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Disclaimer: Blogs are on hold for the moment and this thread will likely not lead directly to us having our own blog. Instead, this post is supposed to test the water. I think Worldbuilding is a good candidate for owning a blog and discussing the possibility now can only be helpful.

It could be beneficial to add a community blog to Worldbuilding. I think the main challenges with maintaining a blog is having enough and sufficiently motivated contributors and defining a reasonable scope. This is reflected in the 4 steps mentioned in the post I linked above:

  • Raise the idea on the meta site.
  • Define the purpose and scope.
  • Recruit contributors.
  • Plan a schedule.

I figure we can roll the first two points into one meta question (this one).

What to do before answering this question:

What to put in your answer:

  • A proposal for the blog that contains
    • A purpose of the blog. (What does the blog do for us?)
    • A scope for the blog. (What do we write about in the blog?)
    • An argumentation why this blog benefits us.
  • Or an argumentation against a blog.

What comes after this:

If everything goes smoothly, we'll have either a 'no' or a clear winner as to the scope and purpose after this thread runs its course. If not, an additional thread might be needed. The next step would then be recruiting contributors and setting up a schedule.

I have started another question where we can discuss ideas for specific blog entries

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    $\begingroup$ 7 votes and nobody is explaining why they think it's a good idea? I'm just curious. $\endgroup$ – Vincent Nov 10 '14 at 2:03
  • $\begingroup$ @Vincent, I've added my own proposal; have a look if you like. (You're of course welcome to post your argumentation for or against as well) $\endgroup$ – overactor Nov 10 '14 at 13:14
  • $\begingroup$ Related: meta.worldbuilding.stackexchange.com/q/2503/28 $\endgroup$ – Monica Cellio Aug 25 '15 at 14:08
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A general purpose Blog

I think world building has plenty of topics to write about in a blog and probably more than enough people who can write the entries (writers are a large part of the audience after all).

Here is what I would suggest as appropriate topics for our blog:

What would be the purpose of this blog?

The first two topics I suggested deal with promotion and hopefully need no further explanation.

The scope of our site is a difficult beast, since we all come from a different background and world building can at times be difficult to keep objective. There have been many discussions on meta and in our chat about the scope of our site and whether a certain question is or isn't on-topic. A blog would be a great place to elaborate on the argumentation behind your views.

Software is another thing that is difficult for us to talk about in the current format. A blog would be an ideal place to write a review (which would be too opinionated and too extensive for the main site) or compare a bunch of software with a similar purpose (this avoids list-type questions). There are possibly other topics like this that might be more appropriate on the blog than on the main site. (Perhaps books about world building?)

What's the benefit?

I hope that by now, you've already spotted the various ways this will benefit our community:

  • It offers a way for us to promote our high quality questions and good users.
  • It helps us shape our site into a better one. (Any additional discourse of ideas can only benefit us)
  • It allows us to talk about topics that relate to world building but fit poorly within the Q&A format.

These advantages should be obvious and sufficient to justify the existence of a world building blog. There's another reason for this blog to exist though.

A lot of our users are aspiring writers who would no doubt embrace an opportunity to contribute to a blog about a topic they (hopefully) love. These blog posts shouldn't just list facts or be a bunch of links. They should be engagingly written and should thus be a good platform for people wanting to practice their writing.

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  • $\begingroup$ If you are in disagreement about some points in this suggestion, feel free to comment and I'll edit as appropriate. If your view is radically different, consider writing out your own proposal. $\endgroup$ – overactor Nov 10 '14 at 13:03
  • $\begingroup$ I think this is a good idea, however I suggest we try and make a list of topics/authors to see exactly what we would write. Perhaps start a question where people propose topics and they're voted on? $\endgroup$ – Liath Nov 10 '14 at 14:32
  • $\begingroup$ @Liath, I'd argue to leave this up for a while to see if someone comes up with anything else and then moving on to your suggested thread. We can further define the scope while getting an idea of possible writers. $\endgroup$ – overactor Nov 10 '14 at 14:41
  • $\begingroup$ Oh I don't mean as a replacement - I mean too :) $\endgroup$ – Liath Nov 10 '14 at 14:42
  • $\begingroup$ These are good ideas. I agree with Liath that, separately, it'd be good to start compiling a list of specific article topics -- who/what should we showcase, what software does it make sense to talk about, what scope discussions would make good blog posts, etc. $\endgroup$ – Monica Cellio Nov 10 '14 at 21:28
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overactor makes good points, and I'd like to see everything he suggests.

