Blogs are funny little things. You can pour your heart and soul into creating an intuitive layout, finding nifty widgets, populating your sidebar with all sorts of interesting links, and other such endeavors; yet, after all your diligence and toil, the only thing some readers care about is what you wrote today--especially if they're not reading your posts on your actual blog.
That's why I'd like to draw your attention to the nine blogs that currently have the illustrious distinction of being included in our blogroll; we're fond enough of these blogs to allot them some premium sidebar space, and introducing each of them in this post is a way of sharing our interests--and that's what this blog is all about.
We keep a blogroll to show our support of the blogs we enjoy (and to give them some free publicity, because we bloggers are one big friendly community; that's also why we become Followers, right, Kevin?). However, there's more to it than that: Alex and I use this page as a sort of "home base" for all our geeky Internet needs: we've got links to most of the fandom-related blogs and websites we like to visit regularly, and I'll be the first to admit that I often check on the blog just to see what kind of activity is going on in the sidebar.
So, the blogs listed in our blogroll aren't just there for show; at least one of us is a regular reader of each one. We hope we might be able to turn a few of you to the dork side and join us in our geek reading. Here are the featured hobby and fandom blogs we're currently following:
Beneath the Screen
Beneath the Screen is a small but rapidly growing blog that focuses on roleplaying games, especially Dungeons & Dragons. BTS started up shortly before EYH (that's us, in case you can't decipher acronyms, BTW), and we've sort of been "buddy blogs" ever since; BTS is written by a friend of mine from college, so it's out of some kind of residual loyalty that... wait, wait; no, that's not it at all.
Honestly, BTS has fantastic advice for DMs and players, intelligently written reviews, interesting recaps of real live D&D adventures, and plenty of creative quest ideas. Plus, Storyteller occasionally extends the invitation for me to write a guest post there, but that has very little bearing on anything. Really!
Fun fact: I found a little bit of inspiration for the layout of our sidebar from BTS. Don't tell anyone.
Comic By Comic
Incredibly, this blog is about comics. Also other things, but largely comics. What's nice is that the posts are usually fairly short--gut reactions to comics news, concise opinions about movie posters and geeky videos and whatnot, and pull lists that are a more condensed version of what we do with Waiting for Wednesday, with splashes of humor all over. Comic By Comic is a great gateway to comics news for people who lack the time or interest to follow the biggest comics news sites, plus it's frequently good for a quick laugh.
I'm a staff writer for GameCola, the humorous video game review site, so this was an obvious choice for the blogroll. The GameCola blog is used primarily for weekly updates on what new video games are being released, space for GameCola staff to rant about one thing or another, and publicity for every new video that goes up on the GameCola YouTube page, which I've volunteered to maintain. It's more of a news feed than a full-fledged blog, but it's worth looking into if you enjoy the kind of content GameCola produces.
Geekologie - Gadgets, Gizmos, and Awesome
Geekologie consistently spotlights some of the most incredible, absurd, bizarre, and hilarious examples of geekiness on the planet. A dragon made out of soda can tabs? Check. Pac-Man oven mitts? Check. A bra made out of bacon? Check. A Death Star jack-o-lantern? Check. Geekologie has it all, with photos and videos to prove that such awesome (and absurdity) does indeed exist.
Each post is irreverently written, regardless of the subject, and it's difficult not to at least crack a smile when reading Geekologie. Be warned, though: there's a lot of vulgar language, and every once in a while there will be a post concerning something that, no matter how hard you try, you cannot unsee. If those things don't bother you (or if you're willing to deal with them), then there's absolutely no reason you shouldn't have Geekologie bookmarked somewhere, no matter what kind of geek you are.
This one's pretty straightforward: Kotaku covers video game news both large and small; it's got a hint of humor, and it's updated constantly. That's about all you need to know.
Of all the blogs on our blogroll, this one is probably the most "traditional" in that it's essentially the highly opinionated ramblings of a guy who has taken a deep plunge into comics and politics and ain't ever coming back. That guy is Kevin Powers, creator of Legends of Steel Creek and columnist/reviewer/editor for Comics Bulletin. Strong opinions provide good blogging fuel, so whether or not you agree with everything he has to say, Kevin calls it like he sees it, and he does so coherently, so bonus points there.
Fun fact: KP's Take is our other "buddy blog." Just in case you wanted to know.
Musings of the Chatty DM
While I could explain in my own words what this blog is all about, I think the Chatty DM himself puts it pretty plainly and neatly:
Musings of the Chatty DM captures that familiar feeling of entering your favorite gaming shop and seeing people hanging around the counter and passionately discussing their favorite games and adventures. I share my thoughts, opinions, ideas and experience about being a game master of tabletop roleplaying games. My game of choice is Dungeons and Dragons 4th edition, but I often tackle general topics such as using the tricks of TV shows and movies in RPGs, Adventure Design, Gaming with Children and GMing Tips. Musings of the Chatty DM is the perfect place to discuss with friendly geeks who share your passion for RPGs.
...Do I still get XP for copying and pasting?
Neil Gaiman's Journal
Alex enjoys reading Neil Gaiman's work. He's, like, an author or something.
Blogger, comics professional, and social media specialist Valerie D'Orazio writes one of the most tell-everything-and-tell-it-like-it-is blogs on the Internet. Well, as far as I've seen, anyhow. Comics and pop culture are generally the focus of Occasional Superheroine, which is sometimes controversial, often profound, and always honest and very personal. Valerie has valuable insights on gender issues and the comics industry, and even her "fluff" posts are consistently interesting and eloquently worded.
The way our blogroll is set up (in case you've never paid attention to it), the title of each blog's latest post is listed, along with how long it's been since the last update. Handy! Our blogroll fluctuates depending mostly on how often a blog updates; if a blog hasn't posted in a long time, or if we find that we're dedicating less time to reading it, we usually shift that blog to the "Some Sites We Like" section of our sidebar for a while.
There you have it. Now, go take a peek at some of those blogs.
Hah! This should show those fools a thing or two. They said a Friday Link Dump post was the lazy man's way out of blogging. Wait until I tell them I stayed up until after 2 AM writing this post. Now who's the fool!?