Tuesday, July 19, 2022

The 5 Year Bump

 This Blog of Terrible Loss is 5 years old this month.  Happy blogging birthday.  Let's talk about Blogging in general and what you can get me in specific. 



Ok, so it's not quite talking.  I'll type and you'll read but try to hear my voice in your head as you do and it will feel like talking.  I sound like a combination of Darth Vader and PeeWee Herman.


5 Years of This Nonsense


So I've been doing this for 5 years now which officially makes me an expert and perhaps, the best blogger ever.  I mean suuuure some blogs will post more often with better content and with less typos; but how many of them have a fun title like mine?     

All of them?  Are you sure?....Ok, never mind that last bit then.  but I'm still an expert. Because I say so.

The problem with blogging is that the vast majority of blog posts are what I have come to call 'look-it posts.'  As in "Look it, I painted something."  or "Look it, I played a game."  or "Look it, I bought something."  These posts are the peanut butter and jelly of blog posts; meaning that it's an easy stable that everybody eats when there is nothing better (or no time to cook).  Even in my own blog there are mainly Look-It posts.  And Look-It posts, like peanut butter and jelly, are boring.

-Wait! that's obviously an inflammatory statement meant to raise engagement in what is otherwise boring text.  Read on, I'm going somewhere with this.

The reason there are so many mundane Look-it posts on a wargaming blogs is that it's reflective of what we do 90% of the time.  Buying things, painting them, and then playing with them.  And this not a bad thing, as it indicates a healthy hobby life.  

But every once in a while, we do something really cool.  We put on that BIG game, we do a cool terrain tutorial, we write a scenario, do a excellent wargame review, or we write a hit song about our love of goldfish crackers or something like that.  These are some of the better blog posts because they demonstrate something, and are inherently more interesting.  These posts provide to the online community because the posts are informational and/or inspirational; becoming a resource for others.  Posts like these are what drew me to blogs in the first place.  

I'm happy that I've done a couple of these over the years.  These posts also tend to get found more in google searches because they offer something that people are a looking for.  Over the last 5 years my top 5 most viewed posts are:

Clash of Spears Review  written in August 2020

DIY Wargame Mat written in August 2017

Forest tutorial written in August 2020

DIY Wargaming Roads written in July 2018

ACW Rule Reviews written in  Feb 2021

-The pattern? In-depth terrain construction and thoughts about wargaming rules.  Obviously no one in the wider internet really cares that I painted 10 Viking miniatures to a reasonable table standard. 

These type of posts take a lot of effort to do.   The projects are large and the posts take forever to write. To continue our food analogy; these posts are the fancy meals, the Thanksgiving Dinner of blog posts.  And I'm proud of those posts (and others like them, there are a few).  They are entertaining, informative, and make me look good; if I do say so myself.   

The kicker is: If my blog only had fancy meal posts the it might be a good resource, but blogging would not be very much fun.  As anyone who has made Thanksgiving Dinner (or any big fancy meal for a lot of people) can attest; It's a LOT of work, there is often swearing involved, usually a minor burn, and crying children.  All for the glorious presentation on the table and the meal is over in 40 mins with nothing left over but dirty dishes and general feeling of being dissatisfied.  And a tummy ache.

When I started blogging, I envisioned mostly doing fancy meal posts but quickly realized that if I stuck to those types of posts alone, there really wouldn't be much here.  There would be long periods of inactivity and no one would be able to tell if the blog was 'active' or gone 'dormant.'   It would be a nice resource for folks, but there wouldn't be much interaction.  

And to be fair, It's not like any of those top 5 posts are jaw dropping-ly good.  I'm not really an expert in anything and all my posts take the tone of  "if this mook can do it, then you can to and probably better."  The only thing that I am consistently good at is falling asleep in bed at night while my wife talks to me.  I do it ALL the time.  

I've said before that without some interaction, blogging would be too much like shouting into the void.



So I started to post more often on the mundane stuff.  The stuff I did 90% of the time.  It was easier for the blog to be 'active' (for me; 2-3 posts a months is about right).  Number of followers grew; currently at 93.  I never really know what that number signifies other than somebody liked something enough to click on the button.  Number of Blogging buddies grew and interaction increased and blogging was fun.  Turns out folks like Peanut Butter and Jelly.  Turns out I like Peanut Butter and Jelly.

As long as it's grape jelly, maybe strawberry.  Anything else is GROSS.  My wife likes raspberry and it's constant source of friction in my house.


Because We All Like PB&J


A Loooooong time ago, before my life was dominated by children, I used to be a part of some wargaming clubs.  More over, I used to actually GO to the club meetings.  2 or 3 times a months really.  Not only would we play some games but people would bring their newly painted miniatures to show off and get ohs and awes.  If meeting in a game store people would make purchases and temp others to do the same.  While playing in one game you could wander over to people playing in another and gab for a bit.  You get the idea.

I'm still part of clubs but much more of a sideline / periphery member.  I hardly ever go to any meetings.  I'm more like a fun guest star and not in the regular cast; I'm the third in the threesome.
In a lot of ways, blogging has become my on-line club.  Especially with the little network of Best Blogging Buddies where we consistently follow each others blogs by writing comments.  There are about 10 people who regularly write a comment on any piece of shit post that I write; and I routinely write comments on their posts which are works of art.  

With some of these guys; we've been doing this for YEARS.  years I say.   There's around 10 additional people who occasionally write a comment  on this blog when something strikes a cord or when life allows.  Therefore most of my posts have around 20 -30 ish comments on them (10-ish people writing a message and me replying.  I always reply, it's just good manners).  
I think this is GREAT fun and provides that interaction that I no longer get from real life (for hobbys anyway).  


