Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Is Blogging An Open Or Closed System?

I read about 16 gaming blogs every day. I'm sure there are plenty more, but I like to add them organically rather than go looking for various blogrolls and adding dozens at a time. I keep the ones I like, and delete the ones I do not. If there's anything of interest in an article, I try to give some form or feedback, comment, agreement, disagreement, etc.

I have noticed that the same people seem to be reading and replying to the blogs that I read. Most of them tend to be bloggers themselves. Are we just a small circle of people in a closed feedback loop? There's nothing wrong with this. We all like to bounce ideas off each other. People who care enough to write a blog in the first place must have something to say, something they want to share.

But is blogging an open system? Are new people reading blogs every day? It's not a readership issue for me. It's the notion that it would be nice to write for--and get feedback from--more people than our small circle of writers.

That being said, I do have a counter on my blog. Some days it goes up over 200 hits, even though I may get only a couple of comments. That doesn't even count RSS feeds. So it makes we wonder. Is there really a much wider reader-base than I think? If so, who are you? Speak up! Or are the same 20 people hitting refresh 10 times a day?

Whatever the case, I will continue to write...for myself. It's been a great learning experience trying to formalize my thoughts and ideas into words, and I've really been enjoying trying to write my fiction series.

See you next time.


At 2:33 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'll pipe up as one who reads often and writes never. I imagine there are more than a few like myself.

At 2:44 PM, Blogger Naturelich said...


I enjoy reading your blog and I have an RSS reader up that fires approximately every three hours - if I have FeedDemon running. This being said, your RSS feed will probably get 2 hits/day from me on an average week.

Feedburner has a nice clickthrough feature that allows you to analyze RSS feed traffic in more details.

I don't know about Blogger.com but I use a StatWatch plugin for my MovableType blog. This tool allows admins to track more detailed stats.


At 6:50 PM, Blogger Rick said...

I think it's pretty open. Guys like Brian Waters and Yehuda B do the linking thing and some people find the blogs that way. Others link in from bloggers' BGG profiles. Regardless, because it takes a bit more effort to find a blog and read it regularly compared to kibitzing in a Geek thread, the readership tends to be more of the "really interested in boardgaming" kind rather than the kind that simply like to cause havoc and draw attention on BGG.

I think I like it better that way, regardless of how many "casual" eyes the blogs miss by not being hosted directly on BGG.

At 7:06 PM, Blogger ricmadeira said...

Regular reader here, but I never wrote anything before, I think. I'm much more a roleplayer than a boardgamer, so I rarely have anything to add or argue about.

I can't remember where I first found a link to your blog, but it has a been part of the feed aggregator for my Portuguese RPG/Boardgaming site for a long time now:


At 3:21 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The vast majority of readers never write a thing. If a blog gets lots of comments, it's either super popular or the comments come from a small, but active circle of commenters.

Most of your readers don't have a blog or never write comments. The number of comments you get is not a very good indication of your blogs readership levels.

I know I would like to get more comments myself, but basically I'm happy with everything I get... Don't expect much and you won't be disappointed!

At 8:19 AM, Blogger Yehuda Berlinger said...

And yet, some "Israeli daily life" blogger friends of mine can write a short post about buying a turnip and get 55 comments.

Something about the board game subject matter, I think.


P.S. I once tried to do a map of bloggers side links lie the "six degrees of separation" and found that they are very diverse. Most don't have too many links, but the ones they do are very dissimilar.

At 12:19 PM, Blogger ekted said...

"write a short post about buying a turnip and get 55 comments"


At 8:03 PM, Blogger Friendless said...

I've started reading blogs because I'm mostly up-to-date on BGG stuff. I think people who write blogs are maybe a little bit more thoughtful with what they write, and it's also a little bit more personal.

At 1:45 AM, Blogger Michael R. Keller said...

I use a tracking service, and of the 109 unique IPs that have hit me this month, only a few make return trips on a given day, and rarely more than 3 vists on a day. Most actually only check once every couple of days. Occasionally there will be someone who checks in every couple of hours or has alot of pageviews on a day, but these are usually new visitors who are looking at old content. If I write an especially long post the incidence of repeat visits will rise, which I assume is people reading it in parts when there is convenient time. Of course, your audience might have entirely different behavior, but I thought this information might be useful as an indicator that there really are that many people reading you daily.

At 11:47 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I surf about 20 blogs and leave comments about 1% of the time so I suppose Im the sort of reader that you're looking for to admit existing. It has similarities to recent talk, certainly in the UK papers, about scientists knowing what makes up 6% ((?)) of the universe, its just the 94% they're not sure about...
Well I game on average every 10 days or so, have a small* (<30) collection of mostly top rated games and have been on the perifery of the gaming hobby since the early 80's.

I read your blog irregularly as its usually the subjects are a bit too dry for my liking.


At 7:58 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I tend to read more than I post, usually through a read rather than browsing the website.

Any chance of a list of those 16 or so Gaming Blogs you mentioned you followed?

At 8:06 AM, Blogger ekted said...


At 9:47 AM, Blogger Steve Janecek said...

This is the only blog I read...and I dont read BGG or any of the websites either.

Jim without you...there would be no thought provocating gaming concepts for me to read :P

Clearly, I am in the minority, it would seem people take their gaming to a level beyond mine, where it actually is a large part of their life and possibly their main hobby, while for me it is number 5 or 6 on the list

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