The FTW Blogger Group, for what?

I would like to talk about something if you have a minute.
This is a longer post but I think it's worthwhile. It's my response to a comment posted elsewhere in the blogging world. I originally planned to email it out but I think it has enough merit on its own to be posted here for everyone to read.

This is my response to a comment about the benefits of being a member of the FTW Blogger Group (or lack thereof).

You are absolutely right on a number of things with your comment.
First, the "FTW" bloglist and the "Community" blog list were merged a while ago.
Second, there is no "real" benefit from actually joining the Group.
Third, there are FTW members who have never displayed the logo and rarely participate in anything the Group has done.

So why remain a member then?
Why display a silly little logo and be associated with something that you get no benefit from?
Why be a part of something that has "requirements" like commenting on other blogs and watching what you write and supporting other bloggers if you don't actually get anything out of it for yourself?

These are all realy good questions.

But maybe another question you might want to ask yourself is WHY do you blog about 40k?
And when I say that, I mean for you to seriously look at your own personal motivations for blogging.
This isn't meant to judge you on them... some people do it to make money, some people do it to show off, some do it as a hobby (blogging) and some don't even know why they do it, it just fills a space inside of them for some unknown reason.

But here's why I blog about 40k and why the FTW Blogger Group is important to me even though I don't get any "real" benfit from it... at all.

I started out blogging as a way to show others my stuff and hopefully work towards getting more commissions so I could make my hobby self-supporting.
Then I came across a blog called The Chicago Terrain Factory. On his site, he has a small thing called a Community Feed. At first, I thought who in their right mind would put somethinig like this up on their blog? It has links to other blogs to go look at and people won't stay and look at mine. What a stupid idea.

And then I realised something. I kept going back to CTF to keep looking at that little Community Feed to see what everyone else was doing in the hobby.
There was so much more out there about the hobby that I don't know about, that I still don't know about. And I'm sure there is even more out there beyond the reach of the FTW Blogger Group, I just haven't found it yet. And I'm not talking about rules or things like that, but opinions and ideas and painting and modeling tips and tricks and all kinds of things.

Things I would have never been exposed to if I hadn't first seen that Community Feed on CTF and then started that very thing specifically for 40k with the FTW Blogger Group.

So why remain a member then?

Because I'm selfish and I want to see what everyone else is doing out there and I want to show them the things that I've learned from them and discovered on my own. Do I "need" the FTW Blogger Group? Probably not... but I would be lying if I said that I wouldn't be keeping track of everyone's cool projects all the time and talking to and supporting them anyway.

Why display a silly little logo and be associated with something that you get no benefit from?

Because I'm proud to be associated with a specific group of Bloggers who share their hobby experiences and support each other.

Why be a part of something that has "requirements" like commenting on other blogs and watching what you write and supporting other bloggers if you don't actually get anything out of it for yourself?

Because I like to believe it helps the larger 40k hobby community. For however silly that may sound or if you think the rose colored glasses I see the world through have skewed my vision... I want to think that it helps motivate people and push them to do more or maybe take that extra step when it comes to modeling or painting or whatever... something they mignt not have done on their own.
I know I've learned countless things that have changed the way I play 40k, changed the way I paint, the way I model, the way I build army lists... the list goes on and on. Things I would have never of learned by trying to do it all on my own.

So I proudly display the FTW logo at the top of my blog, I use my FTW dice whenever I actually play 40k, I tell everyone I know about the Group and I work at being a "member" every single day... even though I don't actually get any "real" benefits from the Group.

An more importantly... I hope that the FTW Blogger Group, whether you're a member or not, whether you display the logo or not, whether you participate or not, has been able to help the 40k community and players in some small way no matter how silly or trivial it may seem.

Thanks for reading guys and thanks for participating.

Ron, From the WarpIf you've got any questions about something in this post, shoot me a comment and I'll be glad to answer. Make sure to share your hobby tips and thoughts in the comments below!


  1. I can see by your post that you were personaly hurt by the critics about FtW. I must say that I personaly started the blog only because of FTW. It was such a great source for tabletop input that I was pulled in and started a blog on my own although already owning a website with all my stuff on it. Furthermore I immediatly got response from other bloggers and readers without promoting my blog in any way but being a member of the FTW.Blogger group.
    I was shocked when the blog lost its contest and am now a regular visitor to see what comes back from the archives and I have found more stuff on it- like yesterday another blog on exodites- who would have known? Thank you Ron at this point. keep on happy gaming

  2. I'm fairly new to blogging and 40k but i'm a web surfer and any new interest is googled!.
    So i started looking at the forums, then i found FtW and Bell of Lost Souls.
    These blogs have enough information and quality content to satisfy anyone. I have been impressed, surprised and inspired by many posts.
    Not to mention the laughs and jokes you see people having in the posts and comments. So the question of benefit is a tricky one but i certainly would be a lot less intrested in the hobby if i wasn't involved this great community.

  3. Cannonfodder: Not hurt, more of wanting to make sure people understand the Group without any misconceptions. I want to make sure nobody is mislead.

