Jul 10, 2011

Sweet Sorrow (part 2)

Another blog I've long enjoyed, A Hamsterish Hoard of Dungeons and Dragons, is now shut down. After noticing several other bloggers either close shop or discuss the real possibility, I can't help but wonder if this is a general trend and if so, what are the causes?

Is it the occasional mean-spirited Troll comment? Dying enthusiasm? General burn out? The time factor?

What are some of your strategies in dealing with these blog-killers?


  1. I've no idea on the reasons for the close-down of various blogs. I've also noticed that my follower numbers seemed to have stalled for some weeks now. Is this an indication that the OSR has reached a plateau? Are there fewer new bloggers starting up?

    For my own blog, I'd like to say that I have no plans to close it. If I post less often than I like, it's because I like to dedicate time to ensure quality posts and that time's not always as available as it might be. When I do get some time, I like to write up multiple posts and pre-schedule them so that at least the appearance of regularity is maintained.

  2. I would imagine the reasons vary.

    Real world issues intrude, enthusiasm wanes. I would bet most of the time trolls or the like are just the final factor, not the real cause.

    Blogging regular is a hard thing. I think it's better to keep the rhythym up--it seems like once people take an extended haitus its hard to come back (I'm sure there are exceptions, but that's the pattern I've seen).

  3. Having been at this for three years, I've seen a fair share of blogs go quiet or shut down entirely due to running out of steam. My blog roll today looks much different from three years ago and some of the most active posters back then barely manage a post a year now.

    But I think the recent spate of shutdowns is also probably a reaction to trolling as well as the recent flurries of hype and counter-hype (like the whole DCC/LotFP brouhaha) that are perhaps a bit too reminiscent of forums. I know a lot of bloggers, myself included, switched to this format as an antidote to the trolls, flamewars, and flash-in-the-pan fads that clog up gaming forums. It's a shame to see that kind of stuff seeping in, but I suppose it's inevitable. As long as enough people keep putting up interesting, thought-provoking posts and awesome free content, I'll be sticking around indefinitely. And I'll keep trying to do my part to keep the signal to noise ratio at an acceptable level.

  4. It seems to happen in waves, and really Hamsterish Hoard really hasn't been updated in quite a while, which is a shame because it was one of the first blogs I started reading, and the one that got me to start my blog (check out my 2nd post). People come, people go. I'm just happy she isn't deleting it.

  5. Thanks for the comments. All of this would make an interesting thesis on our little corner of the world.

    Title ideas
    -Rise & Fall of the OSR
    -Do It Yourself: From TSR to WotC to OGL and all the acronyms in between
    -Boards, Bloggers, and Trolls: The Dangers of Blogging in the OSR

  6. These comments cover the bases pretty well. One thing I've been turning over in my head the last few days, with respect to your "Rise and Fall of the OSR" thesis there, is that the Old School blogosphere is not the OSR. I forget that sometimes, but it's true. The bloggers aren't the OSR, and the people that comment regularly but don't have a blog aren't the OSR. Maybe that's 1-3% of the OSR(?), when you add in all the other people that game and don't bother with the blogs, or read but don't comment. I know the majority of the people in my regular game don't read the blogs at all. So it might be a bit early to announce it's demise based on a particularly bad week (or few weeks, I guess) on the blogs.

  7. Firstly, I'm glad to see you're back posting! I was missing your updates.

    As for the closing of the blogs... I don't really have a theory. Like Spawn said, I would imagine that the comments above probably pretty much cover the wide variety of why bloggers would stop updating.

    It is very odd, though (to me, at least) that someone would delete a blog, rather than just stop updating it.

  8. Thanks! Good to hear from you.


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