I just want to sit down and have a frank discussion about the blog and about life in general of late. It’s not going to surprise anyone that my life hasn’t exactly been sunshine and rainbows. Considering how my year started…well….yeah. It’s hard for me to go into details on everything because I don’t want to talk about certain aspects publicly right now. I’ll talk about it in a future blog post. Right now, I’m going to talk about the blog, my channel, my social media accounts and a little bit about my life of late. I’ve sectioned each part if your not interested in a certain aspect of my life (like my channel) so you can skip by it.
I apologize for not posting that I would be taking an extended break from the blog. It wasn’t really intended that I would be…but after my last personal musing, I decided to stop posting for a while, while I dealt with my college duties. I still should have posted something though. As far as college goes, I’ve been hanging on as best I can in school and work. I’m still happy with my job and really enjoying it. I was recently awarded employee of the year for my work. I’m…really happy about that. It really gave me a confidence boost as I wasn’t entirely sure I was doing good work or not. I mean, I figured I was, it just feels nice to get that affirmed. School wise, finals are fast approaching and I feel fairly confident I can handle them. Mostly. College remains a struggle for me. This past term has been a difficult one. So was Winter term. I’m really looking forward to taking the summer off to be honest. I put a stop to so much projects and other things I’ve been wanting to do just to focus on college. The blog was the first thing I stopped dead when things started to overwhelm me. Bunch of other stuff was put to the wayside so I could get through. I’m nearly to the end which is good. Here’s hoping I do well. Finals end on the 14th of June for me.
The Blog’s Future:
The blog. 2012 was my best year for the A Paladin Without A Crusade blog. I felt like my writing skills had improved immensely, I was more than happy with how my reviews were coming out and people were responding positively to them. I got a lot of good feedback and things were going well. Then, I had the last minute drama with the Top Dishonorable Games of 2012 post. Then January 1st happened…and things have gone downhill since. My personal musings of late have been terrible, I haven’t felt motivated to do posts and as a result…well…the blog has suffered. I’ve only done a couple reviews this year and nothing else of substance. I want to turn this around and get back on my feet. Will it happen….I’m not certain due to “RL” concerns. My blog is my primary project right now. But, it needs some changes.
Here’s the deal. I’m going to take another look at Personal Musings again. Towards the end, Personal Musings started to feel forced and I felt like I was “phoning it in” to get them out. I’m also getting the feeling that they feel more unfocused and that the audience I’m looking for will never really turn up. It’s quite likely that I’ll be ending that blog series and starting something completely new. A series that is much more focused with fresh new goals to achieve. And maybe it’s time to start on something new. Something to jump-start this blog again and get me going for 2013. That’s something I’ll be deciding (probably post-college finals) soon. I’ve got a few ideas. I still want to do something with a regular frequency that Personal Musings had as I really enjoyed that and so did other people. Any ideas here would be appreciated.
Review-wise, I will only be reviewing technology and games from now on. Podcast and YouTube review series are cancelled. I feel that the review style I have doesn’t lend well to these media formats. The one YouTube channel I reviewed, HISHE, has been taken down but the podcast reviews will stay up, under a new category: “Featured Podcasts”. That may become a new blog series. I still want this blog to support YouTube creators, podcasters and artists. I think it’s a worthwhile goal but I’m not sure how I should support them right now.
Greenlight Musings has also been cancelled. Yeah, I know, I get that series started and I’m killing it dead already. But, I’d much rather focus on the long-term, on games that have already been published and could use the word of mouth. Greenlight games are a risk and we’re already seeing developers fold before they get published so that’s not a worthwhile investment of my time right now. This might get “ported” over to my YouTube channel in some way as I’m currently toying with the idea. But as it is, the sense I’m getting from Valve is that they might stop or readjust the Greenlight system in some way so I’m going to wait and see what happens there.