But I'd also like to see blog posts written on the process of world-building itself. From the organization of ideas down to how much history you need to think up down to whether you need to define the gravity.

We get a lot of questions on subjects like:

We turn away most of them for being opinion based or too broad, (As we should) but these are legitimate questions for a group of experts on world-building, and I think we can answer them by writing and posting well researched blog posts.

Not only would I like to read these blog posts, but I'd be more than willing to write a few.

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    $\begingroup$ +1, I like the idea. These would also be good to link to in answers (or questions), much like the SE (or SO) blog is often linked to on MSE. $\endgroup$ – Shokhet Nov 10 '14 at 23:41
  • $\begingroup$ Is anyone going to want to spend the time to research and write the blog posts, though? $\endgroup$ – DonyorM Nov 11 '14 at 11:30
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As a supplement to other answers, another type of blog post I'd like to see is case studies. I mean a blog post where somebody used this site to help build a world and writes about that, including linking to the questions he either asked or found that helped him. Particularly if there's a case where somebody used several questions for one project, it'd be cool to see how that worked out.

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    $\begingroup$ That would be very cool, +1 $\endgroup$ – Shokhet Nov 10 '14 at 23:27
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This is something that I've wanted for a long time but couldn't do by myself, but I think the community here would be perfect for it.

What would be the purpose?

  1. To fill a niche. There are actually a lot of worldbuilding blogs out there, but almost every one of them is focused on worldbuilding in service to a particular end, mostly fiction writing. So their content leans towards questions of how to make things immersive or how to get certain bits of information to the reader over the course of a story, and so on. A blog that focuses on the worldbuilding for its own sake would fill a void, in my opinion.
  2. To cultivate community. Since stackexchange is primarily for the asking and answering of questions only, a blog is a good place for communication and recognition beyond that.
  3. It brings more attention to the main exchange. A decently run blog with quality content will attract people and lead to more engagement.

What would be the scope?

IMO a dream blog would be one "Dedicated the the process of worldbuilding," which is actually extremely broad and could allow for some very interesting articles. The one place where I think we should keep things restricted is in terms of "Worldbuilding for" another purpose. There are already lots of blogs and articles about how to worldbuild in fiction, for games, for movies, and so on. I don't know if it would be wise to bar all such material, but I think it should be limited.

Material that could be included would be:

  • Elaborations on more open ended questions, as Danny Reagan mentioned.
  • Reviews of material with an eye specifically for the worldbuilding underpinning that material. i.e. Avatar and the way its world is built out of a few basic cornerstones.
  • Articles about looking at the way our world works and how that can be incorporated into a project.
  • Spotlights on member projects and specific ways they went about solving problems.
  • Reviews of tools and resources, which I think was mentioned.
  • Articles on process, how to distribute population, how to place waterways, how to manage timelines.
  • Articles on alternate approaches to worldbuilding: worldbuilding through music, more extreme or surreal worlds, small scale projects, etc...
  • Articles on the history of conworlds. This shit has been going on for forever, well before Tolkien, and it would be interesting to talk more about things like universal myth, old texts where the authors dreamt up everything in them, and so on.
  • Themes, tropes, and cliches, and how certain settings dealt with them.
  • Contests a la the worldbuildling subreddit, where a topic is offered and people provide a few paragraphs of worldbuildling in response, with the winner receiving the most votes from the community.

Looking at the blogs that have made it, their material goes far beyond what may be pertinent to the stackexchange site, and digs into the topic itself.

Material I'd resist would be:

  • The aforementioned "worldbuilding for..." type articles. They've been written before, many times.
  • General world overviews. Very few people enjoy reading world descriptions of the "Races, Continents, Religions," variety. Spotlights should focus on a specific element, either a cultural detail, a political moment, a geologic anomaly, or so on.
  • Contributors using the blog to brainstorm. I think the focus should be on what other people are doing and how they are doing it. Otherwise the blog risks becoming insular and irrelevant to anyone but those personally invested in it.

I think that with worldbuilding it is particularly useful to have a blog that comes from a community, because as a hobby it encompasses pretty much everything, and people come from it with different focuses. A lot of the stackechange com seems to be interested in the science of it all, but I personally spend most of my time reading anthropologies, histories, and folklore, and am more interested in high fantasy and mythopoea. There's a lot we can learn from each other, and having a single blog that brings it all together would be an excellent forum for that engagement. Like I said, I've wanted one for forever, but there's only so much a single contributor can provide. If the blog is established I can commit to writing something once a month at least.

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I think specific worlds and settings would make for good blog posts. Plot and characters would be optional.

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