Greetings boys and girls, Unicorns and children of all ages!  Today let’s talk about collaborations.

According to the Strictly Average dictionary defines a collaboration as ‘an attempt by one person with vision to convince others who may or may not have talent to see his vision and work their asses of for no apparent reason or regard outside of benefiting the blog owner.’  A dictionary definition?  How lazy is that?

Is it any wonder successful collaborations are almost as rare as Unicorns?

For this article I’ve searched far and wide to bring you examples of a successful collaboration.  Frankly, my expectations were low but I ran across a number I enjoyed quite well. From the Hogs of War to The Back 40K and then around to Table Top War, I have to admit they’re out there… still, I have to wonder if you can plan one. It seems most of the good collaboration blogs are friends who motivate one another; importantly, they all seem to be hobby blogs.

Why is that important?  It’s simple, really: hobby blogs are easier to write than compendium blogs.

Having done the lame definition thing once today, I’ll go ahead and use that crutch again.  On Blogging defines compendium blogs as those blogs that concentrate on adding useful knowledge on army lists, strategy, and tactics to the blogosphere.  Naturally, these blogs appeal to the competitive gamer; given how critical that crowd is, successful compendium blogs are hard to find.

Now find a good collaboration compendium blog! There’s only the one, and it’s called 3++ Is the New Black.  All my questions about this blog really boil down to one: how the hell do they post so much actually useful material?

Questions and Answers with Kirby!

Let’s talk to the head dictator in charge, Kirby.

I wasn’t aware there were other dictators though I am flattered I’m the ‘only’ good collaboration compendium blog. Go me. It’s the pink isn’t it? The tutu? Nekedness? I’ll stop.

Okay, Kirby, what’s your mission statement? What are you trying to accomplish with the blog?

Boobies for everyone. Or is that Dethron’s mission statement? I guess I don’t really have one. I figured, Kirby (cause I talk to myself and call myself Kirby) you fail as a clinical psychologist and are doing psychological research instead (let’s pretend it’s a science, and speaking of which TAKE MY SURVEY), why not put your lack of empathy to use on the internet where no one can see your eye rolls and facepalms and you can come across as really genuine. So I thought, why not Kirby?  So here I am and I just ruined it all by telling you my grand plan!

In all seriousness though 40k (and it seems Fantasy as well now) is a game(s) system I really enjoy because GW has done all the hard work of thinking up most of the backstory for me. I add my own little bit and then play games and there is nothing more satisfying than winning, not because your opponent made mistakes or used crap lists but because in this instance you were just better.  Rigged dice might help, too, I guess. My blog aims to 1) give as many people as possible good army lists (whilst also catering somewhat to their fluff beliefs) 2) show them how to use it properly, and 3) most importantly why.  A lot of blogs/forums never really get down to the why and when you rebut and give a good in-depth why, they rarely why back but resort to 10 year old “nu-huhs!” If someone rationally shows me up or thinks of something I didn’t, I’m happy to admit it.  that’s what this blog promotes. Community and a competitive enjoyment of the game while maintaining a hobby aspect. I could cite many sites and online personalities here but shall refrain… somehow.

Some of Kirby's work.

I like to call them IPs now, for Internet Personalities.  Anyway you’ve got a blog where your contributors actually contribute… do you agree with me on how rare that is and how do you keep them going?

Boobies. They don’t do it enough! I joke. Most of them I’ve known through the internet for a while now (exception being Vinsanity, the Australia government is still trying to deport him back to Russia [with Love]) and chat to rather regularly which helps as we discuss things and flesh out ideas. I know both Puppy & I have word documents where we jot down ideas or links when ideas come to use (I’ve got over a page worth of ideas…ugh). The combination of what 7/8? extra writers allows for varied input outside of my pink-tinted view whilst also keeping up the 3-4 posts a day when I need a breather or am away. Loring deserves props here as he really helped out when I went to a tournament the other weekend and Puppy can always be counted on to post something in a pinch so kudos to them (and all my other minions, er authors).

Really I guess I just found like minded individuals or individuals who have something to say that I’d like others to hear. I’ve made a platform which people listen to which is nice so it needs sharing (but it’s not caring! No empathy here). When people have something to say about something they enjoy they don’t need motivating, but gentle nudges are a requirement of my dictatorship position.

I’ve heard you do your ‘gentle nudges’ with a beat-stick. Last question before the lightning round… what advice do you have for someone who wants to grow their blog, or perhaps start a new one? Do you recommend it? Do you recommend others trying to do what you’ve done?

Take boobie pics. Um, find someone to sponsor you and don’t get discouraged. It took me well over a month to actually get significant hits, and that was with me spamming Stelek with e-mails (okay one) and bashing BoLS a bit (though I explained why). I also post a fair bit on sites like H-O & Warseer (shudders) with accounts @ Dakka, 40kOnline, Relic & B&C, too. Basically, posting increases the chance someone will visit my blog through my signature-link.

