is the seventh year Jeremy has created the perfect poster for my anniversary celebrations, so I hope you'll all go and check out what he's working on.
This is also a good time to give a shout out to my online peers who help keep me sane and who've looked kindly on this blog in last year or so.
These are people I know I can turn to for inspiration or assistance, people who've never even met me and only know me from my seemingly incoherent and ill-informed ramblings.
Great souls such as:
- Justin Isaac of Halls Of The Nephilim,
- Charles R. Rutledge of Wellman City Limits,
- Eric Bloat of Bloat Games,
- Adam Dickstein of Barking Alien,
- Ivy Shorts of The Happy Whisk,
- Tim Shorts of Gothridge Manor,
- Stacey Lemmon of Dr Theda's Crypt,
- Jeff Berry aka Chirine ba Kal of Chirine's Workbench,
- Criag Oxbrow of The Door In Time/The Watch House,
- Tim Brannan of The Other Side,
- Calvin Heighton of Calvin's Canadian Cave Of Cool,
- Al Bruno III of The Wit And Weirdness Of...,
- Michel Albert of Siskoid's Blog Of Geekery,
- Jonathan Linneman of Monstrous Matters,
- Nathan Ward of Nathoelon's Empires,
- My favourite author, Philip Reeve,
- and Erik, Percy and the other members of the Montreal Area & Friends RPG Group
And thank you all, readers old and new, for ploughing through my nonsense and hopefully popping back on a semi-regular basis.
And let's not overlook the inspirational job Jeremy 'frothsof' Smith of Thought Eater fame does; after an extended break, he has returned with his Humpday Blog-O-Rama (now renamed the Humpday RPG Show) podcast, rounding up items of interest from gaming blogs around da Interwebz.
The end of last year also saw the resurrection of James Maliszewski's legendary, yet long-dormant, Grognardia blog, so I'm hoping these are the green shoots of an impending resurgence in RPG-realted blogging.
However, in the meantime I'd like to encourage you to check out my informal pro-blogging 'campaign', urging you all to Support Your Local Blogger.
I'm not talking about financially (although I'm sure that won't be unwelcome), I mean just letting them know you read what they're putting out.
If you visit a blog, leave a message, a comment. Your words might just encourage that blogger to keep on blogging for another 14 years... or longer...