Monday, July 28, 2008

An Announcement

I'm narrowing the focus of the blog. I've been thinking about it for a while and I think it's the right thing to do for four reasons:

1. You don't need another Star Wars blog.

Seriously, I keep seeing the same information and news all over the Internet and very often it pops up here too just because I think it's cool or whatever. You don't need me to tell you that John Favreau has been signed to direct Iron Man 2 or to link to Clone Wars and Spirit trailers or to say that Fringe looks exciting. There are a ton of sites that do that so much better than I do.

In fact, the only reason I've been doing it as long as I have is because I know there are some friends of mine who read my blog, but don't read the major entertainment news blogs. But the rest of you don't need that and besides, I just can't keep up with it anymore. Which leads me to my second reason.

2. I just can't keep up with it anymore.

Reading and filtering through a couple of hundred blog posts everyday is fun, but it's way time-consuming. I don't plan on dropping any of my reading, but not having to share every little tidbit that I find interesting is going to save me a lot of time that I could use writing my novel, following up on comics projects, or even just improving the content here. Narrowing my focus will limit the amount of link-blogging I do, and I think that's a good thing.

3. Less link-blogging means better content.

I hope it does anyway. I've got a folder full of ideas for honest-to-goodness articles I've been wanting to post, but keeping up with the links has been distracting me from that. And recently I read a couple of things from other Internet writers that have made that clear to me.

At the end of June, Tom Spurgeon questioned his own site-strategy and the amount of link-blogging he was doing. He was just thinking out loud and repented of it the next day, but while mulling it over he said something that hit home to me:
...I feel that link-blogging is becoming less and less valuable, more a way for people to fake content than provide a service.
While I'd never presume to tell Tom Spurgeon how to run his incredibly successful blog, he got me thinking about my own blogging and whether or not I'm "faking content." I certainly don't thing that all link-blogging is useless. My day isn't complete without going through both Tom's blog and Dirk Deppey's with a fine-toothed comb. But I don't think it's what I want Adventureblog to be.

And while I was considering that, Warren Ellis sent out one of his email newsletters that reminded me about this post with the following thoughts in it.
Wouldn’t it be nice if we could stand up now and say, okay, these are the post-curation years? The world does not need another linkblog. What is required, frankly, is what we’re supposed to call “content” these days. When I were a lad, back in the age of steam, we called this “original material.” Put another way: we like it when Cory and Xeni are the copy/paste editors for the internet, but we like it better when Cory writes a book and Xeni makes an episode of BoingBoingTV.

...And, frankly, no-one’s going to do a better job of being the internet’s copy/paste editors than the BB crew anyway. They have the time, they have the money, they have the setup, they have the audience and they have the momentum of nearly a decade in the job. Nobody needs another linkblog like that. There are already thousands of them. The job of curation is being taken care of. Look ahead.
I'm challenged by that. And while I doubt that reviews are exactly what Ellis had in mind, I'm not going to be able to improve by continuing to let linking eat up most of my time.

4. I'll be able to get out more.

Right now, when I read something nifty on someone else's blog, my initial instinct isn't to comment on it. It's to save the link so I can write about it later. I think it would be nicer to provide feedback directly on other people's blogs, so I'm going to try to do that more.

So, what's the focus going to be?

Like I said, I'm cutting out all the Star Wars and Star Trek stuff. In fact, I'm cutting out most of the scifi stuff altogether. There are a ton of great scifi blogs already covering that. I'll probably still geek out on some new TV show or movie enough that I'll want to talk about it, but I'll try to keep that to my Off Topic blog when that's the case.

What I want to keep talking about here are two things. One is sea adventure. That includes pirates, fish-people, Atlantis, mad scientists in submarines, sea monsters, all that stuff. I said earlier that I've really been drawn to that lately, but it's not just lately. Anyone who knows me knows what a sucker I am for this stuff and always have been. Especially pirates.

It also includes jungle islands filled with loin-cloth wearing heroes (male and female), lost cities, giant gorillas, and dinosaurs. That may not be what most people think of when they hear "sea adventure," but it's what I think about. So I'll keep talking about all that too.

The other thing I'm going to keep talking about could go by the hoity toity label "women in heroic fiction," but I prefer to call them Action Girls. Meaning nothing disrespectful by the use of the word "girl;" it just flows better and I don't think it's really a diminutive term anyway. Anyway, I'm far too fascinated by strong, heroic women to quit talking about them, so you'll still be hearing much more about Wonder Woman and Black Canary and the others than you want to.

(A third topic that's being grandfathered in is giant monsters and giant robots because Jason and I are still hard at work on Kill All Monsters! and it's a subject of interest. But I'm going to be more exclusive about which monster/robot links I post.)

Not that I'm cutting out the link-blogging cold turkey, you understand. As they relate to the topics of Sea Adventure and Action Girls, I'll still be sharing plenty of links (and art and videos). It's just that in cutting out everything else, I hope to be able to write more "original material" about those topics, in the form of both blog essays and my novel.

So, hopefully everyone's down with the new direction. I really think it's going to make this place more fun.


Siskoid said...

I, for one, got a LOT of my genre news from this blog, but I'm really looking forward to "orginal material".

Best of luck with the paradigm shift!

Jason Copland said...

Yeah, get to work on original content, slacker!


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