Monday, November 1, 2010

[Blogging] Speaking Authoritatively

There are some blogs I love to read because their authors are seriously fun people, or are sharing my brain from several states away (I'm talking about YOU, Christian). I have a whole list of blogs that are on my roll simply because they are funny or their writers are just my kind of wacky.

I do have a serious side. I enjoy a thoughtful, well written discussion of whatever topic is at hand. A welcoming, inclusive and straightforward writeup of whatever might be the topic of the day is an ideal article for me to find. I recently came across a post that was all of these things- but was regarding a topic on which I had absolutely no knowledge. It didn't matter; I still loved the post.

Nikephoros over at Bringer of Victory, sons of Taurus at SonsofTaurus, Archnomad at Skavenblight, Zheilt at Custodes 40K and Hero at HERO's Gaming Blog  are good examples of these kinds of writers. They are (in my opinion) experts on at least one topic, and usually more than a couple. They write about what they know, and they bring their material in way that makes it easy to read, rather than a technical manual (well, except for Zheilt- he's a math geek and I'm not).

I look forward to reading these blogs because I know I will learn something. I rarely come away wondering, "was that advice any good", because they've proven themselves to know their subjects well. As an added bonus, they're willing to share- well beyond their own blogs and offer comments or articles for more than just their loyal readers.

I recently mentioned that I wished I had something on which I could write definitively. It then occurred to me that for all practical purposes, I don't really have a lot of experience BEING an expert.

I'm married to TheDude; who isn't just AN expert- in our group, he's THE expert. (On pretty much everything. I love him, but he makes me sick the way he can just KNOW a system after one read.) People ask him for advice and cater to his authority almost without fail or question.  My dad was (for many years) a well regarded authority on strategic gaming.  My son is quickly becoming a Magic expert- learning from the two major masters in our area.

Many of the people in our gaming group have their niches as well. My WOD ST is the last word on WOD, 40K and above all others, Confrontation. Another player in the WOD group runs circles around me in regards to Changeling. My friend Tom is "the map guy".

The more I thought about it, I realized that I'm a generalist, with a little bit of knowledge across a LOT of topics. There are some topics that I really do know a lot about -but for the most part; they're non-gaming related. (Baking, serial killers,  certain authors) Additionally, I didn't want to WRITE about those things, except as a one off.

Every time I worry about being a generalist, with nothing "special" to say, I remember that my blog is called
World of WONDER. This is an opportunity for me to indulge my childlike amazement, simple joy and unbound curiousity. My hope is that my tone and heart convey my absolute befuddlement and beweildermentat the world around me.

(And that you'll allow me to show off now and then when I DO find a topic to which I can address unequivocally.)

Be well...



  1. That's largely the way I am as well. There's nothing wrong with knowing a lot about a lot. I always thought it was important for me to be better at life than any one particular game. I do know a lot about several games. I am a d20 player (mostly 3e and the miniatures game) and a fanatic Space Hulk player, but I am just getting into 40k, so I take other people's leads, and will worry about finding my own niche as I go.

    Like I said, nothing wrong with it.

  2. No, nothing wrong... just it took a little figuring out.

  3. Thanks for the props. I think my authoritative tone comes from being really stubborn and set in my ways. Don't mimic that, if you value your current friends haha.

  4. Many thanks for the shout out. :)

    One of the things that I also like about gaming is getting to know people who are very. very smart. It's so impressive how many bright and capable people are attracted to this hobby.

    Game on!

  5. You do what you do well, Loq. You may not be mathhammering out the most point efficient units in an army list or quoting rules like a priest quotes the bible, but you offer interesting and unique views on things. For me it's refreshing. I read my fair share of authoritative blogs but I read them for the information they have to offer, usually nothing more. I come here to see what new adventures you're up to and to read something with personality infused. Keep it up.

  6. Nikephoros: You're welcome.

    Thor: Thanks a bunch, man!

    I have no plans on changing- this was just sort of an "aha" moment.

  7. Thanks for the praise, though I'm not sure how "authoritative" I am!

    I think that the best thing to do is just to be yourself, that special little snowflake that each of us can be. ;-) There may be other sites that can do X Y or Z "better", but no one else can be you or me. The trick is then to be interesting enough for someone else to care!

  8. Which brings up a very unique subject: where does authority in blogging come from? What validates information from one source v. another. Now somebody should write a piece about that. Might take some kind of grand psychological survey to get it together though....
    1, 2, 3.... not it.

  9. I might take up that challenge. That's the sort of shit I enjoy writing. The stuff that if you put enough big words into people just nod their heads and assume you're brilliant.

  10. Right on Loquacious! It take all kinds of people to make the world go round...even the dumb ones is needed so the smart ones stand out!


  11. Thanks for the shoutout! Though I don't know what sort of authority I could be considered. I do lots of math because I enjoy it, but also because I haven't played a real game since before I started college! I'm what you might call an "armchair general" I suppose. Trying to change that, but still. Moving on.

    As has been said, being authoritative isn't everything. Most of the authors that I really enjoy reading the most (Brent, MVB, TKE, Dethtron, SandWyrm, Kennedy, Nikephros, Archnomad, really I could go on and on) I enjoy reading because the writing is good. I know literally nothing about any of the non-40k content on this blog, on Bring of Victory, on Skavenblight, etc. but I keep coming back and checking them out every day because they're all so entertaining to read.

    At the end of the day, it's all about style and personality. From where I'm sitting, you've got that on lockdown.

    P.S. - I thought I had been trying to explain my math pretty well. T.T

  12. Zheilt- You are actually pretty good at explaining it- I was just teasing you a little =)

  13. busy week and late to the party...Dethron has a good challenge there, and Loq...your speciality is what we used to call shaper/resourcer in the trendy psychobabble that in vogue when I went to university, in simple language, your a glue that holds everything else together, but also much more. Damn, you made me say something nice :(