What’s In The Future For The Melting Pot – And How You Can Help

Heya, everyone!

So, as you may know, the Melting Pot celebrated its second birthday last week. From an idea that Rebecca and I had when we were coming home from shopping, it’s grown into a really unique project. It’s something that I know a lot of people find really valuable and interesting, and I’m really pleased about that!

We’re in year two and have no sign of slowing down, so I thought I’d write a bit about what I want to do with the Melting Pot over the next year or so, and how you can help us make Cool Things Happen.

Introducing new blogs to new readers

Firstly, I want to keep introducing bloggers to new readers, particularly newer or smaller blogs. I’m really pleased with and proud of how much we’ve been able to help both new bloggers get out there (such as Bravetank, Flosch from Random Waypoint, and the many Newbie Blogger Initiative bloggers) and help well-known bloggers find new audiences, as we’ve been doing recently with the EVE blogosphere.

(If you know of a blog we should be covering, even if it’s small, and especially if it’s yours, please do let us know! Don’t worry if you think we might already be covering it – let us know anyway, it’s only one click for me to check if we’re already reading them.)

I’ve started many, many blogs myself, and no matter how often you’ve done it, I know how painful the early stages of pushing a blog can be. It’s depressing and isolating feeling like you’re just writing for an audience that isn’t there, and I want to make sure that doesn’t happen to any blogger who has something interesting to say.

Getting MMO bloggers the respect they deserve

The second goal I’ve got for the Melting Pot this year is a big one. I want to extend the reach of the MMO blogosphere far beyond where it is now. I want top blogging voices in MMOs to have the same respect and readership numbers that top bloggers and opinion writers have in other fields. Massively Multiplayer gaming is a huge and growing segment of our culture – why shouldn’t MMO bloggers have the same readership as Penny Arcade, or be as influential a voice as Cory Doctorow in their respective fields?

Currently, there are millions of people playing MMOs – tens of millions, actually. But only a tiny fraction of them read multiple MMO blogs on a daily basis, or participate in MMO discussions on a frequent basis.

Is that because they’re just not interested in talking about MMOs? I don’t think so. The size and length of the comment threads on any major gaming site or official forum tells us there are a lot of people out there. Jokes about the quality of writing aside, a lot of MMO players are interested, thoughtful, and really want to debate the issues around MMOs, from sexism to game balancing to the theory and philosophy of gaming itself.

They just don’t know what’s out there. Or they don’t feel they have the time to filter through thousands of blogs. Well, of course, that’s where we come in.

And that’s where I want to ask for your help.

I’ve got some plans – a lot of plans, actually – to let more people know about all the good stuff that’s out there in the blogosphere. We’re going to be trying everything from high-profile guest blogging to actual paid advertising. But you can help too.

How you can help

If you run a blog, please take the time this weekend to tell your audience about the MMO Melting Pot.

I know a lot of you link to us frequently, and I’m very grateful for that – thank you!

Because we’re not a blog, I’ve discovered that a lot of people who come to the Pot for the first time don’t really understand what we’re about, why we do what we do, or what they can get out of sticking around. I think that, modesty aside, the Melting Pot is one of the best ways for any MMO player to find different, unique, interesting perspectives on the games they love every day. Hence, I’d really love more people to find out about us!

In addition, I know that a lot of MMO players do indeed read one or two blogs – but just one or two! I’d really like to present the MMO Melting Pot to those readers as a way to find more interesting writing about MMORPGs. And your blog might well be the one blog that someone reads!

I’ve written up a sample paragraph about the Pot that should serve as a good introduction – feel free to copy and paste and alter as much or as little as you’d like! Of course, you can also write something yourself – this is just meant as a time-saver!

“By the way – if you’re not already reading the MMO Melting Pot, you should give it a look. They showcase the best blog articles on MMORPGs from WOW to EVE, from hundreds of blogs you might not have heard of. If you want to hear interesting new ideas, discover fun new blogs to read or find out what everyone thinks of the hot new issues – check them out. They update daily. This week they’ve covered WoW’s raiding problems and the question of whether attunements should come back, plus the question of whether Guild Wars 2 will be any good, amongst other things!”

[copypastanonraid]By the way – if you’re not already reading the MMO Melting Pot, you should give it a look. They showcase the best blog articles on MMORPGs from WOW to EVE, from hundreds of blogs you might not have heard of. If you want to hear interesting new ideas, discover fun new blogs to read or find out what everyone thinks of the hot new issues – check them out. They update daily. This week they’ve covered WoW’s raiding problems and the question of whether attunements should come back, plus the question of whether Guild Wars 2 will be any good, amongst other things![/copypastanonraid]

(We also have image banners for the Pot if you’d like to link to us using them!)

If you’re not a blogger, you can also help us by getting the word out on social media. Please let your friends and guildies who are into MMORPGs know where to find us, and as importantly, why they might be interested!

Here are a few sample options for Twitter, Facebook and Google+:

Twitter

“Are you reading the MMO Melting Pot? Great way to find interesting writing about MMORPGs – http://www.mmomeltingpot.com”

Click here to Tweet this message!

