Greetings dear readers! Michael recently wrote about our efforts to revitalize the blog, and I think we’re off to a good start. He invited our readers to discuss the types of posts and topics they enjoyed, and in one such comment Voidman said he liked one of my earlier pieces about using technology at the gaming table. Thank you for the kind words; it’s a pleasure to have you, and so many others as our readers.
This topic, the technology I use as a GM, is constantly evolving, and is one that deserves some revisiting periodically. On this post I’d like to discuss the technology I currently use to run our Dungeons & Dragons 5th edition campaign. It also happens that the topic of the RPG Blog Carnival for September 2016 is Game Master Tools, Aids, Apps & Hacks, so it all comes together rather fortuitously!
A couple of years ago, Jeff Brissette and me (actually mostly Jeff), started the RPG Blog Alliance as an alternative to the RPG Bloggers Network. The latter used a pretty outdated and ill-fitting software which was pretty hard to maintain. We thought there might be a better way to do things and Jeff decided to write a blog aggregation software from scratch.
Many people told us that they don’t think a new blog network was needed, but the success of the RPGBA proved them wrong pretty quickly. As of today the RPGBA has about 639 members. Of course not every blog is still active and not everyone posts once per day, but overall there’s still a lot of activity. So why is the RPGBA closing down?
Blog networks used to be very helpful back in the day. The RPG Bloggers Network community helped me a lot when I started this blog. It brought me readers, helpful advice and I even made some friends in the community. But nowadays social networks like Facebook or Google+ are way more important if you want to get connected to other bloggers and get blog updates out to your readers.
Another reason is that the RPGBA’s software has become the victim of several hacker attacks over the last years. Fixing the loopholes used by the hackers and repairing the damage done takes a lot of time and effort. Over time the question arised if it was still worth it. When we started out we wanted the RPGBA not only a blog aggregator but also a community. Alas the latter aspect never came to fruition.
Overall we came to the conclusion that it was probably the best to shut the RPGBA down. As far as I know it should be offline in about 2 days’ time. But some of the former RPGBA members want to keep the spirit of the RPG Blog Alliance alive on Google+. Scot Newbury created a Google+ community, everyone can join (Members have to get approved though). There we can help other RPG bloggers by sharing resources, experiences, and discuss RPG blogging in general.
So while the old RPGBA may be dead, the new RPGBA is alive and kicking and will hopefully be a great community for veteran and newbie RPG bloggers alike!
This blog has existed for over 6 years now. Back in August 2008 the RPG blog community has looked quite different from today. Blogs were nothing new – even back then – but there were way less active roleplaying blogs back then. It was in the same year – at least if I remember correctly – that a couple of people got together and created the RPG Bloggers Network.
The RPG Bloggers Network was meant to be more than just a simple RSS aggregator. The idea behind the RPGBN was to create a real community and provide readers with easy access to high-quality articles. Back in the day getting accepted to join the community felt like an honor. It also had a very noticeable effect on the traffic your blog received.
In addition to that there really was a community back then. The members tried to read other members’ blogs regularly and there were real discussions going on. Sometimes the whole RPGBN picked up a certain topic and ran with it. These early days of the RPGBN brought us RPG Blog Carnivals, two volumes of the Open Game Table (an excellent blog post anthology), and several other exciting community-driven projects.
Over time the RPG Bloggers Network grew and the high standards of the early days were lowered. This was a good and a bad thing. It was great to see many more bloggers join in, but it also made it harder to maintain a feeling of community. Back in 2008 the RPGBN felt like a family, but this changed quickly. Things started to get downhill when the original maintainers of the RPGBN stepped down and sold the network. One of the reason they left their baby behind is probably that it became extremely hard to keep things running. The technology behind the main site was terribly broken and the community was probably not that easy to handle either. Continue reading The Times They Are a-Changin’→
A Roleplaying Games blog
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