My blog currently reminds me of the opening of Fallout: New Vegas. If you haven’t played it, the game starts out with you being shot out in the desert and left to die in a shallow grave. I am the inept shooter and the blog is the main character left to die. But I don’t want to be the inept shooter anymore and I don’t want this blog to be the character I let die in the desert.
So over the last couple months I’ve breathed a little bit of life into the blog. I’ve published a couple retro reviews that were published first over on my main site Critically Sane. I’ve also started a “feature” focusing on things I’ve been watching. It’s enough to give the blog an ever so faint heart beat. But I want to breathe more into it. I don’t know about getting it to thrive but I’d just like it off life support. Why? Well, I want to write more because I used to write a lot.
I’ve been writing on the internet for over 15 years, I remember one of my first movie reviews was of Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines on the now defunct site, juice.box. juice.box was part of the .box network, a group of sites dedicated to a variety of different interests. For example there was music.box that was dedicated to all things music. The juice site was a hodge podge of geek interests and I fit in well there.
Eventually though I was asked to join the Philadelphia metroblogging project and I spent time there writing movie and music reviews, with a touch of sports commentary on the Philadelphia Flyers and Phillies. At the time I viewed it as a gateway to possibly writing for a local news site or something. At some point traffic for the Philly site began to fade and like many of the authors there, I got bored and moved on. To the IGN blogs.
The IGN blogs began what has been to date my most productive writing period. IGN was, and still is, a massive media giant in the geek culture arena. It sometimes gets a bad rap (sometimes deservedly so) but there is little disputing its massive reach. The IGN blogs were a place for me to write about everything and anything and due to the way the blogging system was designed you could easily build a following. There was a real sense of community on those blogs and I’ve developed some long lasting friendships from them as well (more on that soon).
My writing on those blogs garnered the attention of the Editor-In-Chief of Hooked Gamers and I was asked to come on board to write for them. Hooked Gamers, like a lot of smaller, independent sites, run on a volunteer basis but even though it was unpaid, I threw myself into my work there full force. I was privileged enough to review a ton of great games for the site including Bioshock (my first review for the site), Mass Effect, Uncharted, and Rock Band, amongst others. During my stint there, I worked with some great people that have made a mark in the games industry (both in writing and developing). And I wouldn’t stall to recommend writing for them if the question was posed to me. That group is a true class act.
Working with Hooked Gamers and keeping my IGN blog updated kept me busy. But I guess I still wasn’t busy enough because seven years ago, I decided that I wanted to produce my own gaming podcast. And thus, The Perfectly Sane Show as born. At first the show was recorded live in my kitchen with a group of friends around the table. It was scattershot at its best but it laid the foundation for what was to come. 17 episodes in and it was becoming harder and harder to get people together to record the show and eventually it stagnated. That is until Fozzy (FozzyTheGamer) from the IGN blogs approached me about doing a podcast with his buddy Tony (napoleon1066) from the blogs. I was in to the idea but three hosts sounded off to me so I suggested we bring in a buddy of mine Jeff (justsomedude899) and The Perfectly Sane Show (version 2)was born. 357 episodes later we’re still going strong.
Two episodes in to the new show we joined forces with another IGN blogger, Ryan Kenward (sorry Ryan, I forget what your IGN tag was), that had an idea to build up his own podcasting network, Vagary.tv. Over the next few years we, along with a crew of mostly talented people, transformed Vagary into an independent success. While it was burning, it burned super bright. We were granted media access to PAX East, the Electronic Entertainment Expo (sadly I was unable to go), review copies, developer access, early film screenings (thanks to our budding film division headed up by myself and Jeff), and we were known when we went to these events. Life happens though and we began to lose contributors, which happens when you don’t pay them (it’s not their job) and everyone is just doing it for fun (it is a hobby). This pushed a lot of extra work on a handful of us and it stopped being fun. After PAX East 2013, I was burnt out. We weren’t building Vagary anymore, we were just maintaining it and doing a poor job. I had had enough maintaining. I wanted to build again.
I approached my podcast co-hosts and the PR manager for us at Vagary about breaking off. It didn’t take much selling as everyone felt a bit burnt out at Vagary and six months later Critically Sane went live. We threw a lot into Critically Sane and we built it up pretty well over the next two years. It never reached the level of Vagary but considering the scope and staff of Vagary, that is nothing to be ashamed of. As I said earlier though, life happens and Critically Sane is mostly just a hosting ground for the occasional review and our podcasts (The Perfectly Sane Show and Movie Dudes, the latter which I co-host with Jeff from PSS).
Maintaining a blog is hard, maintaining a full site is even harder.
But I want to write more again. I don’t necessarily know if that is game reviews or whatnot, although I’m sure I will do some and they’ll cross post from Critically Sane to here. But I’ll be putting stuff here regardless. As this is my personal blog, it is going to be a mish-mash of crap though, games, movies, parenting, observations, inappropriate commentary, maybe some fiction, maybe some sketches (once upon a time I was an artist). Who knows? But as I’ve proven to myself I can do a weekly piece (with Watched), I think I’ll try to do a couple weeks of two or three posts. I’ll see what happens, hopefully you will stick around to as well.