I am happy with where King’s Reviews have gotten to. There is still room for improvement but I feel this is one of the strongest parts of the blog and it can only go up from here. I have a few planned in the short-term already and a few other games I’ve acquired lately are eligible for review. Shortened Reviews are also doing really good so I’m planning on doing more of them. My reviews will no longer be published around games’ release date anymore. These will be aimed at being released in a….”timely” fashion. I want to aim at bringing attention to these games after they’ve been out a while. I think day-one reviews is a completely over-saturated market but reviews that come after a while is a fairly open one. And I think that if the PC market is going to get any better, we should be encouraging long-term sales more than short-term. So, I’m going to encourage this through my reviews. Will I be successful? I don’t know but I guess we’ll find out. Plus, it takes a long time to do these reviews so that means more quality than quantity reviews. I did a couple “day-one” reviews a long while back and I’m not happy with them. Those being the A Valley Without Wind (1) and Tribes: Ascend (Beta) reviews. While I stand by those, they are grossly out of date with my thoughts on the games now. The reviews I do in a “timely” fashion don’t have the same problems. And those reviews have gotten more views than the day-ones have in the long-term so I know where I’m strongest at and it works well for me. So expect to see even more of these.
What about technology “reviews”? I haven’t really even begun thinking about what I’m going to do here. I’m most likely going to focus my energies to TeknoCratik and whatever I create there. Maybe I’ll do something here, but I haven’t really decided on it right now.
Please note before reading this that I’m not talking about any particular person in this thread. These are my general feelings towards Twitter/FB/Google+ and has nothing to do with any specific person.
My Twitter account is now an “official” account for the A Paladin Without A Crusade blog, channel and related projects. That means I’m no longer using it for personal tweets. Eventually, it’ll probably be deleted. This has been a long time coming. Twitter changed from being a social network to being a social spamwork. It’s one thing to get tweets about something once in a while, but when your entire feed is spammed with basically the same thing, it gets really old. I also feel like conversation is dead there. I used to have daily conversations but now? I’m lucky if I can get one tiny response. I’ll still respond to @’s and DMs while my account is open, but they will be delayed.
I had noticed a while back that I had quit following people and was just only following company accounts or well known YouTubers and that I had completely given up trying to find new people. This was the final nail in the coffin for me on Twitter. This is not what I use social media for. I don’t use it for following popular celebrities or companies. It’s for me to be social and talk with people all over the web that I couldn’t talk to normally in person. Twitter is no longer the place for that it seems.
I am restricting my Facebook account back to what I had it before. I will only friend people I’ve met personally via “Real life” or video chat. I will only post status updates, photos and stuff related to me (like my blog). If your website/game requires me to use my FB login, then I won’t use it. I’m fed up with getting spammed by pages I’ve “liked”, I’m fed up with FB apps spamming my FB friends and I’m just fed up with having no control. So, I’m taking it back. I had many debates with myself about deleting my account on Facebook but decided that forcing everyone to move to G+ wasn’t being fair to them. I can deal with having FB and G+. But one social network had to die and Twitter was chosen. That said, FB wasn’t going to go unscathed and these restrictions will be permanent, as I’ve already started enforcing them for the past several weeks. I will continue to support my friends on FB as well, so you guys don’t need to worry about that. I’m not completely happy with this but I hear compromise is where both parties leave unhappy so there you go.
So, want to be social? Find me on Google+. I’m far more interesting over there in comparison to FB and Twitter anyway. I regularly post about tech and gaming news, music I’m listening to, games I’ve played and much more. One of the things I really like about G+ is that I’m able to control my feed more than I’ve ever been able to on Twit/FB. Plus, no more of this privacy nonsense like I get from FB. I can edit everything I publish there and do really long posts if I want. It’s simply a better fit for me and I think that’s because more like-minded geeks are there for me to talk with. Sure, the posts aren’t as frequent there but I think that’s a good thing. I spend way too much time on social media but so does everyone else so we’re all guilty of this problem ;). So, I don’t mind having less posts per day to read if that helps me be more productive.
I have no plans of joining any other social network at this time. I’m tired of dealing with multiple accounts and getting a diluted experience. That’s why I’m focusing on G+ as my primary network. Oh, I’m still on LinkedIn but nothing about how I use it will change. Social media be a crazy and difficult thing to deal with I tell you ;).