I'm not trying to say that this is a LOT or a LITTLE. I see plenty of other blogs that get way more comments and actually see scores of blogs that get waaaay less.  What I'm trying to say is that blogging has become a fun way to get little wargaming-themed bursts of Dopamine from nice people; because all comments are positive (all comments I write are meant to be positive).  I've never had anyone write a comment  saying something like 'your painting sucks and your terrain is trash and you should feel bad because your life is bad!"

Plus, when you follow someone's blog for awhile you do get a kinda-sorta sense of who they are as a real person; and over time they become less like strangers on the internet but more like online pen pals.  On line club members who are sharing some fun hobby stuff.  So when they post "hey look-it, I did this thing" My first thought is "Cool bro.  Nice job.  Your hobby stuff is aces and thanks for sharing."  because Peanut Butter and jelly is not boring depending on who you eat it with.  It's not the food, it's the company.  It's not boring at all.

So to sum up; I've learned that there are basically two kinds of posts in the miniature wargaming blogging world --  RESOURCE posts that tend to get more views and LOOK-IT posts that tend to get more comments.  Any blog that can do both is probably on the right track for super blog stardom (if that's a thing). Look-it posts are much easier to do so tend to get more of them.  

But more importantly THANKS everyone who takes the time to interact, even sporadically.  I really appreciate it and more over, enjoy it.  I hope you also enjoy my lame attempts to be funny and interact on your blog.  


That'd Be A Good Place to Wrap up the Post


But I won't!  Keep it going keep it going!  It's my goal that this will be the ONLY blog post you read tonight.  Or Skim.  or just laugh at the silly memes I pulled from the internet. 

5 Years is a significant mile stone.  Now that we've talked about blogging in general lets bring up the uncomfortable subject of gifts, and what YOU can get me in specific....

You can write me a comment of course!  I just talked about how I liked them.  Just a line to say "nice job so far on this terrible blog.'  even if you haven't done so in a long time.  go on, do it.  Like and Subscribe, ring the bell, and that BS.



Or, if you really want to go above and beyond for this big occasion; write me a blog bump.  
A blog bump is when you use your blog to highlight someone else's blog.  So that your audience can be directed over here to my blog and I CAN STEAL THEM.  

But maybe that will increase the exposure of this Terrible Blog and I'll get a few more folks leaving comments regularly which will mean I'll leave comments on their posts and we'll all get a little more interaction.  Which should increase the fun for everyone. But don't feel like you have to,  

--I don't want to come across that I am chasing comments or likes.  I do care a little bit as I just said I think it's fun; but I don't care so much that I'm up late at night worrying about my view count.  I also don't have any ads or monetary investment in this blog or some strange youtube-ish algorithm that I need to face.  But I will say that MOST of the people that have become Best Blogging Buddies / Online Club Members are the ones I have found mentioned on someone's blog I was already following.  The post went "hey check out so and so blog because he is ONE OF US."  And so I do.  I write a comment like "Hi, I wandered over here from X's blog.  Nice place you got here."  and they would reply "welcome to my parlor Fly" and so it begins.   

Now It's Really Time to Stop


I agree.  Thanks for sticking with this long wall of text.  I hope it was thought provoking and entertaining.  I'll be back *soon* to say 'look-it, I painted some Vikings.'  

Thanks for reading.
Double thanks for writing a comment.
Triple thanks if you do the BUMP.  Be sure to let me know so I send you flowers.


121 comments:

  1. Stew - that was an excellent post. Why don’t you drop on over to my blog so you can bring some of your followers to me at some point instead. God knows I need them, lol.

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    1. Thanks. Glad you liked it. I will mosey over to your blog. Though I’m pretty sure you’re doing just fine. πŸ˜€

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  2. Happy blog birthday. With a year's head start on you, my blog has levelled off at 61 followers, so I think you're doing something right with 93. I've enjoyed dollowing along, anyway. As far as post types, I would paraphrase what Bacon said of books:"Some are to be tasted, others to be swallowed, and some few to be chewed and digested."

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    1. Thanks Ed! I’ve enjoyed following your adventures too. I doubt number of followers really means anything. I only added the widget bc I thought it made it easier for people who wanted to and out of curiosity. πŸ˜€

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  3. Congrats! Now I feel bad for lurking here and looking at all of the nice minis lol.

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    1. Thanks Dino. No need to feel bad. Most people do lurk and I lurk sometimes myself. But perhaps we could start an interaction? πŸ˜€

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    2. I'm always down for interactions :)

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    3. well now you're just making it sound dirty...😁

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  4. Congratulations on a 5 year milestone. Agree that commitment to a blog does need some 'set-aside' time and that a basic courtesy for a blog consumer is to comment on things enjoyed when someone else has made an effort, but as with most things, it is a bit more complicated than just that.

    As bloggers we do not really just want to be thrown a sweetie just because we spill some e-ink, the feeling that others are somehow 'compelled' to put up a polite comment has its own soullessness, plus if everyone who read a blog commented, the blogger who replies to all comments would be over-whelmed, so balance and good, heartfelt comments has its own value (yes, there is equally the courtesy question of whether bloggers in return should reply to each comment - some don't!).

    However, overall, I think most bloggers, correctly, will judge that their efforts are under appreciated in an internet world in which the consumer has a huge volume of daily choice to race around and 'quick read' this is before they have had to read and like all the obligatory stuff on their Facebook etc, so perhaps we bloggers fall in the crack between 'it is good manners to comment' and 'there is too much content for a typical browser to hoover up in a browsing session'.