Facebook

“Hey, BTW – if you’re not reading the MMO Melting Pot, but you’re interested in WoW or other MMOs, you should give them a look. They showcase the best blog articles on MMORPGs from WOW to EVE. If you want to hear interesting new ideas, discover fun new blogs to read or find out what everyone thinks of the hot new issues – check them out. They update daily. http://www.mmomeltingpot.com”

[copypastanonraid]Hey, BTW – if you’re not reading the MMO Melting Pot, but you’re interested in WoW or other MMOs, you should give them a look. They showcase the best blog articles on MMORPGs from WOW to EVE. If you want to hear interesting new ideas, discover fun new blogs to read or find out what everyone thinks of the hot new issues – check them out. They update daily. http://www.mmomeltingpot.com[/copypastanonraid]

Google+

“By the way – if you’re not already reading the MMO Melting Pot, you should give it a look. They showcase the best blog articles on MMORPGs from WOW to EVE, from hundreds of blogs you might not have heard of. If you want to hear interesting new ideas, discover fun new blogs to read or find out what everyone thinks of the hot new issues – check them out. They update daily. This week they’ve covered WoW’s raiding problems and the question of whether attunements should come back, plus the question of whether Guild Wars 2 will be any good, amongst other things!”

[copypastanonraid]By the way – if you’re not already reading the MMO Melting Pot, you should give it a look. They showcase the best blog articles on MMORPGs from WOW to EVE, from hundreds of blogs you might not have heard of. If you want to hear interesting new ideas, discover fun new blogs to read or find out what everyone thinks of the hot new issues – check them out. They update daily. This week they’ve covered WoW’s raiding problems and the question of whether attunements should come back, plus the question of whether Guild Wars 2 will be any good, amongst other things![/copypastanonraid]

In Conclusion

I’ve loved my first year of running the Pot, and the year of watching Rebecca develop it before that.

But I think we can do more. I think the MMO blogosphere deserves more. I think we’re host to far more than our fair share of world-class writing, and I think the world deserves to hear about it.

That’s what I’m planning to do this year: introduce the fantastic writing of everyone we feature on this site not just to the existing MMOsphere, but to the world.

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Some Long-Expected Blogging

It’s not all WoW, all the time in the MMOsphere, even with the announcement barrage that Blizzard seems to be keeping up these days. And for one MMO in particular, today’s a rather special day.

Yes, in Lord of the Rings Online, it’s time for a particularly enthusiastic party, as September 22nd brings around the birthday of both Frodo and Bilbo Baggins. And, appropriately enough on this particularly Hobbity day, there’s a bunch of interesting LoTRO news and comment out there:

  • Procrastination Amplification’s been trying LoTRO out, and has briefly summed up three interesting points for anyone who’s planning to try it – one good, one bad, and one ugly“As for Moria, I still haven’t seen the inside of it. The quest chain required me to level the weapon to level ten before being able to enter. While it is beyond level 10 now, the tasks I took upon me when it was clear I couldn’t get to Moria yet still aren’t finished.”
  • Killed In A Smiling Accident’s Melmoth has taken a break from Fighting The Forces Of The East to plant some flowers – and it’s not been going too well“The maddening part of this quest, however, was the countdown bar. Each planted marigold required a bar to count down for three years. Or maybe seven seconds. Time dilates when you’re watching a countdown bar in an MMO; it’s much like waiting for a kettle to boil only the steam is coming out of your ears instead.”
  • And A Casual Stroll To Mordor is engaging in a really cool charity event – on the 23rd of September, they’re walking – yes, walking – all the way from Bag End along the infamously difficult and dangerous path to Rivendell“On the traces of Frodo and his friends, our team of writers will walk from Bag End up to Rivendell, and maybe beyon. For every donation made to Child’s Play, our Fellowship will take one step further towards the healing house of Elrond.”

I’ve been playing LoTRO myself recently, and it’s very obvious that the game’s growing fast – the starting Elf zones on Dwarrowdelf yesterday were about as busy as the WoW servers a week after Cataclsym. I’m looking forward to more LoTRO features on the Pot soon!

Have you seen anything interesting in or about LoTRO lately? Any LoTRO blogs we should follow? Let us know below!

All quotes taken directly from their respective posts.

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Ding!

We interrupt this broadcasting schedule to bring you an important announcement.

*cue trumpets*

MMO Melting Pot is a year old today! Huzzah! So we want to crack out the metaphorical birthday caek (we don’t know who Kevin is but we hope he doesn’t mind us stealing his chocolate cake) and the pungent seal whey (mmm) and take a few minutes to share it all with you.

Sharing not just the cake – which we’d send down the router to you all if we could – but our thanks to you all for being a great, welcoming and warm audience. You’ve really kept us going as the weeks turned into months and then a year. I remember back on our first day of doors opening I was terrified that you wouldn’t like my writing style, wouldn’t like the layout (which was oh so different to what it is now), wouldn’t like the colour scheme, would sue us for quoting posts or accidentally speaking out of context. Terrified. Can you guess that this was my first venture into online world domination blogging?

Anyway. Thank you, all, for being great. Both as an audience who picks up discussions and runs with them and an audience who gives us feedback and talks to us – please keep doing all of this. We like hearing from you! And now 592 posts (give or take as we lost some in the transfer to a new theme the other week), 1564 non-spam comments and 150k visitors/month later, we’re looking squarely at a new, fresh year and hoping you’ll stick with us – and we’ll get some new folks coming and joining in too.

So grab a piece of cake and hit f5, as we’ll resume normal broadcasting later today with some more link-love posts…

 

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