May 1, 2004
The way to an edited RPG review blog?
Lea responds to my ideas thus:
Adam argues for "a single source of good, edited, commissioned reviews run by skilled people and provided by a team of experienced gamers and writers." I'm not sure this is practical. It takes time and effort to deliver the kind of analysis that Adam wants, something that few experienced gamers and writers, with many other calls on their time, would be able to commit to.This is, of course, the main argument for a professional RPG mag, with a team of writers who are paid for their work. However, since the RPG market seems determined to make such an enterprise completely unprofitable, that isn't going to happen. Luckily, Lea has a technology-based solution to the social problem at work here.
That's not to say that few people could or would deliver good reviews or criticism. The problem with Adam's proposal, I think, is that it puts the onus on a small circle of people. If the community wants "Basements and Bugbears" reviewed, the editors have to commission someone to review "Basements and Bugbears." This is hard work for both the editors and the reviewer
How do we provide a common location where trusted writers can find an audience, and readers can find a source of trustworthy writers? Aggregation.And you know what? This might actually work. Lea suggests using the RSS format and moderated aggregation, so basically an editor can build a web page out of reviews submitted to him.
Specifically, moderated aggregation. There clearly needs to be editorial control, otherwise the screeching howler monkeys just hurl their faeces down the aggregated feed instead of in their nasty little forums. But aggregation steps the role down from commissioning to moderation, and with a suitable definition of the feed the traffic should remain fairly low. Sure, from a critical point of view it's not as good as a rigorous editorial process, but it has the benefit that it might actually maintain a flow of content.
There are alternatives. People who pay careful attention to the look of this blog might have noticed that I'm testing the Movable Type 3.0 beta right now. If seen some interesting uses of Trackback at work during the testing, where blogs have been built out of the Trackback pings from other blogs. Here's how it works: blogger a writes a post, and then sends a Trackback ping to a set Trackback address. Blogger b gets e-mail notification of the ping, reads the post and then goes onto the MT interface to approve or deny the ping. If it's approved, it becomes part of the visible reviews blog.
This might even be worth a try.
comments powered by Disqus
TrackBack URL: http://www.onemanandhisblog.com/cgi-bin/mt/mt-tb.cgi/288