For the past few years now blogging has grown into a mainstream form of media for just about every sort of news coverage, personal journal, political commentary, consumer review etc. and gaming is no different. As it slowly begins to overcome magazines and gaming specific news websites as a popular and down to earth way for people to read news, it is important for a growing website, especially one that covers gaming in all it's forms, to change with the times and offer this exciting medium to our members.
We like to think of the front page blog here at RF Generation, as a portal into our community. A way for new members to find news, learn about the staff and our goals as well as share gaming opinions, reviews and history. All in a form that's more sociable and less encyclopedia.
Personal blogs are for both gaming and non-gaming related entries. Movies, books, hobbies, life, creative writing etc., the possibilities are endless. While only gaming entries will be posted or promoted to the front page, any member or staff can feel free to blog about anything they choose on their own blogs. Think of it as a way to expand on one's forum posts, where you can add pictures, split the entry into parts and make them as long or as short as you wish. Game and hardware reviews that are well written and more or less follow these guidelines could possibly make the front page as promoted content.
Remember this is your site. That means members and staff have equal exposure to the front page, all you need to do is start blogging! It's free, it's easy and it's customizable! So take a look through these guidelines and contact any of the writers if you have questions, we'll be looking forward to reading your blogs!
Just to clarify for those unaware, think of the RSS feeds as headline subscriptions. You can use apps called aggregators to get a quick summary of the content on the front page without actually being there. handy for mobile devices as well as news gathering. So make sure your 1 or 2 sentence description in your post represents your content.
As far as posting entries themselves here's a few pointers:
Login: styleguide Password: gamestyle - this is a PDF ebook approx. 1.26 meg in size with a lot of useful information about writing and resources about the industry. feel free to save this to your HDD it may come in handy and would be a pain to login every time.
Has both a dictionary and a thesaurus along with an encyclopedia
You'll notice that when you read the front page blog or the community ones, underneath the time and author, there is a line called “Posted under”. This is where you find the “tags”. Tags are like keywords used to both describe a blog entry as well as group similar ones. For example in my last review I had done, I used “Modern Gaming, Classic Gaming, PSP, Review” as my tags. In another, I had used “Modern Gaming, Review, RPG, X360, WRPG”.
It's also a way to sort your blog entries for people wanting to read specific things. I for example, use Classic Gaming and Modern Gaming as my two primary tags. They separate new game posts (Wii, X360, PS3 etc.) from old ones (SNES, SMS, Atari). Then for my secondary, I tend to use “Review” and then maybe a genre like “RPG” and/or the Company “Sony” or “Capcom”. By clicking on these tags, you can filter out all the blogs entries that don't relate to the one you are reading. So clicking on say “Sony”, will only show you Sony related posts. The search at the top of the blog pages allows you to search the tags based on those same keywords as well.
There are no formal rules for making your own tags. Take a look through the blogs and the front page to give yourself an idea of what others use. Sometimes we add funny one or two word phrases just for the fun of it, other times we make them specific and stick to it rigidly to keep things in order. Whatever works for our own styles of writing and our wanting to share them with the community at large.