Tuesday, 4 March 2014

Madness Beckons: A Second Blog

In what seems like a moment... well more a few weeks of madness I've started to ponder launching a second blog, one that focuses on a single subject. The main reason for this is as a career move, I plan to try going freelance later this year, once the MA is done and I want something dedicated so that I can use it to hopefully get work; much as I love the Shores of Night blog it's become a bit of a dumping ground for everything and I think its probably best to start separating things out a bit.

This is despite the fact that I deleted my supposedly dedicated gaming blog, Hastur's Hamster at the start of the year because I just wasn't updating it.

Anyway, its something I'm considering and the next logical step is to ask 'what do I blog about?'

I initially pondered doing something about politics, not necessarilly talking about Westminster and the Houses of Parliament because there's tons of blogs doing that. Instead I was pondering looking at a more global perspective, asking if the nation state still has a place in the world or if its doomed to obsolescence as globalisation advances and umbrella groups like the EU, African Union and the like become stronger (I'd exclude the USA and Russia from this because to my mind they're already umbrella groups, albeit with stronger national identities). The other side of it would be to look more at political theory and what its based on. I fear this would be too dry and that the whole thing would cause me a headache, much as I love politics its one thing that brings out the worst in people and I'm not sure I need the hassle.

After that though, well I just don't know what to base blog 2 on. I've gathered a few ideas which I thought I'd list below.

1) The aforementioned politics blog
2) A history blog, which would be general and probably quite unfocused
3) A blog focusing on Fantasy as a genre (just to cheat, this could also be about horror or Science Fiction
4) A comics review blog - though I don't read as much as I used to and I generally pick up collections in a fairly eclectic fashion.
5) A random gaming blog (basically a re-rebirth of Hastur's Hamster)
6) A review blog for RPGs.
7) Another gaming blog, this time dedicated to building either a new setting or putting together things for a specific game or system. As I've already done a couple of bits for Call of Cthulhu, I suspect I'd continue in that vein, or try to put together pieces for a World of Darkness game.
8) Lastly for RPGs a blog dedicated to single campaign, in terms of play and development; which is a nice idea but.... I'm not gaming at the moment and I don't know when I will be again as I have to look for a new group (I left mine at the end of last year over a few issues, amongst them communication and gaming style). If I were to do this I'd like it to be based on a game of All For One: Regime Diabolique, Esoterrorists, Numenera or Mage the Awakening (or Ascension) at the moment. As I'm picking up Unknown Armies 2nd edition soon and thinking I might get Mongoose's version of Traveller, that might change.
9) A book review site, which probably means separating out the reviews I do here.
10) A subculture blog, which would be general but would probably lean towards Punk and its successor movements.
11) A blog dedicated to the Cthulhu Mythos
12) Related to 11, I suppose, something to do with folklore and legend, especially around the UK and the Midlands.
13) A Birmingham based blog, with the idea of doing something on psychogeography - if I can find something to do beyond travelling round on the 11 bus route (there must be other options but at the moment I'm stumped).
14) Soemthing similar to 13 but with a focus on Urban Fantasy. The genre focuses on London (for obvious reasons) in the UK and it would be nice to see if I could build an Urban Fantasy version of my home city, especially if I can do it without resorting to cliches about monsters in the back alleys. Both the ideas are about seeing the city in new ways, and would get me walking and exploring more which can't be a bad thing.
15) Another idea with regards to history - but with a lot more focus on the Victorian period in the West Midlands.
16) A Steampunk culture blog looking at books, films and games in the genre (and probably asking the question, what is Steampunk?*)
17) A flash fiction blog, possibly returning to the Kingsford story I was writing here and giving it, it's own home, but equally possibly writing little horror stories.
18) Returning to a more outward facing, political idea, something about men and the experience of being male in the UK in the 21st century. Whilst this would be interesting on some levels my instinct is that it's a non starter and best left to someone like Ally Fogg over at the Guardian.

And that's it (there were originially 20 ideas but some of them really just fit into other ideas too neatly to stand on their own). I've avoided subjects like sex because, to be honest, I don't want to talk about that in public (old prude that I am).

There are obviously issues around time, energy and motivation and obviously the new blog  has to be about a topic I love rather than something that will drag and become a millstone. For that reason I'm veering more towards a creative topic than one that will require a lot of research.

What do you think, any suggestions?

*Which seems to be the question that vexes most people, Steampunk is nothing if not versatile and hard to pin down.