Jun 082011

I realized something while attempting to digest the recent conversation about “use-whenever stats” started over on Ryan Macklin’s blog, and continued in part over on GamePlayWright. It has to do with how the comments are or aren’t nested. (If you’re not familiar with the term, it’s sometimes referred to as “threaded” comments, when you can see what messages someone is replying to.) This blog allows for comment nesting too, but only to a limited depth (I forget if it stops at replies-to-initial-comments, or at replies-to-replies — one or two nested levels deep.)

My experience with the two conversations was markedly different. Over on Ryan’s blog, because the conversation was active, and the nesting ran several levels deep (deeper than it gets here), I actually ended up intimidated by it. “Too much to take in!” Which is odd, because threading conversations like that is meant to make it easier to keep track of the various threads of thought going on. Contrast this with my experience of GamePlayWright, where there’s no threading whatsoever. There’s the post, and there’s a “flat” stream of comments below it. But I took the time with that one to read the comments and then say something at the end.

I think my reaction has to do with the many-nested-threads presentation being — in essence — unique to digital conversation. It’s a kind of metastasis, where the conversation can bifurcate and subdivide and so on until it’s this big and (for me) intimidating mass of chatter about the topic at hand.

The GPW conversation could run the same risks for some — it’s big, and it’s undifferentiated, so you can only really take two tacks with it: read it beginning to end, read only the post and respond to that, or read the post and the end of the comments and try to jump in hoping you’re not repeating yourself.  But you know what? That’s a fair bit like a real-life conversation (albeit an asynchronous one where you can start listening in to the whole thing at any time), and that I think is where I ended up feeling like I could participate there, but not over at the place where it started.

Makes me ponder the degree to which I allow nesting/threading on Deadly Fredly.

How about you? How do you react to these modes of online discussion? How do you prefer to configure it in your own space?

Feb 052010

No more posts this week — Dresden Files RPG grows large in my schedule, along with some other things — but you may content yourself with running over to Blue Collar Space to watch me harrass Brad about our friendly philosophical divide. 🙂




Jan 252010

Today, I bunt. I’ve got layout on my mind, in the sense that I need to get back to doing that, rather than blogging.

But it occurs to me that by this point, if you’re following this blog you know why you’re coming here.

Why is that? And what should I be writing about to keep your particular itch scratched?

Jan 182010

So, my birthday was this past week, on Wednesday, the first day since I’ve rebooted my blogging that I’ve missed out on the Monday/Wednesday/Friday regularishly scheduled posting thing (to be followed by a Friday absence as well, but that’s almost beside the point).

It wasn’t, though, because I wanted to give myself a day or two off. It was because I was paralyzed to speak; I sat there, contemplating my soft underbelly, and thought about whether or not I was comfortable presenting it to the world. And I just wasn’t.

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Jan 112010

Quick Blog Note

So my updates are likely to get more sporadic over the next few weeks. I started layout on the Dresden Files RPG right at the beginning of the year, and all my previously queued blog posts have been run through, so the myth of regularity I’ve been operating under is shortly to evaporate. As a writer, when I’m one, I am very, very bursty.

That said, sometimes the hardest thing is coming up with a topic. You all have an idea of the sorts of things I might cover on this blog by this point; what do you want to see me talk about? Toss me a comment and who knows, you might just get what you ask for.

Art Direction

One of the things that I do as part of my career is art direction. Not something I would have anticipated a few years back (which in retrospect seems a little silly). In doing my own publishing, I discovered I really have a drive and a feel for the work, though. I have a very visual brain, and I tend to communicate in great volume (more on that in a moment), and the two seem to work pretty well together. While I can’t personally execute on the art that I want, I can describe it pretty well, and the more that I work with a particular artist, the more I can tailor how I communicate to what they understand and deliver. (Another reason for doing repeat business with proven-quantity artists.)

A Few Examples

So Jennifer Rodgers has been blogging a little bit of an art piece she’s currently working on for the Dresden Files RPG. I’ll give you the links in a moment. But first, here’s what I sent her:

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