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Sunday 11 February 2024

State of the Blogosphere?

So despite the slightly grandiose title, this is going to be a bit stream of conscious as I've been thinking a lot about blogging and the blogging community since my last post - bear with me, there is a point in the end. I think!

This post gets a bit wordy so I needed pictures - thought I'd go with some of my favourite projects.

Having resumed normal service here going forward (hopefully), I thought I'd take a look back through the old blog to generally dust things off and take stock. I was kind of dreading coming across a welter of posts apologising for radio silence and long periods of absence and though they are there, and the post count is pretty meagre for the past few years, it was a rather nice experience -and there weren't as many of them as I expected! That may of course be because I stopped apologising what had become a bit of a habit when real life got a bit bumpy. It was a pleasure because there were lots of models I'd painted and kind of forgot about as well as projects - the Dr Who - Battlefield project slumbers on but I may be able to piggy-back off the preparations for a Dr Who game at BOYL this year and actually get something done on it! But what was really lovely was revisiting some of the exchanges I had over the years with the good folk who've commented on various posts - the icing on the cake if you will.

Some of my Dr Who stuff...

Now when I put up my last post I had no idea what kind of reaction it would get- actually I was kind of assuming it might not get much reaction at all given the inactivity that's reigned here for some time and because I had no idea how active the bogging scene was, having also fallen out of the habit of following other folks' blogs (sorry!). And that would have been absolutely fine and understandable - at least the bit about my last post potentially flying below the radar anyway. I certainly never started this blog to try and attain any kind of internet celebrity (as if!) or as an attempt to garner attention or praise, although it's certainly been very nice to get some of both. Back in 2009 (God - that seems like another age now!), I had no gaming buddies and no idea of how to meet other folk who shared my rather niche interest (at the time and to this day) of 28mm Dr Who miniatures. Wargaming clubs were a complete unknown to me and other than going down to the local GW in York (which I did only once to get some paint, receiving some strange looks when I replied to the usual question of "What are you painting at the moment?" with "Daleks"!), I had no other outlet for what I was doing other than a few forums - a very quiet, presumably now extinct, Invasion Earth forum and the Lead Adventure Forum, and starting this blog. My original intention with the blog was to use it as a record of what I'd painted and as time went on and I finally found like-minded souls, the games I'd played. Amongst it all was a wonderful feeling of a small, cosy little community where folk would be extremely supportive and generous to a tee. Comments began to be a more regular occurrence too, which was lovely and, whilst not being the be all and end all of why I blog, certainly were an important part of that feeling of community. There was of course a period of time when I got a bit obsessed about page views but we'll skip over that for now!

The iconic orange Giant from the Warhammer Fantasy 3rd ed rule book - except this one's mine"

Then along came Oldhammer which seemed a real culmination of this sense of community in that we actually got to meet each other, started off an annual meet up in the form of BOYL and formed many close friendships separated only by our various geographical locations. Oldhammer took off in quite a big way for such a niche little hobby and I've no idea how many members the various Facebook groups have now, but it must be in the thousands - or at least the same hundreds of folk in in lots of different groups. With that -well, even before that actually, in the old days of the Oldhammer forum, came various heated discussions on what actually defined Oldhammer and I think we went down a bit of a blind alley with that one. Not to get too much in to that thorny topic, as it's not what this post is about, I must admit I chuckle a bit when the old, almost stock response (which has become a bit of a meme to me - no offense to those who put forward that opinion!) comes out that "Oldhammer was a movement that came about when a group of bloggers got together and created Oldhammer" I don't chuckle out of any malicious intent or because I disagree with the sentiment - more because of how often the argument seems to circle round and how daft the argument is! And yes, I know I've written posts on what Oldhammer is but that was a long time ago when I was very excited about it all and a little disconcerted about the apparent schism that seemed to be going on - think I'd find it pretty cringy reading them back now! As with all things, Oldhammer has evolved from what it was in the old days and that's not always a bad thing - hell even GW is at it now with their Old World re-releases! These days I'd say you do you and if calling it Oldhammer does it for you then fine.