    On the flip side, a browser may wonder why a blogger wants to be 'stoked', are they blogging for the benefit of all as a service or are they blogging for themselves and just like the public platform. With so many different bricks in the wall, it is impossible to 'rule' upon, never-the-less, it is fair to say that the sentiment remains with bloggers that their efforts are under valued.

    You will know that I put a huge amount of time and effort into my own posts (and pay for some other advert free webspace) and that for some months now, I have turned my comment section off and not been active on other people blogs. This in part has been about reducing my own screen time and doing something 'real' instead, but it is significantly about disassociating myself from the concern of who reads me / comments and who doesn't etc, because that whole thing can be both demotivating and destructive.

    For me, that has just brought the blogging itself into sharper focus and is empowering from the perspective that I am less committed to a sense that the blog must survive. For the past four months, each time that I have posted, I have genuinely thought it would be my last post for a while, without a compulsion to keep feeding the blog and posting regularly, yet, in truth, no sooner have I posted, along comes a subject that I am keen to write about, so with my comments switched off, it is clearer to me that I am blogging for its own sake and it is worthwhile to have 'discovered' that.

    In any case, do we really know how much we are read in full, how much is clicked on and then the reader backs out and then of course there are the ........ bots! no doubt the blogs biggest supporters :-)

    Anyway, I am raising a glass to another 5 years for you :-)

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  5. 'stoked should be stroked .... Doh!

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    1. Hi Norm. Nice to see you and I appreciate you taking a time out to write a comment.
      We've been over the ground of comment etiquette and I have amended my stance over the years. I do think it's good manners to reply to comments left on your blog but no longer think it's required to write a comment for every blog post one visits. I tried it and it's too much work. 😁
      but I do like the interaction that comments provide and the Online club I've managed to join. and i'd like to take this chance of the 5 year post to try and increase that interaction by drawing in some more folks. It's not really about the validation of getting comments (but I will feel stroked by anyone who actually does the bump, because that's an extra nice gesture) but wanting a slightly bigger club. because it's the club that makes blogging fun for me. And also highlighting the difference between Lookit posts and resource posts and just over thinking blogging in general; though I double majored in Psych and Philosophy so I tend to do that.

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  6. Stew..."Your painting sucks, your terrain is trash and you write irritatingly long posts every now and again"!!πŸ˜€ Hopefully, your constant supportive visits to my blog have enabled you to deduce my sense of humour and you are not currently rolled up in a ball, crying to yourself about my rejection! I will give you a "bump" if so desired...but I will probably do it in a manner to take the Mikey out if your quest for more followers...so you have been warned 😊

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    1. Come for the pictures, stay for the abuse....

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    2. Thanks Keith, I would appreciate it and I do like your sense of humor. I've enjoyed our online interaction and hope it continues. One gets used to the abuse....😁

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  7. Thanks for for the post Stew and a happy birthday. Of course you make me feel guilty with my soft underbelly posts. The challenge I find is I prefer to paint than blog but you’ve made me feel every now and then I should try to do something different ? We’ll see…..looking forward to those Vikings πŸ‘

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    1. Stew’s post had the same effect on me. Now, I am a bit depressed.

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    2. Gah, you're not supposed to feel depressed! The WHOLE point is that we're all PB&J bloggers (most of the time) but it's the fun interaction that makes it special.
      Plus you guys have done plenty of Fancy dinner posts. 😁

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  8. Great post and congratulations on the anniversary!

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    1. Thanks Alastair. I appreciate you saying so. 😁

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  9. Congratulations on sticking to it, pretty sure I've done the bump thing( even though I mispelt your blog title!) I think it's nice to get a few comments and I feel there is some sort of community built up over reciprocal comments over time, I would disagree with Norm ( although nice to see him commenting again!) in that there is usually something good to write and it doesn't have to be politely soulless, it probably would be if as he said everybody commented but as we know they don't. I say that as though I have any idea about traffic or most popular post or anything else as I can't be bothered to look, I'm happy trundling along, pedalling my peanut and jam sandwiches ( sounds ghastly but I understand the point, raspberry all the way, strawberry is somehow cheap?) and look forward to your Vikings in the goodness of time!
    Best Iain

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    1. Thanks Iain. I agree that most comments are likely not soulless politeness but just general fun. You have done the bump before. I also agree that reciprocal comments build up an online community and this lame post, besides over thinking the nature of blog posts, is just a stab at increasing that membership. We'll see how it works. I've enjoyed our interactions over the years. 😁
      My other idea was comparing posts to Mac and Cheese versus PB&J.

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  10. A fun post there Stew and one that has echoes for many fellow Bloggers I'm sure. I used to get a tad miffed at the lack of comments, but now see my Blog as more of a way of keeping in touch with fellow 'friends' across the World, so a sort of virtual club as it were. A for peanut and jelly sandwiches, I'm afraid they are the work of satan as far as I'm concerned, but then I am a Brit!

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    1. My wife (a Kiwi) sometimes splits a Weetbix in half and spreads peanut butter on it then sticks it together as a sandwich - apparently, she used to get them for school lunches forty years ago - personally, I would rather just wait for dinner time!

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    2. That just sounds dreadful as a sandwich! How on earth she ate it, given that Weetabix dries your mouth out in nano-seconds, sans being bathed in milk.

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    3. WTH is a Weetabix? LOL
      Thanks Steve, that's exactly my point, and this lame post is just a stab at increasing my online club membership. Seemed like a good opportunity. My other idea instead of PB&J was to compare posts to Mac and Cheese. I just thought PB&J was more international... 😁

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    4. Our kids have fallen in love with mac'n'cheese, which frankly leaves me cold. Obviously an age difference at play!

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    5. Steve, the keeping in touch friends around the world comment hits the nail on the head, perhaps I should concern myself less with distraction of who doesn’t comment and instead just revel within the community that does.

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  11. First up - your blog title IS very clever Stew!
    Second - Congratulations on five years! It is a big effort, even if most of the posts are PB &J types.

    90 plus followers after 5 years is very good. I have 13 followers after 9 years :)
    I try to average 2 posts per months but mostly fail. I remember when I started I thought I would post every week - never even got close. You seem to be pretty consistent which is always something I look for when following someone and once again a big effort and most appreciated.
    Anyway, well done and I look forward to your next posts : PB &J or 5 star restaurant!

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    1. Thanks Ben. I’ve enjoyed your recent comments on my blog and I hope that mine on yours are a source of fun. And there’s nothing wrong with PB@J. πŸ˜€

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    2. I always enjoy your comments on my blog. And I have got one more follower thanks to you DaveB. So your not the only blog getting a bump out of your post. :)

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  12. Congratulations on your 5th anniversary of blogging. Despite our ingredients differences ( everyone in the know uses rye bread & blackberry jam with peanut butter ) I can appreciate a good sandwich. You just got another follower....I won't guarantee every post a response, but they should all be positive.

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    1. Thanks Pan. No worries. I actually don’t expect people to comment on every post I do (though I am not much of a time commitment with 2, max 3, sometimes 1 post a month) but I do like the occasional one to let me know that one is reading. I think we all do. πŸ˜€
      And blackberry jam is gross. Grape is the best. I’ll die on this hill.

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    2. Oh, and thanks for the bump. :)

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  13. Great post! So great in fact, that I kept reading your wall of text, long after I should have started getting ready for work, but now I'm going to be late, and probably get fired, which means my wife will throw me out, as I'll no longer serve my primary purpose, and so in a few days, a shorty, baldy, four-eyed little man will show up on your doorstep with a truckload of badly painted miniatures, and desparately in need of a peanut butter and jelly (grape, of course) sandwich.

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    1. Thanks Herb. And you would be welcome here. Provided you can put up with whinny children. But we do have plenty of peanut and grape jelly. πŸ˜€

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  14. Well done for sticking with your blog for five years. I, for one, have enjoyed your humorous observations and tales on life and Wargaming tremendously. Sometimes, I wonder if you are channeling Mark Twain. I enjoy seeing your collections grow and games played.

    As a fellow PBJ blogger, while making me laugh, I now ponder the purpose of blogging and my content approach. With these thoughts circling around in my head and my ten year blogging anniversary quickly approaching, will mine see Year 11?

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    1. Hey Stew. Here ya go for a bump.
      https://palousewargamingjournal.blogspot.com/2022/07/hey-buddy-can-you-spare-some-time.html

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    2. Thanks JF. I appreciate the bump greatly with a bunch of warm fuzzies. Your blog is excellent and well followed and I really wouldn’t want you to change a thing bc I posted some lame thing. The point is we ALL like PB&J posts. And you do plenty resource posts as well. The dives into the wargaming survey spring to mind as an easy example.
      And I enjoy our online friendship. πŸ˜€

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  15. Jon sent me (he told me to say that...) 😁
    Actually it seems I am one of the 93 followers (although your blog seems to be one of the ones I follow that never pops up in the blog list as one with a new post.....no idea why).
    I started my blog as a way to record what I was doing and motivate myself. It had a shaky start.
    I have got sucked into that "But I posted and no one commented" and the " I left a comment and they didn't reply / they haven't approved my comment" which is bad for the ego and feeds into all that social media induced anxiety that's so common (although I don't do any of that) until I managed to remind myself I didn't start blogging for that reason, just for me really. I'm gratified that there's others out there who actually want to read my thoughts and stream of consciousness at all......that they occasionally say nice things is just a bonus!
    Neil

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    1. Neil, the current version of Blogger does not seem to execute the follow command fully, you have to go into your dashboard, select LAYOUT and then edit the follow box - for whatever reason a fully automated system now requires some manual tinkering. I am guessing that a whole load of new followers across all blogs have fallen into this void.

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    2. Neil, I have put a post up that fully explains the process LINK http://battlefieldswarriors.blogspot.com/2022/07/fixing-followers-on-blogger.html

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    3. This was a real pain.
      I followed rebuilt my 'blogs I follow' list using the steps on Doctor Phalanx's blog (https://doctorphalanx.blogspot.com/2022/01/blog-list-update.html). It took quite a while for the number of blogs that I follow, but is now working/updating as it should.
      I add any new blogs in the same manner.

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    4. 'followed rebuilt' = rebuilt (oh dear...)

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    5. Hi James. Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to write a comment. It is a nice bonus when people comment and asking for the bump is my way to expand my little online club with like minded folks. I doubt any of us live and die by comments but I know for myself; that if no one did then I would probably stop blogging as there are more efficient and easier ways to track my own hobby. The interaction makes blogging fun for me. πŸ˜€
      I’m glad you got the blog roll figured out. I had to rebuild mine to awhile back.

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    6. Shit. I got James and Neil confused there … that last reply was meant for Neil. Just replace James with Neil and it will work out. πŸ˜€

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  16. Congratulations on the milestone Stewart, that's no small achievement in itself. I think you hit some very valid points in this discussion, I consider all the people I comment on their blogs as online friends, and if one day I happen to be in their neck of the woods would love the chance to meet up with them, game, paint, sculpt, or generally have a fun discussion with. I think for a lot of people over the pandemic, it was a way of socially interacting with others as well as our families, which did a lot for peoples mindfulness.
    As for commenting on peoples posts, I always try to leave a comment, whether it's a subject I'm interested in or not, as it's a way of showing support for our fellow bloggers, even if they don't comment on mine.
    Hope you continue blogging for as long as you want to, and look forward to the next PB&J

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    1. Thanks Dave. I also think of many of best blogging buddies as online friends and would also be interested in a blogger meet up. I tend to like all things wargaming so subject matter is not super important. Unless it’s 6mm stuff. πŸ˜€πŸ˜€

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  17. Jon sent me too…

    Excellent post. I think you have to keep sight of why you started the blog in the first place. For me, it was a way of motivating myself to get things done, which it has, so I’ve achieved my aim. On the way I have gathered happy little band of internet pen pals who have likewise motivated me. Most of my posts are just drivel but some contain useful content and are regularly viewed, even if not commented on. The one with the rear view of Agnetha Faltskog is very successful; not so much the posts about my various ailments. Perhaps I should include photos in future… Here’s to the next 5 years! πŸ₯‚

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    1. Ha ha, I laughed at your Swedish bot joke at the time, having had the same thing happen to my blog, but forgot where I had seen it. So, belated thanks for the joke!

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    2. It’s back at Number 3 in the charts this week!

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    3. Hi Jeffers. Thanks for coming by and writing a comment. I se you already know some folks. πŸ˜€
      I started blogging with 3 goals laid out in my first post. I’ve since given up on the blog being a record of what I do since there are better ways for that. Now I want my blog to be read by people. Not everyone in the world of course bc I’m not that cool (but secretly I think I AM that cool) but a nice sized online club would be nice. It’s the most fun to be had online as I can’t do it in real life due to stupid family. This post seemed like a fun and efficient way to try an expand some. Time will tell if it works. πŸ˜€

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  18. Happiest of blogging birthdays Stew. It is definitely an achievement as many blogs don’t last the first two years and …wait…that’s small businesses? Well, it’s still a big deal! Couldn’t agree more with your comments and the style of posts we all put up. Sometimes the pretty pictures is all we can muster to be able to let our visitors know we still love the hobby. Personally I’ve been busy visiting these cool Thai gambling sites that blogger doesn’t allow on my regular comments. I can’t imagine why…πŸ˜‚πŸ˜…πŸ€£

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    1. That's a classic Carlo!
      Surely you don't mean that the authors of those gambling sites post comments without reading my content?

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    2. Thanks Carlo. I’ve enjoyed our interactions online. Pretty game pics are never boring. Good luck with the gambling. If you hit it real big please remember us little people. πŸ˜€

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  19. Jon sent me...... I feel like I'm in some multi level marketing scheme now...
    It is such a boost to get a comment. I found when I was posting regularly I'd get regular comments, but now with intermittent posts its much less. I think the ease of facebook (and the ability to simply hit a like emoticon) has robbed a lot of the effort people put into blogging (including comments!).

    I wanted to do some sort of 'boost the signal' challenge a year or two ago. Try and mend the links between the active blogs. I think a lot have gone dark and there is a network of active islands that people don't realize are out there. A second kid has robbed me of the time/effort to organize something, but maybe simply 'bumping' and being more true to commenting on what I read will be sufficient.

    Hi! I'm going to follow your blog now.

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    1. “Multi-level marketing scheme.” That’s funny!

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    2. Hi Dave. Thanks for coming by and writing a comment. I’m ALL to familiar with how much time children can take up (I have 3 surviving). In order to post regularly one has to do some pb&j posts so I’m not knocking them. Congratulations on the child. This blogging pyramid scheme I started is turning out to be fun. Time will tell if really successful. πŸ˜€

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    3. Oh and thanks for the bump. I appreciate it. Just visited your blog. πŸ˜€

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  20. Congratulations on five years Stew. I see blogging as a form of electronic diary as it serves o remind me of what projects I was tackling and when, but is always nice to receive and share appreciation with others.

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    1. Thanks Lawrence. I appreciate the comment. Sharing with others is one of the reasons why I started blogging but I do like to go back every now and then and see what I’ve done. πŸ˜€

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  21. Hello there Stew,

    Jon sent me and I have to say I enjoyed this ‘kicking the tyres’ blog post about blog posts and much of it certainly struck several chords with my own efforts. My only observation would be the choice of sandwich used - I would say over here in the UK peanut butter and jelly is not so much a staple so I would probably substitute cheese and pickle….

    Keep fighting the good fight.

    All the best,

    DC

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    1. I would certainly prefer cheese and pickle ( and that DOES NOT mean a gherkin, for all you people in the "Western Hemisphere ") in my sandwiches, David! Ploughmans Lunch, as it wereπŸ™‚

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    2. Thanks David. I appreciate your comment. My other idea besides PB&J was to call them Mac and cheese. But I’ve never had a cheese and pickle. I’d try anything once though. πŸ˜€

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  22. Top post Stew.
    The concept and reality of e-friends and a community of fellow bloggers resonates with me completely. I really enjoy following other's blogs** and follow loads, making it difficult to keep up with them all—a good 'problem' to have. I make comments when I can (tends to be fits and starts as time and enthusiasm permit). It is certainly easier to look at a post that is chiefly photos and to comment 'beautiful figures', 'great looking game' or such than it is to read a full game report, review or whatever. Funny really, as I blog more of the long (probably boring) style of posts on my blogs!
    I enjoy both 'forms' of blog posts, all of which provide stimulation, ideas and vicarious joy.
    Regards, James
    **I was lead here (directed more like!) by Jonathan, Joe and Dave B. I thought that I already followed your blog and when I checked found that I do/have done for several months (at least). I've only looked and not commented previously as Sci-Fi and Dark Ages are not my 'thing' (sorry), then I have been off the blogosphere for a couple of months as real life got a bit busy. Hopefully rectified now with this comment and the one that I am about to make on that report of the excellent American Civil War game below; the kinda peanut butter and banana (or honey) that I like...!!

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    1. Hi James. I appreciate your comment. I owe those guys a debt. I also enjoy both kinds of blog posts and I hope that has comes through in my post.
      I have been on a dark ages kick lately. You know how it is, we get stuck on something. It's also because this year I vowed that I would paint 100 dark age miniatures before anything else.😁

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    2. follow up question: your profile has 3 blogs, which one should I follow?

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    3. Either 'Solo Slow' (things other than Napoleonics) or 'Chauvinistic' (Napoleonics, my first history/wargaming 'love'), which are my active ones. The Wargaming Waterloo one was a special for the bicentennial years, collecting and directing people to games from others (and ours) for the Napoleonic bicentennial. It remains for posterity.

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    4. I’ll pick the solo one as I know nothing about Nsps then. Naps always makes me confused. πŸ˜€

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  23. Jon sent me... Enjoyable post and I am now following. And congratulations on 5 years.

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    1. thanks Peter. I appreciate you stopping by and saying so

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  24. Congratulations on reaching your fifth blogging birthday!

    I enjoyed reading this blog post as its message resonated with me. I’ve been blogging since 2008 and my blog is probably very much in what you call peanut butter and jelly territory … although being a Brit I’ve never tried PB&J.

    Good luck for the future,

    Bob

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    1. Thanks Robert. I appreciate you writing a comment. Nothing wrong with PB&J territory; we all kinda live there. Though if you've NEVER had one, let me tell you now: you're not missing anything.

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    2. follow up question: your profile has SEVERAL blogs. How do you find the time? and which one should I follow?

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    3. Stew,

      My main blog is Wargaming Miscellany (https://wargamingmiscellany.blogspot.com/), and that is the one that I have been writing since 2008.

      All the best,

      Bob

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  25. Came to see some more vikings, ended up getting some thought provoking words instead 😁

    I’ve been enjoying your blog posts for a while and thought I’d finally comment as I am pretty bad at doing so.

    Excellent points though as I d like wandering around blogs to see what folk are up to and the PB&J posts are good as they remind me to get on with “normal” hobby stuff instead of feeling like I should be building a wargames mat from scratch or some other major project, so carry right on. I’m not tempted to paint vikings by your posts for example, but they do remind me to go and paint the elves that have been hanging around my painting desk for months looking sad and forgotten.

    Now then, about those Vikings?

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    1. Thanks Jamie. I appreciate you writing a comment now. If you feel like doing so in the future all good, and if not then all good too. You’re exactly right. I’m not tempted to start space marines by someone’s post but am motivated to get my own stuff painted. In my PB&J posts I try to add a little extra; either humor or whatever so that it appeals to everyone and not just what the subject is.
      Next post will be Vikings. Though now I feel this pressure to do a really good PB&J (if there can be such a thing) now that I’ve asked for all this extra attention. πŸ˜€

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    2. Follow up question: your profile has a couple blogs on it. Which one should I follow to return the favor?

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    3. Hi Stew, agog online would be the main one for my gaming friends and I, but we haven’t updated it in years, so I’ll probably mostly be lurking and trying to comment more.

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    4. Too bad. That will be rather one sided for you. If something changes let me know. πŸ˜€

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  26. Jon sent me over to congratulate you on five years blogging and also to enjoy your musings on blogging. Bob has got me thinking of what the English equivalent of your PB & J would be. Obviously people in the UK do eat peanut butter and jam butties but we wouldn't consider it a commonplace. A cheese sandwich in white sliced?

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    1. Thanks Anthony. Hope you liked it. I’ve had a grilled cheese sandwich but I don’t think that’s quite the same thing. πŸ˜€

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  27. Long-time follower but, sadly, seldom commenter here!

    Posting just about anything gaming-related, however mundane, is a good thing in my opinion, as it keeps the blogger in the habit of posting. Posting is something that I need to embrace once again as I seem to have fallen off of that horse. So, thank you for keeping the faith through thick and thin!

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    1. Thanks Greg. I recognize your icon. One does need to do mundane posts to keep posting, unless one is a full time social media person who can dedicate time to endless big projects. But we’re not that. So doing what we can and like to do and posting about it is a nice club feeling. πŸ˜€

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  28. Happy blog Birthday Stew. I've gotta agree with most of your points, apart from the peanut butter, yuk! My kids like it, I can remember gagging when I'd spread it on their toast when they were little. Which is pretty daft because I love peanuts?
    As for blogging, I always enjoy getting a comment or two on my blog and try as much as I can to comment on others blogs. I've got loads of followers, but it's always the same core names who comment on my blog.
    Keep up the great work.

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    1. Thanks Ray. For sure I have the same best blogging buddies that routinely comment on my posts, and I them. The whole point of the bump is to try and increase that club just a little bc it makes blogging fun for me. πŸ˜€

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  29. 'Jon sent me'.. it's like student house parties -just wander the area until you find a house with loud music, say 'friends of Steve' and proffer a bottle of cheap cider...
    Great post, thanks! I think I use my blog as motivational tool and diary, plus I just enjoy the writing.Agree most posts are 'PBJ' but I have been really chuffed that people have left friendly comments, and like you, I feel part of a really lovely little on-line 'club'. And people have even sent me figures! Interesting though, the post that has got by far the most views was a serious one, reacting to the Russian attack on Ukraine. Make of that, what you will...

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    1. p.s. just read your first ever post from 2017, I think it's a pretty good 'mission statement '. Congrats on 5 years!

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    2. Hi David. Thanks for coming by and writing a comment. No one ever reads the first post…πŸ˜€
      I’ve also gotten some fun stuff in the mail from fellow bloggers and sent out some care packages as well. All part of the club and a lot of fun. πŸ˜€

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  30. Nice job so far on this Terrible blog! ;)

    Congrats on the five years! I always enjoy your posts, wall of text, pictures of your work, or just memes. I enjoy them so much, that I sometimes "save" them for a more serious reading time, which means that I get to them later than when you first post them, but I always read them. So please keep posting for many more years to come, PB&J or main course posts, either way I like them.

    And Raspberry jam is the worst.

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    1. Thanks David. As the only online friend turned into real life friend, you are very special. I’m glad you enjoy the posts enough to actually read them. πŸ˜€
      I’m gonna send you an email do we can schedule our next game.

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  31. Hi Stew,

    Really enjoyed the read. Actually I read it several times, not because it was hard to read or I found it so compelling that I needed to totally absorb it, but because fell asleep - again, not that it was tedious to read, rather it was 11 o’clock at night after a very long day of work (and an evening of painting) and just drifted off - so I wound up reading the same piece over and over again.

    Most of my posts are ‘Look it’ posts simply because, as you say, it is what I do 90% of the time. It wasn’t what I set out to do. There are very few new ideas and my modelling has developed over the years by latching on to other people’s ideas and turning them into something that works for me. My original intent was to show how I made particular scratch built items in the hope that someone might find it interesting and might give them ideas in turn. Over the last nine and a bit years I have done quite a few of these ‘tutorials’ (surprisingly a quick count shows more that 100 such posts) usually serialised over a number of posts to track the progress of the build. I would like to do more of those posts, but the problem is that I now have so many buildings and bits of terrain that storage is a problem that making new things draws frowns from Domestic Control. Every so often I get reality enthused by what I am working on and dive down a rabbit hole like I did recently when I went looking for information on Von Bredow’s ‘Death Ride’ in 1870…8,000 words later there was a post.

    I too looked at my post history and you are right it’s not the ‘Look it’ posts that a most popular, and sadly its not the terrain tutorials. It is the free ACW flags that I have posted in a section called free stuff with 12,200 hits. The next biggest post is about an Austrian-Prussian War game at 548 hits. All this really tells me is that the word ‘free’ carries a lot of weight with wargamers and sure enough if you type ‘Free American Civil War Flags’ into Google, I come up as the second of 66,200,000 results.

    But I don’t post to get a high rating on a search engine, score hits, to collect comments or collect followers. Like Lawrence I use the blog as a sort of open diary and I have made contact with some great like minded people along the way. For me it is a release for all of those thoughts that go bubbling through my head when I am trapped in traffic on the daily commute or when someone is burbling on and on during a really tedious Zoom meeting when I have the camera turned off and the mute activated.

    Congratulations on your first five years.

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    1. Thanks Mark for the lengthy reply. I don’t want to come across as someone who is seeking internet stardom via blog. I’m not that interesting (though secretly I am). I just wanted to increase the membership of my online club and the 5 year mark seemed like a good opportunity and asking for a bump very efficient. As past behavior has taught me.
      You highlight the problem with resource posts; one can’t do them all the time. I think my terrain tutorials are cool, like the forest one; but now I have all the trees I need for a long time. Doing resource posts all the time I equate more with full time YouTubers. πŸ˜€

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  32. Right, you can all stop now and go home.....Stew has over 80 comments, for goodness sake....the most I have ever managed is just over 40.....so you can all shoot over to my blog and leave me nice comments now.if you like...Stew has plentyπŸ˜€ That is what you call self bumping!

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    1. I am sure Stew is getting posted out. :)

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    2. Definitely a lesson in be careful what you ask for bc you might get it. πŸ˜€

      Of course there’s only two tragedies in life; wanting something and getting it.

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  33. Happy Blogiversary, from another refugee sent here by Keith! Not seen your blog before. Interesting post. Must start from the beginning like David-in-Suffolk (afraid I haven't brought cider to the party but Thunderbird 'wine'*).
    I tend to rabbit on a bit too much in my blog posts. Mainly because my painting skills don't bear close scrutiny.
    * That's one for Brits of a certain age!

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    1. Thanks Nun for stopping by and writing a comment. I appreciate it. Kieth has done me good service. But no one ever reads the first post. You probably the second one to do so and the only comment there. πŸ˜€
      My painting skills are also nothing to brag about which is why I pepper the posts with lame jokes.