My YouTube Channel:
So the channel. The Cthulhu Saves The World series has hit a snag. That snag being that dungeons/caves are boring. This is something that my Breath of Death series suffered from and Cthulhu is suffering from as well, just a lot sooner than I thought it would happen. My last recording attempt (several weeks back) really bored me when I watched it recently. So I scrapped it completely, leaving me with a conundrum to solve. I enjoy voicing the characters and moving the story along but the dungeons and the fights in them are far less interesting to watch and commentate on. It also didn’t help that I sounded bored with my commentary. But really, what can I say other than “select attack” or “heal Cthulhu” during the fight against the same monsters three times in a row? That’s the problem I need to solve. So, I’m putting the series on hold while I try and figure out a solution. I don’t want to simply cut all the fighting out but some streamlining needs to be done to make the combat interesting to watch.
Shattered Haven as a series is something I feel very confident with, it’s just had delay after delay. Mostly my fault. I’m going to make SH my main focus along with Portal 2 for the foreseeable future. I really enjoy doing the post-commentary that I’m doing for each level and I’m thinking up new ideas along the way. I just published #4 with #5 coming out soon. Until I decide what to do about Cthulhu, I’m focusing on this one for now.
FTL: Faster Than Light will still remain an occasional series, even if it is now becoming my most successful series in terms of views. Yeah, YouTube is just weird like that. There isn’t much else to talk about it. This has been a bit of a bizarre LP series to do and the results have been mixed. For a mod-focused series though, I’m happy with the results thus far.
Portal 2 is going as well as I would have hoped. Gareth and I haven’t recorded for over a month due to RL issues and conflicts. All the content that’s been coming out for that series was done in April and I’ve been releasing it slowly since then, so as to avoid flooding the channel with it. We’re both still enjoying it and looking forward to doing more crazy puzzles from the Workshop. I’m actually really happy with how the Workshop series has been going and feel like it’s some of the best work we’ve done. Recording will start up again after finals are over. There are still some episodes that haven’t been published so expect them out during the whole finals craziness as they are actually done and ready to go.
What’s next for the channel? I’m currently brainstorming on doing a first-impressions series that takes a different spin on typical first impression videos that other YouTubers do. I’m also hoping to do a series that experiments and stretches my commentary muscles with a competitive game but I’m not sure what game that will be right now. I’m also toying with the idea of “porting” my blog’s King’s Videogame Reviews to a video format. Will I actually go through with any of these ideas? Maybe not, but it’s always fun to think up new ideas. I can’t concretely say what will actually be next but it all depends on what happens this summer.
All of that said, my YouTube channel remains a secondary priority so the amount of time I actually spend on it is much less than my college work or other projects. The only reason the channel didn’t stop producing anything is because most of it had already been made so it didn’t take that much work to publish what had been done. The channel got lucky in that respect. That is, unless I suddenly get a large amount of subscriptions. Which, hey, that would be really nice. But I’m not kidding myself into thinking I’ll become a huge success. I’m doing this channel purely for fun and personal education. It’s been a learning experience learning about audio and video editing as well as stretching myself in ways that I’ve never done before. So I’m glad to do it, even if nothing comes of it. The channel will remain a variety content channel with different games, series and experimentation. That may mean that Cthulhu gets cut. Or I randomly add on new series for no reason. Who knows. But I think that’ll keep things fun :).
To all of those who do watch the channel, thank you. It means a lot and keeps me going. I’ve been slowly and steadily growing these past few months and each new viewer keeps me encouraged to press on.
There you go, biggest amount of info dumping I’ve done but I’ve been gone for a month so it’s expected. If you’ll excuse me, I have a lot of studying to do for the next couple of weeks in preparation for finals. I don’t know when the next blog post will be out but I’ll try and get something out when finals are over. I know I talked pretty heavy on Internet-related stuff but the more personal stuff is still in flux so I don’t have much I want to say in public right now. But just know that I’m still around and eager to be a productive member of society. 😉 I hope you are doing well on this fine weekend.
Thank you for reading and supporting me as I get through this difficult time in my life. You’re all great and awesome and I don’t deserve you. 🙂 As evidenced by this rather long post, I still want to do this. And that gives me a lot of encouragement to continue on. So, until next time as always…I’ve been: