I was approached a few months ago by Ivo to write something related to Dragon Age or Minecraft, but after looking at the blog, I put that on the backburner and eventually lost interest in it.
This is a general problem I have with all the Blog Overflow blogs, but when I look at the content, I don't see any overarching focus for the blog, nor do I see the unique level of targeted and proven expertise I would come to expect from a Stack Exchange property.
Take the actual site for instance: I really couldn't care less about 90% of the games out there. I only care about the 6 dozen or so games I've played or are interested in playing. When I visit the site, I only look at those questions and ignore everything else. In those questions, answers are generally verifiable in principle and are interesting enough to check out.
When I get to the blog, there's a bunch of stuff I'm not interested in, but there is none of the personalized filtering I get on the main site nor is there any natural quality control afforded by community moderation like voting or closing.
It's not to knock to the people are writing things they are passionate about: more power to them, and I think it's great people are interested in writing more about their favorite games. But I personally don't care about Team Fortress 2 or Battlefield or Frozen Synapse, so those in-depth guides are just noise to me.
And to the reviews and conferences: I don't know who they're supposed to be targeting. Outside of friend circles, when someone talks about a game, I think there are two ways you get people to care:
- They provide a level of coverage not found anywhere else (first looks, exclusives, etc.)
- The coverage is presented by a strong personality that you follow just to see what he or she is going to say next (e.g. shock jocks or YouTube personalities like TotalBiscuit, The Yogscast, and Jesse Cox)
I don't see either of these in the reviews and coverage posts on the blog: they aren't providing information I can't get from the dozens of other gaming blogs out there, and while I'm sure all the blog authors are perfectly nice people, they're total strangers to me.
Instead, if I want to hear what someone thinks about a game, I'll ask my friends or go to a source I know and trust.
So when I look at the blog, I don't see any posts there that are interesting to me, and I don't really have any motivation to contribute. If I want to talk about games, I have a ton of more personal options:
- Talk about it with people I know on social networks like Google+ or Facebook
- Ask and answer questions on Gaming.SE where I can get rep and find answers to things I'm stuck on
- Write a post on my personal blog where I don't have to share any branding and there's a singular voice (mine).
If you want to get more people to contribute and care about the blog, I think there needs to be an elevator pitch about what makes the Gaming.SE blog not just different, but better than most of the other gaming blogs out there. If there is one, I don't think that value proposition has been made clear at all. It's clear why Stack Exchange is better than Yahoo! Answers: it's not clear why Blog Overflow is better than Wordpress.com or Tumblr or any other free blog host.