Back in the day we called it Oldhammer Day as a working title before we thought of a name - before the lovely sounding acronym of BOYL stuck!

Anyway I digress - back on topic! In fact there's a lot of truth in that statement about that group of bloggers because that is how it got started essentially, or at least it did with us, and I only bring it up as I personally look back on those days as a bit of a golden age (if that isn't too pompous!) of blogging. Every bugger had a blog and for at least the first few BOYLs (Bring Out Your Lead - an annual Oldhammer event we have at Foundry, kindly hosted by the Ansells - if you're not familiar with the acronym) folk were often more identified with whatever daft name they had chosen for their blog or blog account - until we finally learnt each others' proper names that is. There's a great story of Garth (last post was in 2022, not that I can talk, but get with it mate!) wandering around Bugman's Bar at Warhammer World, asking if anyone had seen Skarsnik and being painfully aware of how ridiculous it was, of all places, to be asking for someone of that name! Amazingly the two of them found each other despite that being the only name he had for Phil at the time from his (now long dead - last post in 2012 - tsk, tsk!) blog - Skarsnik and Old Lead! Back in those days blogging was definitely where it was at and on top of the actual community that sprang from it, I remember having to pretty much dedicate a whole day a week to going through my reading list and leaving comments on others' blog posts - that's not taking in to account the time it took writing my own posts. Good times, if a little onerous now and again in terms of time commitment if I'm being honest!

The old ship on the Giant's head from Time Bandits - built for a game of Warhammer:Ahoy at BOYL

Nowadays, certainly in the circles I frequent the most in the Oldhammer Community, blogging generally seems to be viewed as a bit of a dead art. As I've mentioned many of those blogs that brought us together have fallen silent as folk have either largely migrated to the much busier Facebook groups, don't post publicly anywhere or have left the hobby entirely. In fact, I've had a good natured and long running back and forth with Stuart, who I've been doing the painting commission for, about getting on Instagram, because that's where it's at now! I crumbled eventually, although I'm not very good at posting there regularly so far - shocker! Stuart's certainly not wrong - Instagram is full of amazing painters and content and a lot of folk I know and have gamed with who don't blog. I definitely felt like the last one to the party with all the old gang already there! Facebook is the same in terms of the sheer volume of content, if you avoid "look what I got in the post" or "is this Oldhammer?" type posts - if Oldhammer's your thing of course. 

My converted Rhinomen unit for the Trolltooth Wars.

Having found a cozy little rut in the Oldhammer community, it's been too easy to get the impression that blogging in general is in serious decline because of the decline of the Oldhammer blogging scene. I can protest as much as I like that it's is not all about the comments but there has definitely been the sense that things have slowed down and I'm afraid to say that it has honestly affected my motivation in the past, especially when things get a bit tough in real life. My participation in the Old World Army Challenge for two years was a real shot in the arm in this respect. Not just because I had a load of stuff to put on my blog for those who might not frequent the OWAC site but also because of all interaction between the competitors, egging each other on.

Some of my Chaos Cult from the Old World Army Challenge IV

So what's the point about this fairly rambling meander down memory lane. Well the response I did get to my last post was incredibly heartening and a lovely surprise with all the comments welcoming me back, so again a huge thank you to everyone! To answer my question in the title, based only on this response and in my extremely subjective opinion, I'd say it's in good health - the Oldhammer bit of it not so much perhaps (stalwarts still consistently flying the flag excepted!) but it's in good health.

Orc's Drift!