    You made some very valid points and I wanted to take the opportunity to address them because I know people ask those very questions to themselves about the Group.

    As for adding stuff back, I work on that a little each week.

  4. I am a proud new member of the FTW roll and I was amazed to see how many very good and valuable blogs are out there.
    I've been member of the WIP and Warseer Forums, but just now did I realize how much more is out there in the WH40K (blog) universe.
    I am very grateful for all the tips and hints and technologies as well as brilliant ideas I get from all these blogs, and I hope that my little blog is able to offer something in return.

  5. I have to agree with the other "newer" players. I'm not the best player or painter in my region, let alone the greater 40k community. Having easy, convenient access to many different (worldwide) ideas and points of view has been extremely helpful to me. The benefits of FTW, or any other blog roll, "membership" seem obvious to me. If they don't to others, then perhaps they shouldn't worry about trying to include themselves. If they were worried about what they could gain from their involvement, perhaps they should first consider what they're actually giving up for that membership. Nothing concrete I imagine. Seems like a good trade to me. I would tell your critics to participate if they want. Nobody is forcing them into anything. I can't offer any content of note to the hobby, but I am grateful for those who selflessly do.

  6. Hmm. Well said, Ron!

    If people don't see the benefit of FtW, that's their own shortsightedness.

    I don't blog to toot my own horn. It gives me something to do while I'm at work, and have a few hours to kill while I'm waiting on processes at work. I might as well write about my hobby. It helps me to reflect on my gaming, and modelling.

    I wouldn't have thought I'd be blogging. I love 40K, I like some forums, but ultimately, when I started going to BoLS, I was more and more intrigued by the list of Blogs.

    I saw the FtW logo pop up on a lot of them, and started regularly checking out FtW, and FtW member Blogs.
    I thought, I can do that. I'd been e-mailing battlereports to friends since we'd all moved to new cities, and a blog seemed like a good way to keep each other up to date, and comment on what we were doing.
    like FtW.

    so we joined. now we've got 3 of us posting, and gained people checking up on what we're doing. We check on what others are doing as well. It's a great feeling to write about what you're doing, or your thoughts on a game, and have someone you've never met come in and comment.
    I've referred people to FtW members that specialize in something I don't.

    FtW helps give people the opportunity co connect with a larger community. That's reason enough for it to be great for me.

    Thank you Ron!
    and thank you to the entire FtW community!

  7. I saw that comment and wondered how long it'd be until I saw a post like this.

    Before I continue, let me just say, you're both wrong, there's a very clear benefit to being a member of FtW.

    I'm a MD of a medium size IT company that specialises in internet marketing. Within 30 seconds of seeing the FtW home page, I applied to join.

    By being a member of such a group and having your latest post displayed on the group homepage markets your blog to a very targeted group of users.

    I've seen the direct benefits myself. I only started blogging at the start of the month and I'm getting regular comments and followers to my blog already. This wouldn't happen if I had to market my blog myself.

    Now, here's the point that I disagree with Ron. I believe it should be mandatory to display the group logo. The simple fact (IMHO) is that you are getting traffic from the group, so you should be providing traffic into the group by displaying the logo. I realise that not everyone knows how to code html but that's why I coded the FtW widget for Ron. I wanted to make it as easy as possible for people to display the logo on there blogs, and therefore increase the traffic to the hub and therefore the members blogs (such as mine!).

  8. I give thanks and praise to all who participate in FtW group. Because it shows a community of like minded gamers / hobbyists who truly love their hobby, want to share and give back, but most importantly... aren't interested in personal gain.

  9. I really can't think of any other benefits I would want beyond what I already get from having joined FTW.

    I'm a member of an active community of 40k hobbyists that are willing to comment on each other's works and gab about all the good stuff we like to do!

    What more could I ask for? Well, except for the free time and money to let me do this 24 hours a day. :)

  10. Hi guys,

    does anyone have a link to this comment? I didnt personally read it, but given the post above, i can guess what it said...

    Anyway, i think Ftw blog group is
    a). Very valuable to me as a way i get to meet other gamers, to feel like im not the only person in to this stuff (not many of my friends understand my passion much less want to get involved!)
    b). A great way of finding people to read my blog - I got a whole load of followers on my blog that would never have heard of me. Similarily i found their blogs by the same route.
    c). Fun! This is the big thing for me - I love discussing things with people on their blogs, following project progress and generally interacting with other people.

    I'm proud to display my FtW logo on the site (Col Corane, i hadnt seen the widget before, i just have the image on my site... Ill look in to adding the proper widget as soon as i get a chance!).

    The other thing i wanted to say, was that i only really realised the value i place in FtW when Ron announced that he was leaving (its great that you are back dude!).

    Anyway, enough rambling from me ;)
    Long live FtW

  11. I've had my blog up and running for about two weeks now and already I've had people dropping in with tips and suggestions that have helped - I don't know how that would have happened if I wasn't in this group.

  12. Paul: The original comment didn't say anything "bad," it was more of an eye opener for me more than anything else and I didn't want an opportunity to be lost.

