Battle of the Blogs: part 1
Well, I figured you all figured I've been too busy messing with my template to bother with the minor detail of actually posting anything... you could well be right. I can also claim personal and professional pressures as well with things being more than a little hectic at the moment, but that would be an excuse. I've discovered a love of playing with images and coding which has even taken over from my love of community so have been beavering away on this dirty look (you know it makes sense - who really wants a site to be clean ?) rather than sitting in the various communities where I can normally be found chatting inanely and being soundly thrashed at Battle Of The Blogs, which can be found over at Blog Explosion. An interesting and highly addictive game I have been hesitant to endorse as it had previously come along with the inherent pitfalls of any popularity game. There are many idiots out there on the web that forget the key word of "game" and take it far too personally, giving rise to petty squabbles and flame wars over what was designed in the first place essentially as fun. That said, I have found very little of that in recent times when playing this rewarding game. I say rewarding because I have found many great sites through battling and regularly use it just to remain up-to-date with certain blogs. There's also regular readers who have first seen me in a battle slugging it out in what has usually proven a fruitless endeavor. Not that I mind that - it's all data... now, don't forget I am from the gaming fraternity and realised long ago that all PC (and most other) games are just about the numbers and this is no exception. It was simplicity itself to work out that all anyone needs to do to retain a decent winning streak was wait for a weak opponent (determined their win/loss ratio) and challenge them. It's not strictly true though. I thought I had certain patterns of numbers and ratios worked out and could prejudge who would win a given battle and have been disproved time and again. Whenever humans are thrown into an equation probabilities tend to go out of the window, however there are "tricks" to producing a good battling blog and there are many really excellent ones to learn from. Not that I can speak with any great authority on the subject languishing down in the two hundreds on the leader board as I am and I must admit that in order to further my understanding of this game the desire to increase my win/loss ratio has at least partly affected my motivation for the redesign. It's not only about content, it's quality or subject matter (rest assured I will not begin writing exclusively for BotB - this remains a gaming blog & will be about them, although being a game it's right that it should at least be able to hold it's own in the arena), but many other factors are involved. The look of the blog. I've specifically gone for a dirty look to fly in the face of the current fashion of cleanliness going around. Part of what made the Ridley Scott films for me was the dirty technology. It was believable because no-one cleaned the streets; but that's not enough either - it's got to work in all it's little details and features and have a feel that is unique to that blog to set it apart from all the others. It's got to have the "wow" factor. I've still got a lot of work to do before I feel I can set my sights on the more successful Battlers out there despite by dint of some great content in the past I've pulled off some stunning victories. I am no longer resting on my laurels however, as you can see the majority of the work has been done which should earn me a place with some of the more prestigious Blog Explosion members which should in turn allow me to speak with some authority on this matter and write the far more informative and definitive part 2 of this article. At the moment the best I can say is that I haven't been able to analyse a discernible pattern at the moment. To any n00bies out there at BotB hoping to pick up some tips there is some encouragement to be had. In the lower ranked numbers there are a vast amount of blogs who no longer battle for whatever reason. With each win you will gain a number of places. A great deal of it depends on who is voting at the time and at first although it seems hard if you stick at it you will look back to all those lost battles and think that you had it easy then because you weren't fighting for every point. Two points for a win has gotten me over a hundred places before now - wish it made that much difference at this stage. If you get your win:loss ratio up to about 1:2 and make sure you vote on all the battles you should find that it pays for itself in credits and can be very rewarding. You won't remember the countless times you lose to that mommy (or whatever) blog, but you'll count the one win you get against them as a valuable scalp (I have Ficken Chingers and Kinky Nina amongst mine).
Anyway, hope you all like the new look, but if you don't, then please bear with me as on this list of things to be done is a skin changer that will allow the reader to choose between different templates. All in all, even though there's been only a few posts, I'm quite proud of the work that's gone into this to get it to look the way it does and even though it's not yet finished or polished and will be an evolving thing I am satisfied with it enough to enter the arena once more.
Who's up for a battle?