Filled with gratitude and new found excitement, I made sure to visit the blogs of those who kindly commented on my post to catch up with what they're doing and return the favour by leaving a comment myself. I've also spent some time going back through my reading list too so don't think I'm only leaving comments when I get some myself. As I'm prone to over-thinking things, I wonder if there is an unwritten blog etiquette - should one always return a comment, is it ok to have a full blown conversation in the comments section with multiple responses, am I talking too much about myself in relation to the post I'm commenting on... XD. I digress again! Anyway, I came across an old post from 2022 (overthinking again - is resurrecting old posts on blogs frowned upon like in some forums? XD) on Dave B's blog, entitled Bump: Repair the Blog Social Network . It caught my eye as all this stuff was whirring round in my brain already and I had been wondering what kind of state wargaming blogging was in, having been an absentee myself and in and out of the game for a fair while. The content of the post resonated with me a lot too - and not just the bit about blogs going dark - so much so it was largely the inspiration for this post! No - my self reflection went deeper than the pang of guilt occasioned by my bouts of silence here. I was a bad blogger. Not only did I walk away from my blog willy-nilly on multiple occasions, but I also didn't comment on others' blogs as much as I maybe should. To compound my growing sense of guilt, I also noticed the same names in the comments section of many of the blogs I'd been visiting this week - Rodor and Suber. They were good bloggers. Unlike me...

Rigg's Shrine - despite the blood, sweat and tears that went in to it - and still do when I have to move it anywhere!

Now obviously I jest a little here as this certainly isn't the spirit Dave's post was written in and Rodor and Suber - hats off to you for the interest you take and support you give! In fact hats off to everyone who takes an interest in others' blogs - it's a special thing and an entirely different beast to the more polpular forms of social media. I really like the sentiment in Dave's and Stew's posts, where the interest in comments isn't about clamouring for praise or attention but what kind of blog posts tend to get more comments than others, the boost it gives the writer in what can be a lonely endeavour and the community it builds. In fact I'm going to bump a mate's blog - my good buddy Mathew - an extraordinary wit and artist extraordinaire. He's not a bad mini painter either - and it's not all Oldhammer. There's also the added draw(?) of seeing my ugly mug in his last post about Another Glorious Day in the Corps. Go and check him out at News From Hell Before Breakfast.

Hobgoblins - more of them to come but probably not till next year...

I would hasten to add that I'm not trying to start (or restart) a new blogging fad, like the Liebster Awards (are they still a thing?). I've nothing against them but did find the Liebster thing a bit weird and awkward but that's probably just me. Nor am I browbeating or saying that everyone should go out and comment on every post they read - that would be exhausting. This is more a rather long and rambling reflection about me and my relationship with blogging, occasioned by the (to me) surprising and lovely welcome back I've had. My take away from all this is that I do want to be a better blogger and more engaged with others' work. You dear reader, if you've made it this far, can probably pat yourself on the back for already being those things!

Must get the rest of my "Evil" Empire army posted up and who knows what non-Warhammer games I might get in to next year...

I think I shall wrap it up there as this is becoming a bit of a dissertation! I'll leave you with one last observation though - I forgot how dangerous it is looking at other folks' blogs. So far, since last week, I have searched ebay for Star Wars Micromachines for 15mm Star Wars, daydreamed about 28mm WW2 and thought wistfully about large scale scenery projects, having been inspired by what I saw. All well and good, but I'm not sure I have enough time for the Snotling and Dr Who stuff I have planned as it is... 


35 comments:

  1. Great post. Agree with a lot of the sentiments. I use an app called Feedly to keep up with different blogs, and when they get updated

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    1. Thanks Anthony! The app sounds like a good idea - the reading list on blogger is fine but I do wonder if I miss stuff on it if I'm out of the habit of checking it regularly, or whether that blog I started following a few weeks back is actually being featured on it - might have to look in to that.

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    2. My blog reading took a real hit with the demise of Google Reader in 2013 and it took me a while to recover. I tried a couple of the apps/ services that sprang up in Reader's wake (including Bloglovin' and, I think, The Older Reader) but none of them really stuck.
      However, in the last five years, I discovered the browser extension (and brace yourself for a truly terrible name) "Feedbro." I actually really like it (and I use it in my Firefox app).
      It also looks like you can follow Instagram gubbins with it too.

