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Monday, November 11, 2013

Behind the Blog - Tabletop Gaming News



In the Grim Dark Future, there is war, and blogging about said war. Also blogging about anything and everything else going on. Blogging is a thankless job most times, and while our online community is pretty awesome in general as we celebrate all things Grim Dark, hobby, and miniature related. Seldom is the curtain pulled back to shine a light behind the scenes. The people who devote themselves to the dark god's of blogging work away frantically keeping the posts flowing. So in this series we will be speaking to some of our communities most dedicated. Getting a small glimpse into the minds of our fellow bloggers, and pillars of our online world. To get this glimpse a short series of questions went out into the warp, and these are the bloggers who responded.

Today we speak with Jason Koepp from TableTop Gaming News




Faeit 212  has the direct line on rumors when it comes to all things Gamesworkshop. His network is vast enough that even Coteaz would be proud. Bols has a constant flow of articles about a majority of the most popular game systems, and Kirby does his part to constantly give us tactical insight and strategy. However the one stop site for everything and anything news wise in the over all hobby has to be TableTop Gaming News. Kickstarters, third party items, new gaming systems, this site covers it all and for those of us that are always looking for something new, or tracking those awesome new molds that we drool over. The site constantly show cases new and cool stuff and I can't honestly name a better source for the updates. Without further words from me let's here from Jason. 


Please list all the sites you write for.

The only website I currently write for is TGN, thought I also regularly write articles for the US edition of Ravage Magazine, for which I'm also the Liaison in Chief.

What originally got you into blogging?

I started to get more involved with the gaming community when I was a Mentor on the Privateer Press forums, handing out “welcome baskets” to new members and answering what many would consider “newbie” questions. That set me up knowing Kevin Clark and Ross Thompson, who eventually helped me get the job being the Editor in Chief for Tabletop Gaming News. But it all stemmed from just wanting to do “more” with the gaming hobby. There was a real sense of community that I greatly enjoyed and doing what I do has only helped expand that feeling.

Is there a story behind your blogs name?

Well, it's a pretty self-explanatory name, really. When Zac started TGN, he had it as a website that could aggregate news from all over the web into one place. I've simply kept up the mantle. My sort of unofficial tag line for the site is “Tabletop Gaming News: your source for tabletop gaming news.”

Can you name two articles you have written in the past you really enjoy and why?



That's a pretty hard question, actually. Though if I had to choose a favorite, it would be my unboxing/assembly post/video I did for DreamForge-Games with their Leviathan Crusader (http://www.tabletopgamingnews.com/2013/03/05/70695/). That whole process to get the model, unbox it, assemble it (while documenting each step) and then show the “movement video” stretched my skills as a reporter, a modeler and as a video host, and it was one of the first things I did after taking over TGN full-time.


Picking another favorite besides that is the really hard part. I think I'll go with my unboxing of the Silvermoon Trade Syndicate for Bushido. (http://www.tabletopgamingnews.com/2013/08/02/76722/) I like that one because I was able to get a look at the new faction for my favorite game before basically anyone else had seen it. So I guess it's a bit of a selfish reason, but you gotta admit, playing with new toys before anyone else is a good time.

How do you keep up with blogging and how much time does it take up out of your personal life?

Well, I do TGN as my full-time job every day, so it's pretty easy to keep up with. I have a minimum of 20 news posts a day on weekdays and 10 on weekends. I don't post as much “original content” as I would like much of the time, but I have plans on generating more home-made content. Even though I'm doing TGN full-time, it's not the only project I do (such as the aforementioned Ravage magazine), so it is a balancing act. I want my original content to live up to the content that I'm posting as news from other sites and that can be hard, as there are a lot of high-quality review sites out there.

Are there some really great blogs that inspire you or that you would like to shout out?


Honestly, there are a ton of good blogs out there if you want to search for them. Shameless plug, but you can find a lot of them on the TGN Blog Network: http://blogs.tabletopgamingnews.com/ And if you see a good blog that's not part of the network, let me know and I'll ad them.

But as for any specifics, Enrico Nardini's Play Unplugged is a great place to get game reviews. 

So is Jason over at Play Board Games

Lucas at Hand Cannon Online  has been a friend for many years. Be sure to check out his Removed From Play podcast. 

Also, Falk over at Tabletop Fix . Yes, despite being technically a “rival” in the gaming news business, he's a good friend as well and I can't wait for him to come back over from Germany hopefully this year for GenCon. We want to run a panel on “Gaming News and Gaming Companies.”

If you had one tip for a newer blogger what would you tell them?

Pace yourself, but keep regular updates coming. Keeping a regular schedule isn't easy, but even if it's just once a month, having a regular update people can count on I think is critical. Burnout is also a very real thing. Don't try and overdo it. I've seen it a lot with podcasts where I'll post updates from them rather quickly, but then it'll be several months before I hear from them again... if ever. So yeah, pace yourself, regular updates. It'll be alright.

Any final words before we wrap this thing up?

I love what I do and I'm thankful for the opportunity to get to do it. In the past year and a half I've met a lot of great people. I feel very privileged to know and regularly talk to many of the people that make all the games we love to play. I'm exceedingly thankful to my readers that stop by the site every day.

Awesome big thanks to Jason for taking the time out to play along for our fun series. Several great links in this article, and if you run a blog that your updating regular like check out the network mentioned above. (I don't think I have joined just yet, but I'll have to get that fixed!!) It's very interesting comparing the responses from the big sites that are basically a job vs those of us that run a site as a part of our hobby and giving back to the community. http://www.tabletopgamingnews.com/ is the link again in case you missed it. 

Thanks for joining us today and keep an eye out as we have several of these coming down the pipe for the series. As always feedback, and comments are more than welcome, and if there is a blog or blog author you would like to see highlighted please feel free to speak up or shoot me an email and I will see what I can do.


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