  13. I like the FtW group because of the stuff i can get from it and the stuff i hopefully get to share and inspire. But mostly because it is not its own worst enemy like so many forums - full of GW-haters yet they continue to lurk around. Everything here is positive (except pet hates etc) and if not, chop it Ron! You have the power.

  14. Is there an up to date list of FTW members? Just reading through these comments I've "found" 2 new members.

  15. I have to say FTW is a great group. While I have not reaped the benefits quite as much as some of the other guys (do likely to the fact that my Blog is more my thoughts and ideas about my hobby and less a modeling Blog) I do find what I see on others Blogs inspiring.

    That really is what the FTW experience is to me, inspiration for my projects and a way to keep me pushing and improving my hobby and art.

  16. Chicago Terrain Factory: The short answer is no, not yet. It is something I need to take care of.

    Would you believe the group is almost at 100 members now?

  17. I am a member for a lot of reasons.

    First and foremost, I enjoyed Ron's blog before he started the group and would do anything I can to support his blog.

    Second, as mentioned above, it brings new readers once in a while.

    Third, it helps me find new blogs to read. Which means new inspirations, new techniques, and new ways of looking at things.

    Forth, it's a great group of people that I don't mind being associated with (thinly veiled compliment to all).

    And on top of all that I get to display a snazzy little logo on my page for free. I mean, if was starting a From the Geek group, you'd all have to give me free minis or something to fly my flag! Wait... I think I have sent Ron minis before... crap!

    Ah reason five. It gives blogging an extra feeling of teamwork, or at least community.

    I'm done.

  18. Excellent post!

    I think FtW is something that's become more than the sum of its parts. It's more than just a list of 40k blogs to follow, it's a great community that gives you back what you put in. I can see why some people might not see the benefits if they don't read and respond to many of the other members' blogs. But when you do become a more active part of the group you have more people pay yours a visit in return to offer their advice and encouragement.

    I also think its a lot more personal than forums, which seem to be the other popular method of showing and following projects. The problem with forums is that you're pidgeonholed into categories, splitting your hobby into painting, battle reports, tactics, etc, all in different sections. Blogging gives us the freedom to put it all in one place and mix it up a bit. FtW acts as a sort of "blog forum" as it were, giving us both the community and the freedom.

    I find it greatly satisfying to be able to share the hobby like that, and proud to be a part of the group. I can certainly vouch for its effects since I had blogged for a while before I found it, and during that time traffic was almost non-existant, and I didn't really know of many other blogs out there.

    Anyway, sorry for the wall of text there, that's just my thoughts on the matter. Long live FtW! :)

  19. I actually came across the existence of blogging through a link that lead to here. I've always checked back to see great modelling work.

    Only recently have I made my own blog and joined the group. Partly in a vain hope that someone might look at and comment on my stuff, but also to feel part of something. I'm alwasy finding new stuff on the blogs I find through the group, so its a great way of seeing the way others do things.

    I've kinda gone off forums, and as others have mentioned, the way everything is categorised isn't very appropriate to our hobby, where we swap from one project/mini to another all the time.

  20. Well I just started blogging and haven't (for some odd reason) joined the FtW group. Odd, seeing as I email Ron quite a bit about article ideas for The Astro Mag (shameless plug :D)

    Perhaps you will be gaining another member...perhaps ;)

  21. Family. Thats what Ive come to see most of the 40k blogging community as. A interestingly disfunctional family, but those are the most interesting types anyways. FtW just gives ours a name.

    And no, Im not the type to "loan" family $20. ;)

  22. I've been a part of the FtW community since the early days. And the keyword in that sentence is "community". I know it has already been said by others, but this groups has been fantastic for mutual support, fun, sharing of ideas, and encouragement. I'm proud to display the FtW logo on Warpstone Flux!

  23. I just joined the group- what I enjoy most is seeing what everyone's working on all together. I've come up with a lot of ideas just looking around here and the other group blogs. I'll get that image up on my blog- maybe I'll tailor one for Eldar or Tyranids.

  24. Just catching up on latest goss on W40K. There are always those who will 'bag' someone else for their own satisfaction, whether out of envy, jealousy, bad experience, whatever.

    I remember a quote from the movie 'The Pursuit of Happyness' (with Will Smith) - "You got a dream... You gotta protect it. People can't do somethin' themselves, they wanna tell you you can't do it. If you want somethin', go get it. Period."

    Keep up the great work on FtW. It continues to inspire me to this W40K hobby and my blog. Well done Ron (*pats on the back*).

  25. Well written Bossman! I'm apart of this because the community is second to none! Also to be apart of something to be apart of something is a goal in of itself. Whoever wrote about why you would want to join something like this when there are no "benefits" is only looking out for himself. We all help each other here and show genuine interest in each others work. Both goals or benefits are reached just by being a somewhat "active" member... we help and get help with our hobby. We show off and get other blogs seen. We're a community and despite the differences we all have if we were to know what those differences are one thing unites us... our love for this hobby!


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