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    3. Oops! Sorry!
      Here's a link to the page: https://nodetics.com/feedbro/

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    4. Do you even feed bro? XD
      Sorry couldn't resist - thanks for the link David!
      Is Google Reader the same as the reading list you get on the blogger design page with all the other options like comments, stats, etc?

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    5. Hahaha! Yeah, like I said--it's a terrible, terrible name. (It automatically makes me think of Tech Bros, which is never good.)

      Not quite. Google Reader was the RSS reader that Google killed back in 2013. Some people suggested they did this because it allowed web users more control over what they read, rather than being subject entirely to the caprices of the "Almighty Algorithms." I'm sure that's just people being paranoid. ( ;-) )

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Google_Reader

      Google Reader also allowed you to follow blogs (or anything with an RSS feed--like news service pages) outside the blogspot/ blogger "ecosystem."

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    6. Hahahaha! Yeah, like I said--it's a terrible name (and reminds me of the dreaded Tech Bros).

      Not quite the same thing. Google Reader was an RSS aggregator that allowed you to track changes in anything with an RSS feed: so blogs (and not just on blogger/ blogspot), news services, and so on. Really cool, really useful, and you got an indication when a page was updated rather than having to idly click through all your saved links.

      There's a Wikipedia article (natch!) but this CNet article from 2013 has a bunch of handy images that give you a sense of what it looked like: (and also shows feeds organized into folders): https://www.cnet.com/pictures/google-reader-to-be-scrubbed-pictures/6/

      (You know, I was convinced that I had replied to this but it seems that it didn't "take." Apologies!)

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  2. Interesting read.i still run my blog, but it's more a record for me and my hobby. Any comments from others are a bonus.

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    1. Thanks Neil, I shall have to stop by again! That's the best reason to blog and yeah - always a nice bonus when folk take time to comment!

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  3. Keep up the good work Steve, I've also been remiss in posting to my Blog. But following recent seismic shifts in the Oldhammer community, the repurcussions of which will go on for some sometime, have me returning to where it all started - even posted a couple of videos on Youtube!

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    1. Thanks - I shall do my best! You've appeared as Anonymous here so you'll have to let me know what your blog is called, in case I'm not following it already, and give us a link to your videos! Strangely I don't watch much hobby stuff on Youtube and I'm beginning to hear of more and more Oldhammer content appearing there - I seem to remember there being a bit of a buzz around the appearance of a fair few "celebrity" Oldhammer youtubers at the last BOYL, which was a bit new! other than the the usual non-hobby garbage I watch, it's mainly just painting tutorials when I need to work out how best to paint a particular effect but maybe I should see what else is out there. I must admit Nightshift is incredibly therapeutic to watch - he builds and paints model tanks and his weathering and attention to detail is incredible!

      Oh and do I detect another separatist movement in the making - Old Oldhammer or maybe Back to Basics Hammer? ;)

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  4. It feels so strange to be cited in another blog post. Many thanks. It's good to note this is how those connections grow and strengthen. Also, I haven't commented on anything for a while, and a post this long certainly deserves a comment.

    It's unfortunate the ability to connect instagram to blogs and vice versa seems a bit....lacking. No doubt it's a conscious decision by someone so reasons related to revenue.

    You need to fix the link to Mathews blog, it self links a non existant post in your own blog.

    I have some more 15mm star wars stuff I really ought to post. Are you sure you didn't want to grab that micromachine stuff.....?

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    1. Yeah I guess blog posts are often quite insular - well any social media posts really - it's usually all "me, me, me"! XD

      My pleasure though and you're right about those connections. I think it can be as loose an idea of connection as just seeing a lot of the same faces still going (like stopping by your old local and seeing the old crowd again and it feeling like you've never been away). Or it can be proactively forging those links through interactions between blogs. Both are great but have to develop over time to be meaningful I think. I don't how well it came over in my post but I was a little hesitant about sounding overly obsessed with getting comments, making folk feel guilty if they hadn't commented on anything in a while or even sounding preachy about what a good blogger is or isn't!

      You're probably right about Instagram - I'd say there wasn't any decent ad revenue to be had in linking them, being the cynical bugger that I am. I think for me I'm happy just concentrating on the blog and maybe sticking the odd nice pic on instagram - I remember, back in the day I was hanging around the Lead Adventure and Oldhammer forums, it got a bit onerous to post everywhere once a blogpost went up - but that was probably just me not wanting to just post a link to the blog XD

      Thanks for pointing out the broken link - fixed now hopefully!

      Smashing - look forward to seeing it! I'm not sure I don't want that Micromachine stuff and that's the problem! I have a handful of old metal Star Wars figures from a mixed lot I bought ages ago - no idea of the manufacturer but I think they're about the same size as the old Citadel Traveller miniatures so I guess that's 15mm. Anyway, enough of them to potentially be the start of something much bigger I fear!

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  5. For what's it's worth, I share many of your thoughts and concerns. The doubts and worries about reciprocal commenting, the guilt of leaving things unattended and the marvel at those that seem to keep on going are all thoughts that I have had myself. The conclusion I have come to is try not to over think things. The Blog and by extension the community that it serves are important to me, but not at the expense of the hobby itself. Sometimes there just isn't anything to say, or the headspace that we need to process things just gets cluttered by the onslaught of the real world. I am throughly enjoying a gradual return to our cosy corner of the blogosphere, but wary of making too many promises as to the longevity of this recent stay. Enjoy what you do, share what you care about, chances are that others will enjoy it too.

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    1. I'd say that's worth a lot Michael - it's not just me! Don't overthink things - sound advice indeed for life, never mind the hobby. Headspace seems to be at a premium recently, or maybe I'm more aware that it is, and it soon gets filled up if I'm not careful. I think that's a great way of looking at it though - that your enjoyment of the hobby should be foremost - a no-brainer really but deceptively easy to lose sight of it. You can't go far wrong with the three maxims you finish your comment with though!

      Oh and welcome back too - it is a cosy corner indeed!

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  6. I would like to point out that in this comment I (R) will speak in the first person, since in the "Rodor" couple I am the one in charge of following and commenting on other people's blogs.
    Thank you for your thought-provoking reflections on the world of blogging, which partly coincide with what crossed my mind when resuming our blog after a break of many months. Thanks also for the point of view of a veteran of the oldhammer movement and the related blogging activity, with its evolution over time. My experience is much more modest and recent, having returned to the hobby in 2020 coinciding with the pandemic, and having started the blog at the same time.
    I too noticed that the blog is becoming a niche place compared to other social media, which in my case I only know indirectly since I don't use Facebook, Instagram or similar. But continuing a blog is not just a nostalgic choice due to belonging to another generation - and being prey to the curse of having a soft spot for what goes against the trend and is in danger of extinction….
    As for many, for me too the blog is a way of preserving testimony of what has been done and at the same time establishing relationships with other people scattered in different parts of the world with the same interests.
    Compared to a forum - without taking anything away from the well-deserving Oldhammer forum - I however believe that it allows you to establish a closer dialogue with a smaller circle of people who follow you and whose activities you follow. Compared to the faster but more superficial form of a Facebook page and the like, the blog, with its diary structure where the written part prevails or has at least the same importance as the images, allows those who write it a higher level of reflection and articulation of thought.
    Thanks also for citing me as a virtuous example of a blogger alongside Suber: am I a good blogger? I certainly try to follow and comment on the activities of other enthusiasts who are nice people and who do projects that interest me; I believe that the mutual exchange of comments is a richness of blogging, alongside showing what you do. Of course this takes up my time, to the detriment of my hobby activity. Suber is a much more virtuous example than me in maintaining a balance between the two things...
    I apologize if the comment on your dissertation has become a small dissertation in itself, but aren't blogs made for this too?! So long live blogs!

