Promoted: Cblogs of March, 2019: State of the Recaps
April 08, 20195 min read
[Lord Spencer brings us up to speed on the past month of Community blogs as well as lays out the state of the community blogging scene. There's something here for everyone, so sit back and enjoy some great blogs from the wonderful community here at Destructoid -Anthony]
I joined Destructoid back in January of 2014 after lurking for three or four years. Before that, I have only been part of one other online community and was hesitant to be involved with any gaming website. However, what pulled me into the wonderful world of Dtoid was the excellent work being developed for the community, by the community.
I am talking about the excellent work that was done, and is still being done, in the Community Blogs (or C-Blogs for short).
When I first joined, I greatly enjoyed sharing my earlier blogs (which are considerably rougher than my current writings) and reading other member’s work as well. For me, the idea that many of the first page writers in the site have originally started in the C-Blogs meant that the site is dedicated to build-up its own community. That was mostly the case because the community itself was heavily involved in building up itself.
Nowhere was that more apparent than the C-Blog Recaps, a daily blog that recaps all the C-Blogs written the day before. It was a massive undertaking, completely run by community members, which started in February 2008 and continues in some form till today.
Since I greatly enjoyed writing my blogs and sharing them with the community, and also enjoyed seeing a recap of other people’s work as well as my own, I greatly appreciated the value of the C-Blog Recaps and the effort of the community members driving it. Which is why, when a slot opened up, I volunteered to be a Recapper in my second year as a Dtoider.
In that time, the site has undergone many changes, as dear members of the community left, and others have joined. This has, naturally, affected the community-driven blogs. In this time, I have noticed how the situation in the C-Blogs, and by extension that of the Recaps, has been slowly changing as well.
Reading this, you probably realize that the Recaps have stopped for a while and now you see a recap for a full month instead of the weekly schedule we adopted in the second part of last year. Due to the current shortage of dedicated recappers, as well as the relatively low number of C-Blogs, I decided that the only way I could realistically recap all the blogs you guys write by myself is to make it a monthly endeavor.
Previously, when I first joined, the C-Blog Recaps were a daily event and each recap had about 5-10 blogs. In those days, a daily recap was a must, as a weekly recap would have covered near to 50 blogs. Slowly, the numbers started to drop, but we still maintained a full roster of Recappers and maintained our daily schedule. We also had three or four dedicated reservists to help plug-in the gaps
That changed last year, as the number of both Recappers and blogs decreased rapidly. At the beginning of last year, there was a trend where double and triple Recaps would happen. That was because some days were dropped without a reservist on the job, or because some days had only one or two blogs to cover. Eventually, we came down to six or five Recappers and decided on a Weekly Recap schedule.
Unfortunately, this was decided before the newest Recap volunteers were boarded in, and a weekly recap takes more time and effort at a single setting compared to a daily recap. Perhaps that’s why the weekly recap could not be maintained on a regular basis. Seeing gaps in the process, I made the decision that if I wanted to ensure that each and every blog is recapped, with none falling through the cracks, then the only way I could personally ensure it is through a monthly recap format. I would like to take this opportunity to thank the recappers who were unfortunately saddled with the weekly format when they had no choice in its implementation in the first place.
So, why did a consistent Dtoid institution decline to such a degree as to have one single active member?
I think there are many reasons for that decline:
First, the simple fact that the C-Blog readership has declined and continues to decline. C-Blogs rarely get more than five commentators, and C-Blog Recaps rarely get two or three comments. This decline in readership discussion would naturally lead to a decrease in both bloggers and recappers morale and motivation. There have been attempts at reinvigorating the readership by promoting a few of the weekly recaps to the front page to no avail. At this stage in the C-Blog community, there is little audience interaction, and the writers that continue are the ones that made peace with that fact. Still, here is where I would like to encourage all of you to read and comment more on the awesome work being done by your fellow Dtoid community members.
Second, there has been a vacuum of leadership and community engagement in the C-Blog Recap account. Previously, this initiative was led by Marcel Hoang, who as you know, is a community leader and site administrator at this point. Also part of the team were other Dtoid community members. As far as I know, most if not all of these members are unpaid volunteers, but they all have wider site access than most other community members. Since Marcel stepped down, other members with similar community management access have stepped up nominally to take his place. That is until the last two years when the group did not have any clear leadership, and much of the organization work was thankfully handled individually by each member, and intermittently by a recap member who stepped up for the task but never asked for it in the first place. Lastly, as the oldest continuing member of the group, I found myself with the responsibility to organize the group’s activity with little success. Since I do not have any community administration access (nor do I want to), I did not feel comfortable inviting other people to the Recap account and wished other active community admins in the account to do so.
Now, regardless of this decline, I find myself committed for the time being to these recaps, even I end up doing them for the entire year. This is my humble way of paying back the site for being a kind of internet home for the last five or so years. Blogging here has been a consistent source of joy for me, and I would be glad to help fellow C-Bloggers in any way I can.
Please keep blogging, and keep reading and commenting if you can.