Everyone down to The Trading Post
The call is out at The Trading Post. Kuffy want to take the next step with The Trading Post and turn it into a real hub for Warhammer bloggers. About time someone got around to this.
There are a tonne of conventional media type of Warhammer blogs around. Bell of Lost Souls and Battle Reporter being two reasonably well-known ones. While they offer a useful and completely legitimate experiences, they have always irked me. The last thing I need is dozens of websites regurgitating the same Games Workshop press releases. Hell, I even do that here on occasion.
What’s more (and this is going to sound down right mean) there is this certain kind of parasitic relationship I find between these news blogs and regular Warhammer bloggers. The news blogs seem to feed off of the content of the Warhammer bloggers, but don’t give anything back. Sure, they offer things like forums and whatnot, but this is still content being generated that the news blogs benefit from. Not the Warhammer bloggers.
I’m sure this isn’t an intentional or malicious act. Most of the time those who run these sites are also part of the Warhammer blogging fraternity too. It has become an accepted practise, one which I suppose everyone thinks they are benefiting from. But these news blogs keep growing in scope without actually bringing in anything new. They just increase their capacity to leech from others.
Okay, I realise I sound a little cynical, but I suppose I have seen the true heart of darkness. Once upon a time I did work for a company that ran a news website (not about Warhammer, but about an equally niche market), that made money by sapping content from those hard-working, free bloggers. Now, I’m not saying that is what is happening here, not in the quantities I saw at least. But we have taken the first step on a slippery slope. One I hope we can avoid totally.
If you don’t believe me, look at the mess commercial video game websites and blogs are in. Masses of companies trying to squeeze pennies from the same sets of press releases and free content they can pillage. Sure it is starting to get better, what with innovative new ideas like Bitmob, but the general wild west mentality is still there somewhat. I realise that Warhammer (and miniature wargaming in general) hasn’t reached quite these commercial heights, but where there are consumers there is a potential for eventual commercial growth. At some point someone is going to come along and make a lot of hard-working people unhappy. We just need to take account for this.
I’m not trying to incite anyone to take up arms and bring down the establishment. What I am actually trying to say is, we just need to get along.
What I like about Kuffy’s idea for The Trading Post is it becoming not another wall of noise, more of the same trying to sucker people in without offering something new, but becoming a place where those interested in creating, developing and building their Warhammer blogs can go. It is very hard to improve and grow when there is no feedback, no way to gauge the market at large and decide how you fit. By having a place where everyone can share their collected experience and data in an open format we can all begin to create a better quality of product.
So I encourage everyone who has a Warhammer blog to pop over to The Trading Post and hit Kuffy with your ideas and suggestions. Post them in the comments, on the forum, or send Kuffy an email. I’m sure he doesn’t care how you get them to him, just as long as you are comfortable doing it. Then we can start to take the first steps towards whatever future Warhammer holds for us.