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    1. You know I was thinking of adding very long comments to the list of things I overthought about comment etiquette! Suffice it to say that there is no apology needed and I'd agree blogs are absolutely made for this too!

      I agree that nostalgia, that idea of keeping something going that you cherish, despite it being on the wane is a big part of why many of us blog - well it's certainly what had me hankering to come back and reinvigorate the blog this time round - as well as a luddite attitude to those other forms of social media!

      Preserving a testimony is a nice way of putting it - I like that! I've always felt there was something a bit more special about blogging than Facebook/Instagram, etc and I think you've hit the nail on the head with why. I still think it's pretty amazing that you can end up with a lovely bunch of likeminded folk from across the world taking an interest in what you do in this hobby. The format too just lends itself to more in depth and reflective content as you say - maybe not always a good thing when I start waffling XD!

      My pleasure and I couldn't not mention both of you when literally every blog I went to had comments from you both! Again I love how you word it - a richness of blogging, alongside showing what you do. Just got to watch that balance in the amount of time spent as you say - I've spent all my hobby time this evening reading to and replying to comments on this post! Mind you I think the odd evening off painting isn't a bad thing and I'm often too tired in the week, after work, to even think of trying to concentrate enough to paint!

      Long live blogs!

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  7. Good to see you kicking around friend. Don't stop blogging as yours keeps my hobby juices flowing ;-)

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    1. Thanks bud - good to see you still going strong! Liking the look of those Chaos Warriors of yours - I shall stop by for a proper read another time.

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  8. Interesting read, more than a few points resonate with me. I have definitely found myself looking on eBay after reading other people's blogs. This one included ūüėÄ

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    1. Thanks Rob - it is a very real occupational (recreational?) hazard and actually the real reason I took a break from blogging was ebay rehab ;)

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  9. Great post, I feel I should comment....I'm late to the party and I've really only blogged regularly in the last few years, just as other have moved to other platforms. But I find it useful as a journal to track my projects and ideas, rather than worry about views, likes and comments.

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    1. Thanks Kieran and now I feel bad for browbeating you in to a comment ;) Not worrying about views, likes and comments is a sound policy.

      Having dabbled in 10mm Fantasy and Epic Space Marine, I'm looking forward to having a good read through your 6mm stuff!

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  10. Personally very happy to see you blog away. Much better than a Facebook post or a tweet. I loved your site for all of the preparation work in the run up to BOYl (which I still haven’t made it too…). Delaney king has started to blog again and if you have any influence twist Mr Fulfords arm on my behalf! ūüėÄ

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    1. Thanks very much! Yeah I'd agree - just feels a lot more fulfilling than FB and tweeting. You'll have to get down to BOYL - cracking weekend as I'm sure you'll know!

      That's great news about Delaney - loved her painting and Skulldred back in the day. Not sure I have any influence but I may know those who might - always liked Mr Fulford's stuff!

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    2. What the duece! Delaney king has started blogging again?!? Upon which blog? I hadn't notice/seen updates

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    3. Yeah where?! Last post on King's Minis was August 2023. Plenty to catch up on at any rate!

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  11. HI there,
    I wandered over here from Daveb's blog Miniature Insurrection, because he mentioned this post in his, and I like to read blog posts about blogging as it's a topic not discussed much. Found myself mentioned (in a good way) which was a pleasant surprise.
    As you say above; I feel comments are the thing that helps keep an online community going; feeling a part of a virtual clubhouse in a way while we all take turns in show and tell and positive reinforcement. I know that if people didn't leave comments on my blog, I would probably just stop doing it as it'd feel too much like screaming into the void.
    Not that I live and die by the damn things, like you say above no one is gonna get international stardom from a wargaming blog. and I have found that the best way to get comments on my blog is to write comments on others. I don't know if I would call this 'etiquette' as you say. But I know that I do look for reciprocity. If I start leaving comments on someone's blog (like NOW) and then they start leaving comments on mine, and the cycle continues, we become best blogging buddies, and I feel like the community grows. Sometimes it works out, sometimes not.
    Though I find that if I become of regular reader / commentator of someone's blog, it really doesn't matter what miniatures / games they are writing about, it's just a fun share.
    I know on my blog I TRY (emphasis on the word try) to be amusing with stupid jokes and bad puns just in case one is not interested in what stupid project I am doing but might at least get a chuckle at some ridiculous thing I said.

