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A while ago, the community discussed starting a blog. Good ideas were raised and an initial scope was formed. However, the discussion stagnated after the realisation that in-house SE blogs are on hold.

StackExchange hasn't been quick about re-opening blog creation. However, as many people noted in the last thread, Worldbuilding may be a good candidate for having one, and now that we have a mature community, I think now may be a good time to revisit the idea.

As I said in chat, I am happy to both set up a blog on an external platform (probably Wordpress or similar) and contribute to it. We have a basic scope already defined in the last post.

Tell me what you think. Do we still want a blog? Who might our contributors be? Opinions please.

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    $\begingroup$ Previous specific ideas: meta.worldbuilding.stackexchange.com/questions/524/… $\endgroup$ – HDE 226868 Apr 18 '15 at 15:38
  • $\begingroup$ SE doesn't create blogs for sites anymore. This has been announced on some metas. I think the reason given was that many site blogs didn't have enough content. This doesn't preclude creating an official-ish blog for the site outside SE. $\endgroup$ – Gilles 'SO- stop being evil' Apr 18 '15 at 20:55
  • $\begingroup$ @Gilles That was the suggestion; I'd create it on some external platform. SE doesn't need to have anything to do with it :) $\endgroup$ – ArtOfCode Apr 18 '15 at 21:40
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    $\begingroup$ I'd like to see a worldbuilder's blog where users get to talk about worldbuilding challenges that don't really fit the Q&A format of this site. Usually, people come here for help on specific problems; I'd like to learn generally how the intelligent people here go about getting to the problems in the first place. $\endgroup$ – DaaaahWhoosh Apr 21 '15 at 17:15
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I think it would be an awesome idea. One thing I've noticed about Worldbuilding (when compared to other beta sites) is that we have a really strong community. We know each other pretty well, and I think we're pretty welcoming to new users. This isn't a place where it's easy to ask stupid questions - people won't criticize your question just because it seems far-fetched. A blog would strengthen this idea.

One idea I like is Liath's suggestion of "masterclasses" about certain topics. Some people here have a lot of knowledge about certain subjects, and it would be great to have their help writing mini tutorials on different world building tidbits. I'd be perfectly happy to volunteer to contribute to posts about astronomy, space and physics, should those ever be featured.

I'll spend some time answering some of the questions overactor put forth.

What would be the purpose of this blog?

  1. To discuss the community and talk a bit about who we are.
  2. To give some canonical information we would otherwise give in questions and answers on worldbuilding.stackexchange.com.
  3. To get some publicity for the site.

What would be the scope?

  1. Tips, tricks and ideas to help world builders.
  2. News from the community (whatever that might be).
  3. (?)

What's the benefit?

  1. Publicity for the community.
  2. A greater sense of community.
  3. A place to expand a bit. I have no specific ideas for what this means, but I think a blog would help.

Caveat

My support for this hinges on this idea being approved by Stack Exchange, which might not be the case. If that's the case, then we can treat it like an official blog. If we don't get the explicit support, though, things could get . . . tricky. In that case, I don't think we could legally claim affiliation with Worldbuilding Stack Exchange. Which would defeat the whole purpose.

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I'm not sure this can really work out well at all, as proposed.

Now, don't get me wrong. There is nothing preventing a community member starting a blog on the subject of worldbuilding. It could even use content from the site; that's what the CC-BY-SA license is all about.

Where things get trickier (also legally) is in trying to make the blog somehow officially or semi-officially associated with the site, or Stack Exchange. It opens yet another can of worms if it's going to be hosted off the Stack Exchange network. I am not speaking for Stack Exchange in any capacity here (diamond moderators are not Stack Exchange Inc representatives) but I have doubts that something like that would be approved.

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  • $\begingroup$ I'm proposing that what we do is essentially exactly what you say in your second paragraph. I'm soliciting opinions here because it's a community about worldbuilding; I'm creating a blog about worldbuilding and inviting some of the users here to contribute. I doubt we're going to get it officially recognised by SE but promoting it here is not against any policy. I'm not looking for SE approval, but it's something the community wants to do so I think we should be able to do it. $\endgroup$ – ArtOfCode Apr 18 '15 at 22:46
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It's unfortunate that SE is not currently allowing sites to create new blogs. If we can show that we have content queued up (not just good ideas, but people actually writing stuff), then I think we could petition them again. But until we can show that this is more than just an aspiration, we're not going to get help from them.

Anybody is of course free to set up an off-site blog. A blog that has to be gated through one person (i.e. only the owner can post) will be seen as less open than one that allows direct contributions from a larger set. It also creates a vulnerability; if that person becomes unavailable, the blog fails. So, if looking at off-site options, I strongly urge people to look for ones that allow multiple owners/posters/administrators. (I have no idea if WordPress is such a platform.)

I think a good next step is to identify content, going a little deeper than the broad categories we've already identified. What kinds of tips and tricks? What would we say about a featured question of the week? What canonical information (that doesn't fit on the site itself)? Who will write it? How frequently?

I like the idea of a blog. But I don't think the next step is "create a blog"; I think the next step is "scope it out some more". Back when SE was allowing blogs they expected communities to do that legwork first, and I think there are sound reasons for that.

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  • $\begingroup$ I agree, we do need to work on what exactly we want it to be before creation. I'll get some meta discussion on the subject. $\endgroup$ – ArtOfCode Apr 19 '15 at 9:35
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One thing I'd like to see in a Worldbuilding blog is highlights of recent questions. Not even necessarily high-view or high-score questions, but the author of the article would pick a question and go into some detail about it: look at the answers, etc. The people over at Information Security's blog do this already with their QoTW (Question of The Week) series.

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