Lessons learned #Blapril2020

Fashionably late as usual, here’s my final Blapril2020 post the day after the final week of the event ends. It’s been a welcome distraction during a strange, strange global situation. Writing, as with other years, hasn’t been a problem for me – though I’ve not been blessed with much more free time than normal and any extra hours I’ve gained through taking days off have been ploughed into ongoing tabletop rpg writing projects.

The positive, as always, has been the influx of posts and new blogs to my Feedly reading list. These remain a great source of inspiration for my own blogging, especially on days where outside factors (usually work) leave me not feeling so motivated to blog. My own thanks to Belghast for organising this 2020 edition.

A rather late realisation was just how slack I’d become with including the hashtag in post titles. So I just did some quick admin to quick edit a load of posts for consistency of its inclusion. I’ll leave the debate over whether to put said tag in the title versus having more formal tags, as in WordPress tags, aside for now. Including them consistently makes it easier for me to refer back to all the posts I’ve done during this event (21 if you’re asking), and gives more visibility to the event tag itself.

Last year was a weird Blaugust for me as I was absent for most of the first half due to work-related travel. Two years ago, for Blaugust 2018, I wrote about the Discord server. That side of this wonderful community event remains problematic as I just find I haven’t established a useful relationship with how Discord is used. I currently belong to five different community servers (including Blaugust, two MMO-related ones and two tabletop rpg ones). I rarely keep up with even the “main chat” of any of them, let alone the 5-10 other topic specific channels that *each* community has. Using Discord feels like being hosed down with content every time I open the app. I’ve shared most of my posts on the Blaugust “Share-your-content” channel, but often feel bad doing so because I simply haven’t the time to read every post that is linked there.

This isn’t a critique of the platform or the way it’s used for Blaugust/Blapril. I can see the value in the discussions that happen; it is a very handy way for bloggers to keep up with known blogs and, potentially, find new ones. I guess it’s just one more platform that I need to try and keep up with, alongside my blogroll, and Twitter, and Facebook, and news websites. So I think a lesson to learn, if I don’t want to be typing yet again in 2021 about Blaugust and Discord, is to actually find some strategies for how to make such community platforms work for me!  All suggestions greatfully received…


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5 Responses to Lessons learned #Blapril2020

  1. I know what you mean about Discord. I belong to about 6 servers and I find that there is a sea of content to catch up on each time I log in. So the first thing I did was turn off notifications, so my phone (which also has the app installed) doesn’t keep beeping continuously. I also filter a lot. There are some conversations that I don’t participate in. For example, I’m not a Civ player so this shared game thing that’s being done on the Blapril Discord is all completely over my head. That’s fine. It’s like when you’re talking with a group of friends in a social setting. It’s not essential to participate in everything that’s talked about. I have nothing to say for example on football, as I’m not a fan of any sport really. I try to keep up with the content shared channel as I consider this a very important aspect of the community. I guess it’s like any form of social media;. do it on the terms that suit you and do not feel obliged or pressured in trying to address everything that’s going on.

    • Naithin says:

      Good view, and frankly this was something I had to learn way back when with Twitter. My first experiences with Twitter however many years ago was scrolling through my entire feed back to where I had last read from, replying to anything that seemed to warrant it along the way.

      … Yep.

      Of course, now I’ve gone way too far the other way and I miss way too much that I’d rather not. But this is still preferable to putting the earlier, very unreasonable, demands I’d put upon myself.

      Similar with Discord. Feel free to mute any channels that aren’t relevant to your interests, partake when you happen to see something that interests you, skip on by without any guilt or worry otherwise. 🙂

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