    Anyway, welcome back to blogging. I enjoyed reading this post. became a follower. all that. ūüėĀ

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    1. Hey Stew - thanks for stopping by and apologies - I haven't commented on your blog yet!
      Whilst our wargaming tastes might not align exactly (I was going to add a section in this post about how the whole Oldhammer thing has made me, at any rate, a bit myopic towards other areas of the hobby (and probably a bad blogger in my eyes!) but decided I'd waffled self indulgently enough already) you have indeed won me over with your stupid jokes and bad puns - something I'm not immune to here! As I mentioned in my post, the sense that blogging was dying out was mostly due to a lot of Oldhammer blogs falling by the wayside, when in fact there's loads of brilliant stuff out there and there is very much that community feel still going strong. I shouldn't be surprised as I've followed all sorts of wargaming blogs from when I started blogging and many of them are still here and well, certainly when compared with the Oldhammer ones, which seem a bit of a flash in the pan in comparison. I feel another post coming on where I get to bash myself and my near monomania for 80's era Warhammer (despite being only 10 years old at the most at the time and not yet in to wargaming XD) at the expense (sometimes) of all the other interesting stuff other folk are up to - at any rate it might come in handy if I haven't painted anything in time for a PBJ post! Perhaps I'm fixating on this because a lot of the original Oldhammer blogs have fallen silent and I see a lot of those chaps on a fairly regular basis anyway - the community has moved offline and in to "real life" - but I still feel the need to widen my scope to get that oh so good blogging fix now! Long story short - Your Wooden Wars posts have piqued my interest in particular but I'll save my thoughts for a comment on your blog.
      A virtual clubhouse is a really good way of putting it - I've also thought of it as having numerous penpals (especially because it's more often than not folk from around the world interacting) except that we all actually have something in common and its meaningful rather than being told to do it in school - as was my experience back in the day when I started learning French!
      Positive reinforcement is always preferable to screaming unheeded in to the void any time!
      I think the etiquette thing is me overthinking as usual and probably the wrong turn of phrase as it sets up expectations and consequently judgement which I didn't want to do. You put it much better with reciprocity. Oh and I get the hint XD
      Anyhow thanks for your post all the way back in 2022 which really resonated with me recently because of the lovely reception I've had returning to the blog. Thanks also for the welcome back, your comment and becoming a follower. I shall be reciprocating!

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  12. Keep on blogging. Leave your mark, with pictures, and live eternally. Like I plan to do!

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  13. Interesting stuff, and has been very much on my mind too. I tend to treat my blog as a personal project diary for myself so I can check back in 5 years' time when I want to do something similar (or avoid past mistakes!) and see what I did the last time. If anyone else gets interest or inspiration from it then so much the better. The permanence (relative) of the blog and forum still make them more appealing to me than the transience of Faceache or Instaflix but it takes a bit more proactivity to check in from time to time.

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    1. Hi Geoff! Yeah you're absolutely right - I reckon if it takes a bit more effort it's definitely more worth it. Being able to look back and avoid past mistakes is always a good thing too! Nice that there's a real buzz around here too so I can prove Stuart wrong about Instagram being where it's at XD

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    2. Instagram is soooo 2015. Facebook/Meta really buggered it up with their Reels etc. It's meant to be about nice photos, not TikTok attention deficit videos or Twitting.

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    3. I definitely agree - I get about 5 posts of miniatures and then it's all funny dog videos and attention seeking weirdos making idiots of themselves...

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