Friday, December 31, 2010

2010: The Year of Community

Well, it's been quite a year. When I re-started this blog just about a month before the last New Years, Risus Monkey existed as one of many forgotten Risus fan sites. I had very modest ambitions of posting some Mythic GME/Risus play reports as well as some occasional thoughts on my favorite system. More than a year later, I find that the site has morphed into a modestly successful general purpose gaming blog loosely associated with the Old School Renaissance. According to Cyclopeatron's insidiously addictive statistics, I now find myself in the Top 40 of OSR blogs (ranked by total followers) and in the Top 10 of "the Hottest OSR Blogs" (by followers gained).

Wow, how did that happen?

First of all, I got sucked into this wonderful little community of bloggers. I could go on and on about the amazing blogs and bloggers and blog readers that I came to know over the course of the year.  Some of them, like Jeff's Game Blog, I had already been reading sporadically. Others, like Grognardia and Playing D&D With Porn Stars and Lamentations of the Flame Princess had achieved reputations that were impossible to ignore. And there were amazing blogs with fantastic worldbuilding, indispensable gaming resources, maps (don't get be started on maps!), fun little philosophical discussions, and (of course) general geekery.

In hindsight, it seems obvious how it works. You write a post that somebody reads. They post some nice feedback that makes you smile. You follow the trail back to their blog, discover some amazing content and follow or drop a comment of your own. It's how a community is built that reaches way beyond the people I could have possibly met at local game days and conventions. It's how EN World worked for some of my friends but never seemed to work for me. Forums can be daunting, overwhelming, and... untidy. With blogs, you have all this work by a particualr author grouped on a a single site with a consistent look and feel. If I want to go back and find a shit ton of sword & sorcery goodness, I need only hop over to Beyond the Black Gate. For the most amazing Pulp Fantasy world that I've ever seen, I jump over to From The Sorcerer's Skull.

There have been a lot of very supporting people of the past year. Essentially, anybdy that has given me feedback, linked to the site, or inspired me to try harder is worthy of mention. But that's a heck of a lot of people. I do want to call out:
  • Matt Jackson (snikle at lapsus culmni) for being an early and ardent supporter, 
  • Trey at FtSS for being a brilliantly creative gentleman who does work that I would have liked to have done if I had more time and bit more talent, 
  • Christian at Destination Unknown for being the community's resident social butterfly, 
  • Dyson Logos for kicking off the geomorph craze, 
  • Professor Pope and Cthulhu's Librarian for being great friends that I miss terribly, 
  • my own incredible and indispensable gaming group whose members do not exist publicly in this corner of the blogosphere.
Thanks once again to all my followers, commenters, and readers for supporting the site. Let's hope that 2011 continues to build this amazing community.


The Happy Whisk said...

Hi Risus. A good post to read. Glad you had such a good year. Gamers are a good bunch and even though I don't game the way you guys do, it's still a lot of fun to read your blogs and have a fun laugh.

Happy Gaming. Happy Eating.

Risus Monkey said...

@Whisk: I thought of you for the "social butterfly" mention, since I seem to see you almost as much as I see Christian. I know you don't game as much as the rest of us but I read your husband's blog and know that you're very supportive and understanding and geek-friendly. :)

Happy New Year to you as well. It's already 2011 as I write this but I think you have a few more hours of 2010 to go. :)

The Happy Whisk said...

That's nice that you thought of me. Makes me smile. Thank you.

I'm a geek too, that's part of why Tim and I have so much fun and get along.

We just finished watching Alfred Hitchcock and now we're headed to bed. Two more days off. Woohoo.

Have a most enjoyable holiday weekend.


Johnathan Bingham said...

Happy New Year! I hope 2011 brings you much gaming goodness.

Cthulhu's Librarian said...

I miss you guys as well!

We really need to work on getting together more often. 2 hours really isn't that far of a drive, whats stopping us? Oh, that's right, we have kids now.

Risus Monkey said...

@John: Thanks! And same to you. :)

@CL: We're lame old parent, man. Two hours should not be an obstacle.

m.s. jackson said...

Oh wow! I am such a lameO. You name me, right up there first, and it takes me days to notice (sorry, been busy). You have a kick-butt blog and I have always enjoyed reading it. Congratulations on a very successful return to blogging, I eagerly await your future postings!

Risus Monkey said...

@M.S. Jackson: Right back at you. Some of my inspirations early on were your early Risus one-page adventures. Thanks once again for stopping by and giving me feedback. And keep up the good work over at Lapsus Calumni. You had a pretty good year as well and I always enjoy reading your stuff.

Stay safe and try to keep the boredom away over on the other side of the world.

Trey said...

Good post. And congratulations--it couldn't happen to a better guy.

I feel like you've been an instrumental part in creating the community your talking about. I know at least I've felt very supported by your comments, and I'm sure others have as well. But comments alone wouldn't have done it, if you hadn't always been stimulating discussion with your own posts.

Keep up the good work!