The more Susan waited, the more the doorbell didn't ring. Or the phone.
We interrupt your regularly scheduled broadcast to bring you absolutely nothing of value.
So, I was going to talk about the Vengeance today. Had a post all ready and everything, but then something unusual happened on Monday and it got me thinking about this blog. There you have it, the topic of this blog is now this blog. Assuming the universe doesn't implode from such self reference, let's move on, shall we?
First up let me explain what started me typing this. On Monday, as I usually do on days when a blog post is scheduled, I made sure to check my blog in the afternoon. I like to make sure that if people are going to leave me any comments with questions that I at least have the decency to respond to them in a timely manner. What I saw when I checked the traffic stats page left me a little disappointed. Mind you, I don't get any kind of amazing site traffic to begin with, but it normally sees a healthy bump on days in which a new post appears from the blogrolls of fellow bloggers. This day didn't see any of that.
After sulking for a moment, I went about reading some of the new blog posts that were out from those blogs that I read regularly and noticed something amiss. None of them had my latest blog on their blogroll. The most any of them had was the post before that, from four days earlier. So it would seem that the internet, in its infinite wisdom, decided the post wasn't worthy of being shared on the various lists that it would normally show up on. Thanks Blogger, you suck. So if you haven't read that post, and would like to, feel free.
"Why is he telling me this?" you may now be wondering. Well, it got me thinking about the blog in general. Things like why I'm writing it, who I'm writing it for, who's reading it, do they enjoy it, would they enjoy something else more, etc. After some thinking on the topic, I've got a few conclusions.
First, the good. Site traffic is growing steadily. Lack of page views wouldn't be the end of the world, but it would certainly say something if traffic was dying off. I've gotten about 50% more views this month than I did in January, which I think is pretty neat. I haven't really gone out of my way to promote the blog, with asking to be added to Eve Bloggers at the beginning of the year being about the only advertising I've done. Since then, the majority of my traffic now comes from other blogger's blogrolls, with occasional influxes when some alliance forum posts internally with a link. Having talked to a few of those alliances, the topic is generally, "If you're new and want to try solo PvP check this site out," which is pretty much what I was going for.
Then, the bad. I don't really get much feedback from the posts I make. While some posts manage a few comments, most are comment free and with the most frequently commented having seven at the moment. Again, no comments wouldn't be the end of the world, but it does make figuring out what people enjoy reading a bit harder and I often see blogs with regular debates going on in the comment fields. Now, maybe it's just a site traffic thing. Those blogs could be getting ten times my traffic which just inevitably leads to more comments, but I can't shake the suspicion it's not just that. My last post received far fewer page views than most, but had five comments by the end of the day. Perhaps my topics just don't spark the same debate that some people's do. Is that bad? Should I be more polarizing in my posts in some feigned attempt at sparking debate? Probably not, but if I could change something that would end up enhancing the blog's content, I'd love to know what it is.
Finally, the ugly. I'm running a bit low on steam here. It's almost a cliché to see EVE blogs (and perhaps blogs in general) that have a torrent of posts to begin with and then just vanish without a trace. Usually with a final post many months later apologizing for the abrupt departure and assuring readers that they're back and going to be posting more frequently. I don't want to be that guy. Don't worry though (as if anyone would have been) my passion for EVE and my need to write still persist.
The problem I'm having happens to be one of the better problems to be having. I started this blog to discuss PvP, and lowsec Piracy in particular, from the perspective of a new player. The problem I see with this is that I'm not sure how long I can call myself a new player without some degree of irony. I haven't flown anything but T2 ships in two months, how much does a new player gain from hearing about that? The majority of Pirate Blogs I've read generally turn into tales of their day-to-day exploits. I could certainly start doing that, but I'm not sure I'd have much to contribute amongst a sea of players with far more experience and far more impressive kills than I. I've always preferred instead to discuss topics broader than the fights themselves, while using them to illustrate some of the points.
Don't worry though, I'm going to blur the line with a healthy dose of self denial for a while yet. I'm flying Assault Ships and Interceptors for the time being, and those can still certainly be short term goals for the new player. I can continue to discuss them with the same attention to detail and degree of explanation that a player new to the ships would find helpful. I plan on turning my attention next to the Arbitrator, an Amarr Cruiser, and a ship anyone can fly within their first week of EVE. But, after four months of flying it when I set foot in a Recon for the first time, I don't think I'm going to be able to say "This is a new player's guide to flying a Pilgrim," with a straight face.
As with anything in life, EVE FNG will either adapt, or it will die. Perhaps when the time comes, I should just allow the site to end gracefully, with a post signing off and maybe a new blog started elsewhere that focuses less on the new player. Well, what do you think? That's right, I want to hear from you. Does a blog focusing on a new EVE player have a shelf life? Can I continue to write to an audience of new players forever? Can something be done to enhance the blog? I can of course look at traffic stats to tell me which posts are viewed the most, but they don't tell me which posts are enjoyed the most. Let me know what you think, in the comments below.