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?
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.