Let’s make Stargazer’s World Great Again!

Let me assure you that this blog is in no way affiliated to any US presidential campaign. But making things great again is just en vogue at the moment, so I decided to jump on the bandwagon and try to bring this fine blog back to its former glory.

So, what’s the problem? In the glory days of RPG blogging we often had way more than one or two thousand visits a day, countless comments that sometimes even turned into quite exciting discussions. One of the reason why we got so much traffic was the fact that the team and I churned out at least one post per weekday. Currently we are lucky if there are 400 views a day, way less than before.

Eventually the post frequency went down. The reasons were plentyful. One particular nasty reason was my ongoing fight with mental health issues. Things are slowly getting better in that department, so I find myself posting more often and more regularly. But it seems our articles don’t have the impact anymore that they once had. Perhaps the focus of the RPG web community moved away from blogs to social networks like Facebook or Google+. Perhaps I ramble too much about my thoughts on the hobby than bringing exciting industry insider posts. Or people are looking for stuff they can put to use in their own games.

Stargazer’s World has always been first an foremost a place for me to write about things going through my head. But over the years it also became something greater. Now in its 8th year, I have the feeling that the glory days are long past us. Or am I wrong? Perhaps we just need to give the old blog a push into the right direction.

Is there anything you’re missing from the good old days? Is there a type of article you want to read more often? Do you think blogs are yesterday’s news and have been replaced by other social media? Please share your comments below. If you’re a fan of the blog and totally happy with our content, please let us know, too. It doesn’t hurt to read a few nice words from time to time.

Last but not least I want to thank all past and current readers of Stargazer’s World. You guys are great. I am especially excited that there have been quite a few comments on posts recently. It seems things are already swinging into the right direction. So let’s strike while the iron is hot and make this blog great again!

Michael Wolf is a German games designer and enthusiast best known for his English language role-playing games blog, Stargazer's World, and for creating the free rules-light medieval fantasy adventure game Warrior, Rogue & Mage. He has also worked as an English translator on the German-language Dungeonslayers role-playing game and was part of its editorial team. In addition to his work on Warrior, Rogue & Mage and Dungeonslayers, he has created several self-published games and also performed layout services and published other independent role-playing games such as A Wanderer's Romance, Badass, and the Wyrm System derivative Resolute, Adventurer & Genius, all released through his imprint Stargazer Games. Professionally, he works as a video technician and information technologies specialist. Stargazer's World was started by Michael in August 2008.

15 thoughts on “Let’s make Stargazer’s World Great Again!”

  1. This is a great idea… I’m curious as well. As a once regular contributor, I also feel responsible for dropping the ball and not posting regularly. I know in my case it’s been a case of rea life demands and a lot of social media interaction that took time away from my blogging. There are lots of social media groups that have taken up the space of some blogging communities. However the recent RPG a Day posts really reminded me that the blogging format allows you to share in ways many social media platforms still don’t allow you to. Also curious about what readers have to say…

  2. I actually prefer the more ‘thoughts running through your head’ type of posts over the industry news sorts of posts. If you have opinions on something like (grabbing a topic out of thin air) characterisation then that can make me think about my characters or my NPCs or how can I push my players to play better characters.

    If you write about how you liked this style of play over that style of play I think well maybe I should try that again as I haven’t done it in a while.

    The flipside is if you write business insider news about a company I neither know or care about then the chances of you making a connection with me are slim.

    I see my blog as a place to open up my mind and just let out thoughts that have been swirling around for a while or that bounced into focus today, yesterday or during the last game session. When I read posts like that then I can make a connection with that, I may have had the same thought myself.

    Social media-wise I am not a fan of facebook, I use twitter a bit but not too much. I am interested in games development and that seems to happen more on G+ than anywhere else.

    It is the blog though that gives one the richest experience where the author can really have as much space as they need and bring together as much media as they want to illustrate their point be that images or movie clips.

    1. Thanks for your comment. I am glad you like the current direction of the blog. I also haven’t been in contact with any industry insiders that much recently, so I doubt you’ll see a lot of industry news stuff in the near future.

  3. I like your general thoughts posts a lot. But I also enjoyed your reviews/previews and interviews with creators. i think you have a voice and ask interesting questions I enjoy, Your interviews and spotlights on niche games I might not know about was what lead me here years back, before I knew you.

  4. I’m usually only a silent reader, but I like the topics I’m personally interested in – like the star war posts.

    So I check your blog occasionally. I do not use facebook or twitter at all. I guess it is hard to find a topic every week. Overall I’m impressed by the quality of your posts, so please go ahead.

