NBI, for the uninitiated, stands for Newbie Blogger Initiative. Further information about the endeavor can be found at their about page. This year, I’ve decided to participate in the month long initiative as one of the “newbies”. What is my motivation, exactly? What are my expectations? Those are great questions, and ones that I’ve been challenged to explore.
The first time I ever heard the phrase “Newbie Blogger Initiative” was during it’s original incarnation back in 2012. I listen to a gaming related podcast called “Too Long, Didn’t Listen”, which used to be co-hosted by NBI founding father Justin “Syp” Olivetti. Syp took time during at least one episode to explain the concept of the NBI and give it a little plug. During that time-frame, game blogging wasn’t even on my radar, so I listened to the plug, nodded and thought “that’s nice”, and went on my way.
It was at some point between the first and second NBI that I mustered up my courage and joined the LOTRO Players stable of contributors. It was my first foray into writing about games, and I looked forward to each day that a post of mine was scheduled to be published. I made some fast friends at LOTRO Players and quickly was invited to be a regular co-host on the news podcast that accompanies that site. Contributing to that community has been one of my main hobbies over the last year or so. When I learned that the NBI was being resurrected for 2013, I was knee-deep in LOTRO Players. Now that I was actually writing about gaming, the initiative held a bit more interest for me, but I was unsure of how I would be able to fit in. I was already gaining exposure through LP, so it didn’t seem fair to jump into the NBI, where “real” newbies (those at ground zero) would benefit more from additional exposure than I would. Additionally, time is always a factor. Like many who blog on the side, I have a full time job, a mortgage and a family (wife and four kids) in addition to the volunteering I do outside of work and the LOTRO Players contributions. That schedule leaves precious little time for NBI-ing (which I’m also having to take into consideration this time around). So, while I loved the idea of the NBI, I felt it better to watch from the sidelines in 2013.
Sometime late last year I got the itch to write about something that didn’t really fit very well on LOTRO Players. I already had a WordPress blog, but it was merely a static page with my LOTRO character’s back story. Something I’d banged out one day when I was sick in bed and feeling the need to be productive (the back story can still be found at this site on the “My Story” tab). Since I already had the tools to make a blog, I decided to convert my back story page into a full-fledged blog so that I could have a place to record my non-LOTRO thoughts. Around the turn of the year, I also decided to try my hand at my own podcast, which I simply added to this blog as well. Before long, I’d talked myself into purchasing the braxwolf.com domain. All of a sudden, what was once a story written mostly for my own gratification had become a bona-fide, living, breathing gaming blog site – complete with podcast and all.
I didn’t really know if the NBI was going to happen again, as I didn’t have any real feel for the level of success of the 2013 iteration. Even so, I’m always looking to expand my network and learn new things, so I threw an introductory post up on the NBI forums, though the 2013 NBI itself had completed months before. I perused some of the other “newbies” and “oldies” from last year and started following a few who seemed interesting and remained active. When NBI 2014 was announced, I once again had to think about whether or not to participate. I’m in a strange position. While I qualify as an “initiate (newbie)”, I’m not exactly starting from ground zero. In fact, my site looks (on the surface, at least!) to be pretty much put-together and established. Also, since I “introduced” myself between NBI cycles, I’m kind of halfway between a complete newbie and a sponsor. In fact, at least one blogging vet has stated that he didn’t realize I was on the noob side! A compliment, to be sure, but closer inspection will reveal that I still have much to learn, and many to learn from! Of course, the major looming factor that seems to steer all my decision as of late is the amount of time I can actually hope to put in to the project. That is one thing that has not changed.
I guess when it comes down to it, the reason I’m joining the NBI this year is that it will most likely be my only chance to do so, as an initiate, anyway. Next year I will have been blogging for more than a year and will definitely fall into more of a ‘veteran’ category. I know this may mean some late nights for me during the event, but I’m willing to sacrifice sleep for the opportunity to learn – and maybe even teach – some things.
What do I expect out of the NBI? I expect to meet some really cool people who create some really cool stuff. I expect some challenging questions and thoughts that will make me consider some things that I hadn’t before. I expect to add some folks to my “network” that I can call on when I’ve got a fun topic to discuss on a podcast, or when I need a guest post on my site. I hope that I will be able to contribute as much as I consume. Most of all, I expect to have a lot of fun and some laughs.
Who knows, if things go well enough, maybe Braxwolf.com will be a sponsor blog next time around!
#blogging #NBI2014 #podcast