No I don’t recommend what I’ve done. Whilst I enjoy doing it, sometimes it feels like work. The missus hates it as well but I need me-time woman! Starting a blog though? Absolutely. Even if it’s just a place to put your models/conversions/bat-reps it’s a nice haunt to have, especially if you can get links on the bigger blogs and sites.  Still, unless you fit into a niche or do some fantastic modeling you won’t be getting the hits other blogs do, which can be depressing. Jumping on an already established blog and then building one off of it might be a good idea.  If you’re interested send resumes to my email!

See how he’s cleverly manipulating all you fine folks?  He wants you to think he’s a nice guy, but I’ve got a treat for you.  I’ve gone and found one of his writers, who’s a very abused puppy.  Let’s chat with him for a second.

So, AbusePuppy, you’re one of the slaves collaborators on 3++… briefly, how did that come about and what’s it like to work for Kirby?

Well, at a young age I was abandoned in the wilds of the internet by my parents, where I was raised by a pack of feral trolls. Kirby found my scavenging for scraps and eating rotten garbage on Warseer, and he brought me to civilization and taught me the ways of the hu-man.

Working for Kirb ain’t bad at all, aside from the terrible beatings and constant promptings to “work faster, slaves!” But he says we deserve it for being so lazy, so really it’s our own fault.

There is that.  On average, how many articles a week are you guys expected to write?

Say cheese!

I submit about two or three hundred articles each week, but Kirb rejects most of them for a variety of reasons. He’s very concerned with the quality of the site, you see, and he doesn’t want it to go the way of certain other blogs *coughcoughbolscough* that are just filled with trash articles. The reasons tend to vary a lot, anything from “needs to be about Warhammer 40K” to “this isn’t an article, this is just pornography” to “not enough pornography”; only Kirb himself really knows that secret formula that results in a successful article. I hear Pepsi is willing to pay $50,000 cash, no questions asked, for the formula though.

I usually have to get at least 1-3 articles that pass muster each week, but that’s only because I’m on Punishment Duty after trying to escape. Most guys who are just in here for drug possession or assault charges only have to write an article every week or two.

Well, it sounds like you guys work really hard.  Why do you let Kirby say such awful things about you?

What? No, he loves us and wants to help us- that’s why he abuses us constantly, so that we’ll learn to correct our mistaken ways and live better lives. I mean, look at me- I have “abuse” right in my name, what’s that tell you? Kirb’s dispensing of divine punishment to those who it will do the most good for is just his solemn duty to this world and those within it; the man’s practically a saint.

I don’t know man – it sounds like he just uses you.  He takes all the credit for the site’s success, you know!

Gotta wonder why he doesn't build the pink army!

Wait, what? Site? I thought this was an interview about what it’s like here in the Kier B. State Memorial Penitentiary? You tellin’ me that this is all some kinna scam and we ain’t s’posed to be in here for nuthin’?

I’ma be right back. Me and the boys got a prison riot to start.

Okay… let’s step back a bit from that!  Here’s the Bonus Question!  Blogs as magazines (as always, Bell is People, YTTH is Guns and Ammo, and Blood of Kittens is US Weekly)… what magazine is 3++ Is the New Black?

National Geographic. Pretty pics and deep seeded articles with some sort of intellect behind them. Otherwise Playboy cause I’m a whore.

Lightning Round!

  1. Blogger or WordPress? Blogger
  2. Bell of Lost Souls or Yes The Truth Hurts? 3++ is the new black
  3. Blogs or Forums? Forums have the advantage of being able to debate someone with ease but they just don’t get the gaming systems…hence the blog =p.
  4. Painted or Plastic? Painted metal
  5. Competitive Player or Fluffy Bunny? Dead bunny. I enjoy my fluff and build balanced lists.
  6. Friday Night Fights or What the hell is that? <3 Dethtron. I’ll win one yet!
  7. Brent or Not Brent? Not Brent
  8. Battle Reports or How-To-Posts? How-To’s. I made them.
  9. Troller or Lurker? If I could ban…
  10. Unicorn or Girl Gamer? Unicorns are real.

    Thanks for playing!

    Okay folks, the bottom line is this: there is nothing more difficult to write than articles on competitive play – it’s one of the reasons I rarely write one.  It’s a thankless gig; everyone has an opinion and everyone thinks they’re right.  So with that in mind, I’m amazed that Kirby and the Pink Army continue to churn out so much excellent material.  If you’re looking for advice to improve your game, you couldn’t do much better than 3++ is the New Black.  Come back next week, when On Blogging Part V finally talks about the rules of the road!