  5. It was 3 years ago that Google killed Google Reader, citing declining usage. It may be that RSS/blog following was already going down but by killing reader I think google hastened the eventual death of blogs. When that death will happen is up for grabs but keeping in mind that Usenet, Gopher, and MUDs are all things that still exist, they will likely just fade into obscurity but never really go away completely.

    That’s not to say that there aren’t still blogs that run and see lots of traffic though even those are declining off the levels they would see 5 years ago. The new order seems tied in to different social media silos. I wish there were a good way to combine them into a single stream. Facebook, WordPress, Tumblr and Google+ seem to be the main ones right now on the pages I follow.

    This may not be helpful to you since I still follow blogs using the RSS reader that I installed on my domain. I think to build up an audience you need to get the social media connection because RSS just isn’t an option anymore. Twitter and Google+ seem to be more RPG friendly places than Facebook.

    As for what I like to see: I’m not a huge fan of hard scifi and comment less because I know less about those settings. I like nostalgia as well, but that may be less likely to bring in new readers. I agree with the above comment about insider news being outside of my interests.

    1. You make a good point here. The death of Google Reader also influenced my own reading habits. Back in the day, I had a pretty long list of blogs I followed using RSS, but I don’t do this anymore. I tried several Google Reader alternatives but alas nothing worked as good as the “original”.

  6. I’ve enjoyed your blog for a long time, and I’ve never stopped following it. I’d love to see more posts, but I understand how it can be tough to keep up a regular schedule and sometimes you run out of things to say. Maybe you can recruit some new contributors, but if not don’t feel you have to write just to keep the numbers up.

  7. I second that. It’s the quality content that keeps me coming back here and I find my tastes in games similar to yours so often the articles reflect my own viewpoint. I suppose there may be a bit of tribalism on my part – I’m not active on any hobby forums so this place sort of gives me the sense of belonging to a troupe of likeminded people – as virtual as it may be. I frequent a few rpg blogs but this one is pretty much the only one I bother to submit comments to. So thank you for doing what you do.

    Sure, it was great to have an article or two every week either from yourself or one of the guys but hey life happens and now it’s down to your posts and Roberto’s shenanigans ;). What’s important is that the blog is alive – it may not have thousands of readers but I think the core crowd are coming back regularly. Also I don’t think regular and frequent posts are a must – but there are very welcome 😉

    Preferencewise, First and foremost, I think you should write about what YOU guys find interesting and newsworthy. I personally like highly subjective pieces – if its industry news – add your opinion, your expectations, critique etc. I find your GM inspiration posts quite useful e.g. soundtrack tips but I always thought they could use more of your “recommended use” – in this example, things like what sort of soundtrack it is, what settings/scenes/mood benefit from it, how you used it and with what result etc. I enjoy reviews and musings about older games – most of us are old school I think 😉 – they give context of what games made you – often it’s nostalgia but also your insight in how the games hold up today, are they still playable, what challenges one deals with as a GM or players when running those. GM advice articles have been pretty interesting and kudos especially to Roberto for some really useful pieces on rewarding character background, and earlier using technology to assist in running games – still waiting on his dissection of the recently released Savage Worlds Rifts (perhaps when he recovers from this Wedding project we hear about).
    To sum up – I look forward to seeing more from Stargazer’s crew and wish you all the best.

    1. Shenanigans, I like it! Jejejejeje…

      I’m still reading through Rifts Savage Worlds, I’m planning on running a game at a FLGS sooner than later.

  8. Thanks a lot for your kind words, everyone! I am actually humbled by what you’ve said. I even feel a bit bad about writing this post in the first place. I guess looking at page views etc. is just another way of hunting the “white whale”.
    Don’t worry, I will not change things around. I’ll just keep doing, what I do best (I am sure Roberto will do the same) and keep writing about stuff I am interested in. Thanks again, guys!

  9. I forgot to add is, what I recommend if you’re interested in reader’s feedback – comments may not be the most reliable source for this sort of data – is to add some sort of reader’s rating plugin with each article (WordPress must have something like that available) – that would give you quick and clear feedback and you will be able to determine which articles are most popular / liked with some simple analytics.

  10. I would cheer a return to blogging versus social media interaction, my personal interest in having has fallen dramatically because of the nonsense often present on social media.

    1. The problem I have with social media vs. blogs is, that social media is so fleeting. You post something and it immediately gets buried in the stream. It’s extremely hard to find a post even a week later. With blogs there’s usually more permanence. You can usually find interesting articles even years after they have been posted.

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