|Thank you for your support|
Here in the US, November is often filled with stories about what we're thankful for, leading up to our Thanksgiving holiday. So I thought I'd post up some things that I'm thankful for that make this blog possible and worthwhile (at least to me) and also end up making the hobby easier and deeper. I think it's interesting how these various things combine to make this niche possible.
- The Internet and computers- the big obvious ones, enabling people far off to interact. Without that network, these online hobby communities couldn't exist. Back when I started gaming in the pre-net days, the people you may have known locally were IT. If you traveled you might meet more, you'd hear about others in game magazines and some folks went to conventions and met others. But the ease of just hopping online and being able to be quickly connected to thousands is a mind blowing change. This also makes shopping for things a lot easier too, with things like ebay. Before you'd hunt around in whatever game stores you could find, hunt through the blister racks or the used book shelf looking for that rare gem, possibly never to find it. Now you can just hop online, hit ebay, Amazon and a few other places and have five copies to choose from, delivered to your door. This has also made getting access to tons of different companies and their products so much easier, mostly regardless of where you live.
- Forums - while I mainly hit blogs these days, forums have their uses, and is a nice way for those new to the hobby to get info, get questions answered, and see how others are doing it. When I first got back into 40K, being able to poke around in forums like The Bolter and Chainsword really helped, and they can build up nice communities too.
- Blogs - some hobby bloggers talk of "escaping" the forums to blogs. I think that's a little harsh, but blogs do serve different purposes, it's more your own corner. A forum is the local game store where you meet folks and hang out, your blog is inviting them over to your place for a game and to see your collection. It's more personal, and lets you do things as you want. The free hosting from places like blogspot and wordpress really let this take off.
- Ease of keeping up - RSS feeds, friend connect, blogrolls, etc. - being able to follow a bunch of those blogs easily is a boon. If I just had to rely on a page of links, I'd hit places a lot less often than I do now. Since it's easier, it's also easier to find new places from someone else's rolls, and I get a lot of hits from aggregate sites like Bell of Lost Souls and Faeit 212, a number of which are bound to be new viewers.
- Digital Photography - one of the sites that really pulled me back in to 40K was Batreps.com, who put up pictures of their games. Back in the days of still mostly film photography, that was impressive to me. Now, digital cameras are ubiquitous, making posting up battle reports, hobby progress, painting tutorials and such much easier. Plus digital video and audio, making all those hobby youtube channels and podcasts possible. Big thanks also to places like Photobucket for picture hosting.
- People - while all the technology is impressive and fits together wonderfully to make things possible, none of it would matter without the gamers and hobbyists themselves. Over the years I've benefited from the thoughts and work of thousands of people around the world, gotten great hobby advice, incredible inspiration, lots of entertainment and have formed a lot of friendships. The folks who've come here, followed, and especially commented are a good part of what makes this worth doing for me. Without the hobbyist there is no hobby, and it's much better being able to share it and to have people to share it with. So THANKS!