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  34. Five years, well done and here’s to the next five. I think the majority of visitors have read, and move on without comment which is a pity. But we’ll done and I promise I will visit and comment more often 😁

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    1. Hi Graham Thanks for the comment today. I really don’t expect people to comment on everything. I tried to do that once and it seemed useless bc who knew if someone really cared and it took a lot of time.
      But the people who like being in an online club are a different sort and we can all just comment on each ls blogs and have a good time. πŸ˜€

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  35. What was this blog post about exactly? It was too long so I didn't read it! I come to the comments section and there are nearly 100 here. Once again, too long, didn't bother reading them! ;)

    In all seriousness, congrats on your milestone! I think my site if you count the Battles in Middle Earth era, is close five years now too. The website was dormant for a year though after I made it, so its hard to know for sure without doing some research and I'm too lazy for that. Either way, I concur that the interactions are what keep you blogging. Page views can be exciting early on but there is a ceiling we hit with those generally and I find that one comment is more valuable than hundreds of views where people looked at one page and then left. That sounds more sentimental than I mean it. I used to get a lot of views on "News" posts where people did exactly that and it all felt a bit hollow to me. The interactions I've had with other wargamers since then are much more meaningful and so I've embraced having two audiences. The regular crew of commenters and strangers who come and go pretty quickly.

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    1. Your blog doesn't appear in your blogger profile. How are people supposed to creep your blog and decide if they want to follow you? Think of all the orphaned comments that never made it to your posts! The humanity.....

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    2. You can find Kuribo’s blog on my blog roll for a back up. It’s a Wordpress site I think.

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    3. Hi Jeff! Surprise! It’s a lengthy post instead of miniatures. I like the notion that we have 2 audiences; the strangers and the regular crew. The idea of this post is to see if the refs could grow a little more.
      I think I have been a reg on your site for about 5 years. But it FEELS longer. πŸ˜€

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  36. Wow....you have broken "the ton" Stew and you still have quite a few replies to do.....is 100+ comments a wargaming blog record?? I just had to add another 2c worth and take the count to 101!

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    1. ‘Fraid not, Keith. I looked back two years on my blog and have one post garnering 123 comments…

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    2. Definitely a record for this terrible blog and WAY more than I expected. Of course several of the comments are just people from outside the US taking a piss about PB&J sandwiches. πŸ˜€

      But it’s been a lot of fun.

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  37. ‘Jon sent me!’. Thanks ks for a very entertaining, and thought provoking blog post. I hope to come back here in the future πŸ‘

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    1. hi Haig. Thanks for coming by and writing a comment. I appreciate it. Also glad you liked the post overthinking blogs. Hope to see you again. πŸ˜€

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  38. Happy 5th aniversary Stew. Loved this post my friend. Sorry I have been remiss in comments of late. It's summer and all of the outside work takes up most of my time. You have kids. I have weeds, fences and livestock. πŸ˜‰

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    1. Thanks Vol. Don’t think twice about the lack of comments; I don’t really expect people to comment on every one of my posts. But enjoy it when you do. But since your big interest is sailing ships my last several posts probably have not been in your wheelhouse. πŸ˜€
      I’d take my children over livestock but only just.

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  39. Happy 5th blogday Stew. Glad to see you're still going. Just noticed my blog's 5th anniversary was back in April this year so we've been doing this about the same time, although you have amassed more than double the followers.
    See what you mean about "Look it" vers "Resource" type posts. My "look It " posts average around 450 views while some of my more "how too or how I" posts are up in the 1000's. My top post currently sits at 7,490 views :o
    So once again well done Stew and Carry On Blogging :)

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    1. Thanks Tony. Those are (to me) impressive numbers. My top post is only 5000. πŸ˜€

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  40. Hell, I missed this one completely!!! How on earth did I manage?

    Stew this is honestly a brilliantly humorous but very very true post. You’re guaranteed a Pulitzer ! Sorry for the long delay in commenting.

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    1. Thanks Mike. I appreciate it. Glad you enjoyed it. I’ve enjoyed our online interactions. πŸ˜€

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  41. Happy 5th blogday, and for what it's worth, that DIY wargaming mat post is how I made my own so glad you took the time to put it up here.

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    1. Thanks Roland. I do actually love to hear such a thing: as it’s meant to be helpful to anyone and I’m glad you tried it and probably got a better result than I did. πŸ˜€

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  42. I really enjoyed the post. Well done for making 5 years. I've been writing mine for a year & bit now...and I'm ok with it just being a diary of sorts...something that I've never really attempted in my life. It's a diary...but just about the really nerdy, cool stuff that has been my guilty pleasure for most of my life. My Lion Rampant gaming replays seem to get the most views....those Peanut Butter posts of mine hardly get any traffic and sometimes it seems pointless, but a diary is a dairy...and I keep it mostly as a record of stuff I've done. It's all good fun, and it actually keeps me motivated to get out and play with people. This is the most important thing for me, cuz I reckon we live in an age in which it is becoming easier and easier to withdraw and isolate from our fellow humans. It's not healthy. Being sociable is a muscle you have to exercise as you get older. It's far easier to withdraw with our devices & screens. Keeping a blog is the only social media I do...and not surprisingly...it has infected that 'like me/attention seeking' part of my brain. In this instance I'm happy to follow the urge because it gets me out & about, making things, meeting people, playing games and connecting. Anyway sorry about the novella...but it was good post so thank you for taking the time to write it up. All the best.

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    1. Hey Dash. Thanks for coming by and writing a comment. Long or otherwise. My blog as started as a journal and largely still is but after awhile I knew that I wanted it to be read by others as well. Because it was more fun to share. It’s a good point you make about getting a social life and wargaming is at its heart a social hobby. But I’m not able to socialize much these days for wargaming due to family and such; and try as I might my wife and kids aren’t nearly enthusiastic about it. So online club through the blog has become the substitute. πŸ˜€
      It helps that most bloggers are good gamers with sunny attitudes.

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